Her Maj recently revealed her birthday honours list and once again there were some glaring omissions. Gary Barlow got a gong for organising a sing-along whilst golfer Luke Donald was awarded an MBE for sometimes getting into the top ten of majors.
In the world of football on this occasion there was nobody honoured which perhaps is a blessing as it would no doubt have been yet another member of the Manchester United ‘99 side. David May perhaps.
Here at the Cutter we’ve decided to dish out some medals of our own to those who truly deserve them.
Posthumous knighthood – Brian Clough
Arise Sir Cloughie. Before his sad passing Old Big ‘Ead’s anti-establishment credentials meant he was limited to an OBE in the real world and was criminally deprived of a much-deserved knighthood (not to mention being denied his rightful place in the England dug-out).
It’s time to right some wrongs whilst also bestowing upon the great man the freedom of football. Which means he can graze his sheep upon any pitch he likes. Or something.
Life Peerage – Jimmy Armfield
A one-club man who is beloved and respected throughout the game there can be no better individual to don the ermine and join the baronial ranks. Jimmy has never put a foot wrong in sixty years of football and though he may be a CBE beyond these pages with a fine statue outside Bloomfield Road to boot additionally to the Cutter he is the Honourable Lord Armfield.
KBE – Pat Rice
Since 1966 the unassuming Irishman has been a diligent and respectful servant to the game and aside from four seasons at Vicarage Road it has entirely been spent at Arsenal as first a player then a coach. That’s forty-two years of unstinting service. This summer the long-time assistant to Arsene Wenger is stepping down – or rather standing up – from his spot on the bench and we can think of no better candidate to receive a Cutter knighthood than this rare example of loyal integrity.
MBE (Mainstay of the British Empire) – Tim Gudgin
For six decades Tim Gudgen brought millions of strangers either happiness of sorrow but always with impeccable intonation. The veteran broadcaster – who retired last year at the age of 81 – began at the BBC reading out horse racing results but became best known for his sixteen years reading out the football results on Grandstand and Final Score. His trademark elongated manner of saying ‘Nil’ can still easily be summoned merely by closing the eyes and it became possible to anticipate how the away team had fared by the mellifluous rise and fall of the way he announced the home team’s score. It was a familiar and comforting rhythm that a nation silently flowed along to each and every Saturday teatime – a mainstay of Britain.
Even today in his twilight years Tim is putting his voice to good affect, reading out newspapers for the blind in Australia.
CBE (Class of the British Empire) – Matt Le Tissier
For services to genius. For standing tall amidst the dross and long-ball cloggers of the era. For showing us that Englishmen can produce the sublime and the spectacular. Le Tiss, we salute and honour you.
OBE (Often overlooked of the British Empire) – Kenneth Knights
Following a lifetime of diligent work with Bradford City’s disability football club Kenneth now runs the team. The 61 year old is a carer to several of the players and often spends his days off collecting and dropping off the players around the city.
Representing the thousands of other unsung heroes whose dedication and passion keeps the grassroots of the game thriving the modest man from Haworth is a worthy recipient of our inaugural Cutter OBE.
Unlike Barlow he presumably pays more than 1% tax too. Just saying.