Tag Archives: Cardiff City

Is Sir a sport? The truth about Paul McCartney and Tom Jones

4 Mar

Can you imagine a young Paul McCartney beetling around the country following his favourite football team? I certainly can’t.

That’s not to say that sport and music don’t mix – just that Mac the Knight seems about as steeped in the beautiful game as old codgers like myself are besotted with rap music.

Yet various websites would have it that Sir Paul is a keen Everton fan.

The reality, however, is not exactly engraved in blue-and-white stone. ‘‘Here’s the deal,’’ the great man explains. ‘’My father was born in Everton, my family are officially Evertonians, so if it comes down to a derby match or an FA Cup final between the two, I would have to support Everton.

“But after a concert at Wembley Arena I got into a bit of a friendship with Kenny Dalglish, who had been to the gig, and I thought ‘You know what? I am just going to support them both because it’s all Liverpool and I don’t have that Catholic-Protestant thing.’

“So I did have to get special dispensation from the Pope to do this but that’s it, too bad. I support them both.

“They are both great teams. But if it comes to the crunch, I’m Evertonian.”

Personally, I would have thought that master musicians of McCartney’s talent would be too driven by their first love to be sidetracked by such trivialities as football. And it’s clear from his comments that Paul is a bit of a sporting fence-sitter, anyway.

At least his explanation sounds marginally more sincere than fellow Beatle Ringo Starr’s assertion that he’s a Liverpool supporter because ”I like the colour red”, which  presumably he also bangs the drum for every red-shirted team from Arsenal to Aberdeen. Well, I love the colour purple but that doesn’t mean I support the team they call the Royals – be it the monarchy or Reading FC.

The only celebrity I actually KNEW before he was famous is another shining knight, Tom Jones (yes, I am that old!). I gave him his first-ever write-ups in the Pontypridd Observer a couple of years before he hit the big-time – in the days where he sang around the South Wales clubs under his stage name of  Tommy Scott.

Tommy Woodward aka Tommy Scott aka Tom Jones

Great Scott: Tom Jones as I remember him

Whilst Tom may have been built like a sportsman, I can assure you he never showed the slightest interest in football, rugby or any other sport. And believe me he definitely was neither gay nor a wimp.

Cardiff City, the nearest professional football club to Pontypridd, were in the old First Division – the equivalent of the Premier League. But although I was a keen Bluebirds fan myself, the only birds Tom was interested in were certainly not blue. Nor had he any time for Spurs, Manchester United Spurs or any of the other big-name teams of that era.

The sporting fraternity sometimes wheels the great man out onto the green, green grass of home to sing at the occasional Wales rugby international and what have you. But while the old Jones heart may still beat for his homeland, I doubt that Sir Tom’s head really cares about match results, whatever the shape of the ball.

Having said that, many celebrities are completely smitten by sport – and particularly football. Some to the point that their names are synonymous with their favourites – for example the oasis of Gallaghers at Manchester City and Mick Hucknell’s simply-red love affair with Manchester United.

Others, I am convinced, just attach themselves to the mast of the big-name clubs for effect. Teams like Manchester United and Arsenal, for example, have such large fan bases that showing token support for them might just persuade a few extra fans to buy their CDs and albums.

Conversely, when I was young (and there aren’t many people alive who remember that!), major pop stars  were rarely linked with sports teams. Presumably with professional footballers no better off financially than miners or postmen, there was no glamour spin-off for the marketing people.

Indeed, I can’t remember Elvis Presley, the biggest name in music during that era, having any particular sporting allegiance. And the only British top-tenner I recall with strong football ties was Gerry Marsden of Gerry and the Pacemakers fame.

Until he came on the scene, if you weren’t a fan of Hollywood musicals, the song You’ll Never Walk Alone would have meant nothing to you.to the vast majority of people.

Now Marsden’s name is likely to live as long in the Anfield memory as those of Bill Shankly and Dalglish.

And thereby hangs a tale – because some sources insist that until Liverpool fans adopted his 1963 smash hit as their club anthem, Gerry was in fact an Evertonian.

Perhaps it’s time he had a chat with Macca and Ringo.

Tevez, Rio and Benayoun: The ugly truth about top footballers

28 Feb

Men who take their football seriously are strongly advised to read no further. Likewise all those male chauvinists who feel women have no right to comment on sport.

Hopefully the only fans left are those who, like me, prefer the game to be a bit of fun as well as a great adrenalin kick at weekends or whenever your team is in action.

Anyway, I’ve just been having a giggle at players’ looks (or occasional lack of them) rather than their onfield skills (or usual lack of them). And I’ve come up with two teams – the Donna Uglies and the Donna Dreamboats.

My sincere apologies to the Uglies – I know only too well that you can’t help the way you look and that, unlike us girls, don’t have the benefit of being able to wear makeup to hide the hideous bits. (Well, not unless you want to get kicked all around the dressing room and branded a fairy).

But I do question why men blessed with masses of money but few natural attributes other than twinkling feet don’t invest a few thousand in improving their appearance.

Carlos Tevez and Ronaldinho, for example – they took years to find a good dentist and I’m not sure whether the Brazilian has got it right even now. Perhaps he should ask Nottingham Forest striker Robert Earnshaw, who looked like a modern-day Bugs Bunny until he had his gnashers seen to a couple of seasons ago. Either that or the Wales hitman found a miracle cure for unattractiveness.

Carlos Tevez

Poor Rio Ferdinand doesn’t so much need a tooth job – even a ton of collagen couldn’t help the lipless one.

Not that the Manchester United captain is bothered, I’m sure. He could probably bed half the women in the city should he wish to – though I suspect the vast majority would have their eyes tightly shut throughout the ordeal.

Before you start telling me I’m no oil painting myself, I’d like to put you right on that one because a young guy told me last week ‘‘Your looks grate.’’ As he’s a Geordie I took that as a compliment.

As for footballers taking stick about their looks, well, not all of them can look like former Spurs and Newcastle pin-up boy David Ginola. But at least they can hide their deficiencies by plastering £100 notes all over their faces. Anyway, this is my squad for the Ugly XI , based on players who have featured in European football over the last 20 years.

Fabien Barthez (was he Donald Pleasance reincarnated?), Gary Neville, Rio Ferdinand, Anton Ferdinand, Carlton Palmer, Yossi Benayoun, Ronaldinho, Ivan Campo, Peter Beardsley, Jason Koumas, Iain Dowie and Franck Ribery. The chairman would be Eggert ‘The Vulkan’ Magnusson (former owner of West Ham) and the manager Harry Redknapp.

Yossi Benayoun: Not a pretty boy

Harry’s no oil painting for sure but he must have the world’s most beautiful wife. Otherwise how did his son Jamie get his good looks? Now for the best-looking team (are you reading, girls?).

I apologise for most of them being forwards, but my Dreamboat lineup would be Kasper Schmeichel (or David James if you fancy someone more experienced), Warren Barton, David Beckham, Gary Speed, Kaka, Cristiano Ronaldo, Eidur Gudjohnsen, Michael Owen, Fernando Torres, Harry Kewell and David Ginola. Oh, and the manager has to be a special one, namely Jose Mourinho.

As for the chairman, are there any good-looking ones? So as a lifelong Cardiff City fan I’ll go for the Bluebirds’ Malaysian chief Dato Chan Tien Ghee. He’s not good looking – but he might just give me some complimentary tickets!

So there you have it, a team of Uglies against a team of Dreamboats (even if the good lookers would have no chance of beating anyone with only one specialist defender in Barton).

So much for the important stuff. Now I’ll get back to cooking the roast…