Who’s Your Favourite Blue?

I was reading the interview Kev had with Dave Langan.

He’s a name I remember from my very first days supporting Blues, thirty odd years ago.  Colin Todd, Archie Gemmill, Mark Dennis, Tony Coton.  I missed the Francis era by a whisker, so they were the heroes I had to look up to.  Perhaps it was the fact he was Irish, like my dad, but Dave Langan was my first ‘favourite player’.  It got me thinking.  Who are the kids of today’s favourite players?

I teach kids, or children, if you don’t like the ‘baby goat label’.  The ones I teach who don’t support Manchester United, or Chelsea, or Barcelona, or Manchester City (!) support a local team.  I’ve taught a couple of Wycombe (!) fans, a Baggies fan or two, and the rest have been Aston Villa or Birmingham City fans.  Can’t knock supporters of a local team.  Wycombe is simply down to family ties, the rest is just glory hunters, plain and simple.  But they’re kids, so we’ll leave them to their grass munching.  The point I was trying to make before I digressed, is that the Blues fans I taught seem to look at a variety of factors when choosing their ‘favourite’ player.

Joe Hart was a huge favourite, as was Ben Foster.  Is it the gloves?  England international more likely!  Jack Butland has pulled on the new ‘fans’ fave mantle’.  Certainly one of their favourites anyway!  Zigic was a BIG favourite.  Scoring four goals in one match was a great reason, just a shame most children only go to home matches, so only a few away travellers will have seen his single handed Leeds demolition job!  His height alone will gain him a few points in the unofficial BCFC Top Trumps game, his misses against Ipswich on Saturday may lose him a few, mind you.  Marlon King – a bad boy come good – will certainly raise a few eyebrows amongst parents, but children seem to love the image, and the ‘glamour’ his crime record seems to give off.  “He’s hard, he is,” would tend to be the mentality.  I think – without the criminal record – that line of thinking certainly would have helped the likes of Langan and Dennis in the boyhood hero stakes.  I wonder how many fans had ‘Pennant’ on their backs for similar reasons?

Keith Fahey was a bit of a whipping boy, but – like Langan – being an Irish international will certainly help the third generation British-Irish boys (and girls!) to keep him close to their hearts…even while the bloke behind gives him hell for not scoring from the halfway line (shrugs and sighs).

Stephen Carr himself would pick up the same recognition points, but being Captain would have earned him many more.  And lifting the Carling Cup!  What schoolboy *or girl, blimey, equality and the BCFC Ladies seem to have stifled my (virtual) pen somewhat* hasn’t dreamed of lifting silverware for their own club?  What child I ever teach will ever even play for the ‘gloryhunting’ teams, let alone their local team?  Yet dream we all do.  My son was there to witness the dream, with me, at Wembley.  Perhaps he’ll be queuing up in the George when he’s my age, to get a copy of Carr’s book, “Out of Retirement”?

Savage had the hair, and the headbutt from Dublin.  Perhaps Brian Clough called Dave Langan that.  “The headbutt from Dublin” or just “The Irishman”.  See the book!  Grown women I’ve spoken to (well, my sister anyway!) seem to suggest that it’s all about the legs for them.  Seen one, you’ve seen them all in my opinion, but then, I didn’t marry my Brother in Law.  Nice bloke, wouldn’t want those legs in my bed though, sorry Dave.

Beausejour had the exotic name, Murphy is called the Smurf, which may pick up a few vintage votes from my generation and a few from the younger generation of CGI loving filmgoers.  Curtis Davies may well pick up a few votes from kids who like to wind their Villa or WBA mates up about how he’s ten times the player for us.

Terrace songs help, I’ve heard plenty of children talking about their preference for metric over imperial measurements (the great Litres vs Pints debate).  Loanees can come with their own sense of ‘mystique’.  I remember my lad being excited to see Pandiani play.  Now we have Ravel, the Man U trainee, which brings a certain amount of ‘prestige’ if you ignore the fact West Ham didn’t want him.  Ahem.  Chris Burke was my Son’s favourite player last year.  This gets to the crux of things I guess.  The ability to score a few goals, provide a few assists, all put notches on the old goalpost.  This season, he’s been left out of the squad altogether, or benched for 60 minutes at a time.

 

Nathan Redmond added an attainability to the proceedings. Children can actually imagine THEY could do it, too.  Local lad come good and all that.  Sadly, he’s flattered to deceive somewhat this season, so far.

