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The complete Forgotten Eleven lineup in full colour

“Like a tree falling in the woods, if it wasn’t recorded on camera, then did it even happen at all?”

Life-long football lover, Lowell Crisford has curated a starting eleven made up of legends you know precious little about…

“My Forgotten XI”

Lowell Crisford (03 February 2020)

It is my honest opinion that today the footballing world is becoming less interested in the history of our wonderful game and interested only in what is current. This appears to be a constant grumble amongst people who are getting older and I am aware that it is perhaps a generational thing.

However, before the internet and twenty-four-hour coverage of just about anything, football was less readily available. At the weekends, I used to get up at 05:30am to watch Transworld Sport – it was here that I learnt about “World Football”. For the first time, I remember being shown exotic clubs like FC Porto, River Plate, Marseille or Corinthians, and players like Jean-Pierre Papin, Paulo Futre, Rubén Sosa and many more. Today, these clubs and players are instantly accessible to everyone as part of the YouTube generation. Now, I am not suggesting that this is a bad thing (far from it) but the culture around our beautiful game is changing. The history of players and clubs is no longer passed on by word-of-mouth. These days, you don’t have to wait for Match of the Day to see the highlights from the Premier League; they will be tweeted, tagged, and posted online just moments after the event itself. Like a tree falling in the woods, if it wasn’t recorded on camera, then did it even happen at all?

So, what I have sought to do is design a starting line-up of predominantly unknown players who deserve greater recognition in our collective sporting memory. What I hope to achieve with this feature is to get fans thinking about those who mastered the game before social media and before cameras recorded every feint or dribble. These are all players who, in my opinion, are gradually being forgotten and whose achievements are not as widely appreciated as they ought to be.