7 deadly sins….Gluttony

7 deadly sins of football

Jones throws party and dwarf – Chelsea, 1994
Ah, Christmas parties. The silly hats, the cheap wine, the dwarf-tossing … In the early 90s the Chelsea squad made the mistake of allowing hardman stopper Vinnie Jones (now Hollywood star Vinnie Jones) to organise the players’ festive festivities, which combined the traditional venue of a west London pub lock-in with a somewhat more off-the-wall idea. “The idea was to pick up a dwarf and hurl him as far as you could,” said the Chelsea striker Tony Cascarino. “I had a go, but I can’t remember how I did. They were heavier than I expected.”

7 deadly sins….Gluttony

7 deadly sins of football
Clough’s champagne moment – Nottingham Forest, 1979
Brian Clough didn’t really bother analysing the opposition, so when he called his players for a team talk at their hotel the night before the League Cup final against Southampton in 1979, most wondered what was going on. They soon found out. Clough, sat happily next to a crate of champagne, locked the doors and told the players nobody could leave until all of it had been drunk. When John O’Hare complained on the grounds that he only drank bitter, Clough left the room and returned with 10 pints. Tony Woodcock had to be carried to bed. As always, the judgement of such a stunt would only be passed after the game itself. Forest won 3-2, with Woodcock scoring the third.

7 deadly sins….Envy

7 deadly sins of football

Clough overlooked by England – The FA 1977
There’s an enormous romance surrounding the fact that Brian Clough never managed England – ostensibly the ultimate example of the one that got away. Yet in reality, he was never close to getting the job. When Don Revie quit in 1977, Clough was interviewed only as a PR exercise, and the man who did get the job, Ron Greenwood, was so certain to do so that the FA did not even bother to interview him. The FA chairman, Sir Harold Thompson, was an intractable bully who had no intention of appointing someone who might make life difficult, like Clough. Those inclined towards devil’s advocacy might point out that Clough hadn’t won a major trophy for five years when the job became available. But even if this had been after Nottingham Forest’s two European Cups, and even if Clough had cured cancer in the meantime, Thompson would have had none of it.

7 deadly sins….Envy

7 deadly sins of football

Blair not a liar – Newcastle United, 1997

That Tony Blair was occasionally economical with the truth in his time in office is not in doubt, but with one of his most notorious “lies” he was genuinely innocent.  Blair was alleged to have said in a BBC radio interview that he remembered sitting in the Gallowgate End at St James’ Park watching the Newcastle legend Jackie Milburn play.  This was basically impossible – Blair was four when Milburn’s career finished, and the Gallowgate End did not have seats until the 90s – and was seen as a risible and patronising attempt to secure the working-class vote.  But when the tape was discovered years later, it was found that Blair said his time as a supporter “came just after Jackie Milburn”.

So he can be excused that – Now he just needs to explain everything else that has gone wrong with this country………

7 deadly sins….Wrath

Tosh Chamberlain was the lifelong mate of Johnny Haynes, whom he took to Fulham, where the England inside-forward played 18 years and 658 games to become a Craven Cottage legend. But Chamberlain is also the player who was booked for swearing at that same friend. "Ain't he a f****g bighead?" Chamberlain said when Haynes had off ered the petulant tea-pot expression following Tosh's blast over the bar from a precise pass. After Mervyn Griffi ths, a Welsh referee, strode up to him and said, "What did you say?" Chamberlain's immortal response came: "Don't be a cunt ref, he's on my side." Out came the yellow card.
Tosh off – Fulham, 1961
Tosh Chamberlain was the lifelong mate of Johnny Haynes, whom he took to Fulham, where the England inside-forward played 18 years and 658 games to become a Craven Cottage legend.  But Chamberlain is also the player who was booked for swearing at that same friend.

“Ain’t he a f****g bighead?” Chamberlain said when Haynes had offered the petulant tea-pot expression following Tosh’s blast over the bar from a precise pass.

After Mervyn Griffiths, a Welsh referee, strode up to him and said, “What did you say?” Chamberlain’s immortal response came :

“Don’t be a cunt ref, he’s on my side.”  Out came the yellow card.