Seven deadly sins of football: Gallacher's brilliant extremes

19 May 2009 11:01
Five feet two, brilliantly talented with a passion for drink and mayhem that would ultimately lead to tragedy, Hughie Gallacher established the blueprint of the diminutive, wayward Gaelic football genius. Born in Lanarkshire in 1903, as a teenager he incensed his Ulster Orangeman father by supporting Celtic and marrying a Catholic. Swerving dribbles, incisive passes, thunderous shooting and utter fearlessness soon established Gallacher as a formidable force in the Scottish game (he hit 22 goals for the national team in only 19 appearances), but it was when Newcastle United signed him from Airdrie for £5,500 in 1925 that Wee Hughie fully emerged in all his considerable glory. Worshipped by the Toon fans Gallacher swaggered around Tyneside dressed like a Hollywood gangster in broad-brimmed hat, double-breasted suits and spats.His football prowess was extraordinary (he captained the club to their last league title, hitting 143 goals in less than 200 matches), his drinking - often in the pub before the match - legendary, his temper volcanic. During his time at Newcastle he was arrested for fighting with his brother-in-law, kicked a referee into the St James' Park bath and was accused of being drunk and disorderly on the field of play during a pre-season game in Hungary (Gallacher claimed that he had simply "rinsed his mouth out with whisky" to rid it of the taste of foreign food). Continue readingreadfullarticle

Source: TheGuardian