Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Cartoons on TV? No Thanks It's Boro All the Way for Me

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Cartoons on TV? No Thanks It's Boro All the Way for Me

Article excerpt

IN every edition of Boro Extra we profile a Boro supporter who loves all things MFC. This week's spotlight shines on Paul Oliver, who now resides in Perth, Australia, after moving from Marske.

TELL US YOUR BRIEF LIFE STORY AS A BORO FAN I WAS brought up with Boro in the same way that my son is now getting introduced to a lifelong love/hate relationship with the club. I was given a bib as a baby with the words 'dribble like a Boro star'across the front. I kicked my first football parading my then Heritage Hampers mini-kit at the local park. And I was brainwashed to think watching the Boro highlights on the box was better than watching whatever cartoon was on the kids' channels. Boro fans are born to appreciate where they are from and what being a Boro fan really means.

WHO IS YOUR ALL?TIME FAVOURITE BORO PLAYER? THERE have been some great players to pull on a Boro shirt. It makes it really difficult to narrow it down to one.

As a kid, I grew up admiring the likes of John Hendrie, Paul Wilkinson, Tommy Wright and Alan Moore among many others.

And we played some great football in the early 90s, most memorably the 4-1 home victory over the then champions and local rivals Leeds United, who had Eric Cantona pulling the strings.

Then you had that amazing side featuring Emerson, Ravanelli and Juninho, who I though was the best player to ever strut his stuff for the Boro.

But my favourite all-time Boro player would have to be Craig Hignett. He scored for fun from deep-lying midfield positions and really made the team tick.

He scored the first ever goal at the Riverside Stadium and I was there to see it.

But one thing that sticks in my mind is the loyalty he showed the club when he stayed on Teesside despite taking a huge pay-cut. You might expect that from a local lad, but from an adopted Scouser who has proclaimed his love for the area and the football club, it showed immense character.

WHO IS YOUR BORO VILLAIN? IT might be an unpopular choice with some, but I would have to say Paul Merson. Boro took a gamble on a player whose name had been dragged through the mud at a time when nobody else would touch him. Bringing in a player of his calibre was obviously a coup for the club when we were looking to bounce straight back up to the Premier League.

Merson joined a club that also had Paul Gascoigne and Bryan Robson, who themselves were known to have addictive personalities. Alarm bells should have been ringing.

There was no doubting his on-field impact though as he put in a stellar year.

But it was what happened after that season that leaves a bad taste in my mouth. The club had put everything on the line to rescue a player who on the face of things had thrown it all away, but were repaid by him leaving for a more lucrative offer at the season's end. …

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