Dirty side of English football
Report: Dirty side of English football.
English football has always been physical. There is no place for sophisticated classy players. To conquer English football you have to be robust. In 1960s English league was not a game of classy skills and spectacular goals. Rather it was a symbol of brute power and leg-breaking tackles.
Norman ‘bites yer legs’ Hunter: Norman Hunter is a legend of Leeds united. He is a key player of the most successful period of Leeds united under coach Don Revie. His partnership with fellow 1966 world cup champion Jack Charlton made Leeds united a fearsome club throughout Europe. He was a strong no-nonsense centre-back who earned the respect of his contemporaries due to his utter ruthlessness and strong left foot.
In 1974 he became the first winner of the Professional Football Association Player’s Player of the Year award. He also won 1 FA cups,2 English league championship, 2 UEFA cups,1 league cup and 1966 World cup. He earned the nickname ‘bites yer legs’ due to the strength of his tackles. This joke gives a picture of his ruthlessness in the field. When Hunter himself suffered a broken leg, club trainer Les Cocker was informed that “Hunter had broken a leg” and responded with “whose is it?”
Jack Charlton: Jack Charlton is a legend who gave Leeds united the sweetest memories of their history. He was not gifted like his brother legendary Bobby Charlton but that didn’t prevent him from earning himself the respect of the whole football world. He along with Norman Hunter was an integral part of the Dirty Leeds which won 2 UEFA cups,1 FA cup, 2 English league championship. His partnership with legendary Bobby Moore gave England their maiden and only world cup. He was a strong no-nonsense old-fashioned centre-back. He was the winner of the 1966-67 FA footballer of the year. Jack Charlton is the first player who started the ploy of standing beside goalkeeper to prevent him from collecting balls outside. His statement gives us an idea about his badass behaviour. In the 1970–71 season as in an October appearance on the Tyne Tees football programme, he said he’d once had a “little black book” of names of players whom he intended to hurt or exact some form of revenge upon during his playing days. He admitted that though he never actually had a book of names he had a short list of names in his head of players who had made nasty tackles on him and that he intended to put in a hard but fair challenge on those players if he got the opportunity in the course of a game.
Tommy Smith: The ‘Ironman of Anfield’, Tommy Smith is one of the toughest player produced by Liverpool. He was known for his uncompromising tackles. He used to psychological ploys and intimidate opposition players. He was rated as the toughest player in England by his fellow centre-back partner, Jack Charlton. He won 4 English football league championship, 2 FA cups, 4 FA charity shield(two shared),1 European cup, 2 UEFA cup, 1 UEFA super cup with Liverpool. The statements of two legendary figures of English football portray the legacy of the Liverpool legend. Liverpool legendary manager Bill Shankly once said “Tommy Smith wasn’t born, he was quarried”. Jack Charlton said of him “Tommy Smith was easily the hardest player I faced. I ran into him once and he knocked every ounce of breath out of me. I tried to get up and look like he hadn’t hurt me, but he had.”
Dave Mackay: The giant of England and Scotland football, Dave Mckay was a picture of personality, intensity and desire to win. He is a hero of Tottenham hotspurs and helped them in becoming the first English team in 20th century to win league and FA cup double in 1960-61 season. He represented Scotland in 1958 World cup. His tackles made the greats like Sir Alex Ferguson, Billy Bremner whine but he maintained his Scottish pride and humility and got in controversy only once in his career with Billy Bremner.He won 1 English league championship,1 UEFA cup and 3 FA cups with Tottenham.He was an inaugural inductee in both English and Scottish hall of fame.
Ron Chopper Harris: Ron Harris also known as Mr Chelsea is regarded as one of the toughest defenders of his era alongside Tommy Smith and Norman Hunter. He was an integral part of Tommy Docherty’s youth-oriented Chelsea team which won the 1970 Fa cup and 1971 European cup-winners cup. Ron Harris played a record 795games for Chelsea and still remain as the highest appearance holder in the history of THE PENSIONERS. Ronn Harris was a inspirational leader and uncompromising tackler. In the 1970 Fa cup final against Leeds united starring Jack Charlton, Norman Hunter and Eddie Gray, Ron Harris came into his own self and neutralized Leeds united’s winger Eddie Gray by a hard tackle on the back of his knee. He also helped Chelsea in winning the league cup final against Leicester city in 1965. Ron Harris was a versatile player who played as right back, left back and even as a central defensive midfielder in the later days of his career.
Nobby Stiles: Manchester united legend Nobby Stiles was well known for his tough tackles and ball-winning abilities. Stiles was deployed as a holding midfielder and he soon proved to be an integral part of the Manchester united’s team under Matt Busby. His fearless attitude and rough tackles dealt with the perils of opponent’s attackers and also provided much space to his skilled teammates like Sir Bobby Charlton and George Best. Stiles gave his best performance in England’s shirt in 1966 World cup. In the semi-finals he was given the duty the in-form Eusebio who was a terror to any team’s defence. Stiles fought valiantly and nullified the ‘Black Panther’ for most of the match. In the last minute of the match Eusebio got past Jack Charlton and was about to take a shot. But Nobby ran so fast as if he was flying and tackled Eusebio. If Nobby hadn’t reached in time it would have been a goal. His celebration with the Jules-Rimet cup in one hand and false teeth in another is still one of the most iconic moment of the game.
Julian ‘Terminator’ Dicks: Julian ‘terminator’ Dicks justified his name through rough tackles and powerful shots. The West ham legend was also very much controversial. He was often cautioned by referees. His first red card was in a league cup match against Wimbledon. The players of both teams engaged in a brawl after a two-footed challenge by Dennis Wise on Dicks.
