Saturday, July 1, 2006

Very mixed day for sport: England, Andy and Fred

I became inured to mediocre England football performances in the years from 1970 onwards. So, I never get my hopes up.

One could moan on and on.

The team played fantastically well with ten men (funny how they often play better with ten men than eleven - remember when Beckham was sent off in 1998?). I take back everything I have ever said about Owen Hargreaves. Ronaldo obviously exploited Rooney's short temper and the Portuguese goal-keeper was superb on penalties.

Frankly, I've been through this so many times I think I just prefer to move on. Fortunately, Andy Murray provided the perfect antidote, and of course, we are all British now, aren't we?! There is something about that lad. He seems to have the killer instinct. After the perennial disappointment of Henman, he is a delight to watch.

After the high of that straight sets win against Roddick, I learned the sad news about Freddie Trueman. Cricket writer Michael Parkinson said: "He was the greatest fast bowler we have ever produced". He was one of the greatest ambassadors ever to come out of Yorkshire.

There was a humour and certain humility in Freddie which you don't get with others. I will forever remember when he used to introduce a lunchtime ITV programme called "Indoor League". He used to have a pint of beer in front of him and he always finished the programme with these gruff, Yorkshire words:

"Ah'll Si' Thee!"


  1. In these days of rampant diving, Rooney actually needs to learn to fall over when he is tackled sometimes.

  2. "He was the best fast bowler we have ever produced"

    Harold Larwood? Frank Tyson?

  3. Good points, but I think we need to remember that we invented football and it would be very bad form indeed if we went around beating other countries in competitions playing agmes we created. Imagine how popular you'd have been if you'd done that at school.

  4. PS as to Fred, he'll be sadly missed. It was always worth listening to TMS when he was on. Who can forget his Zen-like "Unless something happens that we can't predict, I don't think a lot will happen."

  5. I am sorry, I should have attributed the "greatest fast bowler" quote to cricket writer Michael Parkinson. Now done.