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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

Can a player use a bus?


Mrs Thatcher is claimed to have once said that if a man used a bus past the age of twenty-six, he had to be judged a failure.    Some say that the quote is incorrectly attributed to her, but if she didn't say it, she probably believed it (and also about trains as well), Can a Premiership football use a bus without attracting speculation about what he is doing?

Arsenal striker Lukas Podolski was pictured last week riding the 268 bus in North London en route to Pizza Express (perfectly good food, but hardly the most up market venue).   Podolski has now explained that he is not using the bus to get around London, but parking is a problem in the area in which he lives and therefore it made more sense to get on the bus.

I can remember when some players came to matches on the bus.  This was a problem for Christmas Day matches when there few buses and they had to try and hitch a lift with a fan. Others walked to the ground, given that some lived in club houses nearby.   We even built a couple in a corner of the ground at Charlton. Radio 5 remarked with some surprise that a Brentford player had recently been seen catching the bus to home games.

Probably you are not a success as a footballer unless you are driving a very flashy car.  One former Charlton player left the keys in the ignition of his at the petrol station near the training ground and emerged to see it being driven away.