ROBIN FRI­DAY

Midweek Sport - - FRONT PAGE -

THE ti­tle of this foot­baller’s bi­og­ra­phy is The Great­est Foot­baller You Never Saw, and it’s the tale of a man who put booze, drugs and women BE­FORE his ca­reer.

His teammates say he could have been an Eng­land star, but in­stead, he set the old Fourth and Third di­vi­sions alight ply­ing his trade for Read­ing FC and Cardiff City.

He spent just six years play­ing, re­tir­ing at 25, but his cult sta­tus is un­doubted – both clubs voted him their all-time great­est player.

He’d spent 14 months in Feltham Borstal af­ter be­ing con­victed of rob­bery, and was al­ready a heavy drinker in his teens, but he had an un­canny abil­ity to mix booze and foot­ball.

At his first club, Hayes, he once ar­rived 80 min­utes af­ter kick off, still drunk, yet scored the win­ner.

At Read­ing, Fri­day be­came a leg­end for his booz­ing, once danc­ing naked in a night­club.

Even­tu­ally, his an­tics be­came too much. With drink, cannabis and LSD use his form tailed off and he was sold to Cardiff.

De­spite play­ing well on the pitch things were not good off it, with fre­quent punch-ups.

Dur­ing a match against Brighton he kicked Mark Lawren­son, now a

pun­dit, in the face and was red-carded.

Miffed, he later broke into the Brighton dress­ing room and CRAPPED in Lawro’s kit­bag.

It ef­fec­tively ended Fri­day’s ca­reer, and he quit one match later. He died of a heart at­tack in 1990, aged just 38. In­sanely tragic.

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