A genuine Roy of the Rovers moment from G. Alexander esq.

4 05 2012

The times when football fans see a genuine “Roy of the Rovers” moment are few and far between. Last Saturday I saw a genuine “Roy of the Rovers” moment. 

The match in question, Preston v Charlton, was already special enough because it was going to be Graham Alexander’s last professional football match. The word “legend” is bandied around with abandon but Graham Alexander actually fits the bill; he is only the second outfield player to have played over 1,000 professional matches and recently received a PFA Merit award  in recognition of his services to the game.

Anyway, we arrived at the 80th minute of the match and there was still no sign of the crowds’ hero. I thought this was a bit of a rum do, Preston weren’t going to get relegated, there was no risk in this situation. I despaired about the lack of romance in 21st century football.

At first Preston’s manager was able resist the mass pleading through song;  “Do, do , dooooo Graham Alexander!!” due to it’s sporadic nature. When the incantation slowly became hypnotic in its intensity the manager simply had to submit. By the 85th minute the sharp-eyed in the crowd saw their hero stride towards the edge of the technical area. When their hero finally arrived on the pitch the welcome was tumultuous. For the next few minutes every Alexander touch was cheered. The crowd even urged their hero to shoot at every given opportunity, as football crowds are wont to do.

The moment of true heroism duly arrived in stoppage time; Preston were awarded a free kick about 25 yards out. It looked like the crowds’ pleas were about to be answered; their hero was going to take the free kick.

Their hero not only took the free kick, their hero powerfully curled the free kick into the goal. Their hero had rescued an unlikely point. The crowd bounced past your humble narrator. This is the way all football careers should end.

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