CRISTIANO Ronaldo could well have seen himself behind the wheel of a three wheeler RELIANT ROBIN – if he had been playing football in a different era!
Juventus, former Manchester United and Real Madrid, Portuguese international star Ronaldo is reportedly the owner of a £9.5m (11m euros) Bugatti La Voiture Noire – the most expensive car ever built. Turn the clock back and you would see players driving a three wheeler Reliant Robin from the training ground!
Talk about ‘Only Fools and Horses’, aka Del Boy, where he used to drive a Reliant Robin in the tv legendary show.
Gary Peters, formerly of the famous ‘Crazy Gang’ team at Wimbledon, that included players in the calibre of Vinnie Jones, revealed to me the time he had a Reliant Robin – that he had painted yellow!
Peters was at Aldershot when he was told to paint the walls of the players dressing room by the manager – and decided to give his Reliant Robin a lick of paint too!
“I had the job to paint the players dressing room, and, when finished I had some paint left over,” said Peters.
“So I decided to paint my Reliant Robin car!,” said Peters, 64, ex-boss at my home city club Preston; Exeter and Shrewsbury, who played at Aldershot, Reading, Fulham and Wimbledon, making over 400 career appearances.
Leeds United players also drove a Reliant Robin – in yellow. Picture this: a yellow Reliant Robin in the club car park, amongst the footballers’ latest Ferraris and Porches, in the heady days when Leeds played Champions League football in 2001.
Leeds players, deemed by teammates as ‘Plonker of the Week’, for being the worst trainer, an honorary joke, had to drive a Reliant Robin.
The ‘Plonker of the Week’ was bestowed on Leeds players, including Iain Harte, David Batty, Alan Smith, Dominic Matteo, Gary Kelly and Nigel Martin, of which players’ signatures donned the Reliant Robin!
The original 1978 Reliant Robin used at Leeds was vandalised, with windows smashed and roof damage, being replaced with a Rialto 1983, signed by the then Leeds first team ‘Plonker of the week’, with 14 autographs!
At the turn of the Millennium, Portsmouth players too were forced to drive home in a Reliant Robin – after training sessions – if they hadn’t put in a ‘full shift’.
The Pompey players clubbed together to buy a three wheeler Reliant Robin, with one of the players forced into the driver’s seat being former England and Portsmouth goalie David James!
‘Home James’, indeed!