Kingswell Boots – Kingswell boots have star quality

Kingswell Boots - Kingswell boots have star quality

NEAR POST: Literary Goalkeepers – Albert Camus, Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle & Vladimir Nabokov

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I came across an interesting blog post today, whilst doing some research on Albert Camus and Racing Universitaire d’Alger (as you do).

Entitled ‘Writers, doctors, goalkeepers‘ and posted to the UCL SSEES Research Blog this time last year, Tim Beasley-Murray writes about the UCL German Department’s research project in the ‘medical inhumanities’, doctors who were also writers, and, more pertinently for No Standing, writers who were also goalkeepers.

Here, I quote liberally from the text of the blog:

“[The article makes] reference to the curious phenomenon of goalkeepers who are also writers (or perhaps better: writers who sometimes played in goal). Here, too, it is easy to see the grounds for this: while the rest of his team rushes about outfield, it is the goalkeeper who has the time between his sticks to think and to dream. As the Slovene-Austrian writer, Peter Handke (1942- ) suggests in his wonderfully entitled Novelle of 1970, The Goalie’s Anxiety at the Penalty Kick (well, it sounds better in German), the solitariness of the goalkeeper has a forcefully existential dimension that can easily result in a turn to literature.

Famous figures in the tradition of writer goalkeepers include Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle (Scottish, 1859-1930) who kept goal for Portsmouth Association Football Club and is the member of a very exclusive club of writers who were both physicians and goalkeepers, and, of course, Albert Camus (French, 1913-1960). Camus was goalie for the Racing Universitaire d’Alger, winning the North African Champions Cup and the North African Cup twice each in the 1930s. When asked later about his time as a goalkeeper, Camus declared proudly:

After many years during which I saw many things, what I know most surely about morality and the duty of man I owe to sport and learned it in the RUA.

The Russian writer Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977) was an excellent all-round sportsman, at times earning his living as a tennis and boxing coach and, while at Trinity, Cambridge, playing in goal for the College. (He was, of course, also a zoologist and a lepidopterist and much has been said about his particular alliance of the sciences and the humanities.) The last word, then, goes to Nabokov in his autobiographical Speak, Memory:

As with folded arms I leant against the left goalpost, I enjoyed the luxury of closing my eyes, and thus I would listen to my heart knocking and feel the blind drizzle on my face, and hear in the distance the broken sounds of the game, and think of myself as of a fabulous exotic being in an English footballer’s disguise composing my verse in a tongue nobody understood about a remote country nobody knew. Small wonder I was not very popular with my team-mates.”

Tim Beasley-Murray is Senior Lecturer in European Thought and Culture at UCL-SSEES.

WHO ARE YA? Rachel Gibson, Business Development Manager & FootieBugs Trainer at FootieBugs Ltd

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Rachel Gibson, FootieBugs Trainer at FootieBugs Ltd

1) Who are ya?

Rachel Gibson, former Goalkeeper for Aston Villa Ladies 1998 -2006

2) Who do you support?

Aston Villa

3) What was your first game?

Villa v Norwich, standing the Holte End on a crate…Villa won.

4) What do you do for a job?

Business Development Manager. I sell the FootieBugs franchises and run the coaches training.

FootieBugs, through its children’s football based activity programmes promotes individuality and encourages this by building confidence and self assurance. We also ensure that children enhance their core skills by playing and learning together with their peers.

As such, the FootieBugs children’s football based activity programmes are designed age appropriately offering a clear step by step activity based programme that can be accessed by all. Together this encourages children to maximise their knowledge and understanding, their eagerness to participate and be part of a team and above all enables children to develop to their full potential

– See more at: www.footiebugs.com/what-is-footiebugs

5) Have you played/worked for any football clubs?

I played for Aston Villa Ladies.

6) How did you get into it?

I started playing at primary school and a friend played for Villa and told me to come along to training, so I did.

7) What do you get out of it?

Fun and the enjoyment of playing, making good friends.

8) What advice would you give someone wanting to follow in your stud marks/footsteps?

Never stop believing.

9) If you could do it all again what would you change?

Nothing.

10) Who’s your footballing hero?

Iker Casillas

Find out more about Footie Bugs

WHO ARE YA? Tom Fletcher, Bantams Banter

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Tom Fletcher (left) of Bantams Banter fame

1) Who are ya?

Tom Fletcher, 28, Bradford (born and raised).

2) Who do you support?

Bradford City

3) What was your first game?

Can’t actually remember I was so young, all I do remember is hot coffee being spilt over my head whilst being stood on.

4) What do you do for a job?

For a living, I sell bunion cream but for the purpose of this interview I more importantly produce an award winning independent podcast called ‘Bantams Banter’.

It centres around Bradford City and offers a ‘from the terraces’ view of the game as we record the show. I’ve been doing it for 5 years now with a good mate of mine called Dom. We’ve gone from recording in my back bedroom to being the first ever podcast recorded live at Wembley.

5) Have you played/worked for any football clubs?

I had trials with Bradford City as a goalkeeper but got pipped to the post by a Jon Worsnop who went on to play for the club in some respect! He now plays Sunday league like me, but as a centre forward (scores loads apparently).

6) How did you get into it?

What, podcasting football matches? Well me and Dom both had Radio experience and suddenly lost our jobs with BBC Radio Leeds. We wanted to carry on in broadcasting but whilst we were waiting decided to produce our own podcast called ‘The Tom and Dom Show’. From this spurned Bantams Banter and the rest they say…

7) What do you get out of it?

I love working as part of a popular podcast. It combines my two passions, football and media. It’s good to use your creative side as Albert Einstein once said:

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”

8) What advice would you give someone wanting to follow in your stud marks/footsteps?

Just do it. Get a microphone and a recording device and free your creative juices. Talk about something you love or hate… or something that makes you excited, happy, sad or angry. Record it (edit it) and release it into the world. Today’s technology means anyone can do this from anywhere, together with modern online social values it also means someone will listen somewhere.

9) If you could do it all again what would you change?

I’d of done it younger.

10) Who’s your footballing hero?

Jorg Albertz – the best left foot I’ve seen on a human.

Cheers Tom, all the best. Fancy asking Dom if he wants to do this too?

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