A post from Adam Brabbin, celebrating our new signing- Eidur Gudjohnsen
How old is too old? If I had a carton of milk in my fridge that hadn`t been opened for fourteen years, then I would be rightly cautious to uncap the lid and take a big gulp. But turn that milk into wine and all of a sudden you`ve got a party! We`ve all, by now, heard that Eidur Gudjohnsen has returned to the club, and the feeling is one of positivity. Hopefully seeing him run out onto that pitch will be like sipping on that fine, vintage wine, rather than choking down rancid, chunky milk.
It got me thinking though, at 36 years old Eidur is pretty old for a footballer right? As Roger Waters once wrote you can “run and you run, to catch up with the sun, but it`s sinking”, we`re all trying to clutch on to our youth, and relive our past, but it can never really be the same, can it? It might be true that the sun is indeed starting to set on Eidur`s career, but as anybody who`s ever been to his native Iceland in the summer will tell you, the setting sun can take it`s sweet time in the North. So I`m of the opinion that Gudjohnsen`s stretch is the light isn`t over just yet.
There are no rules written down that dictate what somebody can and cannot do at any stage of their life. “How old is too old?” is a ridiculous question, you`re never too old, as long as the mind is willing, and the body is capable. Take, for example, John Whittemore – a man who competed in professional track and field competitions up until his late death, four weeks shy of his 104th birthday. Too old? Never. Granted it would be hard to argue that he was in his prime, shuffling down the track with all the pace of a wounded tortoise, but he was a pioneer for doing what he did. He refused to let his age stand in his way of doing what he was good at, and what he loved doing.
Perhaps Eidur could take greater comfort from the examples of success achieved in later life. Like, for instance, the world`s most famous Colonel: Harland Sanders, founder of KFC. It wasn`t until Sanders was 62 that he founded the business that ultimately earned him $2 million after selling it 12 years later, aged 74. Similarly, it wasn`t until the age of 78 that the artist Anna Mary Robertson Moses first picked up a paintbrush and began her prolific artistic career. In 2006 one of her paintings sold for $1.2 million, not bad for an older gal eh?
But if we`re looking closer to home, why look any further than the great Stanley Matthews. His longevity in the game is legendary, keeping himself fit enough to play in the top flight until the age of 50, this just goes to show that age is merely a number – and speaking of numbers, how fitting is it that Gudjohnsen will wear the number 22? The age at which he left home in Bolton, for a glittering career filled with trophies and memories of playing amongst the very biggest names in the game. He returns with the number on his back, as though time had never passed, to find that Bolton is always home and will always sing the name Eidur Gudjohnsen.
-by Adam Brabbin