Political Football

Political Football

We don’t have to remind you about the election because it has immersed your every day life whether you like it or not. Co-workers right and left arguing, canvassers stopping you in the street. You can’t even drive to work without a giant Nigel Farage telling you that ‘Brexit means Brexit’ where your favourite chocolate is normally advertised.

You may have been coming to Sparta Spotlight for a release, for your weekly fix of all thing’s goalkeeping with absolutely no chance of politics ever making an appearance. You will be disappointed.

They say sport and politics should never miss, but in keeping with the theme of the week we look at goalkeepers who have swapped the penalty area for the political arena.  


Peter Shilton v Peter Reid

The two former teammates fought for a common goal back in the 1986 World Cup as England were eliminated at the Quarter Final stages in famously controversial fashion by Diego Maradona’s left-arm. However, Shilton and Reidy have been at odds over Twitter in regard to their views on Brexit.

Ex-Sunderland boss Peter Reid has been unashamedly anti-Brexit on his social media account and has referenced his lifelong support of Labour in his autobiography as well as his Twitter account. Rather than take his frustration out on the old nemesis of South America, Shilton took to Twitter to show his disdain towards Britain’s currently tenuous membership of the European Union.

Peter Shilton went to Twitter to show his admiration of Dickensian Factory Owner, Jacob Rees-Mogg:

Have been so impressed with @Jacob_Rees_Mogg @Conservatives @itvnews with interviews in the last few days. He really knows what he is talking about and puts it across in a calm and calculated manner!

Reid was quick with his rebuttal and called into question the integrity of Shilt’s new idol, tweeting:

“I’ll agree to disagree on that one Goalie. He’s loopy, doesn’t know his arse from his elbow.”

Don’t be surprised to see more Twitter exchanges between the two in the coming days.


Scott Higgins - Australia United... I mean United Australia

Scott Higgins would go one better than airing his political views on social media, by actually standing as a political candidate in a general election. Although his political tenure, much like his playing career was pretty uninspiring.

Higgins, who retired in 2011, spent most of his career in his native Australia in the NSL and its rebirth as the A-League, but did have a brief spell at Falkirk in the 2006/07 season. He disliked Scotland so much (this is probably not actually the case) that he would become a champion of Australian Nationalism.

In the 2013 Federal Election, Higgins stood for the United Australia Party (now Palmer United Party) representing his home state of Queensland, but was unsuccessful in his campaign along with the wider party as the right-wing conservative group placed fourth in the national election.


Jim Platt Cllr

Jim Platt was a part of the Ayresome Park furniture from 1971-1983 and remains the fifth highest appearance maker and was an ever-present in goal in ‘Boro’s promotion to the top flight in 1974 under Bobby Charlton.

The Northern Ireland international would go back to play in his home country after leaving the club but has lived in Middlesbrough ever since he hung up his gloves, managing North East clubs Darlington and Gateshead in that time.

Such was his love of the area, Platt nobly stood in the 2019 local council elections as an independent candidate in his Kalder ward, as he wanted to make it ‘a safer, cleaner and hopefully an even nicer place to live.’

The popular Teesside figure emerged victorious from the ballot in May and preserves his iconic status in the area.

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