Author Archive for Max Rushden


Jack Leach’s glasses cause optical illusion that we could be like him | Max Rushden

The Headingley hero’s appearance gives us that ludicrous fake spark of hope that at some point in another life we too could have flicked that single off our hipsIt’s rare a sporting moment makes you shake. Last Sunday, while Ben Stokes was carving Aust…


Inside the VAR bunker: a test for my irrational suspicion of referees | Max Rushden

A trip to Stockley Park gives a valuable insight into the VAR process, and also showed me that referees are actually quite pleasant, normal people“What we have to do is find a way to help referees out.” This is Tony Pulis – then the manager of West Bro…


Russell Crowe, Kalvin Phillips’ gran and hope – Leeds documentary has it all (apart from Bielsa)

The first two episodes of Take Us Home are slightly sanitised but they show why the club’s fans are believing againThe Leeds midfielder Kalvin Phillips is leaning against a table with his family. His gran pipes up. “Bielsa,” she says with a beaming smi…


Bury’s plight reminds EFL fans not to take boredom and pain for granted | Max Rushden

For many fans of lower league sides the best case is nothing happens in the new season, but developments at Gigg Lane show us that our clubs may not always be thereIt’s 5 August 2017. It’s hard to tell how many Cambridge United fans have made the trip …


Kit sponsors can offer fond memories but betting logos would not be missed | Max Rushden

Tottenham with Holsten and Arsenal with JVC evoke shirt nostalgia but gambling is already front and centre in footballForty years ago this week, Liverpool announced the first ever top flight sponsorship deal in the UK with Hitachi – £100,000 over two y…


England’s World Cup win is the pinnacle, despite conflict with politics | Max Rushden

Jacob Rees-Mogg’s tweet was frustrating because we want sport to be pure, as it was at Lord’s in a game the Kiwis didn’t deserve to lose“I’m not sure anyone at the moment has a steady heart … Seven weeks of cricket, 48 games, one ball. Here’s Boult, th…


Tactical toilet breaks and apple on willow: what free-to-air cricket could inspire | Max Rushden

Putting the Cricket World Cup final on free-to-air TV could just be a one-off, but what if it was the start of something more?In the summer of ‘93, everyone at my school became a leg-spinner. We’d never seen leg-spin before Shane Warne arrived. Not tha…


Me, my dad and Spurs: what happened next (spoiler alert – not good) | Max Rushden

I flew back from Madrid to watch the Champions League final on TV, but other travel plans went awry. See you next seasonI recently wrote an article explaining how I’d given up my Champions League final ticket to watch the game with my dad. He gave me a…


Cold, hungry and home late – not quite how I envisaged Nations League stint | Max Rushden

Two long nights in Portugal gave me a new-found respect for pitchside reporters and an extra-time craving for a bananaIt’s the 90th minute. Cristiano Ronaldo, on a hat?trick, cuts inside his man and whacks it in the corner of the net to seal Portgual’s…


Why I gave away my Champions League final ticket to watch it with dad | Max Rushden

I will be in Madrid on the morning of Spurs v Liverpool but will see the all-English European Cup final at home on my sofaOn Saturday I will wake up in Madrid. A few hours later when Spurs walk out to play Liverpool in the Champions League final in the…


It’s 2070 and after 52 years of hurt can young England repeat 2018 glory? | Max Rushden

Sir James Corden, aged 92, presents the Late Late Show and asks Jamie Vardy and Kieran Trippier the vital questions about England’s World Cup triumph in RussiaThe World Cup is well under way. Podcasting daily is taking its toll. Being knocked off the t…


Football Weekly: Leicester’s late leap to safety continues

The podders react to Leicester’s win at Burnley and the rest of the results at the top and bottom of the Premier League. Plus, Watford promoted, Tranmere relegated, and the latest from the Women’s Super League Continue reading…


The joys of 11-a-side amateur football (minus the finger up my bottom)

Too often the discussion about grassroots is around unearthing the next England star but it should also encompass all levels and all ages. Eleven-a-side amateur football has been one of most rewarding experiences of my life Continue reading…


Supporting Cambridge United is like an EastEnders marriage without the death

I will enjoy Friday’s game against Manchester United because supporting Cambridge is not always easy. Once we even hired Claude Le Roy to try to get us up League Two. Who does that?

My dad would always take a book to the Abbey. Cambridge United games aren’t always that interesting. And the half-time entertainment of a man dressed as a moose and some kids kicking a ball into a giant washing machine just didn’t do it for him. He happened to be sitting near the press box for the FA Cup quarter-final against Crystal Palace in 1990 and, as a result, I have a signed copy of Plato’s Republic on my bookshelf. Plato wasn’t there but the inside cover reads: “Dear Max, all the best, Trevor Brooking”.

I guess bringing up Greek philosophers this early doesn’t do a lot to dispel the myth that everything in Cambridge is intellectual. And I guarantee when Match of the Day starts , there’ll be some mention of Sir Isaac Newton, Stephen Hawking or some other chap in a gown and a pointy hat, followed by a pun about whether Louis van Gaal can pass the Cambridge examination. They’ll punt the FA Cup down the river, focus in on King’s College chapel and then cut to a portable building outside the Abbey Stadium. I’ll be in the main stand with my dad, as I was for the first time in 1986 when we scraped a 2-2 draw with Exeter City.

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