Chris Powell - a true gent
I wonder what Chris Powell will be thinking after spending today's West Ham game
against Sheffield United on the bench. True he did only sign
on Friday but Rufus Brevitt is a tidy player and will be tough to remove in a space of 4 weeks.
I had the great pleasure to spend 10 days with Chris and his beautiful wife and little girl in Sardinia once after we met on the first night of both of our summer's holiday. He was a very fine person indeed, about as normal as you are going to get in a modern day professional but as he said, after being shown the door at Sainsbury's
and then playing on loan at Aldershot, he was not exactly born with the proverbial silver football at his feet.
I must admit I haven't come across many footballers in my time, although I do count Rob Lee as a mate and I did have a pint with Scott Minto & Anthony Barness in Henrys, Bromley on a couple of occasions and then there was Phil Warman's niece who I went out with many moons ago - some of my mates took great delight in telling me that they could see the resemblance mind!
However Chris Powell was a very intelligent & fun bloke and it was just after his first call up for England and he told us the story of him being so nervous that he turned up at the hotel the squad were staying at 3 hours early and proceeded to wait in his car for the next player to appear who then happened to be David Beckham. Powell said his legs just went very wobbly at the sight of the young protege greeting him in a car park.
I have a photo of me and Ronaldo (the goofy one) in my apartment in Chicago which was taken from the same holiday. The Inter Milan players were using the hotel's spa as part of a summer break and I didn't know who was more star-struck, me or Chris?
We did swap numbers but I never kept in touch, unless you call cheering from the East Stand at the sight of him jumping out of the tunnel after a home victory. Another great memory of him was his first game back at Derby after we signed him. I have never seen an opposing player get such a long and rousing reception. Good luck Chris, you deserve it.