August 19, 2021
UEFA U21 Championship Group B:
ENGLAND v CZECH REPUBLIC
“Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards'”
– Soren Kierkegaard, 1813-1855
No one wore his heart on his sleeve quite like he did as a player.
Some said he embodied ‘England’ more than anyone since Bobby Moore.
Before a UEFA cup tie with Nottingham Togel Hongkong Forest, in the ‘going over the top’ military speak which English manhood has always drawn on, Stuart Pearce told his troops, who included the Dutch maestro Bryan Roy and the elegant Norwegian playmaker Lars Bohinen,
“Your hearts are bigger than theirs – that’s why you were born English!”
Blond locks and a bulldog spirit, rippling muscles and at the base of a tree-trunk leg a cannon of a left foot which billowed many a net and sent several right-wingers to casualty.
Pearce of England, or should that be Ing-ger-lund.
When the beleaguered Graham Taylor needed a boost, he recalled the out-of-form left-back and made him England captain, demoting his former star pupil David Platt in confident hope that the Wealdstone-born defender’s warrior cult would inspire his struggling team; Pearce would not have been out of place in Beowulf.
He skippered his country but fell short of honours, reaching nothing beyond the European Championship and World Cup semi-finals. But physical retirement only meant a transfer of ambition to the other side of the touchline.
There the similarity with his success as a player began to wane, as it has with so many great footballers. A brief spell with a disintegrating Forest led to an assistant managership spell at Manchester City alongside another English lionheart Kevin Keegan.
Pearce assumed Keegan’s role eventually but City performed without flair or success and he was fired in 2007. …