9
Apr

Drink it like Beckham! Superstar gets his own Scotch

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He was the world’s highest-paid footballer not too long ago and is married to Posh Spice. He has his own line of underwear and men’s fragrances. Heck, he even has his own MLS franchise now! Once in a wile, David Beckham must ask himself, “What don’t I have?”

The answer: his own liquor.

Well, at least until now, because “Golden Balls” is linking up with British drinks giant Diageo to release a new scotch called Haig Club. A bottle of Beckham’s drink of choice will run you about $65 and is said to have hints of butterscotch and toffee flavor, which sounds delicious. However, drinking this scotch will not make you a better footballer (just to be perfectly clear).

Terms of the partnership — including whether or not Beckham is actively investing in the brand — weren’t disclosed, but a Diageo spokesperson said the global superstar, along with business representative Simon Fuller (yes the American Idol producer), would help develop the brand, its strategy and positioning.

“David Beckham and Simon Fuller are renowned for breaking boundaries and shaking up markets in every sector in which they work,” Diageo’s Global Head of Premium Core Spirits David Gates said in a released statement. “We are immensely proud to partner with them on our first large scale grain whisky innovation.”

Celebritiy tie-ups in the liquor industry is clearly what’s hot in the streets nowadays. Diageo has already teamed up with Sean “Diddy” Combs to buy upmarket tequila DeLeón, while George Clooney and Justin Timberlake have also put their names on tequila brands recently.

Beckham added: “The House of Haig has a rich history and I’m proud to be working at the heart of a home-grown brand which has built an incredible heritage over 400 years. Working closely with Diageo, we look forward to collaborating on Haig Club, valuing and treasuring the Haig traditions while reinventing this whisky for years to come.”

H/T NY Post

Image provided by Getty.

8
Oct

Swedish player causes stir with Pop Idol performance

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Image courtesy of Getty

Chances are you haven’t heard of Kevin Walker but he is causing a bit of a stir in his native Sweden. The 24-year-old midfielder has a day job with second division side GIF Sundsvall, but has dreams of playing on a bigger stage — as a pop star.

Walker is proving to be a smash hit on the Swedish version of Pop Idol, but his appearances have not gone down well with opposing teams. The reason? Channel TV4 owns the rights to both the program AND match broadcasts, and ordered GIF Sundsvall’s game against Assyriska to be moved to a Sunday so that it didn’t clash with Walker’s live performance the day before.

Niklas Klingberg, a midfielder with rival club Degerfors, branded the decision “ridiculous” and Robert Laul, a writer for Swedish sports paper Sportbladet, called the situation “unprecedented in Swedish football history.”

There’s no doubt Walker, whose dad used to play for English side Gillingham between 1977 and 1981, sings like a bird but he’d better watch out on the pitch for those unhappy with being messed around with. Listen to Walker’s audition and see if the decision was worth it:

H/T 101 Great Goals

27
Aug

Gerry Baker, first top-flight European player to represent the USA, passes away

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Gerry Baker (right) with his brother Joe in 1960. Image: Scotsman.com

Gerry Baker, the first player to suit up for the USA with top-flight experience in Europe, passed away this past weekend in Wishaw, Lanarkshire at the age of 75.

Though Baker, along with his younger brother Joe — also a footballer — called Scotland home, he played for the USA in the late 1960s due to a now-defunct FIFA rule that only let players suit up for the nation of their birth. Baker was born in New Rochelle, NY in 1938.

After the Bakers moved back overseas to Liverpool, the outbreak of World War II forced the two boys and their mother to move to their parents’ native Scotland. It is there in Motherwell that both sons begun their soccer careers.

At just age 15, Baker was spotted by a Chelsea scout and signed for the London club, though he played just one match for the senior team before returning north to play for Motherwell. Baker continued to struggle for playing time there, but did catch the eye of St. Mirren, for whom Baker played the next three seasons.

In his first match for the new club, Baker scored the winning goal over Motherwell, the team his brother was then playing with. In 1959, Baker won the Scottish Cup with St. Mirren, his first title as a professional. In the first round of the following year’s Scottish Cup, he scored a whopping ten goals in a 15-0 win over Glasgow University – a post-war record in the competition that has held up to this day. All in all, Baker amassed 66 goals in 81 appearances.

imageGerry (back row, third from left) in the 1959 St Mirren Scottish Cup-winning team. Courtesy Tom Maxwell.

Following a prolific three-year span with St. Mirren, Baker bounced around, playing for Manchester City (14 goals in 39 appearances) and Hibernian (43 goals in 83 appearances) before joining Ipswich Town. It is there where Baker finally stuck on an English first division squad, but despite scoring 18 goals in his first year with the Blues, Ipswish were relegated to Division 2.

Baker continued to flourish in the second tier, scoring 45 goals in the next three seasons. However, Ipswich didn’t regain top flight status until his fifth and final season with the club, by which time his role there had diminished. Baker moved on to Coventry City, where he played sparingly for three more years. It was while at Coventry that he won his seven caps for the United States, playing in World Cup qualifiers.

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Baker with the USA (front row, second from left). Courtesy Tom Maxwell.

After his playing career ended in 1971, Baker worked at the Jaguar car factory in Coventry, residing there with his wife Anne and children Karen and Lorraine for many happy years. Anne passed away last year after a long battle with cancer.