All in the Game: Tony Yeboah’s death greatly exaggerated
Meanwhile, some harsh Celtic player ratings and the ‘action’ of a partner’s waters breaking
Former Leeds United player Tony Yeboah was wrongly reported to have died. Photo: Phil Cole/Allsport
“When I heard it, I was so surprised,” said former Ghana (and Leeds) striker Tony Yeboah.
What did he hear? That, well, he was dead.
“If I were dead, then you’re speaking to a ghost,” he said when asked about his ‘passing’.
The yarn appeared to originate with houstonchronicle-tv.com who claimed that Yeboah’s wife Tarsha confirmed that he had died at 2.13am last Monday in Maryland Community Hospital in the United States after suffering seizures at a hotel.
Except Yeboah was back home in Ghana, hale and hearty.
The trusty old Houston Chronicle was widely blamed for the ‘fake news’, but they have zero connection with houstonchronicle-tv.com, a website that has a bit of history on this front. Already this year they have ‘reported’ that American Gospel Singer Don Moen had died (he hadn’t) and that Celine Dion’s son was one of the victims of the Las Vegas shootings (he wasn’t). Yeboah, then, is in gloriously wacky company.
Happily, he’s alive and kicking. As Ghana’s Savannah News 24 reported, “Yeboah has vehemently denied the rumour of his death”. No need for the ‘vehemently’ business, really. Him just talking should have done the trick.
Bet they didn’t see this coming
SkyBet are offering some ‘gambling responsibly’ advice at the moment, in which they suggest three ‘tools’ to avoid getting yourself in trouble – ‘Deposit Limits’, ‘Cool-off Periods’ and ‘Self-exclusion’.
Phil Thompson, Charlie Nicholas and Matt Le Tissier wouldn’t want to be sensitive, though. For it is images of themselves that are used for the graphic advertising this good advice. Under the caption: ‘3 Simple Tools’.
Boyata hardly rates a mention
The New York Times had an article last year on the business of player ratings in newspapers and how some footballers probably take them a bit more seriously than they should. L’Equipe writer Vincent Duluc recalled former French international Willy Sagnol, for example, being especially animated about them.
“He used to text or call reporters – sometimes even at half-time, but more generally right after a match ended – demanding to know what marks would show up in the next day’s paper. He would always say: ‘What am I getting? What am I getting?’. One time it was bad, and he was told, ‘You’re getting a four.’ He said, ‘Forget you know my phone number,’ and hung up.”
All you can hope is that Celtic’s Belgian defender Dedryck Boyata isn’t as sensitive. Not that any of his team-mates fared a whole lot better in L’Equipe’s infamously brutal ratings following that 7-1 mauling by Paris Saint-Germain, five of them getting a two. But, yes, poor Boyata got …. a one.
If L’Equipe ever had his number, you suspect it has since changed.
Word of Mouth
“If you said as much as ‘how are you?’ to him, he would then be injured for two and a half months.” – Emmanuel Adebayor somewhat suggesting that his former Arsenal comrade Tomas Rosicky was a bit on the brittle side.
By the Numbers
700,000,000: That’s the buyout clause, in Euros, in Lionel Messi’s new Barcelona contract. A better bargain than anything you got on Black Friday.
Quotes of the Week
“Probably straight after the game. Then an hour later David Gallop (the head of the Australian Football Federation) convinced me not to. Then an hour later, I changed my mind again. Then five beers later I didn’t know where I was.” – Ange Postecoglou on being driven to drink as he tried to decide whether to quit as coach of World Cup-bound Australia. He opted to resign in the end, but you’d never know, he might change his mind again.
“I want to win the Champions League with PSG and then the World Cup. These are my biggest dreams at this moment. And then who knows, maybe I’m going to get married.” – Heading up the aisle comes a poor third in Neymar’s list of priorities.
“People who don’t watch the game and see the score think ‘goodness me, 7-1’. But in a strange way there were lots of good moments in this game for us.” – Brendan Rodgers, as only Brendan Rodgers could, finds some positives in Celtic’s throttling by PSG.
“It’s unfashionable for an Englishman to be [an out-and-out striker], but if you have a foreign name – someone like Olivier Giroud – he’s exactly what an archetypal English centre-forward is. He’s big, he’s strong, he holds the ball up, he gets in the box and scores headers and goals. Because he’s got a fancy French name he’s viewed differently to, say, a Troy Deeney.” – Brighton’s Glenn Murraix.
“Some guys said to me ‘if the gaffer comes to the dressing room, say to him ‘hello Scottish bastard’. I said it and everybody was laughing. Fergie as well. He smiled because he understood I didn’t speak English very well. He said: ‘Next time, not like this, don’t speak like this’.” – Andrei Kanchelskis on how his first day at Manchester United might well have been his last.
“When you’re 25-years-old and you’ve played with Brazil and Barcelona, you have to ask yourself a little what you’re doing in France, where you will play against Guingamp or Amiens.” – Eric Cantona questioning the wisdom of Neymar’s move to PSG, and gravely insulting Guingamp and Amiens in the process.
“No, this game can never end 4-4.” – A slightly incredulous Borussia Dortmund manager Peter Bosz after watching his side lead Schalke 4-0. And end up drawing 4-4.
“If you want to talk about buses, the bus I know best is Raymond Domenech’s.” – Claudio Ranieri responds to Domenech’s criticism of Nantes’ ‘park the bus’ performance against PSG with a reference to that mutiny at the 2010 World Cup when Domenech’s French squad refused to leave their bus or training. That’s what you call the mother of all burns.
Tweet of the Week
We’ll go with this slightly exasperated offering from the Essex Police Force Control Room. Yes, not-so-bubbly West Hammers were, apparently, ringing 999 after their defeat to Watford.
‘What’s your location?’
‘Bottom three, mate.’
In fairness, that’s the mother of all emergencies.
Colclough’s watershed moment
If you missed last week’s story about Wigan’s Ryan Colclough then there’s a fair chance you have a life, but the rest of us learned that he scored twice against Doncaster before being substituted because he wanted to get to the birth of his son.
There were one or two grumbles about him giving up on the chance of a third goal, but most wished the fella well, reckoning that two goals and an 8lb 6oz Harley Thomas on the one night equalled the ultimate hat-trick.
“As soon as the second goal went in he was off the pitch, because his head was somewhere else,” said assistant manager Leam Richardson. “We’re all men, we’re all individuals...some of the players wouldn’t have gone...they’d be still in the dressing room now.”
Ryan, though, was intent on being there for Harvey’s arrival. How did he know it was imminent?
“Just before I scored, I see my dad over in the stands and he gave me the action like ‘the waters had broken’, so my head was a little bit battered.”
We’re way too afraid to ask, but we will always wonder: what ‘action’ did Ryan’s father give him to indicate that his partner’s waters had broken? The mind is boggling.