Sunday, August 10, 2014

George Weah's cousin

Our World of Football 14 EP (a free download on Bandcamp, though you can donate some pennies if you like) features a track about that great 90s footballer, Ali Dia. Here is the entry from Brewer's Rogues, Villains and Eccentrics that informed the lyrics (it's full of inaccuracies, but we get the gist from it - I would advise reading the Wiki and other pages, like this on The Football Supernova, for context):

Dia, Ali (1968- ), footballer and impostor. Dia was an enthusiastic, but unskilful, part-time footballer whom Barry Jackson, the manager of Blyth Spartan - a club in the lower leagues - was happy to release after a few games. Some months later Jackson was surprised to see Dia playing in a Premiership game televised on Match of the Day. Ali Dia's moment of glory came after Graeme Souness, the manager of Southampton Football Club, apparently received a telephone call from George Weah, the Liberian international and former Footballer of the Year. Souness would be well advised, said Weah, to take a look at Dia, whom he described as a Senegalese international of outstanding talent, now living in England. The phone call was followed by one apparently from the French international, David Ginola, who seconded this advice. Weah and Ginola were not people to disregard, so Souness engaged Dia without a trial and played him against Manchester United. He missed an open goal and was otherwise careful not to get too involved, so Souness substituted him after 20 minutes. At the end of the season Souness let him go. Dia then joined Gravesend, another club in the lower leagues, turning out twice in the reserves before being released again. It was then discovered that he was a mature student taking a course in business studies at Newcastle University, but he continued to deny that he had impersonated Weah and Ginola on the telephone to Graeme Souness.
  'At least he played in the Premiership,' said his former manager at Blyth Spartan, 'which is more than I ever did.'

(Note: Ali Dia ended up not at Gravesend but Gateshead, as this article explains)

No comments:

Post a Comment