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The dirtiest player that never played

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: November 17, 2012

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The outstanding fourth goal scored by Zlatan Ibrahimovic against England in midweek has unsurprisingly prompted a cacophony of plaudits from all who witnessed the Swede's magnificent piece of skill.

Radio Five Live pundit Pat Nevin described it as "beyond perfection" and "magical", while other luminaries, including opposing skipper Steven Gerrard, former England boss Graham Taylor and commentating maestro John Motson, rated it as "one of the best goals ever seen".

Presumably for the benefit my wife, my sister-in-law and a handful of his mates, my brother took to Facebook to lend his weight to the "one of the best goals ever seen" argument, just in case the opinion of the England captain was not enough for everyone.

Having seen my brother's performances with the gloves for our old Sunday League team, though, I'm surprised that watching a long-range shot loop into the net over a hopelessly out of position goalkeeper isn't something that he hasn't witnessed plenty of times before (Only joking, Graeme! As if I can talk...)

Unfortunately for my brother, he was always at his most useful to that team when he wasn't on the pitch.

When our gaffer, Davy (a man with a sporting physique somewhere between Canadian snooker ace Bill Werbeniuk and American Football legend William 'The Refrigerator' Perry), saw that Graeme had gone to university, he clocked-up a remarkable number of games for someone living 200 miles away.

If someone had to make up the numbers, they would take the field as 'Graeme Watson' and, as time went on, the various ringers collected enough yellow cards to make him the most ill-disciplined player at the club – the joke was that even the properly registered players were giving the name 'Graeme Watson' to the referee if they were being booked.

It could have been worse for him though. One Sunday, when my brother was back from university, one of our strikers was moaning about how the police had pulled him over for speeding. Never one to stay quiet, Davy quickly butted in: "Why didn't you just give your name as Graeme Watson?"

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