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I don’t BELIEVE it

We learned today that Wayne Rooney – who retired from international football before the World Cup – is to return to the England set-up as captain for a one-off friendly match against the USA at Wembley.

This is a total travesty in my humble opinion.

International squads should surely and exclusively be selected via the principle of “the best and most in form players at the time” – and not on the basis of “Let’s give any superannuated former player now retired the opportunity to strut the international stage one more time just out of sentiment, loyalty … and maybe because it would make a bit of money for his charity and also maybe help to grow the game in the United States”.

However, I guess if this is a sign of the way things are going, I suppose there’s no reason why we shouldn’t run with it – there’d be some up-sides, after all …

I look forward with barely-concealed enthusiasm to seeing the likes of Bobby Charlton, Mick Channon, Gazza and Peter Shilton tread the green sward of the new Wembley for one last cap each; in rugby, why should not David Duckham, John Spencer, Billy Beamont and Mickey Skinner hobble out onto the turf of Twickenham Stadium one more time; in tennis, why not Roger Taylor, Virginia Wade, Angela Mortimer and Fred Perry [oh sorry, he’s dead, isn’t he? Still, never mind …] on Centre Court at Wimbledon; whilst in the purest sport of all – cricket – why should we not see Ted Dexter, Geoffrey Boycott, Alan Knott and, of course, the majestic sight of the great Fred Rumsey opening the bowling on the slope at Lords again … just to show the youngsters what our national games should be all about?  You never know, it might even inspire the next generation …

[Give me strength …!]

About Tom Hollingworth

Tom Hollingsworth is a former deputy sports editor of the Daily Express. For many years he worked in a sports agency, representing mainly football players and motor racing drivers. Tom holds a private pilot’s licence and flying is his principal recreation. More Posts