Historians shocked to discover former Liverpool player who never became a pundit

Football historians have unearthed details of a former Liverpool player who did not become a pundit following his playing career.

The shock discovery concerns Dick Forshaw, a centre forward who helped Liverpool to two titles in the early 1920s.

While the absence of satellite TV channels at the time he retired in the 1930s limited punditry opportunities, it was common for former Liverpool players to appear in Pathe newsreels commenting on other team’s misfortunes.

Tom Wilson, the historian who led the project says:

“I was truly amazed to find this Liverpool player who never became a pundit.

“When even Jason ‘Trigger’ McAteer and Liverpool ‘legend’ David Thompson keep spouting their views, the assumption must be that everyone who played for the club became a pundit at some point.

“I am still investigating why this wasn’t the case with Dick Forshaw.

“There is some speculation he spoke in an unintelligible accent, but with Steven Gerrard’s instant punditry success, we can’t expect that to have been a problem.

“According to his Wikipedia entry, he was sentenced to 12 months’ hard labour for fraud after his retirement for trying to make a £2 bet he won look like a £20 bet.

“One possibility is the fact he won this bet in the first place means he actually could predict football with some accuracy – a quality which doesn’t set you up well for a career in punditry.”

Image courtesy of Tobias Barkskog via Wikimedia Commons

Glenn Hoddle’s commentary sends baby porpoises to sleep, biologists find

Biologists have found that Glenn Hoddle’s co-commentary has a remarkable sleep-inducing impact on baby porpoises.

The discovery was made at the Ocean Land aquarium in Devon at the weekend.

Tom Wilson, lead biologist at the centre, explains:

“One of our porpoises had triplets last month and the little things just won’t sleep – probably because their mother has become very anxious spending her whole life in a swimming pool.

“We’ve tried everything – singing to them, porpoise massages, the works.

“Nothing seemed to help, but on Saturday the bar here had England v Scotland on very loudly.

“There was one point after 25 minutes when Hoddle raised his voice when Lallana ran a few steps with the ball and tried to pass to Kane, saying: ‘That’s a little better from England. If they can keep that intensity up it might not be too long before they’re creating a few chances.’

“Then all of a sudden the crying had stopped in the porpoise tank. They were all flat out!

“We replayed the same commentary last night and they were asleep in a matter of seconds.

“I can’t explain it at all. Maybe there are some magical properties to Glenn Hoddle’s voice, although I don’t know for sure as every time I try to listen to him, I just can’t take anything in.

“It’s like his words come out of my speakers and give up before reaching my ears.”

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Abramovich pranks Conte with ‘let’s try our youth players instead of spending big’ message

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich sent manager Antonio Conte a prank text message telling him to try developing young players instead of making more big money signings this summer.

The hilarious exchange occurred as the pair relaxed on holidays on giant yachts in various glamorous parts of the world.

Inside The Far Post has obtained a transcript of the exchange:

Roman Abramovich: ‘Hey Anto, hope you’re enjoying your hols, even though I bet your yacht is smaller than mine 😉 I heard you wanna get rid of Costa?’

Antonio Conte: ‘Yeah, he was sexting me again for some reason, and I just told him, you know what Diego, find yourself another club’

RA: ‘Oh. You’ve got a few dozen million to spare for a replacement have you?’

AC: ‘Er no, though I was wondering if you, or, I mean the club might have a transfer budget this summer?’

RA: ‘Nah. Sorry Anto’

AC: ‘What do you mean, Rom?’

RA: ‘There’s no money this summer’

AC: ‘Err, ok…so how am I going to replace Costa?’

RA: ‘Hmm…if only we had a great academy I’ve invested 100 million quid into, a youth team that were European champions two of the last three years, about 200 young players out on loan, or that Batshuayi fella I spent 33 million on.’

AC: ‘Ah ok, so you want me to develop some of the young players? Really?’

Five minutes later – RA: “Nah….only messing with ya, Anto. God, I bet the look on your face must was priceless!”

Image courtesy of John Dobson via Wikimedia Commons

Media races to inflate expectations of England Under-20 team ahead of World Cup final

The tabloid media today started a race to inflate expectations of England’s Under-20 team before their World Cup final against Venezuela on Sunday.

