On Thursday night, the Sports Society provided a brilliant discussion with Pat Nevin, a former football player and now writer and broadcaster. The Scotsman discussed his career, and noted how his degree had helped him in ways he could never have imagined. When growing up he was a committed Celtic fan, but was released by the Glasgow side when he was 16 after being told that he was ‘too small’. Later he found himself playing against the Clyde first team (he initially thought it was their reserves), and the opposition manager was dazzled by his quality on the ball and offered him a chance to play at Clyde. He was eventually recruited by the club, and would later move to Chelsea, after initially refusing to leave as he was determined to complete his degree.

Nevin plied his trade at Stamford Bridge for 17 years, and noted how his main motive for playing football was out of love for the game instead of fear. He also spoke about his disgust at the racist chanting aimed at teammate Paul Canoville by the Chelsea fans in a victory over Crystal Palace, as he publicly condemned the abuse in his post match interview. He was lauded for taking on Stuart Pearce, who was jokingly nicknamed ‘Psycho’, and he moved onto Everton having scored 46 goals in 236 appearances for the blues. His success continued on Merseyside, having already turned down an offer from PSG, where he helped them reach the FA cup final in 1989, after he bundled in the only goal in a victory over Norwich in the semi final, but his side was defeated 3-2 by arch rivals Liverpool at Wembley. He commented on how the difference in professionalism to the modern game was stark, as he had been fined for being sober while on pre-season. After deciding not to go to the Turkish capital to play for Galatasaray, he moved to Tranmere Rovers, at which Nevin said he loved playing, before finishing his career in Scotland. He has enjoyed a career in the media, and has recently completed his 500th article for the official Chelsea website. Nevin gave an insightful account of his career and provided a clear message to the boys in attendance to value their education, as it could prove advantageous in the future.

Shaun Johnson