Speaks for itself showing just a small selection of the players who, love ’em or hate ’em, never failed to fascinate football fans whether they were on or off the field. (Any suggestions for other mavericks are welcome!)
1. Bert Trautmann OBE: Former German paratrooper and POW. He decided to stay in England rather than go back to Germany. 20,000 fans demonstrated against him signing for Manchester City. He entered football folklore by playing with a broken neck in the 1956 FA Cup Final.
2. Robin Friday: His on and off field behaviour prevented him from reaching the heights his talent deserved. Physical intimidation of his opponents contributed to a heavily tamished disciplinary record. Despite this, he has been voted the top "all-time clut hero" for both Cardiff and Reading.
3. Len Shackleton: Known as the "Clown Prince" of football. His crowd pleasing antics; sitting on the ball, repeatedly beating the same opponent, would drive his team mates mad.
4. Paul Gascoigne: English midfielder. His burgeoning career seemed to rise in conjunction with his capacity for getting into trouble. He was voted PFA Young Player of the Year 1968 and BBC Sports Personality of the Year 1190. His iconic goal against Scotland and subsequent 'dentist chair' celebration was one of the highlights of Euro'96.
5. Eric Cantona: Played a key role in the revival of Manchester United as a footballing force. Set aginst his footballing achievements was a poor disciplinary record throughout his career, including a conviction for assault on a fan in 1995. He is still revered by United fans who nicknamed him 'The King', one of only two United players to have been given that title, the other being Dennis Law.
6. Trevor Hockey: A battling English midfielder. Eventually playing for Wales, a cult hero everywhere he played, but mostly notably at Birmingham City and Sheffield United. A larger than life character with Grizzly Adams looks who played in rugby boots.
7. Rodney Marsh: Named after HMS Rodney - the battleship his father served on, he was a great entertainer. In his first season with QPR he socred 44 goals in 53 games helping them win both the Third Division and the League Cup. His record £200,000 transfer to Manchester City had mixed results. He dazzled crowds with his skills, but his individuality cost the team at leat 1 League Championship.
8. George Best: Voted the best Manchester United player on the earth. He was one of the first celebrity footballers, but his extravagant lifestyle led to problems with alcoholism which curtailed his playing career and led to his early death. 1968 saw him win the European Cup with United, scoring a great individual goal, as well as being voted FWA Footballer of the Year and European Footballer of the Year.
9. Stan Bowles: Was often regarded as something of a character both on and off the pitch. He was notably involved in an incident in which the FA Cup trophy was knocked of a plinth by a ball he had kicked.
10. Frank Worthington: Remembered fro scoring one of the most remarkable goals in English football when playing for Bolton against Ipswich. Having his back to goal ay the edge of the box, he controlled the ball with his knee, then with his foot, before flicking it over his head, wrong footing the defenders, to turn and volley it past the keeper.
11. Mario Balotelli: Italian striker whose perfomances and off-field activities such as driving into a women's prison in Italy to "have a look round", throwing darts at a youth team city player during a training ground "prank", setting his house on fire with his friends by setting of a firework inside the house the day before the 6-1 thrashing of the blues at Old Trafford and his famous "Why Always Me? " celebration. Later that week, Balotelli was unveiled as Greater Manchester's ambassador for firework safety. He helped Manchester City to the Premier League title in 2012 assisting Aguero's famous goal which would turn out to be his only ever Premier League assist and lit up the Euro 2012 Championships whilst playing for Italy.
12. Brain Clough: After having his footballing career cut short through injury, he turned to management. Outspoken and often controversial, he is considered to be one of the greatest managers of the English game. With Peter Taylro he had great success at Derby County before twice winning the European Cup at Notts Forest.
The Mavericks - A Law Unto Themselves
Handmade artwork printed in high resolution on premium white art paper. Prints are unframed.
All prints come numbered and signed by the artist, Bernard Kelly.