This tournament the social media facts and stories about Cristiano Ronaldo have been difficult to comprehend.
Following penalty misses from Ashley Young and Ashley Cole in England’s defeat to Italy at Euro 2012, Twitter was littered with some moronic England fans racially abusing them.
All the tweets have been deleted and some users have blocked their accounts but the police are investigating complaints made.
The FA have then released a statement condemning the behaviour of these fans. It read: “We are concerned at the reports regarding allegations of abuse aimed at England players Ashley Cole and Ashley Young on Twitter. They have just given everything for the national team at Euro 2012 and it is appalling and unacceptable that messages of an abusive type are being posted. We support any police investigation in identifying who is behind this.”
That is great. They need to come out with a strong message saying racism is wrong. But maybe they needed this sort of clarity before now.
I became aware of Denis Law a good couple of years before he joined United in the summer of 1962. I was at a friend’s house late one wintry evening in January 1960 when I was transfixed by all-too-brief and un-announced TV News highlights from an FA Cup replay played in swirling snow at Upton Park. It was very rare to see any footage of football in those days and live coverage was largely confined to the FA Cup Final, ‘Home Internationals’ and the occasional England friendly. I have no idea why this match got preferential treatment, and nor can I remember which channel it was on (there were only two then, BBC and ITV). I could be wrong but I associate the occasion with a late extra news bulletin prompted by the sudden collapse of the Leader of the Labour Opposition, Hugh Gaitskell, who died later that evening. Hard to imagine now, in our troubled and corrupt times, but Gaitskell’s death occasioned genuine national grief, as even among his political opponents he was respected as a man of principal and integrity. But for me the mood of sombre mourning was swiftly dispelled by this unexpected bonus of flickering black & white pictures of West Ham’s stunning home defeat by Huddersfield Town from Division II. At the heart of the underdog’s victory was an electrifying performance from a skinny kid called Denis Law, aged about 17, who scored two or three.
“What if… Lionel Messi had been found by the Chelsea scouts and was signed by the Blues”. Yes, he probably would’ve been sold to Huddersfield town or shipped off abroad only to shine on international waters and make the fans wonder “why have we let another one go?” But what if he managed to replicate his progress at Barcelona and even have his size overlooked? Well he’d obviously struggle on a rainy day in Stoke… but let’s face it, who doesn’t?!