Anorak News | Alec, Alec, Alec

Alec, Alec, Alec

by | 9th, September 2003

‘THE picture on the back page of the Mail says it all. It shows the England cricket team smiling broadly in celebration at their victory in the fifth Test against South Africa.

‘And now for Turkey’

On the shoulders of Andrew Flintoff and Steve Harmison sits Alec Stewart, grinning from ear to ear and waving a Cross of St George.

Yesterday was the last Test match Stewart will ever play for England. He’s been a stalwart of the side but, given that his period in the team coincided with some of the most abject English performances ever, his leaving could account for some celebration of its own.

An era of English failure at an end – we hope.

But before we put the tin lid on Stewart’s career, the Express hears a few words from the man.

“This Test wasn’t about Alec Stewart,” says Alec Stewart, “it was about England winning to square the series.”

Ever the team player, Stewart was the one cricketer who sounded like a footballer. For that we will miss him.

And on the subject of football we must turn to the Sun, where the news is that Manchester United’s chief executive has left Old Trafford for a new job at Chelsea.

The paper says that Peter Kenyon, the man on the move, will soon be back to Old Trafford to “steal Ruud van Nistelrooy and other stars”.

Those other stars are not specified and, given that David Beckham has left and Roy Keane is ageing rapidly, the paper cannot really mean the Neville brothers or Nicky Butt?

One place no England fan, or player for that matter, should really be going is Turkey. But the players must go, given that they are scheduled to play in Istanbul in a decisive Euro 2004 qualifier.

Paul Barber, the FA’s spokesman, puts the case clearly. “If our fans love their country and genuinely support our football team, don’t put us in a position where we have the shame of being kicked out of a major competition.”

The message is that England fans who do make the trip should maintain a low profile and avoid trouble.

Then we will not be booted out of the event and, given a good result in Turkey, can all go to the finals in Portugal and really smash the place up for an entire fortnight.

And that’s got to be better for everyone…’

Posted: 9th, September 2003 | In: Back pages Comment | TrackBack | Permalink