Category Archives: Football Video

Football Tough Guys: Billy Whitehurst

When you think of football tough guys, you immediately think of the old guys. Men like Ron “Chopper” Harris, Neil “Razor” Ruddock or Vinnie Jones were feared on the pitch. These weren’t baby faced assassins, these were tough brawlers who would take you down on the pitch and wouldn’t even think twice about waiting for you in the car park after a match. They defined the term “hard cunt”. However, there was one player who was the hardest of them all. The player we’re speaking on today was defined by that term and then some. Jones and Ruddock both have stated in their careers that this man was the hardest they have ever played against. Alan Hansen has said that he was frightened of this man. That man is Billy Whitehurst.

“ I went off at half time and the doctor’s ripped all the stitches up and stapled me up, literally put staples in and to be fair they were a lot better than stitches. So he’s stapled me out and I’ve gone out for the second half. I had a hole in my cheek so you could see the whole way through my mouth. ”

Billy Whitehurst was playing professional football while also laying bricks at the same time. At that moment, he had been playing for Mexborough Town before Hull City scooped him up for the bargain price of £2000 in 1980. In his career he would go on to play for more than 10 clubs, but Hull City embraced this giant (he played from ’80-’85 and again in ’88-’90), and he would go on to score 52 goals in 223 appearances for the Tigers. Feared by teammates, opposing players, and managers alike, Whitehurst was indeed a true tough guy of the game. Whitehurst bounced around from Newcastle, Reading, Sunderland, Oxford, Sheffield United, Stoke City, Doncaster, and Crewe Alexandra before going abroad and playing. Whether he was pranking his teammates, crushing opponents with goals or elbows, or playing with actual proper staples in his head and a hole in his cheek, Whitehurst claimed he always gave “120%”. He would eventually retire after a knee injury, settle in as a pub owner (among other jobs), and go back to civilian life. I’m sure when his retirement was announced, the people he played against him and feared him all breathed a collective sigh of relief in knowing they weren’t going to be smashed to bits on the pitch. A true football tough guy of the modern football era.

To Hull City and Back

Hull City vs. Port Vale 1983, Top of Division Table 4 Clash

Hull City vs. Liverpool 1989 FA Cup Pt. 1

Hull City vs. Liverpool 1989 FA Cup Pt. 2

(aet)

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Football Tough Guys: Roy Keane

Like him or hate him, Roy Keane was one of the toughest and hardest working players on the pitch in his 18 year football career. From his scrappy beginnings at the semi-pro Cobh Ramblers to stints with Nottingham Forest, 12 years with Manchester United, finishing up his career at Celtic, plus the turbulent years on the Ireland National team, Keane has both been a team leader and quite an outspoken player on and off the pitch. Respected, hated, and loved in football, Roy Keane is one of the true tough guys of the modern football era. One of my favorite incident being the Manchester United v. Arsenal tunnel incident with Patrick Viera, after Viera decided to pick on wee Gary Neville. Judge for yourself.

(aet)

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The Anfield Rap

I’m wondering what this rap would be like today with Suarez, Andy Carroll, Craig Bellamy, Stevie G, and Pepe Reina chiming in? If I had anything to do with it, it would have a line sung by Andy Carroll that went:

“I came to the Reds,
the gaffer I thank,
but Newcastle have the last laugh,
I haven’t done shite,
and they have £35m in the bank!”

Come on Andy, get it together.

The best part of the video is King Kenny making his arm move like he’s scratching a record. Brilliant.

(aet)

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12.4.76: Birmingham City 6, Leicester City 2

December 4th, 1976. Match of the Day. Birmingham City take on Leicester City. The Blues came into Filbert Street to take on a struggling Leicester City team on a rock hard, frost covered, frozen pitch. However, the Blues proved that night to the whole of England that no matter the condition of the pitch, you can do anything if you put your mind to it. Maybe it was the motivation by a local business man who proclaimed that he would give a Triumph TR7 auto to the person who scored the 6th goal, or maybe it was the defender turned striker (and back to defender again after he left Birmingham City) Scottish pitch whiz Kenny Burns, who netted a hat trick that night. The Blues scored early with a Garry Emmanuel “fine left foot” that opened the score line before striker Trevor Francis was able to put one in on a free kick. It was Francis the play maker again in the 33rd when he was able to beat the Foxes defense and simultaneously get it to Burns who put in for his first. In the 37th minute, Kenny Burns would grab his brace. The half was finished, but he wasn’t.

It wasn’t until the second half that an own goal by the Foxes (a missed timed header by LC’s Dennis Rofe) got the Blues back on the board again. John Connolly would then find, guess who? Kenny Burns, who knocked in his third, the Blues sixth, to grab the last goal in the 64th minute and also grab the sports car. The Foxes, would go on to net a few of their own, but came up way short on this cold December evening. So cold that I may add, that the winger Keith Weller would be the first player ever, to be seen wearing tights under his uniform on MOTD. The players were touch as nails back then, no long sleeve Under Armour underneath their kits, no gloves, but I’m sure that Weller just said ‘sod it’, I need to stay warm. Kenny Burns would go on to play for Nottingham Forest under Brian Clough and Peter Taylor, and would go on to win the Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year for 1977-78 (and a First Division title with Forest to boot). He Bounced around clubs such as Leeds, Derby County, Notts County and Barnsley, before playing for a handful of smaller clubs. He also represented his country of Scotland on the National team.

On this cold day in the East Midlands, before all of England, the Blues tore apart Leicester City, and another Scottish Kenny was King on Match of the Day. Interesting that he was so comfortable going from defender to striker so easily, and his hat trick was a sure sign of how good of a player he would mature into. They don’t make them like Kenny Burns any more.

Birmingham City 6, Leicester City 2

(aet)

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Speaking of Spurs: Spurs vs. Man City ’69-’70

Speaking of Spurs and Jimmy Greaves, peep the goal disallowed by an offside call at 2:18. This is what makes football the beautiful game. I’m loving that the current kit of Manchester city is a throw back to their 1969 kit.

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