Bananas, Banter And Blowtorches – The Julian Alsop Story

Shortly before 5pm this afternoon a 37-year-old man burnt a pair of football boots in a field in Gloucestershire and in doing so brought the curtain down on an illustrious career spanning more than 20 years and almost as many clubs. Julian Alsop headed home a last-minute equaliser in Bishop Cleeve’s Zamaretto South and West season finale against North Leigh shortly before he took a blowtorch to his boots, ending his last game in typically flamboyant style. That he chose to end his playing days at Cleeve is testament to his loyalty to Villagers’ boss Paul Collicut, who encouraged him to up his fitness during his last spell there ultimately leading to Alsop rejoining Cheltenham Town, beating the all time goals record and sealing his position as a Robins legend. Having missed much of this season due to ‘rubbish ankles’ Alsop has called it a day, but what a career it’s been; starting off in non-league in the midlands he can count Bristol Rovers, Swansea City and Northampton Town among his former clubs, although he didn’t turn pro until he was 23. He achieved infamy at Oxford United, after he was sacked for an incident with a youth team player. The incident earned him chants and nicknames, but according to Jules he rubbed the banana in the lad’s face, that was it, end of story. Almost six years later...

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