The other problem is, the likes of Colin Doyle and Keith Fahey are a rarity at the Blues, players who have actually stayed long enough for fans to REMEMBER!

In conclusion, then, you’d have to say it’s impossible to predict just WHO someone’s best player is, or WHY.  Dave Langan was my favourite player, closely followed by Archie Gemmill, who scored the first Blues goal I ever saw.  Things may well have been different if it’d been Pat van den Hauwe.  I’d have had to move to Belgium!!

When are we going to see Papa Boupa Diop, who kids will surely love for having such an amazing name….?

Keep Right On

Russell Dempsey

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18 Comments on Who’s Your Favourite Blue?

  1. my favourite player was Frank Worthington but i also remember Dave Langan,Colin Todd and Archie Gemmil. i was also a huge fan of Steve Whitton and Steve Claridge. great days and great players. i had great pleasure in watching these players

  2. As a follower for a number of years I have a number of fav’s Gordon Astall, Bertie Auld Trevor Smith Smith Francis, Bob Hatton, Roger Johnson, Roger Hynd, Big Zig, Frank Worthington are just a few

  3. When I was 8 years of age in the mid sixties, I went along to the training ground at Elmdon. At the end of training, Blues defender Terry Heneesy came over and asked if anyone wanted a lift to Sheldon. A few of us took up the offer and jumped into his motor (a Morris 1000 if I recall). Terry was a steady, consistent and tough defender, who played many times for Wales. What a bloke!

  4. My favourite was Robbie Savage. He may have left us for more money but what player doesn’t nowadays. Also like Carr, Forssell and Jerome, just because everyone gave him stick even though he worked hard every game.

  5. I also liked Jerome he got a lot of unfair stick because of the lack of goals but he was one of the hardest working players I’ve seen. As for current players Id have to say Fahey so consistent shame he is injured.

  6. Kenny Burns for me as they don’t get any harder and also scored the only Blues goal I have ever seen. He did however, headbutt the back of one of our players’ heads when he was playing for Forest which was a bit cheap 🙁

  7. Barry Bridges for me. That 1968 team was one of the most exciting teams we have ever had. Scored 83 goals that season with Barry contributing over 30 of them. Great Cup run all the way to the semi final only to lose unluckily to the Baggies who got played off Villa Park yet still won 2-0 (sigh) that’s football. The team also had Fred Pickering, Geoff Vowden, the late Johnny Vincent and Trevor Hockey, Ron Wylie, Malcolm Beard, Colin Green, Ray Martin and Jim ‘the cat’ Herriot in goal! Couldn’t defend crosses to save our lives but it didn’t matter, they scored four we scored five; simples!!!!

    KRO SOTV

    P.S. Beat Villa home and away priceless! (2-1 at St Andrews, Bridges 2, 4-2 away (Bridges, Beard (pen) Vowden 2)

  8. Bazza, We must have been going to the same matches! Didn’t we also beat Arsenal on that cup run? I hadn’t remembered Ray Martin or Trevor Hockey for a while…..for me though it was Johnny Vincent who was the first picture on my wall.

  9. Yes Ethioblue mate, we did indeed beat Arsenal after a replay in the 5th Round. Barry Bridges scored both goals in a 2-1 win, Bobby Gould scoring for Arsenal. The first goal was the greatest goal I have ever seen before or since. It was an overhead kick on the volley from 20 yards from Fred Pickering’s headed knockdown. The ball screamed into the roof of the Railway End net and would have taken Bob Wilson’s arm off had he got anywhere near it! The net was hit so hard that the bar rattled and is still rattling to this day! St Andrews was rammed and had 55,000 on the terraces (alledgedly!) There was no account taken of several thousand that climbed over the wall! I took off in a surge down the terraces, my feet never touching the ground for 20 -30 feet or so before I ended up back where I started amongst the most ecstatic crowd I can ever remember. Frightening but elating at the same time. It was a magical night. We beat Chelsea in the quarter final at St Andrews with Big Fred Pickering scoring the only goal of the game.

  10. Current favourite would have to be David Murphy or Wade Elliott, i like players who seem like they give everything they can on the pitch

  11. I’m afraid it’s a dead heat for me – Stan Lazaridis and Michael ‘Magic’ Johnson.

    Superb players in their day and real fan favourites.

  12. I have followed blues now for 62 years and the best and most unselfish player i have seen was Bob Hatton.He would receive the ball and hold on to it untill support arrived.TF and big Bob Latchford benefited greatly by playing alongside him.Ah the good old days.
    KRO

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