THE WANDERER: The beautiful game in the words of William Shakespeare

NO FAN William Shakespeare

NO FAN William Shakespeare

First published in Sport

GOOD old William Shakespeare celebrated his 450th birthday last week but the history books tell us he wasn’t much of a footie fan.

Back when he was scratching out sonnets with quill and ink, the beautiful game was a rather violent pass-time, usually regarded with distain by the gentry.

The Bard does give football a couple of mentions in his work – King Lear containing the disparaging line: “Nor tripped neither, you base football player.”

A Comedy of Errors – which would later be picked up in football parlance as any opponents’ goal that contains more than one mistake by the home defence – has a whole passage in Act Two, Scene One.

Am I so round with you as you with me, That like a football you do spurn me thus?

You spurn me hence, and he will spurn me hither: If I last in this service, you must case me in leather.

Now, I’m no thespian, but it doesn’t sound like Bill had a season ticket. He probably didn’t even have Sky Sports.

But it’s incredible to think that four-and-a-half centuries later, his words and phrases are still being used frequently everywhere from Hackney Marshes to Wembley Stadium.

Here, I present a list of Shakespearean idioms and a definition of how they are used in modern football.

Dogs of war: Used to describe any rough and tumble team, especially Joe Royle’s 1995 FA Cup winning side at Everton.

All that glitters is not gold: What David Moyes may be thinking right now.

Method to his madness: What Wanderers fans were hoping would be the case when Dougie Freedman lined-up with a back five against Leicester City on Tuesday night.

Set your teeth on edge: What happens when you see a particularly nasty injury, e.g. David Busst, Eduardo.

Faint-hearted: Who shouldn’t watch the video of said tackles on YouTube.

So-so: A fair adjective to describe Wanderers’ season.

Good riddance: What a lot of Bolton fans said when the club sacked Gary Megson.

Seen better days: What a lot of Bolton fans said when the club signed Peter Beardsley.

Too much of a good thing: Mario Jardel.

Send him packing: Mario Jardel again.

Fight fire with fire: Not advisable. Contravenes a lot of health and safety laws.

Wear your heart on your sleeve: Jay Spearing’s mantra.

Come what May: Summer holidays for footballers.

Come full circle: Wanderers now looking for a proven goalscorer.

Vanish into thin air: Tyrone Mears.

Be all and end all: Premier League football for big spending QPR next season.

Dead as a doornail: QPR’s automatic promotion hopes.

Wild goose chase: Wanderers trying to sign Portugal international Miguel Veloso a few years back.

A sorry sight: The derelict pubs and buildings around the old Burnden Park.

Comments (3)

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1:43pm Sun 27 Apr 14

CarlXVIGustaf says...

What a waste of ink.
What a waste of ink. CarlXVIGustaf
  • Score: -1

1:51pm Sun 27 Apr 14

CarlXVIGustaf says...

And it's 'glisters' not 'glitters'
And it's 'glisters' not 'glitters' CarlXVIGustaf
  • Score: -1

6:03pm Thu 1 May 14

Liamdog says...

Pathetic journalism
Pathetic journalism Liamdog
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

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