The young team’s progression to the final allowed the papers to make a number of obligatory 1966 references – with the justification that this is the first time since then an England team has made a World Cup final at any level.

The England team’s success at the under-20 tournament in South Korea was so unexpected, however, that no newspaper has found time to print giveaway giant Ademola Lookman posters or Dominic Calvert-Lewin masks.

No paper even managed to run a mickey-taking feature on the hairstyles of the Italy team England beat in the semi-final.

To make up for their lack of hyperbole, all the tabloids printed glowing features today with mentions of a possible golden generation.

Dominic Solanke was also widely compared to Thierry Henry as the papers battled to build expectations up 48 hours before the final.

The Sun also ran a specially commissioned poem on Liverpool youngster Sheyi Ojo:

Sheyi Ojo, down the wing you glide-oh

You’re filling us with pride, so

Are you our number one mega future talent? No

Still we’ll build you up till you bottle it then we’ll moan-no-ho.

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Bemused Costa asks: “Is it because I dry humped the physio?”

A sad and puzzled Diego Costa asked Antonio Conte if Chelsea want to sell him because he dry humped a club physio during their recent title celebrations.

Costa performed the jokey simulated act in his underpants in the dressing room straight after the Blues sealed the title last month.

Antonio Conte recently sent Costa a text message to say the club no longer want him.

Conte denied that the dry humping had any influence, responding with some barely comprehensible talk about squad planning that gave nothing away.

Costa then asked if it was grabbing John Terry’s genitals before spanking him that led to the club deciding to get rid, or threatening to spray a press conference with a fire extinguisher, arguing with Conte earlier in the season or  dangling chewing gum over a sleeping physio’s face.

Conte reassured Costa that “none of these was behind the decision” by which he meant they all were.

Sports psychologist Tom Wilson says: “Sadly, Diego Costa appears to have a classic case of ‘funny f*** up’ syndrome.

“It’s a more amusing twist of what Luis Suarez has – an impulse to keep screwing up despite being incredibly good at your job.”

So far Costa has been linked with every club in China, although one report suggests he might join Mario Balotelli at Dortmund to form an ultimate enigmatic strike partnership.

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Fears that rare outbreak of sunshine could stoke trouble before Scotland v England

Police have warned that a rare outbreak of sunshine in Glasgow this Saturday could lead to clashes between England and Scotland fans.

Tommy Wilson, a spokesman for Glasgow police says: “Well, the forecast says it’s gonna be lashing it down as usual, but you cannae be sure this time of year.

“We’ve had sunshine in June before and it tends to lead to a right mess, even before you add 10,000 England fans into the mix.”

The fears of the police are based on the assumption that sunshine might lead to the sudden appearance of garden furniture in Glasgow – which is known to be a toxic mix with certain sections of the English support.

A university of Edinburgh study has also found that sunshine and temperatures above 15 degrees accelerates the point at which drunk Scots start lifting up their kilts.

Police admit to be angry with Uefa for scheduling the match at a time when the risk off sunshine is most acute.

“Aye, it’d be much easier for us all if they could play it at a time when it’s sure to be dingy and cold – August, for instance.”

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Trump to pull US out of World Cup qualifying and renegotiate defeats to Mexico and Costa Rica

Donald Trump plans to pull the US national team out of World Cup qualifying and renegotiate a number of poor results in the competition.

The US is currently fourth out of six in the final group of Concacaf qualifying, a position which is at odds with the president’s America First policies.

A 1-2 defeat at home to Mexico and 4-0 loss in Costa Rica have particularly annoyed the president, who has been a keen football fan ever since making the draw for the 1992 Rumbelows League Cup quarter-finals.

A source at the White House says:

“It’s so unfair – Costa Rica had both a Sunderland player (Bryan Oviedo) and an Arsenal player (Joel Campbell) to pick from, and we’ve only got a bunch of schmucks who play for teams like Stoke and Newcastle.

“Then this weekend we’re supposed to play Trinidad and Tobago –  two whole countries against the little old US. This whole thing is rigged against us, obviously.”

