In Praise of Small Things

We live in an era where everything seems to be getting bigger; cars, aircraft, wine glasses, coffee cups, even people.  Rugby players in the world seem to be huge mountains of muscle, footballers too have grown taller, stronger, faster, fitter. But I was beginning to wonder if the beautiful game had perhaps lost something.  That is until this weekend.

I have been fortunate enough to have seen some of the all time footballing greats either live or on video.  Di Stephano, Puskas (172 cms), Pele (173 cms), Johan Cruyff (178 cms), Maradona (165 cms) the best of them seem to peak at around 5 ft 10 inches but to be fair Zinedine Zedane (185 cms) and Ronhaldinho (181cms) are exceptions.  Nevertheless Lionel Messi’s goal in the Copa del Rey final on Saturday was a thing of mesmerising genius. One of the smallest players on the park, 170cms, Messi darted through the defence leaving defenders sprawling in his wake with the ball seemingly glued to his boots before unleashing an unstoppable shot. Small can be beautiful, and if you think Messi’s goal was a fluke take a look at the fifth goal here.

These wee wonders have lit up football for as long as I can remember. Even in Scotland we have had our share of tiny terrors. Jinky Johnstone, Willie Henderson, Archie Gemmil, wee guys with a touch of genius in their feet and we miss them.

Have a look on You Tube there are loads more, celebrate the small.

My work background is in operational meteorology and in my career I have been involved in forecasting for everything from bananas to jumbo jets.I joined the Met Office 1974 as an observer at Glasgow Airport. After training as a forecaster, I worked as an Operational aviation forecaster at various defence sites and airports. In 1982, I moved to Glasgow Weather Centre as a forecaster and STV broadcaster till 1988. He then took up a post as Senior Forecaster London Weather Centre, then Senior Forecaster ITV where I qualified as a trainer in presentation techniques for the ITV Association. After being diagnosed with MS, he moved into management and became Head of London Weather Centre in 1997 followed by a period of front-line management for Southern England and Europe covering London and Cardiff Weather Centres and the Met Offices on defence stations from Akrotiri in Cyprus to St Mawgan in Cornwall. He took up the post of Met Office Chief Advisor for Scotland & Northern Ireland in March 2008 and moved to Edinburgh. I retired in September 2014. My one claim to fame is once performed a comedy sketch on TV with Manuel (Andrew Sachs) from Fawlty Towers in support of Comic Relief.

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Posted in Comment, Football, Messi, Sharing

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