Well I see Dario Gradi has officially retired as manager of Crewe after how many years, 20 +? He has a job upstairs at the club now. You know what I’d do? I’d make him Head of Youth Development at the FA. This guy has produced some of the best footballing talent to come out of, well, England actually and has done it on a shoe-string, consistently over a period of time that makes Fergie look like a rookie. He’s a real footballing hero in my eyes and if you have any love of the sport Mr Blair, you should Knight him before he bloody dies this time.
And whilst I’m on the subject, never mind what her Majesty says Tony, as part of your legacy do something decent and honour the rest of the ’66 squad who didn’t get a knighthood in recognition of the finest moment ever in English sport. Finallly, create a new honour in posthumous recognition of Great Britains and start with Post. Knighthoods for Ball, Clough and Paisley. Don’t even think about what people might think. Sport fans at least will respect you, even if nobody else does right now.
Speaking of Bob Paisley, the other day I was flitting through some Liverpol FC archives online looking for some material on the paint company, Crown’s sponsorship of the club. I was making a presentation on good/poor sponsorship activity at some conference. I came across these photos of Bob donned in white all-in-one painter’s overall emblazoned with Crown’s logo for publicity purposes for the sponsorship and they had him painting the steps and seats at Anfield. Can you imagine Jose doing that at Abramovitchstad stadium? What on earth were the Liverpol PR people thinking about letting their genius of a manager do something like that? You know what, I bet they encouraged him to do it – ‘Go on Bob, I know it’s a bind but they are giving the club a lot of money you know’. Paisley was such a down-to-earth and modest guy he probably didn’t raise too much of a protest.
So come on Mr Blair do something good and honour these men in an appropriate way. They are no less worthy just because they are no longer with us you know.