"The [Insert Dignitary Here] Kicked-off"

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HibeeJibee
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"The [Insert Dignitary Here] Kicked-off"

Post by HibeeJibee » Wed Jun 01, 2016 9:23 pm

Been meaning to ask this for a while.

On a number of occasions before WWII - normally benefits / friendlies, but perhaps not invariably - I've noticed match report saying a dignitary "kicked off".


Did they literally kick-off, as if they were an actual player - then dashed to the side while play was underway (perhaps leisurely until they were clear of the field)?

Or was this a ceremonial thing, and the ball was brought back to the centre circle while they left the park - and then one of the teams kicked-off for real?

bluedragon
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Re: "The [Insert Dignitary Here] Kicked-off"

Post by bluedragon » Thu Jun 02, 2016 8:22 am

I think this was as you say “a ceremonial thing”.

I have one photograph of such an occasion from the 1955/56 Season. The photograph shows the band leader Billy Cotton taking a kick at the ball positioned on the centre spot. Next to him is the host club chairman and three of the home side’s players looking on in relaxed fashion. One of the players is Jimmy Dunn Junior son of the “Wembley Wizard”. A few yards back into the centre circle is referee Jim Finney but before he had progressed to officiate in the Football League and famously abandoned the Scotland v Austria game in May 1963 and sent off a Uruguayan player in the 1966 World Cup quarter finals. Jim looks equally relaxed and certainly not in the best position to see a kick-off. The photographer must have been on the pitch as it is a close-up.

I think Baseball has a similar thing today especially to open the season.

jeroen
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Re: "The [Insert Dignitary Here] Kicked-off"

Post by jeroen » Thu Jun 02, 2016 9:58 am

Here's a picture of Jayne Mansfield (Sparta-Dos in 1957) It's wasn't the real kick-off http://resolver.kb.nl/resolve?urn=ddd:0 ... eg21:a0079

BMCCOLL
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Re: "The [Insert Dignitary Here] Kicked-off"

Post by BMCCOLL » Sat Jun 04, 2016 7:29 pm

I don't know if he actually kicked off, but at the 1950 Glasgow Charity Cup final, after the great Danny Kaye met the two teams before kick-off, he dribbled to the goal, shot from three yards at an empty net and missed, much to the amusement of the crowd. It was afterwards 'known' as the Danny Kaye Cup and was recorded as such in Bernard Stock's excellent The Winners!

I recall Diana Ross doing something similar at the US World Cup a few years back...
http://scottish-football-historical-archive.co.nf

MadMac
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Re: "The [Insert Dignitary Here] Kicked-off"

Post by MadMac » Sat Jun 04, 2016 9:15 pm

bluedragon wrote:I think this was as you say “a ceremonial thing”. I think Baseball has a similar thing today especially to open the season.
Indeed. Still goes on in baseball today, and not necessarily only to open the season. Celebrities are wheeled out for the most tenuous of reason, including cross-promotion of upcoming films.

BMCCOLL
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Re: "The [Insert Dignitary Here] Kicked-off"

Post by BMCCOLL » Sat Jun 04, 2016 9:40 pm

Celebrities will come out at the opening of an envelope!
http://scottish-football-historical-archive.co.nf

bluedragon
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Re: "The [Insert Dignitary Here] Kicked-off"

Post by bluedragon » Sat Jun 04, 2016 11:15 pm

BMCCOLL wrote:I don't know if he actually kicked off, but at the 1950 Glasgow Charity Cup final, after the great Danny Kaye met the two teams before kick-off, he dribbled to the goal, shot from three yards at an empty net and missed, much to the amusement of the crowd. It was afterwards 'known' as the Danny Kaye Cup and was recorded as such in Bernard Stock's excellent The Winners!
The Sunday Post reports “then he swooped on the ball. No footwork for Danny. He clutched it tight and hared for the goal with referee Davidson on his heels” before, as you say, he planted his shot at goal well wide. He continued to entertain the crowd by putting on a busby and marching with the Glasgow Police Pipe Band. He was introduced to the players and the Post said that “he chose that moment to show Jock Shaw a few tricks in ball control that even trained seals wouldn’t know”.

BMCCOLL
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Re: "The [Insert Dignitary Here] Kicked-off"

Post by BMCCOLL » Sat Jun 04, 2016 11:28 pm

Great stuff, I watched the vessel with the pessel episode from the court jester, magnets and all, superb!
http://scottish-football-historical-archive.co.nf

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Re: "The [Insert Dignitary Here] Kicked-off"

Post by Rob R » Sun Jun 05, 2016 12:54 am

I had a Scotsport or Scottish Football Book when I was a kid in the mid 1960's and it had a photo of Sugar Ray Robinson kicking off before a Rangers V Dunfermline game at Ibrox . IIRC John Lawrence the then chairman and Scott Symon were also in the photo, on the park . I'm pretty sure Robinson, had been boxing an exhibition fight at Paisley Ice Rink.

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Re: "The [Insert Dignitary Here] Kicked-off"

Post by bluedragon » Sun Jun 05, 2016 6:34 pm

Rob R wrote:I had a Scotsport or Scottish Football Book when I was a kid in the mid 1960's and it had a photo of Sugar Ray Robinson kicking off before a Rangers V Dunfermline game at Ibrox . IIRC John Lawrence the then chairman and Scott Symon were also in the photo, on the park . I'm pretty sure Robinson, had been boxing an exhibition fight at Paisley Ice Rink.
There was an article in the Scotsman in 2014 (see link) about Sugar Ray Robinson being at Ibrox in 1964 as part of pre-fight publicity that also included pulling the first pint in the Edinburgh City social club!

http://www.scotsman.com/sport/boxing/th ... -1-3526796

ScottishFA
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Re: "The [Insert Dignitary Here] Kicked-off"

Post by ScottishFA » Sun Jun 05, 2016 8:34 pm

The Irish managed the celebrity thing pretty well, with a bishop or a priest throwing in the ball to start the All-Ireland Football Final - and it was a genuine start to the game. For a bit of fun, see the video of the 1934 final in this article: http://www.the42.ie/vintage-all-ireland ... 7-Apr2014/ As far as I know this practice continued to the early 1960s, when the referee took over.

I can't believe that any competitive soccer match would ever have been actually started by a non-player, although it might have happened in a testimonial or friendly.

A quick check of the BNA shows that ceremonial kick-offs in football matches go back to the Victorian era: in 1891, for example, it was reported that Derby County had resorted to 'the practice of requesting gentlemen of eminence to perform the kicking off ceremony'.

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