Britain's Most Loved and Best Comedy Double Act

What D'you Think Of It So Far

1978 Article

Eric's on the ball

Jimmy Greaves, Eric and Prince Phillip

Prince Charles chats to Eric
What D’you Think Of It So Far..?

Eric Morecambe, who describes himself as the tall one with the glasses, has a secret ambition to be the England team manager. He shows off his astonishing football knowledge in this exclusive SUN annual interview with Norman Giller.

What do you know about team formations, Eric?
I studied under the greatest formation expert of them all. Ada Unsworth. Her formation teams have waltzed away with all the top prizes. Using her formula, my team is sure to lead the opposition a dance.
I was born to manage football teams y’know. The midwife took one look at me and said; “I wonder how he’ll manage.”

Have you ever actually played football?
Played it? I’ll have you know sunshine, that I was rated a better finisher than the great Welsh idol Dai Stefano. I was so fast that at the end of each run for the ball I had to stop and wipe dead insects of my glasses.

Once I scored a goal within four seconds of the kick-off. It was a month before our goalkeeper forgave me. How was I to know he would be swinging on his crossbar as I sent an overhead pass back to him.

Another time I scored eight goals in one match. We drew 4-4, I forget that business about changing ends at half time.

They put me in goal for the next match. It was pouring with rain and my glasses got steamed up. Our opponents thought I played a blinder and carried me off at the end. They won 24-0. I had a trial at Luton and was bound over to keep the peace. My eyesight was getting no better and so I gave up playing and became a referee. Had to give that up too. My whistle wouldn’t whistle. That was a big blow, I can tell you.

What would you do if you were in Don Revie’s shoes?
Walk with a limp. They’re a size too small.

What I mean is how would you go about selecting an England team?
Well for a start I wouold have Denis Healey in goal.

Denis Healey?
That’s right. He stops everything. The opposition would find it really taxing trying to beat him. The alternative would be Peter Shilton. But he’s been a bit off lately.

Who would be your full-backs?
There are so many to select from. Tate and Lyle move sweetly but they get too easily stired up and want to dish out lumps. Then there’s Tarbuck and Dodd of Liverpool. The problem with them is they’re too much tickle and not enough tackle.

Solomons and Levene could do a good job together if only they’d stop kicking each other into touch. I’m also impressed by Englebert Humperdonck and Emerson Fittipaldi but it would hold up the game too long if the referee had to take their names. So I’ll settle for Danny La Rue.

In both positions?
Of course. He’s very versatile.

What about your middle two?
I presume you mean my pair of stoppers. The very foundation of any mans team. It’s difficult to be United without them.
Well I’d have Elton John in the No.5 shirt. He gets a lot of height in those high heels of his and he turns so quickly he nearly disappears up his Yellowbrick Road.
Alongside him I would have Theo Kojak. Everytime he pushes somebody off the ball he’d say “who shoves ya, baby?”

Would you go for ball players in midfield?
There’s no answer to that. I’d have Ernie Wise and Ronnie Corbett operating together. They are what is known in football as a pair of shorts. Both of them are sponsored by Action Man.

Does Ernie Wise really wear a wig?
I’m sworn to secrecy on that one. Let’s just say he keeps Axminster Carpets in business. Without him, they’d be on the floor.
With Ern and Ronnie Corbett working together we would be able to take a short cut to victory.

What about strikers?
If there’s a strong wind in our favour, I will select Harry Secombe. He’s fantastic with the wind at his back. You must have heard of his hit film Goon With The Wind. Wedgie Benn can play out on the left. I’m told he’s a great left winger. Harold Wilson will be at inside-left. He reckons there has been nobosy as good as him at No.10.

How about a substitute?
Jimmy Hill’s the man for the No.12 short. He can come on as an action replay and can then achieve a lifetime’s ambition by interviewing himself after the match.

The Editor of this SUN annual has asked us to kindly leave the page, Eric.

I’m with you sunshine. But before we go I’d just like to wish the readers an astonishingly happy Christmas and a swinging 1978.

I leave you with this thought from Long John Silver: There are only 365 hopping days to next Christmas.

Be honest, folks, what d’you think of it so far…?

© The Sun 1978

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