Categorized | Jason Parker

Three Cheers for David James

Congrats David. You've earned it.

Congrats David. You've earned it.

David James isn’t your ordinary English footballer. He’s been Calamity James. He’s also been England’s number one goalkeeper. He’s concerned about the environment, as evidenced by his recent conversion of his Chrysler 300C diesel Estate so that it can run on rapeseed oil. He doesn’t eat cheese. Hairdressers love him as he’s had more hairstyles than Cher. And let’s not forget this photo from Cosmo magazine. Now he’s added something else to his eclectic resume. Yesterday, he passed Gary Speed for most appearances in the Premier League. James also broke the record in style, keeping a clean sheet as Portsmouth defeated Manchester City 2-0.

It’s a pretty amazing feat for a man whose Liverpool career began with him conceding twenty goals in eleven matches. And who knows how many more Premier League appearances he would have had, had he not stayed with West Ham when they were relegated in 2003. He ended up playing a total of 102 matches in the Championship with the Hammers. After a brief and unsuccessful run with Manchester City, a move to Portsmouth revitalized his career, culminating in an FA Cup victory last season. His career has had more ups and downs than me staggering home from the bar on a Saturday night.

I’m not saying David James is the greatest English goalkeeper of all time. He’ll never be put in the same class as Peter Shilton or David Seaman, and he probably shouldn’t be. But he should be admired for persevering long enough to set this record, and I want to be the first to congratulate him. I also hope that Portsmouth stay up this season so that James can continue to add to his record next season and beyond. I also hope that his recent run of conservative hairstyles comes to an end and something like the Clark Kent can make an appearance again.

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