From the 3K archives – Roy Portugal column 1

Published: 06/03/1999…


No need for introductions; you know who I am. You hear me. My opinion is expert, so you will benefit. Think of me as a kind of football doctor or professor – like Hillary Jones, but without the girl’s name.

I’d like to congratulate that Arson Winger chap for his recent sporting gesture toward Sheffield United in upholding what Association Football is all about by arranging another money-spinning cup tie. However, the notion of sportsmanship raises many conundrums within the game.

Personally, I think it is unsporting conduct to score any sort of goal – it just isn’t fair on the other team or fans. And how can you be joyous knowing the other supporters are miserable? Hopefully this will be addressed and the powers-that-be will duly eradicate it from the beautiful game.

Eartha Kitt remarked to me “Roy, what is your stance on the Referee debate?” I stared at her blankly, then quipped “Eartha, darling, how can it be a debate when my opinion hat hasn’t yet been tossed onto the table?” Embarrassed, she left my company.

Many pundits and people alike have suggested “Employ two refs!” or “Use video evidence!” but this wouldn’t work. What I recommend is that every time a decision needs to be decided, the crowd should all vote democratically, there and then, on the fair outcome.

As proof, how many times do the audience on that Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? programme make the wrong decision? Exactly. The technology is there; we owe to ourselves and to our children to use it.

I’ve had my say, now let the debate commence.

Alas things have changed since I played for City. Look around the terraces now and you even see people with boobs.

In my day when you walked onto that turf and glanced at the unwashed legions, all you could see were smidgens of mouth hair and moptops.

When that strapping mass of machismo was packed in tight and sweaty I’d tease their libido for 90 minutes before hitting the town – the Earl De Grey – mixing with famous Hull faces such as Norman Collier, Roy North and Old Mother Riley.

Nowadays it’s all “I’m off to the Roxy with me bulging muscles for trendy pop” or “I want to go with a Spice Woman.” They’re on a different bus to me.

It’s a sad day when City players can’t go out on a Friday night, have 15 pints, a bag of smack and the company of a hired lady without being dropped for the game on Saturday.

Finally, I am still criticised by people like Cyril Smith, Cagney and Lacey and Pete Burns for my supposedly outrageous comments about today’s visitors, Mansfield Town.

However, frig you all: I don’t play for Mansfield, I don’t drink Mansfield Bitter AND I NEVER WILL!

Keep smiling,

Roy xxx

NOTE: Arsene Wenger had offered to replay Arsenal’s cup tie with Sheffield United due to a disputed goal.


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