If the festive period gives us anything, it’s hour upon hour of terrible television adverts. This year at least, Premier League footballers are nowhere to be seen in the Christmas commercials but that doesn’t mean that they haven’t dabbled in a spot of TV advertising.
We’ve looked through the archive to come up with ten of the best (and worst) examples of footballers trying to sell you stuff.
10. Kevin Keegan – Brut
Keegan and Henry Cooper – if that duo doesn’t scream out “real men”, nothing will. If the ridiculously short shorts didn’t earn this add a place in our top ten, the pathetic clenched fist made by Keegan certainly did.
9. Jamie & Harry Redknapp – Nintendo Wii
The Redknapp family tried their hardest to convince us that the Nintendo Wii should be our games console of choice. All that we really learnt from the experience is that Jamie is much worse at both Mario Kart and Wii Blowing than his wife. We suspect that the same is true when it comes to football punditry.
8. Pat Jennings – Unipart
Pat Jennings made 472 appearances for Tottenham Hotspur. He made 237 for Arsenal and he is the record holder of caps for Northern Ireland – so what was he reduced to? Diving around a muddy Elm Park goalmouth whilst dressed as an oil filter, that’s what.
7. Chris Waddle, Stuart Pearce & Gareth Southgate – Pizza Hut
It was an unwritten rule in the 1990s that, if you missed a penalty for England in a major tournament, you had to do a Pizza Hut advert. And so after the heartbreak of Euro 96, it was Gareth Southgate who had to don a paper bag and endure much ribbing from Chris Waddle and Stuart Pearce.
6. Kevin Keegan – The Green Cross Code
“Hey”, cries King Kev in that appalling suit jacket. “What do you think you’re playing at?” The day is saved as Mr Keegan prevents a young boy from racing our across the street, showing a complete disregard for the Green Cross Code. In as condescending a tone as possible, the boy is shown the error of his ways and told to remember the Green Cross Code.
5. Jimmy Hill – ‘Think Bike’ Road Safety campaign
Another public information film, this time featuring legendary pundit Jimmy Hill, as part of a 1978 motorcycle safety campaign. Look on in disbelief as Jimmy offers a cold and completely unemotional play-by-play analysis of a fatal road traffic accident.
“That car driver will be more careful next time. For the motorcyclist, there won’t be a next time.”
4. Ian Wright – Chicken Tonight
If you’re trying to portray supermarket stir-fry sauce as a “premium” product, please, please don’t seek the services of a professional footballer from South London.
A loveable rouge on the pitch, Ian Wright became the most hateful thing on television with this advert for Chicken Tonight.
3. Bobby Moore– The Local Pub
At last! Proper footballers advertising proper stuff. With World Cup legend Bobby Moore on board, everyone could “look in at the local”.
2. Peter Schmeichel – Danepak Bacon
If you are looking to sell Danish bacon, what better way to get “the Great Dane” himself, dress him up like a complete fool and get him singing a song about bacon? How could you not want to buy bacon after this? Perhaps the most impressive part is that Peter Schmeichel can still play the accordion and the guitar whilst wearing goalkeeping gloves.
1. Pele – Pfizer
How can we not feature footballer advertisements and not mention Pele’s attempts to peddle Viagra? “Talk to your doctor, I would!”