HANCOCK'S FOOTBALL HELL
By Susan Jeacock
Most football fans have dreamed of firing the ball into the back of the net like Ian Wright or making a match-winning Seaman-style penalty save.
But if, when you're kicking the ball around the park, the reality is somewhat different from the dream, take comfort in the fact that even the top players don't get it right all the time.
Someone all too ready to point this out is They Think It's All Over's Nick Hancock. His new video Nick Hancock's Football Hell is a celebration of those moments footballers would like to forget - the shot at goal which hits the corner flag or the keeper who throws the ball back into his own net - and is bound to be high on the Christmas list of any football fan who enjoys a laugh at others' misfortune.
"It doesn't matter how many schools of excellence the various FAs set up, there are still going to be people missing from two yards, two inches even, and hitting the corner flag," says Nick.
"Professional footballers have a fantastic capacity for just making complete idiots of themselves which is obviously very handy when you want to make a comedy football video."
Nick says he has tried not pick on any player in particular - although it has to be said Ian Dowie and David James probably get more than their fair share of abuse.
"I've got a reputation for being fair-minded, so we have tried to be as even-handed as possible. We basically embarrass most of the clubs that ply their trade in this country.
"When you are a Stoke fan, like I am, watching football is a theatre of pain and disappointment. I could probably do a whole video of Stoke mistakes - although I hasten to add there are not lots of Stoke clips on Football Hell because I don't want to be embarrassed."
Of course, there's more to Football Hell than shots off target - there are some incredible goals too. Unfortunately for the players featured, many of them are own goals. There's also a healthy selection of scuffles, fights, sending offs and odd (literally) incidents from the crowd.
"I think programmes like Fantasy Football and They Think It's All Over have shown that if people make the effort to look through the archives they can find lots of interesting clips and interesting doesn't necessarily just mean goals," says Nick.
His own favourite howler is a spectacular bungle from an Australian player called Noel Hickey. "I think he may need psychiatric help after this video comes out because his miss is of epic proportions."
So if you're buying a gift for someone who enjoys football, you can't go far wrong with Football Hell - unless of course you happen to be buying for Ian Dowie, David James, Alan Shearer, Teddy Sheringham, Glenn Hoddle...
- Nick Hancock's Football Hell is available from all good video stores, price £12.99
Note to Editors:
Videos are available for reader offers. Please contact Gary Double on the number below.
The UNS photo to accompany this feature is being transmitted via PA and is available on the UNS Bulletin Board at PA.
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