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My brain had no room for Pythagoras or square root of Pi, too full of names of very hairy footballers

2 years ago

First things first, this article is by Jinky Jim, so if you are looking for updates on Rafa or the Newcastle United takeover bid, it’s probably best if you move on…because what I thought I’d talk about this month, is something else that is on everyone’s minds

Why is it that you can remember things vividly from 30 years ago but can’t remember what you ate for tea last Friday?

Or is that just me?

Why I raise this important question, is the recent deaths of two of the Celtic team that won the 1967 European cup.

The BBC website ran a quiz, asking you to name the Lisbon lions. I could name eight.

That’s eight players from a team who played fifty years ago, when I was nine years old.

Why on earth could I do that ?

As I’m of a certain age, I subscribe to magazines such as When Saturday Comes, which although it covers modern issues , it has a good dose of nostalgia as well.

One of my favourite pastimes is to study the old photos and try and name the players and the year.

The year is normally pretty easy, but the players can be a challenge , especially if it’s 1975 and every one of them has a haircut like the band members of Pink Floyd .

But what astounds me is just how many players I can remember 40 years on, I know that the Man Utd defenders are Jim Holton & Martin Buchan and they are up against the Derby forwards Roger Davis & Kevin Hector.

So now I know why I left school with no qualifications. My brain had no room for the square root of Pi or Pythagoras theorem.

It was too full of the names of very hairy footballers.

Am I the only sad beggar out there who has a encyclopaedic memory of footballers from his youth?

I reckon there must be a few of you who were brought up on Goal magazine & Match Weekly, candy cigarette cards & panini stickers , who can do it just as well.

How is it possible? The most important factor was that players actually stayed around long enough for you to remember them.

The continual churn of players these days means it’s hard enough recognising your own players, let alone those of other teams.

Who is the current Arsenal keeper? No googling. It’s a German bloke isn’t it…but his name?

Who are the Spurs centre backs? Toby Aldi something is one of them and I think the other has a long name as well.

Who are the two midfielders for Everton ? No, I have no idea.

But what I do know is that Bob Wilson was Arsenal’s keeper when they did the double in 1971.

Richard Gough and Gary Mabbutt were the Spurs back two for the 1987 cup final.

And monkey heed Peter Reid & Paul Bracewell were the powerhouse in Everton’s 1985 league winning team.

So in a remote chance anyone under 20 is reading this, is your knowledge of today’s game and its players just as in depth as mine used to be?

Or is it just not that important for you to know who Sheffield United’s star player will be next season?

I think it’s Tony Currie but I could be wrong.

To fill in the close season, maybe The Mag could publish Newcastle team photos from ’78, ’88 or ’98 and let us see how many players we can name .

Or choose a big game from the past and get us to name the team.

See how well we know our Abdy Fayes from our Amdy Fayes.

I’m sure I won’t have any problem identifying many a player, such as Jim Pearson or Ian Stewart…but sadly it’s probably for for all the wrong reasons.


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