Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

One More Game, Just for the Gaffer

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

One More Game, Just for the Gaffer

Article excerpt

INJURED and in his 60th year, Peter Shilton hobbled out at St James' Park determined to play one more time for "the gaffer".

It was last year's re-run of the Italia 90 World Cup semi-final between England and West Germany for Sir Bobby Robson's cancer charity. Frail and pale, Sir Bobby was pushed in a wheelchair to shake the hands of Shilton and his comrades to tumultuous applause. Days later the great man was dead.

Shilton is eternally grateful that he actually made the effort to play last July despite an injury that cried out for commonsense and a seat in the stand.

"I didn't fully realise how bad the gaffer was until I met him at St James' Park," Peter told me.

"When I shook his hand and called him gaffer he looked up at me. I was desperate that he recognised me but I wasn't sure, not until he waved his hat at Don Howe and Howard Wilkinson. I knew then he knew us all.

"I was so glad I played. I had a thigh injury and should never have been on the pitch, but with hindsight it was the best thing I ever did. …

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