The Run of Play is a blog about
the wonder and terror of soccer.
We left the window open during a match in October 2007 and a strange wind blew into the room.
Now we walk the forgotten byways of football with a lonely tread, searching for the beautiful, the bewildering, the haunting, and the absurd.
One of the smaller pieces of news in the football press this morning is that Norwich City’s Dion Dublin has confirmed his plan to retire at the end of the season, after a career spanning 20 years and more than 700 club appearances. At the age of 38, he says his bones are speaking to him, and considering that he once suffered a broken neck while playing for Aston Villa (and returned from the injury), and suffered a broken back earlier this year while playing for Norwich (and returned from the injury), he probably knows what he hears.
Dublin was a very good top-flight player for a few years in the 90s, but his chance to play for a big club was curtailed when he broke his leg just a few games after signing for Manchester United (he returned from the injury). He won four caps for England, but was left out of the 1998 World Cup squad. Nevertheless, his trophy cabinet includes winner’s medals from the English Premiership, the Scottish Premier League, the Scottish League Cup (the latter two with Celtic), and any number of lower leagues.
Dublin converted from center-forward to defender a few years ago in order to prolong his career, even though he was well into his 30s and permanently consigned to the lower divisions. He played the game with dedication and, as Shay Given once found out, with a degree of wit:
Let’s wish him the best.
Read More: Time Doth Transfix
by Brian Phillips · January 19, 2008