Alsop's fables: Pink hairdryers, Cantona and Kick it Out
Former Robins' striker Julian Alsop's weekly column:
HELLO folks, I must start off with a big thank you to a certain someone who gave me a lift home after the Gloucester-Bordeaux fixture last week.
Now you may feel that there’s nothing interesting in that story, but how many times have you been to a sporting event when one of the main players gives you a lift home?
I am not going to name the player just in case the other players give him stick about the next bit because when we jumped in the car we did have a giggle at his expense.
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You see there was a pink hair dryer and some hair clips on the front passenger seat.
Now Bucko, I don’t think you need the hair dryer, do you?
But thanks again for the lift, pal.Who did the pink hair dryer belong to?
MY GENTLE SHOVE TO SUPPORTER WHO GOT RIGHT IN MY FACE:
THERE have been a couple of big stories in the world of football.
The first was when a lad ran on to the pitch and assaulted Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper Chris Kirkland.
Many years ago, something kind of similar happened to me.
I got sent off for a terrible two-footed lunge on a player who had got me booked, thanks to some play-acting a few moments before.
I told him that I was then going out to get him and sure enough I did. It was a horrendous challenge and it’s certainly not something I am proud of now.
It was a mad reaction and I had let my team down.
But it was when I was walking off the pitch that a supporter from the other team came down from the stand and got right in my face.
Nobody had stopped him and by now he was right in my face, so I shoved him to the ground, gently I might add.
I carried on into the changing rooms, only to be followed by three police officers wanting to chat about the incident.
At first I thought they were on my side until they said that I couldn’t do that, because it was assault.
Now hang on, if I had done an Eric Cantona then fair enough, but once you come on the side or near the side of the pitch, sorry, in my eyes I have the right to protect myself.
The police did eventually see it like this after my explanation and took it no further, but I was lucky. One day something serious will happen and it needs to be stopped now.
You don’t see that happen at the rugby, and we should not see it in football.
Harsh punishments are what are needed, not just a sentence of a few months and ground ban. I’m not sure what but something more.
The second thing to make the headlines this week is the fall-out from the Kick It Out campaign, and the T-shirts that seem to be causing something of a stir.
It goes without saying that there is no place for racism in football. However, there are a few issues I feel need raising.
If the FA, the Premier League, the PFA and clubs are going to come out and support the campaign, why don’t they do it for the whole year, not just two weeks?
I remember these two weeks from my playing days. You would get the shirts and banners, wear them once, give them away after the warm-up and it was then all forgotten about until the next year.
Not once during my playing days did I ever have a meeting explaining what the campaign was about.
What is actually being done to educate players, right from the early days in the academy system right through to the senior teams?
Now, if these players think not wearing the T-shirt is their way of making the point then they are very much mistaken.
How can we bang on about locking supporters up for running on the pitch if the players are not doing the same in terms of respecting the wishes of the clubs the FA, PFA and Premier league and the kick racism out campaign?