Interesting to contrast Dean Windass and Gary Speed, the day after Mancini aims to emulate Rooney – not even with any apparent irony. Mancini is the kind of superstar fashionista dipstick the game could do without, as opposed to Phil Brown, speaking up here for Deano. It’s a funny old game, more important than life and death some have said, and City’s points tally pales into insignificance in my book.
Gary Speed was so much the cerebral professional – player, manager and TV pundit, that you can only agree his suicide – with signs not even seen by closest friends – was inexplicable. Some specific trigger beyond career depression, surely. Deano, never the brightest or most eloquent communicator always seemed to be struggling with (but enjoying) his Sky TV match reporter role, you nevertheless had to smile along with him and Jeff Stelling; he was after all a good-old-fashioned centre-forward at the end of his career, not a rocket-scientist.
I’v always liked Deano, even a match I recall when he became the bogey-man-we-love-to-hate for most Royals supporters. In April 2004 (Bantams vs Royals) Ivar Ingimarsson was the inexperienced but promising defender and the seasoned centre-forward niggled away at him for an hour before Ivar responded with a frustrated but deliberate kick – and got the first red-card of his career, on the losing side, naturally.
You can understand the career-end depression, drinking, gambling, spending almost all he’d ever earned – not that uncommon we are led to believe. But suicide? You could learn a lot from Deano. Ivar did. It’s a game.