The word Legend is a much over used one, and regularly employed inappropriately. It seems to trip off the tongue of a younger generation all to frequently, and as such is losing its impact and ability to highlight the greatness of its intended target.
Occasionally though, it is the only adjective available, and yesterday, in a church in Altrincham, was one such occasion.
Bill Foulkes, both a survivor of The Munich Air Disaster, and rescuer of many victims that night, was laid to rest. A black and white photograph, broad shoulders, strong jaw and steely look of determination stood proudly by his coffin, as the great and the good of subsequent generations of both blue and red Manchester players looked on and payed silent tribute.
It is easy to forget the shock wave generated that awful night in 1958. I come from the North East of England, have no historic attachment to Manchester, but I can assure you that the feelings of grief for those affected reached our household and well beyond.
At its' best, football has the capacity to excite, thrill, energise, motivate, entertain and produce moments of euphoria that no other sport has ever demonstrated to me. It can embody everything that is good in the world, and strengthen the spirit.
At its' worst it is unspeakably bad. Violence resulting in supporters deaths, racism, corruption on a global scale, selfishness, match fixing. These are all accusations leveled at the game, some of which are absolutely undeniable, and more worryingly still prevalent today.
So it was yesterday, that yet again, it took a true gentleman of our sport to do what he has so often done. To show dignity, class, respect, and his unquestionable strength of character to deliver an emotional address to the congregation.
There are now only two of those boys of Munich remaining. Sadly, Harry Gregg was absent yesterday, but their influence and force for good in this game continue to demonstrate how the right way, is Sir Bobby Charltons' way.
Sir, you probably won't read this, but if you doTHANKYOU