Telling England stars to "do their bit" was the one thing Hancock got right

Matt Hancock had no idea what monster he'd unleashed when he called on footballers to 'do their bit'.

While a sentence involving the words 'Hancock and 'no idea' is no longer a novel one given recent events, there is no ignoring the fact the challenge he laid down to the greedy, selfish and overpaid has turned out to be his one moment of genius.

The description above is the stereotype of players, not politicians, of course, who former Health Secretary Hancock demanded do the right thing during the Covid-19 crisis to help a nation on its knees.

The call to arms was met with gusto, after Jordan Henderson and Harry Maguire gathered the troops and agreed to donate millions from their own pockets to help the same NHS that Hancock's government has continued to treat with a chronic lack of respect throughout the pandemic.

The help footballers provided those in need extended way beyond the NHS during the pandemic, it has to be said. The list of beneficiaries is too long to mention.

In private a host of footballers were seething with Hancock, the bungling idiot Boris Johnson described as "f***ing useless", who also turned out to be a liar and a cheat as well.

Who'd have thought it?

While countries impersonate traffic lights on the red, green and amber travel lists, Hancock found himself stuck on the sh**t list after getting caught on camera flouting Covid rules in his Whitehall office while conducting an extra-marital affair with one of his advisors.

In the meantime, while Hancock has crawled into the background to consider his next move, England's finest footballers have taken centre stage and stood up to be counted once again.

While the Government has divided a nation with it's hapless failings, Gareth Southgate's stars have united one like never before.

The scenes at Wembley on 'Wondrous Wednesday' when England stormed into the final of Euro 2020 were something to behold.

It was an iconic and historic occasion those privileged to be there will never, ever forget, but the impact of what the Three Lions have achieved goes well beyond the football pitch.

People have been brought together through a common bond, because the love of football doesn't discriminate between age, wealth, colour or social standing.

We have something to smile about again. We have something to talk about other than the destruction of Covid. There is hope where there once was none and a dream is threatening to come true.

Southgate and his players have done all this and we are all indebted to them. They've changed the lives of many and the nation deserves this moment in the sun.

Hancock and his cronies challenged the merits and morals of our best footballers and lost, so they don't deserve to be jumping on a bandwagon built and being driven by the Three Lions. It's the height of hypocrisy.

But considering Hancock is now down and out while Southgate's side are feeling on the top of the world, the old adage that "it's a funny old game' has never felt more fitting.

We can't trust our politicians to run the country, but our faith in footballers to do their job properly has never been stronger.

So the next time someone in a suit decides to pick a fight with those in boots, he or she might want to think again, because the chances are they'll be on the wrong end of the same kicking Hancock has had.

People need to give Emma Raducanu a break

Within hours of retiring from her fourth round match at Wimbledon, the teenager was getting hammered for being a choker who couldn't handle the occasion.

John McEnroe waded in and so did Kevin Pietersen, who took to social media to proclaim that "talent was one thing, but mental toughness is what separates the good from the great in sport."

Pietersen must have needed all his mental toughness to deal with the fallout from when he betrayed the trust of his own England cricket team, because he got upset with a parody Twitter account.

But quite how he expects someone aged 18 to have it in her locker already is less certain?

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Let's just hope Raducanu doesn't go on to love herself as much as Pietersen did – and still does.

It's damning of the world we live in that people who should know better are so quick to criticise an adolescent just starting out in her sporting career.

She deserves huge praise for having the guts to admit the occasion got too much for her.

The experience will serve her well in the long run. She will learn from it and be better prepared next time. So let's encourage Raducanu to come back stronger, instead of knocking her down.

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