Welcome to the official nominations for this week's Terry Phelan Hall of Fame. The place where under appreciated sportstars of the past get their long overdue respect and kudos, lifetime membership of the Hall of Fame and a platinum card for the balls.ie penthouse lounge where the can drink their fill of Nash's Red Lemonade Shandies and eat from endless platters of cocktail sausages and fish goujons.
What with it being the 4th of July today we have nominated 2 players who had their finest moments in the good ol' US of A back in World Cup '94. They are Yordan Letchkov of Bulgaria and Tomas Brolin of Sweden. One of these fine men will become only the second non Irishman to get into the TPHOF the other being Leeds United and Ghana Legend Anthony Yeboah.
Having previously nominated individuals for entry to the hallowed Hall we have decided to pitt these two Legends against each other and only one will make it. After initial proposals to have an 8-Mile style rap battle between the two were sadly rebuffed by their representatives we decided to leave you the balls.ie readers determine which man will make it.
The Case for Letchkov
"The Magician" Letchkov was a talented attacking midfielder who played for the likes of Hamburg, Marseille and Besiktas that's all well and good but its his brilliant performances for Bulgaria in USA 94 that put him in the running to become a Terry Phelan Hall of Famer. His goal against Germany in that tournament, a bullet of a diving header (one of the rarest and finest type of goals) was his career highlight. A goal he was born to score, no hirsute man could have got the requisite power and accuracy into that header. Relive the majesty of that goal below.
He's also a good sport and appeared as the Phoenix From the Flames on the legendary Fantasy Football with Frank Skinner and David Baddiel in 1995 to recreate his goal. Why aren't there any funny sports shows on TV any more?
Away from the game Letchkov become a successful businessman owning a chain of luxury hotels and becoming mayor of his hometown Sliven. However he was found guilty of tax irregularities relating to a questionable water and sewerage deal in the city and sentenced to two years in prison which he appealed so as far as we know he's still free to take his place in the TPHOF if he makes it.
Here he is doing what looks like a very legitimate business deal indeed.
The Case for Brolin
A player who bust onto the scene as a dynamic, skillful attacking player with Sweden and Italian side Parma and lit up Sweden's team in USA 94 when they reached all the way to the semi finals. A move to England beckoned and Howard Wilkinson signed him for Leeds in 1995 in what was deemed to be a massive coup for the club. However fitness problems, injuries, being played out of position and managerial fallouts all combined to him being considered one of English footballs most famous flops. Every season he seemed to put on more weight and during his time at Crystal Palace he was subject to the terrace chat 'He's fat, he's round, he's taking Crystal Palace down…' which he did. A hugely talented player in the what might have been category.
Here he is in his Sweden heyday dancing, being good at football, scoring goals and showing remarkable athletic ability leaping like a gazelle in celebration.
Post football he has been running restaurants, playing professional poker and bizarrely selling vacuum cleaner attachments.
He did pop up on this viral video on Youtube a while back and show he's still got a decent strike on him. Credit to the guy with the bottle on his head he's very brave to stand still for that while wearing his glasses!
He also appeared in a music video with Dr. Alban which you can see here. If you do not watch this video in full with your speakers on full blast you are not balls.ie readership material.
HT 101 Great Goals