Thursday, January 07, 2010

Vauxhall Road Populi

St Albans City had Dean Austin and Iain Dowie as young 'uns, and the sadly departed Berkhamsted Town had superstar DJ Nigel Callaghan mixing the tail end of his football career with his time on the decks, but could this bloke be the most famous footballer ever to play for Hemel Hempstead Town?:

Step forward one Danny Granville, formerly of Chelsea, Leeds Utd, Man City and Crystal Palace (amongst many others). The bloke played in a cup winners cup final!

Granted at 34 he's at the tail end of his career, but he's always played at left back and, for some reason or other, it's one of those positions on a football pitch where a footballer's career is just naturally prolonged for a few extra years. Maldini playing at left back for AC Milan in his fortieth year; Andreas Brehme still making those overlapping runs of his from the left back position for FC Kaiserslautern at the age of 37; and now, in his 35th year, Danny Granville turning it on for Hemel against the likes of Bedford Town and Bashley. It's too late this year, but maybe, finally, a decent FA Cup run next year?

This post isn't a pisstake, btw. I reserve the jokes for the posts that touch on politics. I'm childishly impressed that The Tudors actually have a bona fide ex-pro on their books. It's a bit of a step up from when I used to watch them and Mark Goodson (I bet I've got the surname wrong) was the regular full back playing every other week at Vauxhall Road. A solid enough player despite his frail appearance, who I seem to remember had a rasping shot. It's just unfortunate that he looked like the love child of Howard Devoto and David Bradley. He wasn't going to get any Gillette Mach3 adverts any time soon.

More on Granville at Hemel here. If the link doesn't take you directly to his bio, then scroll down and you can't miss it. He's the bloke striking the ball with his left foot.

Cheers to Getty for fair use of the image. If I ever visit California, I'll be sure to put an extra quarter in the collection box at the Getty Museum by way of recompense.

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