Monday, September 21, 2009

Eng-er-land's Dreaming

I recently finished reading Keith Allen's autobiog of a few years back. As I expected, there was much to admire about the way he's conducted his life, and much that reflected badly on him, too, in particular his cavalier attitude towards partners and children. Despite this, one story in particular stood out, and its seems appropriate to re-tell it today, the day that the late Sir Bobby Robson is being remembered at a memorial service at Durham Cathedral. It concerns the antics of England's players after the 1990 World Cup, and it changed Allen's view of them from the cheeky chappies of World In Motion to the abysmally-behaved, inconsiderate gits that most footballers (probably) are.

And one more thing I have to bring up, given all the hype from the England players about how much they respected Bobby Robson and what a great manager he was. It was bullshit. I was there and saw first hand how they treated him. I was invited to their hotel with friends I was travelling with when they had a team meal after England had exited the World Cup. Bobby got up to make a speech and Gary Lineker pretended to yawn.

After his speech the players drifted away, leaving Robson sitting alone at the end of the table while Gazza, I remember very clearly, threw bread at him. This wasn't the end of it. Afterwards all the players picked him up, carried him out to the pool and threw him in. We all watched, expecting the players to help him out again. They didn't. They just threw him in, turned and walked away, leaving Sir Bob dazed and spluttering, struggling to get out of the water.

Keith Allen, Grow Up, p. 302/303

Currie Favour

A really nice piece on Momus (his ace ClickOpera blog is in my links on the left of this page), from Saturday's Guardian, here.