Vital Football

Latest Colchester United News

Why Halford can learn from Calzaghe

Why Halford can learn from Calzaghe

Young Greg will absorb penalty blow to come back as a champion

Last Saturday Joe Calzaghe pummelled his way to a 20th defence of his WBO Super Middleweight title against Peter Manfredo in Wales, winning after three rounds. Six days previous, Reading`s Greg Halford gave away a deciding penalty, after handballing against Tottenham in the Premier League. Different games, yes, but can you spot the common thread?

Sport`s harsh capacity for branding competitors as winners and losers is perhaps emphasized nowhere better than in the boxing ring, but former Colchester player Halford was dealt an almighty blow when an adjudged infringement marred his otherwise competent full debt in the Premiership.

The 22-year-old was practically in tears, because he had waited almost four months to play a first complete game for the Royals, conceding the spot-kick that lead to Robbie Keane`s match-resolving shot, taken from twelve yards out.

A week after Halford had made two successive appearances for Reading that he`d probably rather forget (one for 60 seconds against Portsmouth, the other a full ninety minutes in London), Calzaghe extended his undefeated record to 43 professional victories in front of 35,000 in his hometown Cardiff.

Both athletes are in a results business, which means being deemed only as good as the last thing you did.

Calzaghe is a serial winner; his longevity at the top is impressive. At 35, and almost half of his wins being resolved with straight knock-outs (23), the Welshman has his eye on becoming the prize-fighter with the word`s best middleweight all-time record.

It is in his sights, just four wins away from surpassing Joe Lewis`s 25 title defences. Calzaghe has never lost a professional fight in ten years, and 43 wins, which is why he famously called the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award as a prize "for losers."

"Does it bother me that I have not won it and might not? Of course not," he told the Daily Mail last year. "Maybe its because I`m a winner.

"I look at Greg Rusedski and Tim Henman and what have they ever won? No disrespect, but they are losers."

A decade of supremacy grants him the liberty of adding fuel boxing`s already blazing fire of ritual bravado, were the trade`s staple claim is that adversity stimulates successes.

Translate Joe`s triumph at the Millennium Stadium`s ringside back to the Halford saga pitchside against Spurs, however and there is a clear parallel.

Greg had the sympathy of many thousands watching on after his White Heart Lane ordeal, but the metaphor here is not that rage of the ropes can serve him well on the field. It is that he will absorb the hit, get up again, and move on.

Regardless of whether the handball was intentional or not, losing still hurts, even in the comparatively cushioned world of professional football. Yet, surmounting obstacles, in order to return stronger, is a metaphor for life, as well as sport.



Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:Matt_Us
Date:Monday April 9 2007
Time: 7:39AM

Login to post a comment

Recent Colchester United Articles

500,000+ Season Tickets Sold In 2016/17

More than 500,000 Season Tickets were sold in the Football League pyramid for the 2016/17 season.

How Do Colchester Fare In The BBC's 2016 Survey?

The BBC's Price Of Football survey for 2016 was released a week last Wednesday evening and as ever they looked at everything from the price of tickets through to the price of pies...

McGreal In Team Of The Week (28/11/16)

Colchester United are represented in the latest Football League team of the week that has been selected after this week's action.

1% Rise In Arrest Figures For 2015/16

The Home Office have now released the figures for last season when it comes to arrests at grounds and football banning orders - and it's largely good news.

Archived Vital Colchester Articles

Vital Colchester articles from

Site Journalists

Write for Vital Colchester
Write For Vital Colchester
Apply Here

Current Poll (see more polls)

Colchester v Rochdale
Suggested By:
Colchester win38%
Rochdale win50%
Draw12%

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Doncaster 19 12 3 4 39 14
2 Carlisle 19 10 8 1 38 14
3 Plymouth 19 12 2 5 38 8
4 Portsmouth 19 9 4 6 31 12
5 Luton 19 8 7 4 31 10
6 Yeovil 19 8 4 7 28 1
7 Wycombe 19 8 4 7 28 1
8 Blackpool 19 7 6 6 27 11
9 Barnet 19 6 9 4 27 0
10 Grimsby 19 7 5 7 26 2
11 Crewe 19 6 8 5 26 -3
12 Cambridge 19 7 4 8 25 -2
13 Mansfield 19 6 7 6 25 -4
14 Stevenage 18 7 3 8 24 -1
15 Colchester 19 6 5 8 23 1
16 Crawley 19 6 5 8 23 -11
17 Morecambe 19 7 2 10 23 -13
18 Hartlepool 19 5 7 7 22 -4
19 Notts County 19 6 4 9 22 -8
20 Accrington 19 5 6 8 21 -5
21 Exeter 19 6 2 11 20 -5
22 Leyton Orient 19 5 3 11 18 -5
23 Cheltenham 19 3 9 7 18 -8
24 Newport 18 4 5 9 17 -5
Write for Vital Football
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News
The Vital Football Members League

Recent Colchester United Results (view all)

Colchester United Fixtures (view all)

Dec 10 2016 3:00PM : Mansfield Town (a)
Sky Bet League Two
Dec 17 2016 3:00PM : Notts County (H)
Sky Bet League Two
Dec 26 2016 3:00PM : Luton Town (a)
Sky Bet League Two
Dec 31 2016 3:00PM : Stevenage (a)
Sky Bet League Two
Jan 2 2017 3:00PM : Cheltenham Town (H)
Sky Bet League Two
Jan 7 2017 3:00PM : Carlisle United (H)
Sky Bet League Two
Vital Football Comment