He is the award-winning voice of Football in the Midlands; and, every week, Tom Ross writes about the latest in the world of Sport.
Wednesday 15th May 2013
It’s not often that I am touched emotionally by this great game which I have thought for years was morally bankrupt.
However, I have had my faith restored by the way the whole football community, with a few exceptions; have paid tribute to Aston Villa’s Bulgarian midfielder Stiliyan Petrov as he battled Acute Leukaemia.
The Villa fans minutes applause on 19minutes during every single game has been absolutely amazing as has the way fans from other clubs have joined in.
I spoke with Sandeep Nagra the Leukaemia consultant who has looked after Stan from the day he was diagnosed. She explained how mentally strong he had been and how their friendship had grown.
Professor Charlie Craddock the founder of the charity Cure Leukaemia who helped former Wolves and England midfielder Geoff Thomas in his battle to beat the dreaded disease was also full of praise for Petrov. He and Sandeep admired the way the Bulgarian conducted himself even during the darkest hours when he was confined to bed unable to walk.
Fans from every club have used my GOALZONE facebook and twitter accounts as well as the Birmingham Mail to wish Stan a speedy and full recovery.
Sadly one or two idiots have let not only themselves down but also their families and the rest of the football world with their vile posts.
This is a downside of social media where the anonymity of a keyboard turns cowards into brave men.
Thankfully the overwhelming majority have been brilliant and shown that football fans are in the main nice genuine caring people.
Finally well done to Paul Lambert who is set to find the likeable Petrov a role in his back room team at Villa Park.
I would like to remind all my colleagues in the national media that football didn’t start in 1992 when the FA Premier League was formed and SKY TV became involved. We had a great game before 1992 with great players and great goals.
Chelsea Midfielder Frank Lampard, who broke Chelsea’s all time goal scoring record at Villa Park on Saturday when his two goals took him to 203, is a magnificent footballer and rightly received all the plaudits for his remarkable achievement.
Lampard scored his 203 goals from 560 games in all competitions and that without doubt is a fantastic achievement.
However some sections of the media were saying that it was a record that would never be beaten by a midfielder
Well a certain Tony Brown, playing in a similar role to Lampard for West Bromwich Albion scored 218 goals from 561 games.
Bomber was mainly a midfielder who broke into the box to get on the end of chances. Lampard scored a goal every 2.75 games while Bomber scored one every 2.57 games.
I am not in any way trying to undermine Frank Lampard’s brilliant goal scoring record but simply want to highlight that not everything revolves around the Premier League.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement certainly came out of the Blue and subsequently caused much hysteria among my fellow journalists in the media.
Typically Manchester United did it professionally and quietly.
Having sourced a manager and appointed him before announcing that Fergie was quitting. (Take note Wolves)
However to hear of grown men being sent home from work in tears after hearing the news had me thinking in disbelief that “the games gone”.
It’s certainly a massive story and the end of an era. It will have affected Manchester United fans but was there really the need for all the tears hype and hysteria.
It got more media coverage than the death of former Prime Minister Maggie Thatcher! He has hung up his managerial coat and will join the board of directors.
However was his resignation serious enough to drive grown men to tears? Of course not.
However when Blues sold Trevor Francis that was a different thing…
Check out Tom’s weekly column, every Wednesday in the Birmingham Mail.