Terry Butcher: Terry Butcher was a top central defender of 1980s. He had a great courage and aerial ability. He was a part of the Ipswich team which won UEFA cup under Bobby Robson. He also led Rangers to 3 league titles and 2 Scottish cup titles under Graeme Souness. Butcher was a controversial figure in Scottish league. In October 1988 he faced police investigation as he kicked the referees’ room’s door off its hinges after a match against Aberdeen FC. In April 1988 he was accused of disorderly conduct and breach of peace due to his behaviour in an OLD FIRM match in November 1987. Butcher was a man full of duties. While playing a world cup qualifier match against Sweden he experienced a deep cut on his forehead and had some impromptu stitches by the physiotherapist and swathed in bandages. His constant heading of the ball – unavoidable when playing in the centre of defence – disintegrated the bandages and reopened the cut to the extent that his white England shirt was red with blood by the end of the game.
Vinnie Jones: Vinnie Jones was well known for his ‘hard man’ image. He was sent off 12times in his career and also hold the record for the quickest booking in a football match, being booked after just three seconds for a foul on the opposition player Dane Whitehouse in a FA Cup tie between Chelsea and Sheffield United in 1992. Though he was controversial figure he was also a stubborn defensive midfielder. He was a member of the Crazy Gang of Wimbledon which won FA cup in 1988 by defeating Liverpool. The madness and wildness of Jones also came out in a league match against Newcastle united as he grabbed Paul Gascoigne by his testicles.
Graeme Souness: The captain of Liverpool’s most successful team in early 1980s Graeme Souness was a robust character in Anfield. He was a no-nonsense fearless midfielder instilled fear in opponents by his commitment, vision and tackles. He led Middlesborough to the top flight under the guidance of legendary, Jack Charlton. Graeme Souness led Liverpool to their most successful era by assisting Kenny Dalglish in the European cup in 1978. In 1981 Souness helped Liverpool in retaining the league title and European cup by defeating Real Madrid. In 1983-84 season Souness led to Liverpool to triple success as he won 4th European cup by defeating As Roma, English league and league cup by defeating Everton in the first all-Merseyside final. Souness was also controversial. In the second leg of 1983 UCL semifinal against Dinamo Bucharest he broke the jaws of Bucharest captain Lica Movila, which went unpunished by the referee.
Stuart Pearce: Stuart Pearce aka Psycho was a hard and uncompromising left back who played hard but fair. He is well known for his time at Nottingham forest under Brian Clough. Pearce was a man with steel-like determination and combative attitude. Pearce led Nottingham forest to 2 league cups and Full Members cup.
Kenny Burns: Kenny Burns was an influential figure in the European success of Nottingham forest under Brian Clough and Peter Taylor. His partnership with Larry Lloyd gave Nottingham forest 2 European cups and one European super cup. He was well known for his wild-man image and possessed shrewd football brain along with aggressive nature. His aggressive nature was very frightening and one such instance is 1980 European cup final between Keegan’s Hamburg and Burns’ Nottingham forest. While waiting in the tunnel before the match Larry Lloyd whispered in Keegan’s ear “I don’t want to mention this,””But Kenny isn’t feeling very friendly towards you today.” Keegan spun around to see Burns grinning maniacally with his false teeth in his hand. “It’s not going to be like that, is it?” said Keegan. “Sorry mate, he’s out to do your legs, Burnsy’s gonna do you.”Another incident was Kenny’s headbutt on Richie Powell and then a fierce tackle on Frank Stapletone in 1977.
Terry Hurlock: Terry Hurlock was 5th greatest captain of Brentford and 23rd hardest player according to THE TIMES. He received seven red cards in his career. His hardness is represented by the statements from some of his team-mates.
“Some of us [Millwall players] were playfully goading Terry about what he was going to do to Vinnie Jones in the upcoming fixture with Wimbledon. Without saying a word, he got up from the table and walked to the entrance of the pub and ripped the door off its hinges” – Millwall teammate Tony Cascarino.
“Intimidating? He just had to growl at the opposition and they’d be scared, but he was also a decent player” – Millwall teammate Teddy Sheringham
Q: “What’s your favourite animal?” A: “Terry Hurlock” – Millwall teammate Neil Ruddock
His fight with David Speedie is also an instance of his animal-like behaviour.
David Batty: David Batty was another gladiator in the football arena of England. He was a tireless and ruthless forager of the ball. His distribution was also superb. He led Leeds united to 1st division in 1991-92 and Blackburn rovers to English Premier League in 1994-95. He was a controversial figure. In a game against Spartak Moscow in 1996 he and his team-mate Graeme Le Saux started fighting with each other and were handed two-match ban.Roy Keane: The Old Trafford veteran was robust and fighter full of inspirational displays. He was one of the most successful.
Roy Keane: The Old Trafford veteran was robust and fighter full of inspirational displays. He was one of the most successful captain of Manchester united. His iconic display against Juventus still instigate respect among Manchester united fans. He was also a very controversial figure. His tackle on Haland in Manchester derby causing Haland’s playing career to come to an end show how much anger and revenge reside within him.
Jaap Stam: Another Manchester united and Ac Milan legend Stam was a large central back with powerful header and good ball playing abilities. He was a dark character also. During his time with Lazio, Stam was found guilty of having the banned steroid nandrolone in his system following a Serie A game, and received a five-month ban, which was eventually reduced by a month after appeals.