Football is audacious. Cruyff’s turn, ‘The Ronaldinho’, Messi’s irresistible dribbling, Van Basten’s finishing, Xavi’s passing, Beckham’s crossing and Bill Shankly’s quotes are but a few factors that enable me to safely say, football is audacious.
Above even these points, it’s a safe bet to say footballers are audacious too. Whether it’s crashing cars, fighting in bars or completely insane hair do’s, the men we watch week in week out are in many cases, completely bonkers!
Over the years their choice in football boots has heightened the assumption of craziness, and in some cases complete lunacy. This week I look into five memorable football boot moments over the years.
1. “To run where the brave dare not go”
First up we have the late great Alan Ball. The early seventies were probably a time of lost identity and pointless acts of “character” if Alan Ball is anything to go by. After painting his football boots white and deciding he was to become the first man to play in white football boots, his dreams were all but flushed (excuse the pun) into the mud when the inevitable rain came. A few minutes and abusive fans later, Alan surely decided once you go black, you never go back! Little did he know at the time, he was a revolutionary!
2. “You can never get enough of what you don’t need to make you happy”
Quite possibly the most idiotic and simple act ever to grace the football boot world was one plundered by a certain Stanley Bowles. After cementing his reputation as the rock n roll star of seventies English football, Bowles decided he was such a hero that he could command two football boot sponsorships at once.' So when England played Holland in 1978 Bowles took to the pitch with one Gola and one Adidas boot.' Aside from looking like a plank with odd boots, the plan failed and Bowles continued his maverick career.
3. “When the itch is inside the boot, scratching outside provides little consolation”
Maybe I’m on my own here but I thought Lee Dixon was an excellent full back. He had the ability to defend his lines with ease and competency and got forward like many buccaneering full backs do in today’s relentlessly fast game. However one day in Dixon’s life will always be remembered above many others, for a stunning 30 yard goal in his new Brook’s boots. The boot had been ridiculed as Brook’s Builders Boot or Brook’s Wellies due to its enormous size and weight. Dixon looked embarrassingly immobile in the boot even though it was evident he could punt it a long way. It’s just a shame he punted it 30 yards over David Seaman and into his own goal!
4. “You may have a heart of gold, but so does a hardboiled egg”
Zinedine Zidane came into the 2006 World Cup safe in the knowledge his reputation as the modern days greatest player was intact. Surely nothing could ruin his swansong. His performances were sublime, a blast from the past and his golden shimmering boots were a delight on the eye. Made especially for the great man and never sold on the open market, his Adidas Predators were arguably the most popular in the brands long line. However much like a hardboiled egg, his gold on the inside was replaced by white light on the outside as his phenomenal career, and boots, saw a premature and trophyless end.
5. “What is character but the determination of an incident?”
David Beckham is the world’s most recognizable footballer. His face is the model for numerous Adidas football campaigns across the globe and his ability to pass, cross and assist has never been in question. However what remains a mystery is the infamous boot in the face incident. After apparently requiring two stitches and sporting a lovely cut above the left eye, Beckham’s relationship with Ferguson reached the point of no return. My question is this, what boot hit Beckham? Was it Adidas, Umbro, Reebok? Surely it would be a real kick in the face if it was a Nike? Either way, I wonder if that boot still lives on today, as someone could make a mint selling that on eBay!
And there you have it, five memories that will live long in the mind ranging from incredible stupidity to hardboiled eggs! Please know these are merely my opinionated five, get involved in the comments section and let us know your top football boot memories!