Its a funny old game.or was it

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goldandblack
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Its a funny old game.or was it

Post by goldandblack » Sat Jun 27, 2020 7:58 pm

..How things have changed, for the better or...Whats your take on it …


It's hard to believe that top-class footballers - or athletes in any sport - would also be smokers because of the health and moral objections. But a surprising number are, although the fact that they generally try to hide their habit is a victory for the anti-smoking lobby. In recent years footballers who have been caught smoking include Wayne Rooney, David Ginola, Paul Gascoigne, Zinedine Zidane, Fabian Barthez, Mario Balotelli, David James, Maradonna and William Gallas. Looking back a bit further in time World Cup winner Jack Charlton did little to hide his smoking while former Brazil captain Socrates - or more precisely Sócrates Brasileiro Sampaio de Souza Vieira de Oliveira - perhaps couldn't hide his habit as he was reputedly a 40-a-day man. Looking back further still there was a time when smoking was seen as glamorous and top footballers actually endorsed smoking.


Jack Charlton having a puff
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Amazingly Stanley Matthews was one of them. A teetotaller and a vegetarian he was fit enough to play football in the top flight at 50 years old but in the 1952/53 season - the one when he won his only major club honour - he endorsed Craven 'A' cigarettes. Although a non-smoker the advert quoted him as saying 'For a really satisfying cigarette that's kind to your throat give me Craven 'A' every time.' You can probably understand why cigarette advertising was banned!


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Well OK, scoring a goal is always going to be worthy of a moment or two of celebration but the extent of those celebrations have certainly changed over the years. Nowadays its not just the kissing and cuddling but it is often the start of a choreographed routine which may well include a gymnastics display worthy of an Olympic event. As I write this Wayne Rooney is in trouble for swearing direct to a television camera as part of one of his goal celebrations.
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In contrast take a look at a DVD of a match from the fifties or sixties. The two things you would probably immediately notice? No diving and goal celebrations which consisted of nothing more than a handshake with the closest player at hand. Derek Dougan scored his first goal in the Football League for Portsmouth against Wolves at Fratton Park on Saturday 9th November 1957 and merely raised his arms above his head to celebrate - and didn't that cause a fuss! One journalist commented on his 'arms akimbo' display of histrionics and asked his manager, Eddie Lever, to comment. He said -
" It was the natural elation of a youngster scoring his first goal for his club. He's a bit of a showman, I'll admit, but there is nothing wrong with that.'
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We tend to think nowadays that to be a top-class footballer involves being an athlete who can do a double back flip at a moments notice. Anyone slightly more robust than that stereotype gets the full blast of 'Who Ate All The Pies'. So, all of us who are a little bit more rounded should have as our hero one William 'Fatty' Foulke who was 6ft 4in tall and at his peak weighed in at around 22 stone. A goalkeeper, he played over 400 senior matches for Sheffield United, Chelsea and Bradford City between 1894/95 and 1906/07. He was both a good goalkeeper and a crowd-puller - at Sheffield United he won a League championship medal in 1898 and FA Cup winners medals in 1899 and 1902, playing once for England in 1897.

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