Football people on TV: Trevor Sinclair

Date published: Saturday 7th January 2017 1:00

This week Johnny puts on his sunglasses and looks at Trevor Sinclair’s cardigan…


Fashion police
Hear that? That’s the Fashionista klaxon being activated. Trevor clearly knows the inside of a designer menswear store. My guess is he nips in to Flannels in Altrincham for a tighty-tight cardigan and overpriced trouser, or possibly visits Manwear in Blackpool for some expensive Hugo Boss socks.

Sinclair was on TV over Christmas sporting a vivid tomato soup-coloured cardi, worn with black tie and checked shirt, which was enough to shock us all out of the post-Xmas torpor like putting our fingers into a plug socket. Fills a pair of jeans to capacity quite effortlessly. Fair play for that.

It’s good that someone wears bright colours on our TV. The football pundit community all too often dresses for work as though attending a funeral or a wedding and TS can be relied upon to cheer the viewer with some eye-trauma-inducing luminescence.

Occasionally sports a hat, which is always a welcome spice in the fashion curry. Spotted in a sort of trilby affair and also a pricey-looking woollen flat cap. Went for the black top hat for an Ascot Ladies Day. Dude didn’t look like a lady.

Wearing well for a 43-year-old, and still sporting the flat stomach and substantial parsnip thighs of the ex-player, he has wisely gone for the bowling ball head. Suits him so much that old footage of his playing days – with what appears to be a dead cat balanced on his head – now looks really odd. A classic case of man who looks cooler the older he gets.


Lingo Bingo
Born in London but brought up in Manchester, his accent is hardly the full yer twistin’ my melon, man, Shaun Ryder ciggie-cadger but has the rather flat vowels of all Mancunians that invests words with a slight drone. Seems far more cheerful than many of football’s many denizens of the north west; it must be breathing the ozone off the Fylde coast that does it.


Hits and misses
Long playing career at good clubs which saw him get 12 caps for England. Started at Blackpool as their youngest ever player and, when transferred, was their most expensive.

Scored the first competitive goal at the City of Manchester Stadium, albeit against Total Network Solutions. Had an excellent 2002 World Cup after being flown in as a last-minute addition to the team, replacing an injured Danny Murphy which made us all say “oh, that’s Trevor Sinclair isn’t it, I didn’t think he was any good”.

Then there was this thing of beauty. We should all wish we had achieved as much.

His pundit career is relatively new so there’s not a lot of crimes against decency and/or football to document yet. Seems to be playing a straight bat at the moment. Not venturing out of the crease to make any extravagant shots, seems content to play a role under the red button, or as back-up to the bigger boys.


Big club bias
Appears to be a big Manchester City fan but doesn’t seem to have committed any real crimes of BCB. His kids are on Blackpool’s books, so that should keep anyone grounded. There’s nothing like watching football at Bloomfield Road with the grey rain lashing in off the sea and the sickly smell of hot long-life vegetable oil that seems to comprise at least 50% of the air in Blackpool, to make your realise the mortality of all flesh and the essential pointlessness of existence.


Loved or loathed?
Fondly remembered as a player but sadly punditry isn’t making a massive impact so far. Not sure why this is really, as he’s clearly very affable and exudes good vibes. Trev seems to be a bit stuck, with many struggling to bring to mind anything he’s done, even though he’s been in the pundit’s chair for a few years now.

Is perhaps falling between the two stools of being a serious analyst, in the manner of Danny Higginbotham, or someone like Ian Wright, employed primarily for laughs, enthusiasm and good times. The feeling that he’s best suited to the latter’s role pervades.

Also is in that awkward generational point at 43 which means he’s slightly distanced from the modern player’s football culture in a way that, say, Jermaine Jenas isn’t. And yet he’s not got the gravitas of a grizzled old school veteran who’s seen it all, done it all and won it all that is in the DNA of the likes of Graeme Souness.

My social media research rather reflects this.

He’s the ultimate “meh” pundit. Zone out when he’s on. Cracking overhead kick, though.

Can’t really bring his punditry to mind, but for me he can say or do anything when he has that bicey for QPR to fall back on.

Looks taller in the studio than he did as a player, weirdly.

He said Rooney ‘had’ to be in the United team, suggesting him as a defensive midfielder. A nonsense in my eyes since then.

I literally recall nothing of his efforts on TV. Maybe that’s my own fault due to being continually inebriated.

Lacks meaningful input. He’s not dislikeable, even with fairly clear preference for City. But he’s far from great.

Comes across as arrogant, and distracted when not speaking. If magnolia wallpaper played football and had poor taste in hats…

No real memory of anything insightful, but his stint with Dion Dublin in the Euros was very cheerful

Spouts well meaning, inoffensive nonsense. Always the best dressed pundit. Like him, but not really sure why.

Watching him play for Blackpool he stood in front of the South Stand…. let’s just say he was VERY excited to win a corner.


Proper Football Man?
Oh yes. We’ve got a good one here, boys, crack open the Blue Stratos. There are photos of him with Razor Ruddock and that gets you a free pass into the PFM abandoned portaloo of paranoia. Primarily a 90s man and played during the last hurrah of the old school values, which is the last time yer PFM really understood what the hell is going on. The fact he was convicted of criminal damage to a car in 1998 after a night out in Essex has got the boys purring, believing as they do that no night out in Essex is complete without damaging a car, we were just having a laugh officer, things got out of hand and the next thing you know we’d set TC alight in my Ford Capri.

They also like his dress sense, especially the top hat, which they would undoubted steal and use as a toilet, whilst laughing almost uncontrollably. So he’ll be up for a good night out on the lash perked up by Reidy’s demijohn of fermented baby mice and black pudding white spirit, stopping off at the infamously bleak nightclub and plumbing outlet, Butt Plugs, to enjoy the attentions of Miss Sticky Rock Body of 1988. She’s got her name written right through her, Jeff.

Has got up the arse of a defender on a wet night in Oldham. Perfect. Understands the rainy misery of Lancashire. Looks like a man’s man and the boys love a man’s man even more than they love a man’s woman because, as all PFMs know, liking women is a bit gay. Not like that, Chunky, put your patent leather trousers back on.


Beyond the lighted stage
Has tweeted support of the Offside Trust, set up to keep kids safe in football. Seems to have played in a lot of charity football matches, the length and breadth of the country along with appearing on Pointless Celebrities with Jason Mohammed to raise money for the Children of Watamu. All very good.

Trevor seems a thoroughly decent cove.


John Nicholson

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