The Empire Strikes Back
Teddy Sheringham, Ryan Giggs and Ian Botham. Apart from being sportsmen what have they all got in common I hear you ask? Well every man and his Labrador will probably know by now that all three of them received honours from Lizzy numero deux last week in her majesty`s birthday honours list. Good luck and congratulations to all three of them - all fine ambassadors for thier respective sports it must be said.
You know there is a 'but` coming don`t you?
Now don`t get me wrong, Beefy truly is a sporting legend. He was not only charismatic and talented, but he also achieved massive success with his country and raised large mounts of cash for worthy causes such as Leukaemia research. I am not saying that Giggs and Sheringham have not served their countries and achieved success at club level but when you think about it, most Premiership footballers fit into that category don`t they?
I used to think that Knights, OBE`s, MBE`s, etc. actually had to do something out of the ordinary to be honoured but it would appear that merely being a good footballer is now sufficient. I know some may see the idea of the 'Empire` itself being a bit outdated but even still! In an age where we are obsessed with celebrity it seems that even the queen has bowed to the pressure and followed the masses. Maybe she was eager to see the pictures from the four Premiership footballer`s weddings at the weekend too? I guess to his credit at least Mr Neville shunned the likes of Hello and OK and did not court that particular fashion as many footballers seem to.
Surely such an honour should be reserved for people who have truly made a difference to people`s lives should it not? Teddy Sheringham has had more column inches devoted to him for all the wrong reasons recently so the timing seems bizarre to say the least.
It is of course hard not to mention the likes of Cloughie when this matter is discussed and it does seem like twisted logic doesn`t it. The great man did not make the impact on the nation`s football team we all hoped for, more is the pity, or raise a fortune for charity but what he did for previously innocuous provincial towns such as Nottingham and Derby on a global level cannot be underestimated.
It might just be that there are just not enough truly inspirational, heroic or brave people around these days? I don`t think so personally, in fact there are probably more. Sad isn`t it?