via 101 Great Goals
A well thrown elbow is a nasty piece of business and this immediately reminded me of when I played for the Edmonton Brick Men in 1988 and Justin Fashanu rolled into town looking to recover from a serious knee injury. He was easily the dirtiest, angriest player I ever played with and against (he traded me to Calgary the next season). Fash was larger than life and his troubles are well documented elsewhere but I remember his very first game for us. It was in Winnipeg against the Fury.
As coincidence would have it, the Fury centreback, whose name I’ve forgotten, was an old friend who had stayed with Fash when he had a trial with Notts Forest. They spent most of the warmup chatting, laughing and catching up as if the game had already been played.
Fifteen minutes in a long ball was played up to Fash (he was a striker) and what’s his name came to challenge in the air and met an elbow thrown with so much malice it serves as a great definition for juxtaposition given the pre-game friendliness between the two. I remember blood all over the white Fury jersey, a nose thoroughly broken and a sub coming on who didn’t look too keen on the task of covering Fash the rest of the game.
It was a stunning, almost movie-like piece of violence. To top it off, two games later he did the exact same thing to Burke Kaiser on Calgary. Early doors elbow to the grill, Kaiser out with a broken nose.
Fash had, in the words of the great Nuke LaLoosh, announced his presence with authority. He would continue to throw elbows like there was a prize for it at the end of the season and badly opened up 86er centreback Vlado Vanis for many, many stitches one night at Swangard.
No idea why it all went sideways at this Flamengo training session but it’s hardly surprising. Some players don’t need to be told to train as they play. They’re just naturally ‘on’ and you end up getting the bad with the good and the stitches with the goals.