Whilst reading the obituaries of one of England's greatest ever footballers, Nat Lofthouse I stumbled across this quote attributed to him -
"There were plenty of footballers who would kick your bollocks off."
That sums up the difference between the post war game and the modern, Premier League fare we are served up today. I don't think there could be any more succinct way of putting it.
But it got me searching for other quotes that best summed up why people have played sports when it wasn't about money or TV appearances or world wide fame.
Being a sportsman should never be about your brand or exposure in the Asian market.
These quotes say it all really -
"It's not over when you are losing badly. Its over when you quit."
"Show me a guy who's afraid to look bad, and I will show you a guy you can beat"
"There's no substitute for guts."
"The will to win is important. But the will to prepare is vital"
"It's the lack of faith that makes people afraid of meeting challenges, and I believe in myself"
"If you can believe it, the mind can achieve it"
"We didn't lose the game, we just ran out of time"
"Sports do not build character, they reveal it"
"If you aren't going all the way, why go at all?"
"You can always become better"
"Pain is nothing to what it feels like to quit"
I am just glad that every generation has it's great sportsmen to inspire us all, to encourage us to strive to do more and to make all the over-paid average sportspeople look exactly that, average because if the greatest were not around then the average would be all we ever achieved.