Which football managers have appeared in music videos? | Football

José Mourinho’s cameo alongide Stormzy made me wonder: which other managers have appeared in music videos?” asks Katie Wright.

Mourinho, who is emphatically living his best life these days, appears alongside Stormzy in the promo for Mel Made Me Do It. The pair are both seen putting their fingers to their lips as Mourinho’s famous quote – “I prefer really not to speak. If I speak I’m in big trouble” – is sampled during the track.

It’s not the first time a former Manchester United manager has appeared in a Stormzy video. Well, sort of. A David Moyes facemask played a key role in the video for Know Me From in 2015, a song which includes the lyrics: “I come to your team and I fuck shit up/I’m David Moyes.”

As for actual, real-life, consensual appearances, let’s start with another Chelsea manager of the modern era: in 2017, Antonio Conte celebrated winning the Premier League in his first season in England by briefly appearing in the video for Smoking Fine by grime MC Eyez.

While Conte had a cameo role, the former Nottingham Forest, Manchester City and England manager Stuart Pearce was the (slightly menacing) star of the show when his beloved Stranglers made their video for This Song.

If you know of any other managers who have appeared in music videos, mail us or tweet @TheKnowledge_GU. And if you want to read all about football players hitting the MTV scene, check out this old Joy of Six, while there’s more Knowledge delving into songs referencing teams and players.

Honouring backroom staff

“Valencia’s late, great former kit man, Bernardo ‘Españata’ Edo, will have a street in the Spanish city named after him,” notes Niall McVeigh. “Are there any other examples of streets, buildings or stadiums being named after club backroom staff?”

“The road leading to the Riverside Stadium in Middlesbrough is Shepherdson Way, named after Harold Shepherdson,” writes Richard Slater. “He only played 17 games for Boro and is best known as Alf Ramsey’s assistant manager/coach when England won the World Cup in 1966. He also coached at Boro for many years and was caretaker manager four times. Unfortunately he only received his World Cup medal posthumously.”

“Shout out to the Gordon Guthrie Stand at Pride Park?” adds Tom Hopkins. “Named after the much missed physio, kit man and all round Derby legend.”


“Recently, the chairman of South African club, Royal AM, who is registered as a player, was named as a substitute. He never came on, but has there been previous instances of a chairman playing for their club?” tweets Kameel G.

We looked at this in 2017 – don’t tell us you’ve forgotten Willem ‘the Cannon’ Hesselink – but it’s worth a quick update, especially as we missed a few examples back then. But let’s start with a more recent instance, involving a gentleman who is a Netflix series waiting to happen.

Next up, the curious/comically narcissistic case of FC Kallon.

Mohamed Kallon – bought a club in Sierra Leone in 2002, named it after himself, had 2 spells there as a player late in his career. Also tried running for FA President while player/owner

— nick (@Narwar__) September 21, 2022

Naming a team after yourself is all well and good, but Jomo Sono raised the bar by adding some New York glamour to his pet project.

Sticking with South Africa, when the great Jomo Sono finished playing in the US in 1982 he bought a club back home, renamed it Jomo Cosmos and for a couple of years was a player as well as the manager/owner. He’s still owns and manages them 40 years later. pic.twitter.com/l9H0c9wibW

— Chris Hodge (@HodgeGovernance) September 21, 2022

In 1974, Elton John briefly gave up the day job … with hilarious consequences.

Elton John played for Watford against Wolves, in a game which had something to do with John Farley moving to the aforementioned Black Country outfit, if memory serves. Not sure if that counts! He was comically bad too, falling over attempting to kick the ball, at least once.

— Athletic4eva (@GIoryHornet) September 21, 2022

Rod Stewart, a more competent footballer, also played in the game.

Elton John and Rod Stewart are put through their paces
Elton John and Rod Stewart are put through their paces. Photograph: Sydney O’Meara/Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Then there are the chairmen who registered themselves but did not, for one reason or another, actually get on the field. “Gillingham’s Paul Scally registered himself as a player in 1996 in the hope of making a cameo appearance in the last game of the season if the team had already clinched promotion,” writes Chris Matterface. “They had, but he still didn’t play – it’s widely believed that manager Tony Pulis refused to pick him and that this was the first stage in the deterioration of the relationship between the pair which ultimately led to Scally sacking Pulis for gross misconduct in 1999 and a lengthy lawsuit.”

Anđelko Herjavec, the late chairman of Varteks Varaždin, registered himself for the Croatian Cup Final 1996 as a form of protest as Croatia Zagreb (now Dinamo) won the league a week before in somewhat controversial circumstances. He didn’t play though. @sasaibrulj

— ShakenMartinelli (@ShakenMartinel1) September 21, 2022

And finally, this surely can’t be true. Can it?

