Sunday 19 November 2017

The rise of Tina, the first WAG

Ian O'Doherty

Ian O'Doherty




To a generation of people who grew up with the Premier League, football didn't really exist before Sky Super Sunday and the hype over transfer deadline day.

That's not a pop at the kiddies, you understand.

No, there are plenty of people the wrong side of 30 who never expressed an interest in the game until it became not just a sport, but an entire armoured division of the entertainment industry.

A lot of that has to do with the fact that the old footage now looks impossibly grainy in high definition on most modern TVs - the colour stuff from the 1980s actually looks worse than most of the older, black and white footage, presumably because of the different types of cameras used at the time.

But there was a world before the Premier League. In fact, there was a world where England were the world champions, as weird and fantastical as that idea may seem to many of us today. Captain of that 1966 team was Bobby Moore, a man who should be an icon in a game that has an unfortunate habit of making heroes out of the most undeserving of characters.

Tina And Bobby, starring former Corrie actress and 'Heat' magazine darling Michelle Keegan is based on the autobiography of Moore's wife, Tina Daly, and this first episode covers their earlier life, starting in 1962.

Young Bobby is a promising young defender with West Ham, newly married and with his whole life ahead of him.

What a life it would turn out to be, even if it was one which seemed to contain at least as much darkness as light - and when you consider he lifted the World Cup for his country, that's an awful lot of darkness to balance the good.

Accused of being a social climber who serves mashed potato with the Sunday roast - a social faux pas only the English could get upset about - Tina was a strong woman at a time when strong women were neither liked nor welcome.

Keegan, as she proved with her post-Corrie role, Our Girl, is a fine TV actress. She certainly has an awful lot more going for her than most soap graduates who tend to leave these shows convinced that they're suddenly going to break Hollywood.

Ultimately, Tina And Bobby is a soft focus, almost soapy look at life back then.

It might also provide some ersatz nostalgia for those who remember, or would like to remember, when the beautiful game wasn't so corrupt and sluicing with so much dodgy money.

This was an era when the proto-Posh and Becks made a few quid on the side doing ads encouraging people to go to their local pub.

They may not have been happier times - but they were certainly a lot simpler.

Irish Independent

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