Vince Hilaire: ‘Banana throwing and monkey noises were almost normal’

19 March 2018 10:30
Autobiography tells of the primitive environment he had to contend with playing for Crystal Palace and Portsmouth in the 70s and 80sVince Hilaire is sitting in the conservatory of a trendy seafront restaurant in Old Portsmouth, a pristine copy of his autobiography close to hand and evocative accounts of a bygone era on tap. He talks up Terry Venables and Crystal Palace’s Team of the 80s and creases into fits of giggles with tales of Alan Ball and his pack of “mongrels” who restored Pompey to the top flight.There are grimmer memories of the racism to which he was subjected as one of a number of homegrown black forwards who illuminated the English game from the late 1970s, and the depression which has hounded him from shifts on a building site to life as a roofer since his playing days. But the sparkle which made Hilaire stand out remains undimmed. Related: Laurie Cunningham: the dancing footballer with eternal youth | Richard Williams Related: Cyrille Regis: a pioneer on the pitch and the leader of a generation | Richard Williams Continue readingreadfullarticle

Source: TheGuardian