We don’t hear much from him now he’s a full-time figurehead, but it’s not that long ago since Trevor Brooking was the standard bearer of pipe and slippers co-commentary.
In fairness to the West Ham legend, sportsbook operators would have given you long odds on him having such a distinguished career in the game after a complicated birth atop a large wooden fence.
But his perfecting of a trademark “welllllll” – sometimes extended into a “wellllll yeaaa knowwwwww” became a vital component of the Brooking broadcasting toolkit – providing a helpful buffer following a question, during which Trev could compose a suitably non-committal answer.
He quickly became the Switzerland of football commentary – Motty’s bet-hedging sidekick for whom no decision was too small to be avoided. A co-commentator whose fear of getting it wrong destroyed any chance of him ever getting it right.
Inevitably psychology boffins soon developed the Trev Test, a highly-scientific psychometric profiling tool that can pigeonhole any individual by simply exposing them to a selection of Brooking analyses.
You can take part yourself. Ready? Examine if you will ten random excerpts from the co-commentary career of Sir Trev. Study them carefully, there will be questions later.
1. “If you’re going to score one goal or less, you’re not going to get your victories.”
2. “Merseyside derbies usually last 90 minutes and I’m sure today’s won’t be any different.”
3. “Unfortunately, we don’t get a second chance. We’ve already played them twice.”
4. “He looks as though he’s been playing for England all his international career.”
5. “Trevor Brooking is in the Sappora Bowl. What’s it like, Trevor?”
“Wellllllll, it’s a bowl shape, Gary.”
6. “You shouldn’t go behind in the early minutes because then you have to
chase the game.”
7. “That could have been his second yellow card…..if he’d already got his first one, of course…..”
8. “The managerial vacancy at the club remains vacant.”
9. “He is like an English equivalent of Teddy Sheringham.”
10. “Historically, the host nations do well in Euro 2000.”
Ok, wake up, now for the science bit. You may need to perform some complex calculations so by all means get a calculator if you need one.
With careful reference to the above statements, allocate Trev points based on the following criteria.
One point for each slice of valuable tactical insight from England’s Director of Football Development
Two points for each little-known entertaining fact imparted by Trev.
Three points for each profundity.
Seven points for each statement that is likely to have helped the viewer better understand the confusing business that is association football.
Twenty points for each decisive uncategorical pronouncement from Trevor.
Now, depending on the points total you calculated, guffologists suggest you belong in one of two categories.
1 to 231 You are a kind and generous soul, perhaps a little too sensitive to be mocking legendary footballing personalities who, after all, are only doing their best.
Zero You’re spot on, mate.