King Mob – comprised of Chris Spedding (Roxy Music, Elton John, John Cale, Paul McCartney), drummer Martin Chambers (Pretenders), front man Stephen W Parsons aka Snips (Sharks), guitarist Sixteen and bassist Toshi Ogawa – are set to release their new single “I Was There (Olympix Edit)” on July 23rd in celebration of all the lovely sport coming our way this summer. As such, Football Burp caught up with Snips for a brief natter about his beloved Chelsea, only to discover that it’s not as simple as that. First, though, check out this choice cut from King Mob’s sterling debut album Force 9…
So you’re a Chelsea fan…
Well I am now but the truth is I used to be a Leeds United fan up until they kind of self-combusted ten or eleven years fan. I was a die-hard Leeds fan, used to follow them everywhere, but I got so fed up with the whole situation that I decided, you know what, I’m not going to invest that much effort any more. After that I kind of picked Chelsea at random, although they’ve always had some nice players – but I’m an armchair supporter now, don’t go to games like I used to. But yeah, I enjoy following Chelsea and I was really happy to see them win the European Cup this year.
Controversial move, surely? Chelsea and Leeds were quite big rivals back in the day…
Oh yes, but it would have been worse if I’d picked Manchester United! I’ve lived in London since the mid-’70s so it was best to pick a London team, I think.
Did you watch the Champions League final?
I did, yeah. They struggled but, you know. I remember seeing Leeds in a European Cup final against Bayern Munich, playing fantastically and losing, so the fact that Chelsea didn’t play that well but won is okay with me. I’ll take it.
Were you happy to see Roberto Di Matteo get the manager’s job full time?
Oh yeah, very happy. I was a bit worried because Roman Abramovich is known to chop and change. Di Matteo’s a great guy and I liked him a lot as a player. I think it’s a very positive move for the club.
Have you been watching the European Championships?
I’m afraid I watched the England match!
Are you happy with Roy Hodgson as manager?
Not at all, especially with such a good candidate as Harry Redknapp available. Personally I think they’ve been picking the wrong England manager for the last fifteen or sixteen years. Roy Hodgson’s a systems man – he’ll build a team to play a system but never do very well, and he will not unlock players like Harry Redknapp can. Redknapp can unlock players on a personal basis and I don’t see Roy Hodgson doing that.
Do you remember the first match you ever went to?
Leeds against Manchester United. I was taken as a kid and I think Leeds were in the Second Division then, way back in the ’60s, and it was an FA Cup game that ended in a 1-1 draw. Albert Johanneson played – he was South African and the first black player to play for a decent side. Great player as well.
Finally, if you had to preside over a fantasy five-a-side match between Chelsea and Leeds, with you picking each team out of all the players you’ve seen in your time as a fan, who would you pick?
Over the course of the last fifty years Leeds have probably had better players. If you look at the great Leeds teams you’ve got Billy Bremner, Eddie Gray, Allan Clarke – you know, really top players, and that’s without people like Eric Cantona who popped in for a year. Or Tony Yeboah – what a striker that guy was!
With Chelsea you’ve got Ron Harris…you know, back in the day, putting him up against Norman Hunter was a big deal. Didier Drogba would definitely make my Chelsea side, as would Gianfranco Zola. Both sides over the years have had some really top-notch but I will say that the best player I’ve seen come out of England was Tony Currie, who played for Leeds for three seasons – he was unbelievable, I’ve never seen anyone with as much strength and control as that guy. He’d be the captain of my Leeds five-a-side team.
Stephen W Parsons, thank you.