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Opinion

Newcastle United to take the short cut to success

3 weeks ago
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Our little neighbours on Wearside signed a player calked Callum from Barnsley on loan, on transfer deadline day.

When I saw the headline ‘Styles for Sunderland’, I instantly thought that Harry Styles had bought out boy owner Kyril Louis-Dreyfus, and that the Wearside fans would all be praying that they would be heading in One Direction.

So I was thinking of styles when I decided to compare modern players with some of our Newcastle United heroes from the past.

Having been brought up in the 1970s, my first footballing hero was Malcolm Macdonald. Supermac had a distinctive look which was capped off by his whopper sideburns.

Tommy Cassidy also had the same look and the voluminous hair to go with it. I really can’t see it catching on again though fifty years later.

The first player I ever saw with a tattoo play for the Toon, was when Alan Shoulder signed from Blyth Spartans in 1978. ‘Death or Glory’ I think it said on his forearm. Imre Varadi also turned up with a rare tat a few years later.

Long hair had been all the fashion in the 70s and star players and great characters like Charlie George, Frank Worthington and Tony Currie wore their flowing locks with immense pride.

There were no mullets allowed until the 1980s and it was our very own Chrissy Waddle who was the most famous for setting the trend.

Chris Waddle

Chris liked the style that much that he still had it at the beginning of the 1990 World Cup.

He played England’s early games with what looked like a Davy Crockett hat perched on his napper, however, he had his hair chopped before the semi-final against Germany in Turin.

I still to this day reckon Chrissy’s barnet played a part in England’s downfall that fateful night.

When host nation Argentina won their first World Cup in 1978, their talismatic striker Mario Kempes struck fear into the opposition alongside his sidekick Leopoldo Luque.

Kempes had a haircut like Ian Gillan from Deep Purple at the time, and Luque looked like the lead singer from Supertramp.

Daniel Passarella was the Argentine captain who lifted the trophy in Buenos Aries, and he was spotlessly clean shaven with shorter hair.

By 1998 Passarella was now the manager, and he famously ordered all of the long haired players to get their lovely locks shorn. Passarella believed that having long hair led to lapses in concentration.

Star man Gabriel Batistuta along with others reluctantly adhered to the rule, but Claudio Caniggia and Fernando Redondo refused to be touched by the scissors, they were both promptly dropped from the squad.

Which brings me to the modern day.

I wonder what the likes of Daniel Passarella would make of all these players with braided hair, designer beards and multiple skin illustrations.

All the players seem to want to outdo one another and seem to me to be real victims of so-called fashion.

Anthony Gordon

Whatever floats their boats I suppose, but I prefer the professional clean cut look like Anthony Gordon, albeit with tipped hair, and new kid on the block Lewis Miley.

If there is ever a position going, to be Chair of a new FA Style Council, I am going to be the first person to apply.

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