Paxman, Crowe And The Leeds United Celebrity Xl
From the fjords of Norway to the desert lands of Australia, across the globe the Whites go marching on. There are those who claim that wherever in the world you go, if you stand still and hold your arms outstretched for five minutes then you will eventually touch another Leeds United fan. And of course there are a host of famous faces who follow Super Leeds, perhaps enough to make up a conquering team of their own...
GK: Chris Moyles. The thick-set Radio 1 stalwart has always worn his Leeds support proudly on his sleeve, perhaps most notably with his musical parody of Enrique Iglesias’s ‘Hero’ (commemorating the team’s reversal of a 15-point deduction during the League One dog days, ‘We Have Got To Zero Baby’). Not a technically gifted new age keeper, but big enough to block most shots the old-fashioned way.
RB: Kelly Jones. Welsh Stereophonics frontman, a genuine team player who will stick with his fellow players through thick and thin. Side before self every time.
LB: Gareth Gates. Stuttering singing startlet whose quiet West Riding charm bought him a place in the nation’s hearts during the first series of ‘Pop Idol’, his lithe frame brings agility and skill to the back four whilst his butter-wouldn’t-melt manner will keep the girls flocking to the ground for an autograph and a photo.
CB: Ricky Wilson. Lead singer of the boisterous Leeds-made band Kaiser Chiefs, who else could possibly take up Lucas Radebe’s position in the LUFC defence? A no-nonsense defender who will always get stuck in.
CB: Colin Montgomerie. Maintaining Leeds United’s fine heritage of Scots-born stars, Monty joined the Whites Army when he attended Leeds Grammar School. A cultured, respectable presence bringing authority to an otherwise raw and youthful back four.
RW: Ralph Ineson. Lanky blokeish Chris Finch of Ricky Gervais’s ‘Office’ fame, another local star brings his commanding presence to the midfield. The Robert Snodgrass of the Celebrity XI?
LW: Ardal O’Hanlon. Diminutive Irishman who rose to fame on our telly screens as Father Dougal McGuire. Yet his persona as the cerebrally-challenged young priest on Craggy Island belies a sharp player with a variety of roles behind him, a history in stand-up, and even a published novel. Both intelligence and versatility on the wing.
CM: Michael Bolton. Chances are the ageing crooner is not in fact a Leeds fan. Nonetheless his enduring place in the global music charts demonstrates that rugged tenacity not seen at Elland Road since the days of David Batty. A solid rock in the centre of the park.
CM: Russell Crowe (c). Leeds supporter since he was a little lad growing up in New Zealand during the glory days of the early Seventies. Who better than Gladiator himself to follow in the legendary footsteps of Harry Kewell, Mark Viduka (and, erm, Tony Dorigo) and bring some of that magic from Down Under back to Elland Road? A dominant playmaker pulling the strings in midfield.
FW: Alistair McGowan. Flamboyant forward, more often than not taking the Mick out of his opponents with a cheeky, well-timed impression. Catches his opponents off guard, the master of the sly tap-in. A perfect foil to his towering fellow front-man.
FW: Jeremy Paxman. Temperamental attacker, master of the one-on-one, strikes fear into the heart of every defender he bears down upon. The Leeds XI’s answer to Wayne Rooney, rarely seen with a smile on his face and often in trouble with the ref, Paxo nevertheless scores the goals. Love him or hate him, you can’t ignore him.
Ed Miliband. Hardly a fans’ favourite. Struggling to make his name or claim a first-team place. Awkward and clumsy on the pitch. Pundits say not good enough for this side.
Jack P Shepherd. Youngster learning his trade on loan on the other side of the Pennines at Coronation Street. Promising future talent, one to watch.
Padraig Harrington. Super sub. When the struggle is on late in the game, the Irishman is the first choice to take to the field and seek out every opportunity to shoot on sight.
Coach: Nasser Hussain. A young manager who brings his articulacy, creativity and sportsmanship to the job. Gaining a reputation on the airwaves as a Sky Sports pundit, but players and fans alike hope his loyalties are with the club. If he knows his football like he knows his Test cricket, and galvanize the squad with his often fiery personality, then surely an inspired choice to take the helm.
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