|A long, long time ago, a boy
was taken to become the first human guinea pig in trying to create a
footballing wunderkind. An experiment to blend the brain of a
human and the strength and flexibility of an animal that ended in
Even when it was put to the men in white coats at AFC that it was inhuman, against the very ethics of science, that such genetic modification was heresy and should not be attempted at any cost, they ignored the warnings and went ahead to create a monster that was, at times, literally out of control. However, they took on board the point about cost and spared every expense in creating their ideal centre half.
Even when Charles Darwin was looking for the missing link in his own football team, he was at odds to know what to make of all this.
For every man who has ever walked onto a football pitch, this is the biggest nightmare that they could ever imagine. A man with the strength of a primate and no fear of heading the ball, man, brick wall ... whatever.
Even American deconstructionist band DEVO could see what was coming in their song "Q: Are We Not Men ? A: We Are Keown". Their lyrics went something like this ...
"Monkey men all, in football kits,
God made man, but he used the monkey to
His position of central defender was not always the first that the boffins had marked him down for. He was primarily designed to play in goal, as they thought that his agility and ability to swing on the cross bar would make him ideal for batting away the ball as it headed towards the top of the goal. This was discounted after he insisted on an old car tyre hanging from the woodwork and referees ruled this out as an illegal item of equipment.
On many occasions he was to trample all over the established model of a modern footballer (Lee Bowyer, for example) in an attempt to prove that he was just a mere man inside it all. His long flailing arms have got him into trouble in the past too. One of the failings of the experiment was to allow more control of the over-long limbs and therefore, he has the propensity to swing out when approached by Homo Australis (also known as Mark Viduka). This basic instinct also extends to other versions of the human form. His treatment of midget Portuguese can also be a less than becoming trait.
Through all this he does exhibit many human characteristics, just like any other player. See here how upset he can get after a bad game.
And click here for more horrifying views of the experiments from the Red Planet.
So, you see, that this has been a tale of science and sorrow.
Make sure that its like never happens again.
Show your support at football matches that you go to by waving pieces of cardboard with "SAVE CHIMP" written on them in felt tip (we really do want you to do this).
Put posters up in your windows.
Stickers in your car.
Have T-Shirts made up with the slogan.
But whatever you do ...
... with big thanks to Tony Rowe
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