A bit of fashion advice this week. This season’s must-have fashion item has to be the Eric Cantona T-shirt. It sports a picture of Eric together with the quote from the film, In Search of Eric, “I am not a man, I am Cantona”. It must be good to be the King!
I have been thinking about Cantona a bit recently. There is the Ken Loach film, of course, and the media coverage that goes with it.
I also finally got round to visiting The Portico Library, Mosley Street, Manchester. This impressive literary institution founded in 1806 boasted Dr. Peter Mark Roget as its first secretary. The same man that wrote the first thesaurus.
Roget was Swiss but in more recent times everyone’s favourite Frenchman was a member of the library. Eric was a magician on the football field but also a thinker and, some might say, a philosopher.
Eric knew when to think but he also knew when to act. His famous Kung-Fu kick of a racially abusive football hooligan in January 1995 still sticks in the memory. It was no surprise to learn that the person that incited Eric’s wrath had been a supporter of the fascist National Front. Eric was villified at the time but perhaps he was just ahead of his time. Afterall, the FA who banned him subsequently campaigned to kick racism out of football … it’s a theory!
So the election of the fascist British National Party in the North West has also made me think about Eric. Going back to the Ken Loach film, the other main character, Eric Bishop, relies on Cantona as a sort of mentor, ‘Eric would know what to do’.
Yes, I think that he would too…