So who would you rate as a great footie captain at international level? Bobby Moore has to be up there as one of, if not the best of all time at least for England, I’d say. He had his feet of clay as a man but that just highlighted how striking and impressive he was as a leader of his team. He led by example on the field and was truly gentlemanly off the field. He once attended one of our Formula 3 celebrity races when I was at Cellnet. The night before the event he was in the bar at the Brands Hatch circuit hotel and introduced his wife and guests to each of the Cellnet people there, most of whom were in high spirits after a long day’s setting up. He had time for everybody, signed autographs till the last person’s request had been met, spent time with our MD who was pretty popped by that stage, came over at the end to wish us a successful event and turned up next day bright as a button for all the photo requests and interviews etc. He also did all this for no fee. He was too the best centre back I’ve ever seen on his day. That performance against Brazil in the 1970 World Cup was simply awesome.
I think I mentioned in an earlier posting that I find doing nothing difficult. When I worked for BT and commuted between Buckingham and London, I was spending an average five and a half hours a day in the car. That’s a lot of time to fill. But I was always pretty productive with that time. I’m a massive fan of talk radio. For the first 40 minutes or so I’d devour news from 5 live, sometimes radio 4. Then I’d switch over to redneck radio to listen to whatever nonsense Alan Brazil and Mike Parry/Beaky were up to on Talksport and get their frequent sport updates. After an hour or so of radio listenning the reports were becoming repeated, unless a big story was breaking, and I’d then either make some phone calls, plan my day ahead or resort to one of my favourite pastimes – spotting naff car names. Having spent many hours queuing on the M1, M40, Holloway Rd, Hangar Lane I was forever staring up the arse-end of one car or another. So I turned that view to productive thought. Car names – how, why, but mostly what possessed that company to pick a frigging name like Getz?
Is it just me or is Paul Newman just a top guy? Yesterday I read a small article saying he had decided to call time on his acting career because at the age of 82 he was no longer able to remember his lines that well and could no longer act with confidence. How many others have been so honest about their declining abilities? The guys’s work has slowed but in recent times he did a voice-over for the film Cars and had a significant role in The Road to Perdition. So he could still earn, I’m assuming, $millions if he felt like it but has put that all behind him now. Yet he’ll remain active focusing on the things that matter more to him now – an organic restaurant in Connecticut and get this, a network of camps for critically ill kids. I know the guys loaded but to me he just oozes class.
Have you ever had to present at a conference? It can be quite daunting and it’s rarely fun but it can be if you put your mind to it. I was a great believer in making work as pleasurable an experience as possible especially if you were having to spend time away from home. Paul S and I were off to present at a fairly prestigious international conference about our sponsorship activity in BT. We used to share the speaking commitments, this time I was presenting and Paul S was riding shot gun, backed up by C from our PR company. But I was determined to make this conference memorable.
For the last few years of my BT career I worked alongside a great young guy, another Paul, Paul S. He and I were chalk and cheese: he was young, slim, fresh-faced and always smiling and I was this fat, bald, old, grizzled dinosaur. We were often mistaken for twins. But we worked harmoniously and were a good team, always looking for another challenge in our specialist areas of sponsorship and hospitality, two things BT did pretty badly before we made sense of the whole structure. Paul and Paul, Do-it-All was our composite nickname. Continue reading
I read in the press that Terry Venables, the assistant to England manager Steve McClaren, is opposed to the reinstatement of David Beckham in the England team. By all accounts El Tel was right behind McQuiff’s original decision to jettison the DB circus upon taking over the England reins after the disastrous World Cup and you get the impression he believes McQ should stick by his principles even, or perhaps especially, when the going gets tough. About the DB decsion by McQ, he’s quoted in the NotW yesterday ‘Whether you think he’s right or wrong at least credit him with making the call’. Hmm, I think we know what you think Tel. It’s all starting to unravel before the FA’s eyes.
It’s really not the done thing but I happen to support 4 football teams; Man Utd, Middlesbrough, Millwall and , just to break the M sequence, Blackpool. I was born in Manchester and had moved with my M&D to near Blackpool as a child but my dad’s brother Bernard used to bring me Utd programmes and cards and the like on his visits over sent me some great items before the ’63 Cup Final and that was it, I watched the match and was hooked on the Devils. My affection for Boro’ developed when I convinced my company Cellnet to sponsor the club and its stadium during the (first) Juninho days. Millwall are the team supported by my good friend JP and I go with him to watch them now and then – they are a kind of throwback to the days when attending matches was a tribal experience. But Blackpool were the team I went to support religiously from the age of around 10 I guess to about 16. And today the team who play, incongruously, in a tangerine strip had their biggest moment of glory in decades.
Well I’ve just heard the news that, as predicted, David Beckham is back in the England squad. What does that tell you about the manager Steve McClaren? It tells me that he is running scared of the sack as the worst England manager in history. Lose the next qualifier and he’s out.