Jordan Pickford’s move along the slippery road of football history

Sunderland

Did you know that Pickfords is thought to be one of the UK’s oldest, still-functioning companies, being founded back in the seventeenth century?

Tagged the ‘people movers’ the company must have been involved in so many removal exercises over the years, even before those trunks in public schools started to contain football boots – two hundred years later.

It’s a funny time of the year, isn’t it? One football season has ended and bags are already being packed by footballers, football agents and managers, ready for the next one. Some of our finest players got the chance to test their new designer luggage in World Cup qualifiers or ‘international friendlies’ and others travelled to Glasgow.

Playing friendlies at the end of exhausting football seasons seems pretty unfriendly to me but then the transport and logistics companies must be grateful.

Jordan Pickford has allowed himself to be swept along by the tide of football history and become a mover too. He is destined to play a role in the defensive fortress that will be Everton next year as, with Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley due to flounce off with their own bag carriers, the club will be taking a Karanka-style approach to the Premier League which doesn’t involve creating or scoring goals.

You have to wonder how long it will be before Sunderland are fighting Hartlepool United for a return to the Football League don’t you? Presumably, they will be playing rush back goalie next year as, like Everton, they are unlikely to score many goals without their striker.

Ronald Koeman might have hoped to be packing his bags for the beach this summer but the Nou Camp seems as far away as that roll of parcel tape that mysteriously disappears whenever you are trying to seal the sea of removals boxes that threaten to drown your very existence.

Peter Shilton, who was himself the world’s most expensive goalkeeper when moving from Leicester City to Stoke City in 1974 for £325,000, thinks that the Pickford deal is ‘good value’ and that £30 million is exactly the kind of amount that should be spent on a top goalkeeper. Peter doesn’t see it as a lot of money but then he hasn’t seen a lot of money for some time now so I’m betting on him knowing the price of everything and the value of very little. Certainly, loyalty rarely formed part of his back story so maybe he was one of football’s pioneering mercenaries?

Joe Hart would probably love it if someone was willing to pay a big fee for his services but, unlike Joe, let’s keep a sense of perspective and focus on free kicks. The only saving grace for him now is that he probably won’t have to appear behind John Stones again – either for club or country.

Over the past four hundred years, people have put themselves in the safe hands of Pickfords. Let’s hope that Jordan Pickford will continue that long line of security and that the size of the invoice does not grow to become the voice of insecurity in his young head.

About the Author

Mark Rasdall

I am a writer and football historian. My background is in information architecture and online search and all of this has come together in The Football Ground at www.thefootballground.com