Weekly football conversation since 2009, with Graham Sibley, Jan Bilton and Terry Duffelen. Listen on Acast, Apple, Google, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn or your podcatcher of choice.

Johnny Pundit's World Of Football



He thinks it's the 1950s

Johnny Pundit: Musing on Squirrels
Johnny Pundit: Musing on Squirrels
Squirrel: Nuts
Squirrel: Nuts
Scenes from football history: White Rat Final
Scenes from football history: White Rat Final
Johnny Pundit was the first ever TV football expert. He scored 2765 goals in 1097 appearances for West Ham, and Leyton Orient between 1947 & 1949.With his Mirror Group pension long since cleaned out Pundit has come out of retirement to write exclusively for The Onion Bag.

Funny old thing, Football. For instance, this Wednesday your columnist dutifully packed Missus Pundit and a round of cheese and pickle sandwiches into the Hillman Imp and motored down to Highbury, to see the Arsenal trade blows with hirsute Hispanic hoofers Villareal. Not a bad match, but enlivened it has to be said by a timely intervention from a squirrel. I'd shoot the blighters myself — tree rats, I call 'em. Then again, you can't help admire the little fellah's spunk.
Chin stroking
Be that as it may, the episode caused me to light a pipe and reflect on other appearances in top flight football of common rodents. Obviously there was Tufty Tompkinson, Blackburn Rovers' legendary field mouse goalkeeper between the wars. Not much got past 'Tufty'. Not often talked about now, but Huddersfield Town fielded a tough-tackling chinchilla called Spickworth for a couple of seasons in the late fifties. I'd say he was a terrier in the midfield but it doesn't do to mix species, we'll get letters.
Nuts
And of course the most famous rodent top flight footballer of them all was 'Nippy' Norman, the demon left winger for Bolton Wanderers in the 1922-23 season. Nippy's efforts got Bolton to the Cup Final — the famous 'White Rat' final of 1923, of course. Mind you, he was terrible in the air.

Say what you like about rodents, they do enjoy munching on a large pair of nuts. And by goodness, so do I. Till next time, yours aye,
Johnny Pundit

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