A brief interlude while we await the action

With most of the Premier League having a weekend off, Rob Carey delves into his personal archive

My real footballing hero isn’t Pele, Kevin Keegan, or even Kenny Dalglish.

He wasn’t an explosive striker, or a playmaking midfielder, but a defender whose toughness would bring tears to the eyes  of John Terry just by looking at him. 

His commitment to keeping the ball away from his penalty area, and lack of fear when going into a tackle, caused team-mates to nickname him “Droid.”

Luckily for the opposition, he played for the local hospital football team.

My brother taught me how to tackle, how to head the ball, and how to shoot.

I also became a fairly useful dribbler because of him, mainly to keep my shins in one piece, which is more that I can say about my Subbuteo players after a rare victory.

It’s my big brother’s birthday today.

He didn’t score too many goals but this effort from the halfway line was his greatest ever and scored decades before Xabi Alonso, Maynor Figueroa and that bloke who plays part-time in between advertising underwear.

He tells me it was the game-decider after a shout of “Next goal’s the winner,” making sure everyone made it home for their tea, and the fact that we can both remember it, even though it was about 30 years ago, tells you how amazing it was.

Either that or we both need to get a life. But happy birthday, Rich.

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