x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

A bridge too far, maybe

I am not condoning violence of any sort, and hate to see it in sport, but you have to admit that a little bit of you was hoping that Wayne Bridge, of Manchester City, would seek retribution on Chelsea's John Terry as they crossed in the line-ups last weekend.

I am not condoning violence of any sort, and hate to see it in sport, but you have to admit that a little bit of you was hoping that Wayne Bridge, of Manchester City, would seek retribution on Chelsea's John Terry as they crossed in the line-ups last weekend. If instead of just ignoring him, he should have confronted him, which would have been the orchestrated cue for the rest of the City lads to steam in and shown their support for their popular teammate. It would have been magnificent entertainment, we would have definitely found out who was in Team Terry after that.

It's fair to say that the City striker Craig Bellamy is Marmite (you either love him or loathe him - no in between) and he is never dull. Not only he is a top player, he's a top interviewee. He absolutely slaughtered Terry in his after-match interview and is one of the few players who when asked a straight question, gives an amazingly straight answer. As an interviewer myself it can catch you out, because we live in a world where even the best pundits have to tread carefully round difficult subjects. But with people like Bellamy and the former England footballer, Paul Merson, they actually say exactly what they think.

Please don't let the dreadful media training people get hold of them ... it seems to me that their only job is to make sure no one says anything remotely interesting. I played golf with Alan Hansen at the Els Club in Dubai this week. The last time I spoke to him was when I interviewed him on the day he announced his retirement from Liverpool in 1991. It shows how much time has elapsed since then and how things changed that he has a 28-year-old son and I have a 19-year-old daughter. I don't think she was even born when we did the interview.

He still shambles around the golf course just like he did as a player. It's not often I get a bit giddy in the presence of so called stars, and the whole round I asked him the questions I'd really wanted to ask. He told a story about seeing Clint Eastwood at a golf course in the United States. His mates persuaded him to go over to have a chat and he said the great man was magnificent and brilliant company.

"We only talked about golf, I wanted to ask about all his films but I didn't want to upset him," he said. I didn't say it, but it was exactly how I felt about playing golf with Alan Hansen. sports@thenational.ae