I have made some pretty reckless and off the cuff comments in my lifetime, a lot of which start with a ‘’if that happens then I will’’ stream of conversation.
Indeed many a sportsman has been the cause of me singing Take That songs in sparkly cobbler, drinking inconceivable cocktails and doing a whole manner of things just for kicks that should probably stay off this medium. Names such as Giancarlo Fisichella, Micah Richards and Juan Roman Riquelme will always resonate with me on a completely different level to the everyday sport follower.
So this trend is something I have tried to hold back from since entering this profession, as there doesn’t come much more ‘on the record’ a statement then one published online for the entire world to witness.
The example of Henry Winter, chief football writer at the Daily Telegraph, also gives credence to my anxieties. After claiming Mike Ashley would never give Alan Pardew a long-term commitment to the Newcastle job and if that did transpire he would take a dip in the Tyne as punishment those words have now come back to sting, probably more literary then you can imagine considering the potential temperature in the river.
But a man of his word he is and after Pardew was handed an unprecedented eight-year-deal he admitted it was ‘time for a dip in the Tyne’.
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew sent him a congratulatory note about the gesture and a Newcastle United club scarf to help dry off. While it was all in good fun Henry took the opportunity to raise some money for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation in the process. The legendary ex-Newcastle and Ipswich Town boss passed away aged 76 after a long battle with cancer.
The foundation helps with the early treatment and detection of cancer and will have had some personal resonance to Winter. A regular on Sky Sports journalist discussion show The Sunday Supplement he was a close acquaintance of both Brian Woolnough, the legendary journalist and ex-presenter of the show and the Daily Mail’s chief football writer Danny Fullbrook. Both recently passed away tragically too soon from the disease at the respective ages of 63 and 40.
So well done to Henry Winter for being a man of his word and raising money for a magnificent cause.
Tyne swum... Alan Pardew sent a nice letter - and an #nufc towel
image: © machernucha