If Roy Race was every fan's ideal
footballer.... then Morris Keston is every person's ideal fan....
I have been searching and searching and
looking for that suitable analogy... and the more I read about Morris
Keston, the more fantastical it becomes. Every watching football
supporter wants to become like Roy Race.... but much more in reality,
they want to become Morris Keston.
Now I'm a keen footballer.... and an even
keener football fan. I scream for my team on a weekly basis.
I raise my eyes heavenwards at ten to five every Saturday afternoon and
I either curse or I praise that God of football.... has he blessed me
for my good deed's in this past week? Have I worn my team shirt
faithfully like the holy cloth that it is? To be honest, I don't
think I could ever have done enough, because my God, he was blessing
someone else for the past fifty years. And that someone else was
Yeah - me too? Who? I have
followed my team, and my National Team faithfully for years, and I never
came across the name of Morris Keston. I don't know why, I guess
our paths just did not cross.... but I have no idea why not. This
guy has been everywhere. If there wasn't photographic evidence or
witness testimony, then this would be a crazy story, Roy Race-esque.
But even Roy of the Rovers had a real life impersonator, almost, in the
likes of the great Stanley Matthews. So why not a Superfan.
Its a brilliant read. It's what
every fan wants to be. And could be. Told from a time when
Football players were accessible. From when wages were identical,
before locked gates, super cars and security camera's became the norm.
Every fan's dream, or so you'd believe,
is to be able to tell the manager what to do. Keston did. He
instigated transfers, such as Geoff Hurst's move to Stoke City. He
set up testimonial matches, like that of the great Bobby Moore. He
almost, just almost, became the chairman of Tottenham Hotspur. But
he was just a fan, who became a people's person, he became a
footballer's person. Taking in youngsters like Graeme Souness
under his wing. Guiding them in the topsy-turvey world of
Football. But it was this likeness of footballers that got Keston
into Las Vegas, onto Sinatra's plane. How the hell does that
happen in the normal world?
My conclusion is... this can only ever be
a story. It cannot be an inspiration, because those days are gone.
Stanley Matthews is an inspiration, because if you train like that,
morning, noon and night, you can be as good as he was, Wayne Rooney is
the modern-day example. But the only way you can get into any
clubs boardroom is by having the finances to do so.
Now, in 2010, the equivalent of a
Superfan is someone who has subscribed to both Sky Sports and
Long live Morris Keston and all that he
stands for. The true superfan.
Superfan is a collection of
wonderful anecdotes and stories from one of football’s – and England's
– great characters.
Morris Keston was once just a regular football fan,
but then he started befriending the Spurs players (sometimes by
following them out of the ground and sitting next to them on the
bus!). By the time the 1966 World Cup came around Bobby Moore and
Jimmy Greaves were popping round for tea between training sessions,
and when Spurs reached numerous cup finals in the seventies and
eighties the players from both teams would flock to his wild
after-match party instead of the club’s official dos.
Beyond football he became friends with the likes of
Frank Sinatra and Muhammad Ali. He regularly travelled to Vegas in
Sinatra's private jet and still goes into a cold sweat when recalling
the time Stirling Moss gave him a lift and reversed down a narrow
street at 90mph.
He had a whole chapter devoted to him in Hunter
Davies’s classic sports tome The Glory Game, but now the
amazing adventures of Morris Keston at last have a book of their own.
- Vision Sport synopsis
To buy: Vision