The source added that Trump is optimistic the poor results, which included a 1-1 draw against Panama, can be renegotiated in time for the US to re-enter qualifying.

“The President is very keen the national team gets to Russia, as he wants to send some of his closest confidantes there to, um, scout some of the lesser known teams in the group stages.”

Trump is also said to be working on a secret plan to bring Alexi Lalas and Marcelo Balboa out of retirement to boost the US team’s defence under the codename ‘Make America OK Again’.

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Gossip: Wenger to nearly sign £250m worth of players in bid to nearly win league

Arsene Wenger is preparing to nearly sign £250m worth of star players this summer in a bid to nearly win the Premier League next season.

Kylian Mbappé, Alexandre Lacazette and Riyad Mahrez are all being lined up to nearly sign for the Gunners.

Arsenal are eying the chance to push on after nearly ending the season well with an FA Cup win and nearly finishing in the top four.

The club filed a €95m bid for Mbappé after reading that Real Madrid had already bid €100m – but Arsenal have since revised this down to €85m to be sure they miss out.

Chief executive Ivan Gazidis says: “Things are more competitive than ever.

“After nearly sacking Arsene Wenger, we’ve realised we have to come really close to investing big this summer if we are going to nearly win the title or nearly make the Champions League quarter-finals in future.”

As well as nearly bringing in big names, the club is prioritising nearly keeping Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil at The Emirates, in what promises to almost be a busy summer.

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Sergio Ramos slips into coma after pat on the back from Pepe in Cardiff celebrations

Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos slipped into a coma for a couple of hours after team-mate Pepe patted him on the back while Los Blancos were celebrating their historic 12th Champions League win.

When the incident happened, the players were celebrating in the early hours in a Cardiff nightspot known in the city for being so trendy that it even serves wine.

Tom Wilson, a local social drinker who saw the dramatic event, said:

“Quite a few of the Real Madrid lads were in the bar in good spirits. There was a group playing pinball – well they weren’t playing so much as looking, as they just shot the ball in once and it was deflecting all over the place all evening.

“Ramos was on the dancefloor and I could see Pepe [who wasn’t selected in the squad for the final] walk over and give him a good pat on the back while saying ‘You did me proud out there, mate’.

“He went down straight away and was in total utter agony, howling non-stop. It was horrible – but I had to feel for him. Who would just go and pat another human being on the back with their hand like that?

It is believed Ramos was rushed to a hospital and despite the failed efforts from doctors to revive him from his coma, a visit from Ronaldo inspired a miraculous recovery.

The Ballon D’Or winner said his mere presence in Ramos’s ward was enough to revive him, although a nurse present said Ronaldo whispered “it’s ok, he’s off now” before Ramos opened his eyes and jumped out of the bed.

Image courtesy of Cristina Cifuentes via Wikimedia Commons

Gigi Buffon recalls moment he saved penalty from Tom Jones on last visit to Cardiff in 1972

Veteran Juventus goalkeeper Gigi Buffon, who we all want to win the Champions League for the first time tonight, has recalled the moment he saved a penalty from Tom Jones on his last visit to Cardiff.

Buffon was midway through his debut season with Parma in 1972 when the Italian side faced Pontypridd Athletic in the second round of the Fairs Cup.

Pop superstar Jones was a 31-year-old amateur midfielder with the Welsh side at the time.

No footage of the penalty exists as it was long before the internet and possibly also before TV, but Buffon says:

“It was a foggy night, the type of which all football matches in that era were played.

“Through the fog I could still see this curly-haired winger shitting himself at the thought of taking a penalty against me, but then again that’s not unusual.

“I felt a bit sorry for the lad, being expected to score against me, so I pointed and told him I’d be diving to the right.

“Then I was almost screaming to myself ‘why? why? why?’ but he hit it down the middle and I managed to get a boot to the ball and keep it out.

“I don’t remember much about Cardiff, but there is the famous saying ‘If you don’t remember Cardiff in the 1970s, don’t worry as it was a bit crap back then’.

“I still remember the game though. I’ve even heard since that an eight-year-old Mark Hughes was in the crowd.

“Ryan Giggs’s great-grandfather was there too, I believe, sitting next to Tom Jones’s wife.”

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