Goalkeepers Are Different

"Everything you've ever wanted to know about
goalkeepers and a little bit more"

Politically Speaking

Sport and politics should never mix... Or so the saying goes. But when it comes to goalkeepers, life is never that simple and having bossed around their respective defences for nigh on twenty years, many feel the need to enter the profession in order fill the void of telling people what to do and where to stand. Others, however, became victims due to their outspoken views and opinions.

Divided Loyalties

Life in Spain during the Civil War was never going to be easy for Ricardo Zamora. The legendary goalkeeper's allegiances with always a matter of great controversy and his playing career gave no indication of which side he was on. As a result, both sides tried to exploit his standing for their own benefit. Despite being awarded the Order of the Republic medal by the president of the Second Spanish Republic in 1934, Zamora was imprisoned by Republican militia during the war after the Nationalists made the most of a rumour that the goalkeeper had been shot and killed in 1936. He managed to avoid being executed due to his willingness to play football with his guards and he was eventually released with a little help from the Argentinian Embassy. He later returned to Spain and muddied the waters further by playing in a benefit game for Nationalist solders befoe eventually being awarded the Great Cross of the Order of Cisneros by Franco. Which side was he on? You decide!

A Spaceman Came Travelling

Former Coventry City goalkeeper, sports presenter and self-proclaimed saviour of mankind David Icke was a Green Party spokesman before he had a visit from the spirit world, which taught him that earth was secretly ruled by reptilian humanoids from the constellation Draco. Unsurprisingly, they disowned him.

A Cultured Man

After retiring from the professional game, former East German international Jurgen Croy became City Commissioner for Education, Culture and Sports in his hometown of Zwickau, remaining in the post for ten years.

A Cambridge blue

Not content with representing Cambridge University at football, England international John Frederick Peel Rawlinson later went on to become the Universtiy's Member of Parliament in 1906 - yes, they used to have their own MPs - and remained in office until 1923.

A Soldier's Tale

General Guillermo Suárez Masón, who was part of Argentina's military junta that ruled the country from 1976 to 1983, once played in goal for Argentinos Juniors' youth side. He was later charged with 430 disappearances and 39 murders following the regime's collapse after the Falklands Conflict.

Officer in Charge

Charles Charsley, the Small Heath goalkeeper who later went on to become Chief Constable of Coventry, also held the position of Deputy Mayor of Weston-Super-Mare from 1939 to 1940.

Active on Two Fronts

When not keeping goal for FK Sarajevo, Bosnian international Muhamed Alaim keeps himself busy by immersing himself in the local political scene and is an active member of the Party of Democratic Action.

Making Enemies

Portuguese goalkeeper Carlos António Gomes ended up in exile after becoming an outspoken critic of Portugal's fascist regime in the 1960s. The former international and first-choice keeper for Sporting Lisbon had enjoyed a successful career before allegations of rape, instigated by the political police of the regime, forced him to flee to Spain.

Keeper on the Right Wing

In September 2008, Italian international Christian Abbiati decided to break his silence about his political beliefs and declared that he was a fascist, stating "I am not ashamed to proclaim my political beliefs. I share [the] ideals of fascism, such as the fatherland and the values of the Catholic religion."

Put on the Spot

In 2001, former Yugoslavian international Dragan Pantelic, who scored over 25 career goals from the penalty spot, became a deputy in the Serbian National Assembly.

Prime Mover

He may have kept goal for the Faroe Islands but that wasn't enough for Kaj Leo Johannesen, who decided he wanted to save the entire country. Having served on the City Council of Tórshavn, he went on to become the country's prime minister, representing the Faroese Unionist Party (Sambandsflokkurin), taking office on 26 September, 2008.

Keeping his Council

After hanging up his gloves, former Burnley goalkeeper Albert Sanderson entered the world of local politics and enjoyed a thirty-year stint as a Labour councillor in Rochdale. First elected in the 1960s, the highlight of his political career came in 1983 when he became Mayor of the borough, holding the position until the following year.

Pyramid Schemer

Ahmed Shobair, who was part of Egypt's 1990 World Cup squad, served a term in the Egyptian Parliament from 2005 until 2010, representing the city of Tanta. He was also a member of the ruling National Democratic Party that was dissovled following the Arab Uprising in 2011 that toppled Egypt's dictator President Hosni Mubarak.

Keeper of the Opposition

In November 2004 Former Iran international Nasser Hejazi, who kept goal against Scotland in the 1978 World Cup Finals, announced his intention to stand for the Iranian presidential election the following year but his nomination was rejected by the Guardian Council of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Iran. Officially, his application was rejected on the grounds that he did not possess the necessary experience to run for office but rumour has it that he was seen as a realistic threat to the ruling party, such was his popularity in the country. Hejazi remained an outspoke supporter of the Iranian government and was banned by Iranian Television Network after speaking out against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, although his continued popularity saw this decision revoked soon after.

Pole Position

Former Poland goalkeeper Jan Tomaszewski, the player who kept England at bay at Wembley in 1973, was elected to the Polish parliament in November 2011, representing the right-wing conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party.

