By Noel Draper
Milton Nunez played 88 times for his country scoring a very impressive 33 goals in the process. That, in anyone’s book of goal scorers is quite good. He also managed to play in the top leagues of England, Greece and his home country of Honduras. In fact, Milton is his countries 3rd highest goalscorer and the 4th highest cap winner of all time. He is still playing at the age of 39 and has enjoyed a career that has lasted over 20 years. This is, as I am sure you will all agree, a fantastic achievement. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you, Milton Nunez. Queue a round of applause and a few puzzled faces wondering why I have pointed out these facts.
Oh wait, there is more because Milton has two fantastic tricks up his sleeve. Be prepared to be amazed because, Ladies and Gentlemen, once again I give you, Milton Nunez. The Incredible Height Changing Man. I see a lot of puzzled faces and little or no applause. Fickle lot that you are.
Let me explain. You see Milton Nunez, Honduran footballer extraordinaire, is listed as being 5ft 5″ or 1.65 metres if you are that way inclined. Or, Milton Nunez is listed as being 4ft 11″. Or he is 4ft 10″. Or just over 5ft. In fact, no one really knows. At every club he has been at his height has been put at something completely different. No one knows what his real height is. We do know one thing though, if he is only 4ft 10″ or under then he is officially a dwarf. A dwarf who plays professional football. He would still out jump Peter Crouch though.
Mr Nunez has another trick that he has only pulled off once. Shape Shifting. I have a feeling I might have to explain this as well. Here goes.
Nunez only played one game at home against Wimbledon in the league cup. He didn’t score.
Peter Reid, Sunderland manager, had got the Mackems up into the top 6 of the Premier League just after the New Year in 2000. He needed a target man to support his main front man, Kevin Phillips, and to push the team upwards in search of a Champions League place. Daniele Dichio wasn’t cutting the mustard but then again he never really did. After a bit of a search he managed to secure a man nicknamed “The Train”. A well built Columbian international who had scored 14 international goals in 37 games. A player who was nearly 6ft in height and had played for Bayern Munich. A perfect foil for Phillips. Peter Reid had signed Adolfo Valencia for a cut price 1.6m. A bargain. Or had he?
What he actually got was the Honduran 3rd highest goalscorer and 4th highest cap winner of all time for a quite frankly extortionate 1.6m. Who was also a legal dwarf. Occasionally. Reid had signed the wrong player. Nunez only played one game at home against Wimbledon in the league cup. He didn’t score. In fact, as one Sunderland fan put it, “you’d have to have been both dedicated and have an impressive ocular capacity to have spotted him”. Nunez was shipped back to Nacional Montevideo almost immediately with Sunderland and Reid trying to get their money back, even going to court, before giving up but still having to pay costs. Nunez carried on playing in Uruguay, Mexico and other South American clubs before returning to Guatemala where he still plays to this day. Peter Reid is currently without a club having been released by Plymouth a couple of months ago.
Milton Nunez. Goalscorer, occasional dwarf and a shape shifter. I can’t think of any other footballer as talented.