Anorak News | The Real McCoy

The Real McCoy

by | 28th, August 2002

”’WHERE were you when Inamoto won the Intertoto?” the patrons of Fulham will ask each other in years to come.

”It’s OK for him – I’m knackered”

Many were at home watching EastEnders, but around 13,000 did actually see the Japanese boy wonder Junichi Inamoto score a hat-trick that helped Fulham win the season’s first silverware.

The Times shows Moto holding the Toto, a cup that only makes any sense when, as the paper reminds us all, it becomes a passport to the Uefa Cup.

That’s nice for Fulham, but in the great scheme of things football, the Uefa Cup is the European League Cup, and the big prize is the Champions’ League.

And last night Manchester United booked their berth in the continent’s premier contest with a 5-0 demolition of Hungarian outfit Zalaegerszeg.

And like the result, the headlines are predictable. ”Five-star United,” say the Telegraph and Times, while the Sun goes for the pugnacious, ”A bunch of fives”.

But in the numbers game, jump jockey Tony McCoy rei(g)ns supreme.

Having plastered the sports pages with pictures of Manchester United’s overpaid and over-hyped players in various stages of ecstasy, it’s a great pity that the work of Tony McCoy is buried deep within the Times, 10 pages inside the Sun’s back page lead and 12 pages within the Express.

So we turn to the Telegraph’s main sports page, where readers learn how yesterday McCoy became the greatest jump jockey of all time when he rode his 1,700th winner, Mighty Montefalco, to victory in the Uttoxeter sunshine.

”He’s a man in a million, easily the best I’ve seen,” says legendary jockey, and trainer of McCoy’s record-breaking mount, Jonjo O’Neill.

As for the 28-year-old McCoy, well, the likeable Ulsterman is as modest as ever. ”I’m lucky to have a job that doesn’t feel like a job and I’d hate to feel people were trying to retire me at 30 – I may not have reached my peak by then.”

Spoken like a true sportsman, in every sense of the word. And strangely at odds with the likes of footballer Robbie Savage, who, as the Sun reports, is to launch an appeal against his £10,000 ”Jobbiegate” fine.

”The whole thing is ridiculous,” says Savage of the continuing fall-out from his decision to use the referee’s toilet before a game last season. ”I’m appealing.”

And in a way he is, but in so many more ways he isn’t. Football and footballers have much to learn about what is to be a winner and a good sport from the likes of Tony McCoy.

Posted: 28th, August 2002 | In: Back pages Comment | TrackBack | Permalink