"I knew Alan Shearer would be the best the first time I caught him with an elbow to the head."
We are very honored to have the opportunity to interview legendary footballer Bert Tiddle. After months of trying to get a hold of him he finally agreed to answer our questions.
In the past, Tiddle has turned down interview requests from Sky Sports, Fox Soccer, Ryan Seacrest, Oprah, E! Online, and ESPN, so we are very happy to have his words of wisdom posted on our website.
Sadly, a freak vending machine accident ended his career and cost him his big toe on 25th of May 1992. However, Tiddle remains a spirited fan of the English Premier League and watches as many games as he can when he’s not too busy raising his 18 children. If he could, he’d take the whole gang to a Manchester derby just like David Beckham takes his boys.
Prior to his gastly injury, it has been said that Tiddle was a tenacious player, and known for scoring big goals in big games, and scoring with all parts of his body, a bit like Chicharito. We are trying to track down video of Tiddle, but so for we’ve had no luck. We will keep trying though. Anyways, without further ado, here’s the Q&A with Bert Tiddle:
Q: What is the greatest goal you’ve ever scored? Anything close to the Rooney overhead kick in the Manchester derby recently?
Please. When I was with Coventry City, I scored an overhead goal in training that gave Cyrille Regis a seizure. He claims he was just sneezing, but it was a seizure. I bet Wade Rooney’s never done that.
Q: Any secret soccer training ideas you used growing up to become a pro? Say tying the soccer ball to your foot or juggling throughout the town where you grew up?
Firstly, I didn’t play "soccer" growing up, I played football. Secondly, those are idiot ideas. The only "secret training idea" I used to become a footballer was to have natural, God-planted talent. Plus I would sit my baby brother on the fence and kick footballs at him every day until he was 12.
Q: What advice do you have for young soccer players who want to play professional soccer?
No, no. You Americans are tricking me into this again. I ran the Bert Tiddle Soccer Camp for Kids for those eight days in the summer of 1996 and it got shut down when a parent thought my joke about why they call it "soccer" promoted domestic violence. Then found out that I was giving the kids cigarettes to increase their lung capacity. It was a bloody mess. Literally. Several of the kids started bleeding. There are still criminal charges pending in Florida, so I’m not giving "young soccer players" any more advice, thank you very much. They can continue to bleed for all I care.
Q: What was your best move or skill? When someone said the name Bert Tiddle did they think of a whipped in cross like Beckham, a dribbling run like Messi, or a slick passer of the ball like Xavi?
I was a striker. When people thought about old Bert Tiddle, they thought of a cold-blooded finisher. And mountain lions. Sam Allardyce thought about cabbage, but that’s Sam. He’s wrong in the head. Yeah, that’s right Sam — I told them you’re wrong in the head! Sam’s in my front room right now eating a melon.
Q: What style of play do you favor? Do you enjoy watching the passing game of Barcelona or a more direct style of play of the English game of old?
Blood and mud. That’s how the game’s supposed to be played. None of this ballet passing nonsense you see everyone from Barcelona to Stoke playing today. Just hoof the ball up to the strikers, make a lunging tackle and let them do the business. That’s football.
Q: Who was the best player you ever played against?
I knew Alan Shearer would be the best the first time I caught him with an elbow to the head for no reason when he was an 18-year-old with Southampton. I looked down and told him, "Lad, you’ve got it and I gave it to you. You’re welcome." Of course now he talks bollocks on the television all the time, so that’s unfortunate.
Q: Are any of your kids training to become professional footballers? This could be potentially lucrative to you, to earn some of the big money you missed out on?
No, not one of my 18 kids will be a professional footballer. They’re all far too lazy and most are incredibly dumb. The other day Philbo, one of my 18 kids, said "Pop, where do babies come from?" I told him to turn on the computer and find out for himself. What kind of question is that? Kids are horrors. Anyway, I made enough money off my second freak vending machine accident which cost me the top part of my index finger on the 17th of October 1993 so I don’t have need to rely on any of them. Except maybe Cirrhosis. He can play the recorder like a prince.
Q: Were there any players who used illegal performance enhancers when you played the game? If so, what were they?
Gary Mabbutt had these frogs he would lick. Andy Goram used to rub sexual lubricants on himself. Teddy Sheringham would eat biscuits made of endangered animals. Everyone had something. I would mainly stick to Class A drugs, but that was me.
Q: Best coach in the game today: Pep Guardiola, Alex Ferguson, or Jose Mourinho? Or is there another coach you like?
Ferguson. Those other two are a bit swarthy for my taste. Plus, I’ve seen Ferguson do things that would get any other man locked up for life. I won’t go into specifics, but lets just say the homeless population of Manchester is a lot lighter than it was before Al arrived.
Q: Have you thought of becoming a football manager or getting back into the game in some capacity?
I’d be lying if I said I haven’t thought about it. But Allardyce told me you can’t berate the players until they have a mental breakdown anymore, so that’s limited my interest.
Q: Today, who is your favorite team and player you enjoy watching on weekend mornings?
I still look for results from all my old clubs — Coventry, Ipswich, Sheffield United and whatever the rest were. Those are real football clubs. The Premier League is rubbish without them.
Q: Is there anything that frustrates you about the game of football (soccer) today? For instance, the snood or how players like Robinho and Ronaldinho wear numbers like 70 or 80?
The main thing that frustrates me about the game today is the fans. These numpties spend all their wages on shirts and overpriced tickets, which is why these clubs and players today get to throw around loads of silly money. They don’t even know how to be fans anymore. I’ve talked about it before, so I won’t repeat myself. I’m going to eat a steak.
Bert Tiddle writes The Uneventful Life of a Retired Footballer for Dirty Tackle.