There’s a persistant rumour in Slovak football that Kosice’s chairman brought himself on as a sub with a few seconds to go against Juventus in the 1996/97 Champions League.

— Don Berno 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 (@ConnahsCronc) September 25, 2022

The oldest international debutant

“With Remko Pasveer having just debuted for Holland at the age of 38, is he the oldest debutant for any national team?” asks Juliusz Nitecki.

Pasveer, the Ajax goalkeeper, made his debut away to Poland last week at the age of 38 years 318 days. He’s not actually the oldest debutant for the Netherlands, never mind all countries. Another goalkeeper, Twente’s Sander Boschker, won his only cap against Ghana in 2010 aged 39 years and 224 days.

There’s a list of the oldest debutants in men’s international football on the great RSSSF site. There are a few asterisks, mainly involving games from the 19th century, and there’s the inevitable debate over whether some games are official internationals. Either way, Pasveer is around 30th on the list.

There are a few notable entries. In 2001, Željko Vuković made his Austria debut as an outfield player at the age of 39 years 260 days. And we’ll be honest, we had no idea that the former Stockport County manager Danny Bergara had played for Brunei, never mind at the age of 41.

As recently as 2019, the 50-year-old goalkeeper Keith Yon made his debut for St Helena. (There is a bit of doubt over which game constitutes his official debut, but everyone agrees that he was a quinquagenarian when it happened.)

That puts Yon second on the RSSSF list, which lists the oldest debutant as the former Retford Town midfielder Barrie Dewsbury. He was 52 years nine days old when he came out of retirement to play for Sark, one of the Channel Islands, against Gibraltar at the Island Games in 2003. Just don’t mention the score: they lost 19-0.

Knowledge archive

“I recently read somewhere that the 1878 FA Cup final between Wanderers and Royal Engineers featured a goal by the Engineers which remains without a credited goalscorer,” wrote Greg Lea in 2012. “Playing the kick-and-rush tactics of the time, the whole team bundled the ball into the net and, without the ability to draw on instant replays, no one is sure who actually got the final touch. Are there any similar examples of this in more modern times?”

Although not the answer to the question asked, Greg’s query sparked a synapse in the memory banks of Ciaran Grant, who recalled reading something about the Football League’s only ever instance of an own goal being credited to two different players. “I can only determine that this happened sometime between 1954 and 1957 when the two players involved both played for Leicester City,” he wrote. “The story goes that Stanley Milburn and Jack Froggatt both went to kick the ball clear simultaneously, resulting in the mishit ball ending up in the net. It couldn’t be decided at the time whose touch was the last one so the ‘goal’ was credited to both players. Interestingly, Stanley Milburn was a cousin of Jackie Milburn, and an uncle to Bobby and Jack Charlton.”

Division One scores, 18 December 1954
Division One scores, 18 December 1954. Photograph: Guardian archive

Thanks to Ciaran’s prod in the right direction, further investigation on our part revealed that the comedy own goal in question was indeed scored in a match between Chelsea and Leicester at Stamford Bridge on 18 December 1954. Sadly, we didn’t have any YouTube or Pathé News footage of Messrs Milburn and Frogatt’s joint own-goal shame, but if you squint really hard at the attached archive thumbnail you can see how it was reported in the Guardian’s classified results at the time.

Can you help?

At the time of writing, 17 out of the 18 clubs in Portugal’s top flight have a Portuguese manager (only Benfica bucking the trend with German Roger Schmidt). Are there any top leagues that can boast the full set of home-grown gaffers?

— Sigur Sportswear (@sigursportswear) September 27, 2022

“Who was the first player to miss (or potentially miss, like Gazza in 1990) a major final through suspension?” wonders Emily Flacker.

How many teams have played in the top flight only in seasons under Labour government?

— Gilmour 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 (@ImanNafidz) September 27, 2022

“Kevin De Bruyne has played against Wales nine times throughout his international career. Has any player earned more caps against the same opposition?” asks Joran.

Who is the most capped British footballer not to have received any honours (obe, mbe, knighthood, etc.?)

— . (@hectorthebat) September 27, 2022

“Norwegian team Aalesunds Fotballklubb were promoted from level two in 2019 with a solid 79 points from 30 games. The following season, they were relegated with 11 points from 30 games. This means they went from 2.63 points per game in 2019 to 0.29 in 2020. Has any team had a greater drop in average points per game from one season to the next?” muses Arne Bjarne Fjøsmælås.

Who is the most capped British footballer not to have received any honours (obe, mbe, knighthood, etc.?)

— . (@hectorthebat) September 27, 2022

João Palhinha picked up a suspension on 16 September for his fifth yellow card in only seven Fulham games, is this a record?

— Ian Kay (@ianjameskay) September 21, 2022

Mail us your questions or tweet @TheKnowledge_GU.

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