Football: OUTSIDE EDGE: Gazza has a magic wand

I DON'T KNOW about you but, just like Bryan Robson, I seem to have become a real sucker for the game's most outlandish character. I'm pretty sure I'm not alone either. Even our Kevin says he'll consider him for England.

We're punters, for God's sake. We need titillating. And let's face it, nobody gets on people's tits quite like Gazza. In a loveable way, of course.

Take Anfield last Saturday week. Approaching the ground, everybody had an extra spring in their step. Now some might attribute that to those experimental rubber pavements the Corpy has recently put down. And, in truth, they were a bit on the spongy side. But, hey, how then do you explain the fact that so many people around the ground were acting like complete tossers or that every chippy between Anfield and Ankara had run out of doner kebabs?

Point taken?

Nor did Gazza's magic let us down on the pitch either.

Ten minutes gone. Gazza on the penalty spot. Back to the Kop goal. Flanked by three Liverpool defenders. Kills an impossible high ball on his chest. Stone dead. It drops to his knee and he flicks it over his head. Then, while it's still in the air, he only goes and whips out a pair of those plastic breasts and flashes them at a startled Kop. I mean, is he a rascal or what? Then, as the ball comes down, he opens his mouth and swallows the blessed thing.

Now that is wizardry by anyone's standards. Pele. Freddie Starr. Marvin The Sword-Swallower. You name it. The sort you may only ever witness once in a lifetime. Twice, if you're one of those stuffy so-and-so's who always win the pub spot-the-balls.

Anyway, the incident set me thinking. Broader issues began to loom large. Would Gazza ever manage to pass that ball? Where would the game be without characters like him? Could we handle 22 Stig Inge Bjornebyes playing each other week after week?

You know what I'm getting at. Picture the scene.

A typical bleak Saturday afternoon in February. Driving rain, biting wind, Wimbledon the visitors. Your mates at the door. Coal fire blazing. What should you do? Go with them and suffer a Mogadon onslaught? Or stay at home and iron out the creases on your granny's bottom?

No contest!

"Granny, where are you? Come to Alsy. Come and get your wrinkles done. There's a good girl."

Of course, if Joe Kinnear had just signed Gazza, then you've a different ball game entirely. Not even a Force 10 hailstorm could keep you indoors. Even if you were busy smoothing Michelle Pfeiffer's bottom.

"Er, sorry, Michelle girl. 'Fraid I'll have to pass on this one. Gazza's playing. I'll, er, give you a ring when I get back from the match, eh pet?

Perhaps we can do it again some other time?"

OK, so maybe that's stretching things too far. Perhaps you'd dash back home during half-time?

Surely, though, you get my point?

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

'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
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk