Top 10 Goal Celebrations

October 30, 2013 in Features, Funny Stuff, International, Premier League by George Curtis

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At a time when Daniel Sturridge’s funky dance has gone global, and Gareth Bale’s trademark heart is starting to be replicated by others, goal celebrations are becoming more unusual, more original and more practiced than ever before. In this run-down of the top ten celebrations to catch the eye in recent times, I marry cohesive team performances, sassy individual renditions, and plain ridiculous auditions for the best goal celebration knocking about.

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Football’s Lucky Mascot

October 26, 2013 in Features, Funny Stuff by Emma Lucy Whitney

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Those of you who satiate your podcast fix by listening to This American Life whilst waiting for the next Ballsy Banter pod to be recorded (I’m sure you do this, our one listener) may have found the recent episode about secret identities, which included a piece about sports mascots, rather interesting. The story of a teenage American girl’s obsession with becoming a high school football team mascot (and yep, we’re talking the wrong sort of football here) reminded me of the shocking news that Bobby the Badger, Stafford Rangers’ esteemed mascot, might be for the chop. Stuart Maun, the commercial manager for the Evo-stik Northern Premier League outfit, admits that Bobby is well-loved, but wonders whether it’s ‘time for a change’. Such talk and stories about mascots got me thinking; where did they come from? Did the beautiful game have them first, or did football nick ‘em from another sport?

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Safe Hands and Butter-Fingers

October 10, 2013 in Features, International, Premier League, Women's Football by Emma Lucy Whitney

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A celebration of the players who’ve graced one of football’s most coveted yet eccentric positions – England’s No. 1.

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Arsene Wenger: From Invincibles To Invisible

August 20, 2013 in Features, Premier League by Ballsy Banter

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The amount of articles currently doing the rounds depicting the demise of Arsenal is astonishing. No matter how dramatic, over-exaggerated, or pathetic the opinions may be about the current shape of Arsenal, the harsh reality of the situation is that Arsenal are two seasons short of a decade without silverware; a scenario that many fans who still remember the Invincibles year of 2003-4 could simply not have dreamt up when our manager was on top of his game.

Arsenal have always been a team that have prided themselves on perfecting the art of football, down to every stylish pass and kick, playing the ‘beautiful’ game under the regime of the French ‘Professor’, Mr Arsene Wenger. Eight and half years on, and it seems that even the Professor can sometimes go a bit nutty.


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Bert Trautmann - A Tribute

July 26, 2013 in Features, Premier League by Emma Lucy Whitney

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Last Friday, the sad news broke of the death of Bert Trautmann, the Manchester City goalkeeping legend, who had passed away at his home in Valencia at the age of 89. Bert was an inspiration to not just City supporters, but to legions of football fans throughout the world, and the story of his life is nothing short of incredible. Appearing over 500 times between the sticks for City in a fifteen-year career at the club, Trautmann’s background as a former Luftwaffe paratrooper-turned-prisoner of war was already enough to single him out as something different, before he even played a game for the Blues. However, the fateful Cup Final of ’56 forever sealed his place in footballing lore, as Bert played on with an injured neck to help City win their third FA Cup, only finding out that his neck was in fact broken three days later. So many deserving tributes have already been given in honour of this wonderful gentleman, who achieved so much on the field and in life. For what it’s worth, here’s mine.

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