Friday, January 19, 2018

Good Blokes

Got a bit irritated in previous months at ex-Liverpool striker John Aldridge sounding off against Mourinho and United. So I was inclined to switch off the radio today when an item came on featuring him. Fortunately I was typically fair-minded and allowed myself a listen to the twerp from Liverpool. Turns out he's not a twerp at all. He was talking about his time at Real Sociedad, post-Pool, and he came across as a real salt-of-the-earth type. His affection for Spain was clear and I was struck by the openness of a working-class bloke from the rougher side of Liverpool fitting in so well in his European adventure. It was always obvious what an honest grafter he was on the field making the best of a limited, but still very distinct talent; but in the interview his intelligence shone through. And a real charm, which came through most powerfully in his warm comments on another great from his generation.

It was obvious for anyone with sense back then that Cyrille Regis was complete class. Again, not the most fabulously gifted front man, but an embodiment of all you wanted in a leader and spearhead. It's difficult to take in that he's dead at just 59 seeing what a force of nature he was on the field. And to think of the vile abuse he suffered week in and week out because of the colour of his skin. Imagine having the character to rise above that. The fact that things are a lot better these days in the EPL is down to guys like him and the example they set.

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