Saturday, February 28, 2009

Retro For The Nation: Stuff You Don't See In Team Photographs Anymore. Part, The Second.

Number Two (... in an occasional, on-going, series):
Disco-Shit, baby!

This is Scunthorpe United's 1970-71 First Team Squad - and, yes, that is indeed a twelve year old Kevin Keegan second from the left in the second row, sporting a very fine showroom dummy bouffant and a rather appealing wide-eyed-and-innocent expression on his dish. But, it is not future England captains, European Footballer of the Years and Newcastle United icons that so much concern us here, dear blog reader. Rather, it's the overpowering stench of Pagan Man and Head and Shoulder shampoo that must have wafted through the dressing room and corridors of The Old Show Ground in them a-far off days. It must've minged till yer eyes watered.

The front row proves two - fine - examples of the Charlie Cooke (Chelsea and Scotland)-style of early 1970s footballer look. Impressive Zapata moustache; neat, nicely-parted hair, showing the early signs of having gone from being washed, once a fortnight, with wire-wool and carbolic to yer actual use of 'product' and, (though it was still early days, of course) starting to become fashionably collar-length ('just like them poufs off Top Of The Pops, Arthur. I'm tellin' ya, I can't tell the centre-halves from the inside-rights these days'); shorts slung low on the hips, giving the visual impression of being a rebel without a cause but with a devastating body-swerve and decent cross-to-the-back-stick. (And, total bonus for all the ladies, casually fantastic down the local discothèque grooving to Atomic Rooster in ones twenty-seven inch Dan Dares before nipping back to ones Get Carter-style pad for a quick game of Hide The Sausage.) The guy standing between our two proto-members of Cockney Rebel, give one a hint of just how far we had come in such a short space of time. I'll bet he was the midfield hard-man. Albeit, the influence of Slade can certainly be detected in his significant use of sideburns as a weapon and a buffer-zone.

Two rows further back, directly behind Little Kev, are two marginally different, but equally popular, 'Disco-Shit, baby' looks. There's the Peter Sutcliffe-lookalike sporting the full 'tashe, sidies and goatee 'Jesus of Nazareth' look which always went so well when wearing either an Afghan coat or a crushed-velvet flares and That Shirt combination and, always, reeking of Old Spice. Or, playing keyboards with Hawkwind for that matter. Next to him is, it would appear, someone who once failed an audition for The Temptations (probably because he was, like, white) but, decided to keep the Psychedelic Shack-era hairstyle anyway. Add in two really ugly goalkeepers (one with massive ears which probably gave him an inferiority complex and explains why he was playing for Scunthorpe and not, you know, somebody decent) and the vaguely cool-looking blond kid in the front row who looks like he's the one in the team who listens to The Rolling Stones and you've got, pretty much, a microcosm of 1971 Alpha-Male typology.

Next time on Stuff You Simply Don't See In Football Team Photographs Anymore, a team full of dirty, cheating bastards.
     ... Hang on ... That'll be this lot, then, surely?
Or. alternatively, something you definitely don't see nowadays, Newcastle United with a trophy.