Sunday, March 07, 2010

Michael Foot: Football Man


……Foot was not in any sense an elitist. A story is sometimes told of that austere socialist theoretician, GDH Cole. Informed in the 1930s by the future socialist chancellor Hugh Dalton that Labour could only hope to win power "with the support of the football crowds", Cole was reported simply to have "shuddered and turned away". Foot, a vocal supporter of Plymouth Argyle, with a corner of his heart reserved for Everton as well, was never near sharing Cole's fastidiousness. He passionately enjoyed going to football matches and, though he never aspired to rival Harold Wilson's facility for recalling match statistics, had a far greater knowledge of the game than the Prime Minister, whose invitations to join his government he held out against for nearly five years.

Here you can read the whole of Anthony Howard’s wonderful essay on the late Michael Foot- and why we won‘t see his likes in British politics again.

And you can read more about Foot's love of football, and how supporters of his beloved Plymouth Argyle paid tribute to him at yesterday's match with Preston, here and here.

What a pity Plymouth Argyle never made it to the top flight of English football or won the FA Cup during Foot's lifetime.

1 comment:

Robin Carmody said...

Now that Hull have made it (though maybe not for long), I think Plymouth is the biggest city in England never to have been represented in the top flight.

I must say I've been upset by the way so many people have praised Foot since his death, now everything he stood for has been safely neutralised, when they would once have seen him as a Commie Enemy Within. Similarly, I saw an ad at the weekend for a CD by whichever colliery band (still so named long after the colliery's demise) which will be featured in 'A Band for Britain' on BBC2 tonight - clearly aimed squarely at the Daily Mail market - and I couldn't stop myself thinking "Where were you when those communities actually needed you? Cheering Thatcher on, I can bet."