Anorak News | Tourette’s In Nets

Tourette’s In Nets

by | 22nd, May 2003

‘TODAY’S most interesting sporting news is found not on the back pages but inside the darkest recesses of the Mail.

Porto players play dead

The paper says that Manchester United are poised to sign disabled goalkeeper, the American Tim Howard.

It must be swiftly said that Howard’s disability is manifest not by a missing limb or poor vision but in Tourette’s syndrome.

Symptoms of this illness include nervous tics and an inability to control speech, ”leading to uncontrollable outbursts, often in swear words.”

Given the usual abuse dished out by footballers, it’s unlikely anyone in the game will even notice the player’s disability. And as for the tics, anyone remember Bruce Grobbelaar?

As it is, one of Howard’s possible future team-mates, David Beckham, was on the move himself yesterday, flying in to Johannesburg for a chance to meet Nelson Mandela.

The Sun looked on and noticed that the party that travelled for an audience with the great man did not include eight of the England squad.

Paul Scholes, Steven Gerrard, Gareth Southgate, Phil Neville, Danny Mills, Joe Cole, Paul Robson and Gareth Barry are the octet who dared to fly in the face of accepted opinion and decline the invitation.

To the Mail this is tantamount to heresy, and it moans loud and long about the ”PR fiasco” and how eight footballers chose to stay in bed rather than meet ”one of history’s great statesmen”.

At least Southampton’s James Beattie and Wayne Bridge had good excuses for not being in South Africa.

As the Sun says, they were excused the arduous trip because Sven Goran Eriksson wanted them to rest after the FA Cup final.

How funny then that they managed to pull on their kits yesterday for a game with Aberdeen, in something called the Friendship Cup.

But for sheer comedy nothing can top yesterday’s spectacle at the Uefa Cup final in Seville, where Porto’s players acted the clowns, falling over at the drop of an eyelash and writhing in mock agony to the delight of their fans.

Celtic boss, Martin O’Neill, whose side lost the Uefa Cup final 3-2 in extra-time, is not best pleased.

”I was not pleased with how the game was won,” he says in the Express. ”Loads of things were going on out there.”

He says fans of his club noticed the gamesmanship and showed their displeasure when Porto collected their winners’ medals.

”Celtic fans are the most fair-minded in Europe,” continues O’Neill, ”and you saw the reaction they gave which just about sums it up.”

Sadly, it does not. The best way to sum up a game football is by looking at scoreline.

Posted: 22nd, May 2003 | In: Back pages Comment | TrackBack | Permalink