Two sporting characters who always get their say

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HE always has plenty to say and it generally makes a lot of sense but I haven’t heard Geoff Boycott eulogise over a particular “anniversary” that involves him.

It is exactly 25 years ago since he made his last century for Yorkshire, in his penultimate appearance. But there’s a bit more to it than that.

Not the fact he was the ripe old age of 45 either. More that he might tell of how his last century was achieved with a broken hand.

Just like the century he got two innings earlier - also with his hand broken! Remarkable but true.

Batting for Yorkshire against Leicestershire at Middlesbrough, he was struck on the hand by Phil DeFreitas when he’d got into his 30s. He carried on, reaching 127, his 150th century which meant he became Yorkshire’s leading century maker. The hand, badly swollen, was X-rayed but no fracture was detected.

He then made a half-century against Notts at Worksop before his last 100 against Surrey at Headingley in July ‘86. Although obviously in pain, it didn’t stop Boycott making an unbeaten 135 in Yorkshire’s first innings after which he went to see a specialist. A broken bone was confirmed in his left hand.

There were fears he’d miss the rest of the season but he did return for what proved his finale - at Scarborough in the last game of the season when he made 61 against Northants.

By a delicious irony, in view of his own record of being involved in the run-outs of others, Boycott’s last dismissal was a run out.

Another personality always with plenty to say is Neil Warnock.

The former Blades boss will certainly be looking forward to the exposure brought by regular TV appearances as a Premier League boss this season.

He’s also got his own newspaper column and he keeps cropping up elsewhere on TV and radio so there will be no shortage of views and opinion from him.

But, he looks to have had his wings clipped by his bosses at QPR which include the powerful and wealthy duo of Bernie Ecclestone and Flavio Briatore. What’s more, he appears to have agreed to it!

Clearly, some Warnock remarks recently involving his star player Adel Taraabt hadn’t gone down well amongst the QPR hierarchy.

They saw fit to issue an official club statement this week in which they describe Warnock as “our coach”, perhaps not a title attributed previously to one of the game’s longest-serving and most success-laden managers.

“We are aware of some issues that have been raised in the press by the coach but we have discussed these with him internally and he has agreed to be more reserved in terms of what he discusses in the future,” says the statement.

Warnock to be more reserved? Warnock silenced? Does football really want that? Surely there must be a way round it?