Date: 20th August 2008 at 11:52am
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Football fans love to have someone to hate. It`s often an opposition player who has been judged to have behaved badly. Take a bow Messrs Savage, Diouf and Drogba. Managers come in for a bit of stick too, when they open mouth before engaging brain. Who hasn`t wanted to vomit when hearing David O`Leary witter on about his ‘honest bunch of lads’ or Steve McClaren declare that his players ‘worked ever so hard?’

But there`s another category of hate figure who evokes the most vitriol. Namely, The Former Player Who Has Wronged the Club. With West Ham supporters, it`s Frank Lampard. Lampard wasn`t exactly popular when he played for the Hammers, but since moving to Chelsea, the hatred has become pathological. After his sending off in last years London derby, it wouldn`t have been a surprise if the streets in the East End had been decked out in bunting and an open top bus tour organised.

Bolton fans aren`t immune to this phenomena. Much amusement is had every time Michael Ricketts fails, but the most venom is reserved for Alan Stubbs, who has announced his retirement today due to injury. Do we wish him well? Absolutely. Not.

Stubbs was a Wanderers players for six years and captained the side as they won promotion to the Premiership in 1995. He then stated that he wished to leave. Worse than that were his performances on the pitch, where he couldn`t have been less committed. By contrast, Jason McAteer, who was also angling for a transfer, continued to give 100% as long as he wore the white shirt and is thought of today with a good deal more fondness.

After spells at Celtic and Everton, Stubbs had a disastrous time at Sunderland and again showed the seamier side of his character, by slating the club who had given him employment, as he rejoined Everton. The centre back finished his career at Derby, but hardly featured due to injury.

We would like to wish Mr Stubbs a long and unhappy retirement. He`s welcome at the Reebok anytime. There`s a set of stocks with his name on them.



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