Date:Monday March 3 2008
The football fraternity woke up on Saturday morning to find that Colchester`s Teddy Sheringham, the ex-Man Utd, Spurs, West Ham & Portsmouth player, had announced his retirement.
As Monday draws to a close, the past 48 hours have seen the tributes begin to roll in from papers to web pages, along with a host of speculation.
Will Teddy want to be a manager? He has never denied that he would love the chance to manage Spurs, just not yet. The message boards are alive with frantic figure-tapping which suggests he ought to be made a coach in London. Others have ventured that he might do a similar job in Essex, or indeed back at Millwal when he is still the club`s all-time leading marksman.
Whatever he decides to do -and whenever he decides to do it - the reaction to his decision to quit at the end of the season has been met with a celebration and praise for his fruitful career.
The Daily Mail begins by reminding readers just how long ago it all began for Super Ted, remarking that comedian Tommy Cooper died on stage with Eric Morcambe soon to follow in the year the forward hit his first goal for the Lions.
The Football 365website also hit the sweet spot when they review Teddy`s tenure in the Beautiful Game, arguing that he had a fair about him. Their columnist Jon Nickolson says: "He puts the lie to the notion that has become a default belief for many today, that before English clubs bought in overseas talent, every Englishman was a football Neanderthal, unable to control the ball or do anything other than run around like a lunatic. Teddy had the ability, style and class of any Spaniard or Frenchman playing today."
Teddy adapted well to the demands of a modern game which began to change, according to the Mail`s own Steve Curry, who adds in a column: "The more cynical might say that since he never had pace, he couldn't lose it and there is substance to the argument. But it is a testimony to his other qualities that he survived the increasing demands for almost a quarter of a century."
The forward`s close friend Tony Cascerino in a piece for the Times, the one which actually broke the news on Saturday morning, argues that Teddy`s lamented lack of pace barred him from being an even better player than he has already been. "In an era when pace is so crucial up front, he survived and flourished even though he was never quick. If he had been blessed with speed, he would have been as good as Marco van Basten because he has so many natural gifts."
And so it goes on; this, obviously, is the end of a long goodbye but it is worth remembering that Teddy will no longer be in action three months from now. Steve Curry from the Mail ends his article by recalling how Sheringham beat the odds of a casual stereotype to win a place in the nation`s hearts, first at Euro `96, and then with Manchester United when he helped them to beat Bayern Munich in 1999.
"The writer Rod Liddle," Curry recalls, "saw his debut all those years ago and wrote the following lines: 'I remember musing to myself with the prescience and good judgment that have always been my stock in trade: 'Now, there's a slow, lazy ponce who won't amount to anything'.
'I had forgotten that crucial ingredient, intelligence, which Sheringham has in spades. One day soon, he will be a fine manager, one of our greatest, perhaps."
Maybe, just maybe, Liddle might be right.
Date:Monday March 3 2008
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