Pop quiz hotshot: what do Premier League stars do with their 23 hours of free-time a day? Learn to read? Libelous but probably true. Test-drive sports cars? Unfortunately yes. Go whoring? Oh, most definitely. Play table tennis?? YES!
That’s right, the game affectionately known as ‘ping-pong’ is the recreational activity of choice for many current and former professional footballers, and last night at London’s illustrious Albert Hall, Glenn Hoddle, John Barnes and Reading midfielder James Harper joined part-time triple-jumper, full-time evangelist Jonathan Edwards in a celebrity charity challenge. The event was a special treat for all those table tennis aficionados who trekked over to this country for the Dunlop Masters, the ‘World Cup’ of ping-pong if you will.
Obviously table tennis is a sweet sport (limited physical exercise, you get to hit stuff with bats) but it seems strange that footballers have taken to it the way they have, with most top flight clubs these days offering tables at their training grounds. According to Rio Ferdinand, perhaps the Premier League’s most vocal fan, the table tennis contests that take place after training sessions are no less competitive than the actual football itself. Good to hear that the £100k a week isn’t being wasted on trivialities and these guys have to really work for it then.
I, of course, jest because like brother-from-another-mother
It goes without saying though that
So finally, what exactly is it that specifically attracted