Image via WikipediaAn early kick-off on Saturday saw Man City drawing scoreless and clueless against Man United - four points behind Chelsea at the top of the Premier League.
At the end of 92 minutes Man U were 18-1 against to win the Premier league with three matches and 30 seconds remaining. 30 seconds later they were 4-1 on to win the Premier League - from quick re-action bookies. Why?
Paul Scholes had headed a goal after playing the whole game at the advanced age of 36 - an even more remarkable achievement than the header? Poor Paul's reward was a kiss from his captain, Gary Neville. A hand on each side of his face with fingers spread, the fanatical Gary gave Paul a mouth-to-mouth. I dare you to have a look !
See Scholes header.
The importance of the last gasp goal was increased when later in the same afternoon Chelsea lost 2-0 to Spurs and reduced the former team's Premiership lead to one point with 3 matches to play.
In Sunday's punditry on this match Paul Merson made the usual obeisance to Andy Gray about heading the ball. The prevailing myth promoted by Sky commentators, especially by Andy himself, is that he, Andy, is the best header of the ball since Adam first headed the apple in the Garden of Eden. Merson said,
"That would have been a difficult one even for Andy"
Merson and Andy Gray were watching video of Scholes's header. Personally, I think that Scholes was so knackered that when he saw a fuzzy mass coming towards his head he tried to nod it away.
He connected. Fortunately, it was the matchball. Its trajectory was magnificent. Gray said, "It takes a great header to beat Given (Man City goalie). And so, there was no mistake, Scholes was an accomplished hero - for in the machismo of heading the ball Andy Gray is the doyen.
I'll tell you what - in my day we had to head a leather ball with leather laces manually threaded through eyelets. And on a wet day the porous leather gathered weight. Only fools would head it, but when you had to be a fool - it felt like heading the steelwork of the Tyne Bridge. Moisture and blood spurted from the contact. The blood showed that you had hit the network of laces with your forehead or even the top of your skull.
Believe me when I say that more fundamental research is needed on the onset of Alzheimer's Disease.