Sports Letters: Flower of genius

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Sir: The Northern Ireland team had just arrived in Dublin for the first- ever fixture against the Republic of Ireland. The atmosphere was electric and without doubt the slightest word or deed out of place would cause untold trouble.

The media, as usual, was hungry for quotes and the Northern Ireland manager placed under siege by a battery of pressmen, bombarding him with questions. Through the babble one lone voice enquired: 'What colours are you wearing?'

He seized upon it. 'I hope you won't be watching the match on black and white television, 'cos we're wearing green shirts with white stripes and they're turning out in white shirts with green stripes.'

An explosive situation defused. Another Blanchflowerism was added to a massive collection. Danny was a genius on and off the field.

Yours faithfully,


Shepshed, Leics

13 December