Roy McDonough reads this blog.
Roy McDonough reads this blog.
Last week we asked the wonderful John Cei Douglas to do a guest illustration for him. His brief was simply “Jack Wilshere and his Forest Friends” and this is what he came up with. We love it John! Happy Christmas!
'Footloose, footloose, Boruc and his…errrrrm…two left foots?' Yeah, that'll do. This is our submission that successfully got in to The Guardian Gallery, second time in a week. Footloose indeed
By Philippe Fenner
Right, so straight off the bat, I am inducting Dimitar Berbatov in to ‘Hardest Bastards in Football,’ largely for the following reasons. I’ve just got a hunch about this one and really wanted to draw this picture so lets just go with it. Enjoy.
A: He looks cool
B: He looks mean
C: He looks like a Soviet sniper at The Battle of Stalingrad (I know he’s Bulgarian which wasn’t part of the USSR but was part of the Eastern Block so again, lets just roll with it)
D: He looks cool
E: He smokes a lot (which as we all know, makes you a hard man e.g Lemmy from Motörhead)
F: Doesn’t run a lot, doesn’t have to because he’s well hard
G: Draws amusing caricatures of his team mates and others (which as we all know, makes you a hard man e.g…no, can’t think of one at the moment)
H: He’s very cool
I: He sometimes wears a bandana (which as we all know, makes you a hard man e.g Rambo)
J: Already referred to but was born and raised in Bulgaria which I can’t imagine is an easy gig but I may be wrong. In fact it’s meant to be very good skiing. All justifiable I’m sure you’ll agree. Put your fag out for a moment, Berbo and shake the hands of your fellow bastards.
'Article' and Illustration by Philippe Fenner
This is a new series looking at that rare beast in football – the one cap wonder. Players with one international cap are a special breed, and regardless of the reasons for their brief flirtation, their brief flare with their country adds splendid colour to the international game.
I am going to start with a player that fascinated me in my youth – Charlie George. Naturally I am not claiming to have been a nipper in the early 70’s when Charlie was most prevalent, but for no apparent reason when I was about 9 or 10 years old I had a VHS of Arsenal’s 1970-71 double season. In the days when parents thought Sky was an extravagance rather than a must have, football on TV for me was limited to Italian Football on Channel 4 and the odd FA Cup and European match that sneaked on to terrestrial channels early enough to be watched before bedtime; so the few football videos I could get my hands on got watched over and over again.
Charlie looked very cool to the younger me(and the older me!). He had the look of a sneering hardman, but with the cool long hair and slight awkwardness of one of the Ramones. Charlie looked completely rock ‘n’ roll, but was from Islington, so you knew he was a bit tasty too. The image of Charlie smashing in that screamer against Liverpool in the FA Cup final and just lying on his back, arms outstretched, is burnt onto my young footballing mind.
But Charlie lived up to his rebel looks, and towards the end of his time with his boyhood club, Arsenal, he began to find trouble. First he headbutted Kevin Keegan (understandable, I think), and then he celebrated a goal against Derby County by flicking the V’s at their supporters at the baseball Ground. But Derby are a forgiving bunch, and after falling out with Bertie Mee at Arsenal after fortunes for rebellious Charlie and the club began to falter, he moved to Derby. It was during this stint that he scored a hat trick against the mighty Real Madrid in the European Cup, and not everybody does that, do they?
Having been criminally overlooked by England during his glory days following Arsenal’s double triumph, he finally came to the attention of controversial England manager Don Revie in 1976. After being played out of position for 60 minutes against Republic of Ireland, Charlie was substituted. When Revie approached Charlie to shake his hand as he came off the pitch, Charlie let him know exactly what he thought, saying “Go fuck yourself” and walking past him. Charlie subsequently never played for England again. It was pretty obvious that Don Revie would not take kindly to such treatment, but Charlie wasn’t one to shy away from conflict - and in hindsight, it was probably worth it just to insult Revie (it’s not like Charlie was going to miss out on playing in international tournaments!)
Charlie never really recaptured his early form, and after bouncing round a number of clubs, including St George Saints in Australia, Minnesota Kicks in the USA and Bulova in Hong Kong, as well as losing a finger in a bizarre lawnmowing incident, Charlie finally called it a day in 1983. Being a hard lad from Islington he then ran a bar and then a garage, and is now currently looked after by Arsenal as one of their stadium tour guides and match day hosts.
Article by Martin Race
Illustration by Philippe Fenner
Certainly one of the all time greats, this fabulous man is still playing an important and impressive role in a Manchester United side at 40 years old. Alice Devine illustrates this lovely piece in celebration of what this wonderful player has given to football in his time, and continues to give every year he signs another contract. One thousand appearances is just around the corner.
Happy Birthday Ryan Giggs.
James Hunter brings us this utterly splendid depiction of Eric’s famous downfall. What a giant character old Cantona was. I do miss him, as does James, clearly.