Triple Whammy

Italy's Stefano Tacconi made several ill-fated attempts at running for office after hanging up his gloves. In 1999 the former Juventus and Genoa keeper was on Alleanza Nazionale's lists for the European parliamentary elections, but failed to earn a seat. In 2005 he attempted to run for the president of Lombardy, opting to represent Nuovo MSI - an extreme right-wing party - but failed to secure enough support of validate his candidacy before trying his luck a third time and running for council in the city of Milan the following year. However, three did not prove to be a charm as he only gained 57 votes and failed once again to get elected.

Connect Four

Following a successful 15-year career with Atlético Mineiro, Olavo Leite de Bastos, who was better known by the nickname Kafunga, served as an alderman and deputy for four legislatures in the municipality of Belo Horizonte in Brazil.

Second Choice Goalie

Italian international Giovanni Galli, who played for a string of Serie A clubs including Fiorentina, Milan and Napoli during his career, ran for Mayor in Florence as the centre-right candidate under the patronage of Silvio Berlusconi in March 2009 but was defeated by his centre-left opponent after taking only 40% of the local vote.

Taking a stand

The turmoil and on-going political situation in Ukraine has led to many footballers speaking out in support of the Euromaidan protests. One of the first was Dynamo Kiev goalkeeper Oleksandr Shovkovsky, who used his Facebook page to make his feelings known. The keeper not only attended the protests but also offered support to an injured protestor and, following the impeachment of President Viktor Yanukovych, led the call for deputies of the Ukrainian parliament to lose thier immunity to prosecution.

Degrees of Interest

Liverpool and Belgium goalkeeper Simon Mignolet has a degree in Political Science, specialising in 20th Century Socialism, however the former Sunderland keeper, who completed his studies in 2013, says he has no intention of entering the political arena once his playing career is over.

Another Liverpool keeper to study a degree in Political Science was Danish stopper Jørgen Nielsen, who never actually made an appearance during his time at Anfield. Nielsen, who later played for Frem and Farum BK, put his career on hiatus in 2007 to complete his studies.

I Want to Ride My Bicycle

After retiring from football, former Druids and Wales international goalkeeper Harry Adams became a member of the National Conservative League's Cyclist Corps, an organisation that help organise hustings and polling stations at elections until the 1906 General Election in the United Kingdom.

Career Council-ed...

Dennis Herod, who played over 200 times for Stoke City after the end of World War Two, joined the Conservative party following his retirement and stood for election to his local council. However, he was unsuccessful in his bid to carve a career in politics after he failed to poll enough votes.

School for Thought

Former Blackburn Rovers and Leicester Fosse goalkeeper Charles Saer retained his political leanings after retiring from football. Having serves as the first President of the Professional Footballers Association, he went onto become Mayor of Fleetwood in later life, combing the role with that of a teacher in the local education system. He later had a primary school named after him.

Starting Them Young

North West Counties League club Barnoldswick Town`s goalkeeper Lyle Davy became the youngest Councillor in the UK in 2014 when he won a seat in Pendle for the Conservative party at the tender age of 18. Davy overturned a majority of 365 to win by just 49 votes.

Marching on Together

While Sweden were taking part in the 1978 World Cup in Argentina, goalkeeper Ronnie Hellström, together with teammates Roy Andersson and Roland Andersson, took part in the demonstrations of the Madres de la Plaza de Mayo in front of Casa Rosada to raise awarenss for the "disappeared" during the military dictatorship that held power between 1976 and 1983.

Follow that Kamel

Mustafa Kamel Mansour,who kept for Egypt in the 1934 World Cup Finals, became an football administrator following the end of his career, which included a spell with Queen's Park. Having served as Secretary General in the Confederation of African Football from 1958 to 1961, he later became a Cabinet Minister in the Egyptian Government.

Keeping it local

Having enjoyed a career in the Football League with Bristol City after the First World War, goalkeeper Frank Vallis served as chairman of his local parish council in Somerset.

Misplaced Sympathies

Dutch goalkeeper Gejus van der Meulen was one of the most popular sporting figures in the Netherlands before the war, having kept goal in two Olympic tournaments and the 1934 World Cup Finals. He enjoyed a long career with Koninklijke HFC but fell from grace after joining the National Socialist Movement in the Netherlands party, who collaborated with the Nazis throughout Second World War. He later joined the SS, becoming a prominent doctor within the organisation, but was arrested four days after the country was liberated at the end of the war. He was sentanced to eight years in prison but received a pardon in 1949. However, on his release, he found himself ostracised from both the football and medical worlds and was shunned by his former club.

A Conservative Keeper

Celtic goalkeeper Ronnie Simpson, who famously kept goal when the Hoops won the European Cup in 1967, somewhat surprisingly became a Conservative councillor in the Corstorphine ward of Edinburgh after retiring from football, remaing in the post for much of the 1970s.

Temporary Fixture

Peru international goalkeeper George Forsyth became the temporary mayor of the district of La Victoria in Lima in September 2014 while still performing his custodian duties for Peruvian team Alianza Lima at the age of 32.

Viva El Presidente

The 73rd President of Bolivia, Jaime Paz Zamora, financed his studies in the Belgium city of Leuven by keeping goal for the local football team.

Fanfare of the Roscommon Man

Former Athlone Town and Roscommon GAA goalkeeper Shane Curran ran in the 2016 Irish General Election in 2016 in Roscommon-Galway, representing Fianna Fáil. He finished a distant sixth out of a possible twelth candidates.