Letter: Gazza's tears

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Any working man or woman is bound to feel a sense of injustice (or even jealousy) at the phenomenal amounts of money most Premiership players earn these days. None more so than Ken Jones, who despises tears in the eyes of these superstars ("Sport and crying don't mix", 4 June).

Mr Jones seems to feel the sting all the more sharply because he comes from a family of footballing folk who experienced wage restrictions in their playing days. As a regular reader of The Independent I am becoming increasingly aware of Mr Jones's bitterness.

The tears of a Gazza have the capacity to move people not because they are justified but because they are so fundamentally sincere. The man failed and is being punished for not taking care of his body. Anyone on his wages should know better, but that is hardly the point. Gazza is a folk hero, an icon of popular success. The fact that he is incapable of controlling his self-destructive urges only makes him the more human, the more understandable to a generation of success-hungry people who dare not contemplate the possibility of failure.

MARC FRANCIS

Brussels

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