The day of Boxing can be a tricky one for managers and players alike. To keep good morale and not be portrayed as some kind of Ebenezer Scrooge, the gaffer has to encourage his players to have a good Christmas but remain responsible around all that turkey and mulled wine. Likewise, the players have to restrict themselves, usually with a new Aston Martin soothing the pain. Getting it wrong leaves the fans watching either a bunch of grumpy guts’ or a collection of players with stitches and indigestion.
So for the Boxing Day team, you’re gonna want some true professional players. One can’t imagine the Scott Parkers and Dirk Kuyts of the Prem looking lethargic after a good helping of sprouts. One could also argue that it wouldn’t hurt some players to get a decent meal in, I’m looking at you Gabriel Obertan.
So the Boxing Day selection could be a touch trickier than other times of the year. But there was one player who’s name would be on the list faster than Lionel Messi’s. I’m talking about this guy:
Linvoy Primus – The Boxing Day legend. Starting in Newham District Schools under-11’s (along with Sol Campbell), Primus worked his way around the Football League in a ten year journey that culminated in Premier League football with Portsmouth, where he played for nine seasons.
Initially he struggled for two seasons, before finally finding remarkable form under Harry Redknapp as Portsmouth gained promotion in the 2002-03 season, a season he won Division One’s PFA Player of the Year in.
The next year Primus sometimes struggled to make the team and fully win over Redknapp. Old ‘Arry must’ve had an epiphany by the time of his ‘second coming’ though, and in the 2004-05 season Linvoy was an ever-present in the team, racking up 40 appearances in all compos. Allegedly, he even nutmegged Henry.
His partnership with Sol Campbell was tight, both possessing pace and power and keeping Pompey in the Prem some seasons. Sadly a bastard of a knee injury cut Primus’ career a bit short, however his last season saw him amass 36 caps and Pompey only finish one point off European qualification.
The ever hard working Linvoy managed a twelve minute cameo in his testimonial in 2010, the fans cheering his every touch. After the game a stand at Fratton Park was named after him.
Perhaps the biggest testament to Linvoy’s professionalism bring us back to Boxing Day. You see, for all his qualities, LP wasn’t much of a goal getter – unless the air was filled with Christmas cheer that is.
Primus only ever scored three goals in the Premier League; one against Crystal Palace on Boxing Day 2004, and a headed brace against West Ham on Boxing Day 2006.
So as we all tuck in to the football fest on the 26th, imagine each goal as a tribute to the Boxing Day Legend himself.