Sport on TV: Terry feels cruelty of betrayal as we pull the plug on Palmer

There's a World Cup around the corner so it must be time for a slurry of cringeworthy and ill-informed programmes about football. England's Worst Ever Football Team (BBC3, Wednesday) kicked off the silly season with a customary cast of has-beens and who-are-yas sharing their utterly unwanted views. Danielle Ward, Jason Lewis, Nico Tatrowicz; these people are comedians, apparently. Here's some more: Joe Wilkinson, Alex Riley, David James... Oh sorry, the last one isn't a comedian. But he is a national joke.

To show how much trouble they were having finding funny men, there was even a German comedian called Henning Wehn. He seemed curiously at home here; after all, a German joke is not a laughing matter.

Amazingly, James couldn't get into England's worst-ever team. The No 1 shirt went to Peter Bonetti. As is the way with these list programmes, he was the only player chosen from before the mid-Eighties, because that's as far back as the puerile programme-makers can remember.

Then came one of the most ludicrous selections ever to disgrace such a straw poll: John Terry. He was included for his off-field shenanigans, while Ashley Cole got away with it because he's such a good player. And Terry can't play? As Neil Ruddock opined: "When I played, the best shagger and the best drinker in the dressing room was the captain." And the best at demolishing phone boxes or stealing jewellery.

One selection you simply could not argue with, even down the years, was Carlton Palmer. The sight of Palmer running headlessly around the pitch – well, he did have a very small head – for England an incredible 18 times is indelibly seared in the memory.

As for that advert when he emerged out of a bloke's bath plugging Paddy Power, you can see why some people say they'll never wash again after meeting one of their heroes.

* John Fashanu was chosen as one of the strikers, and he appeared again in the sombre Inside Sport: The Last Taboo (BBC1, Monday), which looked at homosexuality in sport and particularly football. His brother Justin was the only openly gay footballer, who killed himself in 1998. And there was big John, worrying that 'Sun' readers might think it was him, and saying: "I wouldn't get changed in the same vicinity, so what would others do?" With an attitude like that, coming from your own brother, is it really any wonder no one else has come out?

There is surely too high a price to pay in the modern game, where the rewards are so plentiful and the alternative a trial by tabloid as well as by team-mates and fans. And given the fuss made about the private lives of Terry and Cole, it might be wiser to know as little as possible about our players' sexual inclinations.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
tvGame of Thrones season 5 ep 4, review - WARNING: contains major spoiliers!
Arts and Entertainment
tvThe C-Word, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksA celebration of British elections
Danny Jones was in the Wales squad for the 2013 World Cup
rugby leagueKeighley Cougars half-back was taken off after just four minutes
Life and Style
The original ZX Spectrum was simple to plug into your TV and get playing on
techThirty years on, the ZX Spectrum is back, after a fashion
Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn are breaking up after nearly three years together
peopleFormer couple announce separation in posts on their websites
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
Arts and Entertainment
Haunted looks: Matthew Macfadyen and Timothy Spall star in ‘The Enfield Haunting’
tvThe Enfield Haunting, TV review
The Mattehorn stands reflected in Leisee lake near Sunnegga station on June 30, 2013 near Zermatt, Switzerland
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Ashdown Group: Database Executive - Leading Events Marketing Company - London

£23000 - £25000 per annum + 25 days holidays & pension: Ashdown Group: Databas...

Recruitment Genius: Publishing Assistant

£14000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for a...

Guru Careers: Graduate Account Executive / Digital Account Executive

£20k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Graduate Digital Account Exec ...

Guru Careers: Print Project Manager

Competitive (DOE): Guru Careers: A Print Project Manager is needed to join one...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living