Steve Bull: Happy Birthday To The Tipton Skin

Sometimes, a birthday or anniversary can come along that makes you feel very old, or very young. Confirmation this morning that today is the forty-sixth birthday of the former Wolverhampton Wanderers striker Steve Bull managed both of the above, simultaneously. A lot has changed over the last twenty years, not least of which is a greater appreciation of the finer technical aspects of the game. Even twenty years ago, however, Bull was something of a throwback, the cropped hair and unassuming manner seemed to invoke a bygone era even before the brave new world of the Premier League. The phrase “Boy’s Own” was thrown around a lot when referring to Steve Bull. He was an onomatopoeic player, as blunt as the two vowels that make up his name, and was almost the very last of a generation that is now all but extinct. In addition to this, there was something of the comic book character about his entire career. He didn’t call to mind the clean cut golden boy Roy Race, of course – he was far too gritty to draw such a comparison – but there was something about his demeanour and gait that was more reminiscent of a hero that didn’t even play football, Alf Tupper, Victor magazine’s “Tough Of The Track”, yet these comparisons were as much about his back story as they were about his...

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