It’s the sport of kings, better than diamond rings…

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Football cracks me up. Not psychologically so much, although Scotland gave me a healthy shot of reality juice on Wednesday, but in a ha-ha-ha life’s rich tapestry kind of way. Football, particularly in this country, is populated by so many downright hilarious stories that are an unbelievably rich blend of the bizarre and far-fetched, that even the most casual follower of the beautiful game can’t help but love them.

Here are some of my all-time favourite things about fitba’ :

1. Southampton’s signing of George Weah’s “cousin” Ali Dia in 1996. More dodgy Premiership goons here.

2. Roy Keane’s insults verge on the physically improbable as he implores Mick McCarthy to “stick it up your bollocks.”

3. Sam Hammam vandalising his own team’s changing room. Crazy Gang indeed.

4. David James berating Lowry for “probably using a ruler, which seems unprofessional. I can draw straight lines freehand,” on Football Diaries.

5. Anything that Chris Bart-Williams did or said in the same programme.

6. U-Boats, drugs scandals, betrayal, pathological self-belief, Rod Stewart, and a goal for the ages. Scotland’s 1978 World Cup campaign had it all.

7. Anything Brian Clough said.

Feel free to chip in with your own, because football really is a funny old game, as Pope John Paul used to say. I think.

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