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.
The Argentine press is reporting that an Englishman named Ian Wellworth was arrested on the day of Argentina’s recent friendly against Scotland when he showed up for the match with a machete and a plan to kill Diego Maradona. I just thought you should know.
According to the reports, Wellworth had been planning to kill Maradona since 1986, when he lost his savings betting on England in the Hand of God game. This sounds unlikely to me, since “show up randomly with a machete the first time Maradona happens to come near my house” doesn’t sound like a plan that took 22 years to concoct. At the same time, he reportedly has psychological problems (no, I’m serious), so it may be that he’s just a really bad planner. It’s a funny old place, this world. The person who’s able to procure the machete is so seldom the person who knows how to devise a plan for its successful deployment.
Anyway, I’m not sure I believe this story. I realize that wanting to cut Maradona’s head off essentially places you in the middle of a thriving English subculture, so I’m not saying it’s implausible. And in a way, it’s a movie I’d like to see Rio Ferdinand and Ashley Cole produce. But are we really supposed to believe that a guy showed up at Hampden Park with an edged weapon and the intention to kill the greatest soccer player of the last 30 years, and the Sun didn’t find out about it for an entire week? That’s not the system I’m familiar with.
I can’t believe I’m saying this, in other words, but I’ll believe it when I read it in the tabloids. Until it’s summarized in a 90-point font via the headline “Mara-GONER,” this is late works of Borges to me.
Read More: Maradona
by Brian Phillips · November 24, 2008