Back of the Net Wiki

Masters Football[]

Masters Football is an opportunity for pudgy, breathless ex-pros to earn a pension by playing six-a-side games at walking pace.

While any half-decent player today can retire to a house built of solid gold with a bed made of £20 notes, just 10 years ago many top-flight stars only earned a mere lawyer’s wage, which was often squandered on booze (or in Paul Merson’s case replacing the water supply in his West London home with Bovril).

For many fairly famous faces of the 1980s and 90s, Masters Football provides a great chance to scrape up the last dregs of footballing income while wearing shorts long after the age at which they become unsightly.

Teams of people like Ian Rush, John Barnes, Matt Le Tissier and Peter Beardsley represent their former sides in big arenas filled with wasted students, homeless people and confused M People fans.

Running is frowned upon even in the most passionate of games and tournaments often end in both teams standing still for 20 minutes trying in vain to get their breath back.

All in all, it’s a grim insight into the rapid decline of the professional athlete and it feels a bit like watching Dick Van Dyke giving a lap-dance in a dingy East London pub.