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Ronnie's Beefy Memories

Goodlass on being teammates with Sir Ian Botham at Scunthorpe

Ronnie's Beefy Memories

It is probably one of the most overused quiz questions of all time but yes, Scunthorpe United have had three England captains and, indeed, only two of them were footballers.

Kevin Keegan and Ray Clemence are the obvious names who spring to mind and fans of sporting trivia and general know-it-alls will point out the third is England cricket legend Sir Ian Botham, who was a non-contract player with the Iron in the early 1980s.

One man all too aware of Beefy’s brief dalliance with the beautiful game is ex-Everton winger Ronnie Goodlass who played – and drank – alongside the man who famously destroyed the Aussies in the 1981 Ashes.

Goodlass was in the middle of a brief spell at Glanford Park when Botham arrived at the club in a bid to get fit after injury.

A lump of a striker Beefy – who has been in Australia commentating on England’s successful 2011 Ashes campaign – ended up playing 11 first-team games.

“I was at Fulham and John Duncan (manager) talked me into going there (Scunthorpe),” recalls Goodlass, these days a pundit on Radio Merseyside. “It went well and I enjoyed it, and Botham was there at the time too.

“The social side of things was great with Beefy there, I used to call him seven bellies, but we had a decent team as well and we played some good football.

beeferSir Ian Botham has his boots inspected before a game for Scunthorpe United in 1980

“He was a big lad – obviously he was a fast bowler – and was a workhorse. He would run through brick walls for the team but he also had a good touch. You could ping it up to him and he would pull it down and when you put crosses in the box you knew he would get on the end of them.

“Socially he was superb and he was great around the place. You need that banter in the dressing room and he was definitely up for that.

“It was a good fun dressing room and if you were having a night out with him you’d have to cancel what you were doing the next day that’s for sure. He did like a pint.”

As for Everton’s trip to Glanford Park on Saturday in this season’s FA Cup, Goodlass says the Blues can expect a classic cup tie atmosphere with the home fans making their presence felt.

“It is not an easy place to play,” he added. “There will be less than 10,000 there but it will be a full house and will be noisy. Nothing can be taken for granted in games like these. They get behind their team and it will be like 10,000 going on 40,000 – if you are not used to going to grounds like that it can take some getting used to.

“There is always a shock in the third round and it gives the lesser teams hope, but if you can match the effort then quality tells and Everton will want a run in the FA Cup.

“They will be feeling confident after the Spurs win and will look to take that into the game with them.”

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