Saturday, April 10, 2010

The illustrated Hello: Vince Hilaire

Vince Hilaire was a black footballer in the First Division at a time when that wasn't always a comfortable thing to be:

"After about 20 minutes, the manager, then Terry Venables, told me to go and have a warm-up. I came out of the dug-out, and I started jogging around the touchline. I couldn't believe the abuse that was coming at me... animal noises and all the names you think of calling a black person. Any name under the sun. And it frightened me a bit, so I couldn't wait to get back in the dug-out. And I thought, 'Well, if this is the sort of reception I'm going to get, then I don't really want to know'"

He didn't back down, though, and went on to represent ChelseaCrystal Palace more than 200 times, played for England's Under 21 team, managed a spell in the American soccer scene and enjoyed a gentle career decline through Luton, Portsmouth, Leeds, Stoke and Exeter.

But he owes his big break to Terry Venables. Venables, who fancied himself as something of a singer back in the day:

That clip did feature some Robbie Williams. To offset it, here's Amanda Palmer with her... tribute... to Hilaire's Leeds United. Probably:

[Part of the Illustrated Hello]

[For more - much, much more - on football and music crossing over, Football and Music is your number one source. Which would make it the goalkeeper.]

[Update: Crystal Palace. Not Chelsea. I regret the error.]


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