|This is Fred Keenor, my grandfather's cousin, who was captain |
of Cardiff City when they won the FA Cup in 1927. It was the
only time in its history the FA Cup was won by a non-English
team. I love the way Fred is showing off the cup with a
cigarette dangling from his mouth! By all accounts he was a
hard drinker and smoker.
HAVE you been watching the football World Cup? I expect my American friends are distinctly underwhelmed by this "soccer" that the rest of the world finds so fascinating.
In happy news, England at least won their opening game against Tunisia. They played well if not brilliantly - but when you're an England fan you take what you can get.
I don't know if USA football stars are as pampered as our top soccer players. I was reading the other day how the Manchester City stars get their huge gas-guzzling cars warmed and delivered to them after training. Heaven forbid they might have to walk 100 yards and get into a motor a few degrees short of body heat.
The HUGE salaries paid to top football players are a relatively new phenomenon. Back in 1961 the last pay packet for Tom Finney - Sir Tom, one of the greatest English footballers ever – amounted to the princely sum of £20 ($26). Sir Tom spent the whole of his professional career at Preston North End and was known as the Preston Plumber because his dad had insisted he learned a trade.
Still 20 quid was a not inconsiderable sum in those days but bearing no comparison to today's eye-popping sums played to stars in the Premier League. *See list at end of story
One story about Finney made me smile. In 1954 Preston North End reached the final of the FA Cup. Tom Finney was asked by the other players to inquire about the possibility of a bonus. He approached the chairman who was shocked at the brazen request but promised to investigate the possibility. The next day he told Finney he had good news.
“We’ve ’ad a board meeting and to reward your efforts in getting us to t’final, your wives will be getting an ’andbag." Long pause for effect. "EACH!”
I don't know how much Chelsea players received after winning the FA Cup this year but it was a share of millions of pounds - enough to buy their WAGS quite a few designer 'andbags.
Here's that list I promised you. The more astute among you will have recognised that there is actually not one English player on it, which goes a little way to explaining England's bad form in world and European matches. Manager Gareth Southgate doesn't have that big a pool to pick from.
Premier League wages PER WEEK: The top 10 earners in English football
1. Alexis Sanchez Manchester United £350,000
2. Paul Pogba Manchester United £290,000
3. Kevin De Bruyne Manchester City £280,000
4. Romelu Lukaku Manchester United £250,000
5. Sergio Aguero Manchester City £220,000
6. Yaya Toure Manchester City £220,000
7. Zlatan Ibrahimovic Manchester United £220,000
8. David de Gea Manchester United £200,000
9. Eden Hazard Chelsea £200,000
10.Virgil van Dijk Liverpool £180,000
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