With no football on we’ve had to delve into the past for our fix but who knew that we’d be going back 137 years?
We’ve all become experts these past few days in lockdown, on Victorian football.
Through the new TV drama ‘The English Game’ from Julian Fellowes, he of Downtown Abbey fame,
Which should have ‘or Scottish’ in brackets.
Because of the efforts of Fergus Sutar, credited as the first professional, who transformed football from kick and rush to a passing game.
Suter the shooter
And championed the Northern English mill and industrial towns into bastions of football.
With Liverpool the inheritors of that legacy, as European champions.
The influence of Scots on the growth of English football cannot be understated with early Liverpool known as ‘the team of Macs’.
Pride of Lions
It is a link that has remained strong throughout the club’s history with its great teams of the Seventies and Eighties, like most in England, boasting a spine of Scots.
None though as Scottish, or local, as the storied team, the Lisbon Lions, who won the European Cup in 1967.
Not Portuguese though, you understand, but Scottish, that Celtic team all hailing from within 30 miles of Glasgow.
Lisbon, here we come
And as I binged on football from my couch I followed up The English Game with BBC’s Glasgow 1967: The Lisbon Lions.
It is, as the title might suggest, a love letter to two cities with the good people of Glasgow endearing themselves to the European Cup final hosts Lisbon,
And putting Portugal on the map as a favourite tourist destination for generations of Scots to come.
Of which I am one… and I got to don my football top too out there and even learned how to play tennis properly https://www.quintadolago.com/en/sports-wellness/the-campus/ and https://www.thecampusqdl.com/en/.
With The Special One, Jose, a huge Academica Coimbra fan. No, not that Jose, but the peerless Jose Manuel Santos https://www.madomistours.pt.
Jose also leans towards Sporting Lisbon, who live too long in the shadow of the aristocrats Benfica but produced one of the world’s greatest-ever players, Cristiano Ronaldo.
Who play in green and white hoops.
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