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Archives for October 2009
So when was the last time you saw a major Premier League footballer on public transport? It's probably as rare a sighting as Elvis in your local Tesco.
But if you happened to be on the Piccadilly Line travelling to Arsenal station for Lee Dixon's testimonial game against Real Madrid on 8 November 1999 and the bloke in a smart suit sitting opposite you looked vaguely familiar... well that's because it was in fact - Lee Dixon.
This surprising revelation came as the former Gunners and England right-back and I were took a nostalgic walk from Highbury to the Emirates as part of 5 live Sport's birthday tribute to his old boss - Arsene Wenger at 60.
The bloke in the accreditations office at the O2 couldn't resist his little joke. "Blimey, there are more of you here than there are in the FIG delegation!"
(The FIG, in case you were wondering, isn't a representative body of biscuit manufacturers. It stands for the Federation Internationale de Gymnastique - they love their acronyms, these world governing sporting bodies.)
To be fair, you could see his point. What on earth were BBC Radio 5 live doing bringing their tennis, boxing and racing correspondents, two British handball players, three former Olympians in swimming, athletics and table tennis, the four times champion national hunt trainer and an ex-flat jockey - oh, and a presenter and a handful of producers and engineers - to the men's all-around final at the World Gymnastics Championships?
If sport has ever had a moral high ground, it has felt in the last couple of months as if some of its top stars have been hurtling towards its foothills quicker than an Olympic downhill skier.
An F1 driver is ordered to crash his car, a rugby union player is cut deliberately to cover up cheating, a top striker admits he "exaggerates" his reaction to fouls. Has trust in what we see on the field of play hit an all-time low?