His Liffe story
Interesting reading in my morning newspaper this week,
as the autobiography of England rugby star Will Greenwood is
being serialised. Now, I'm not terribly interested in the matey
banter of men who spend most of their time either lying in
muddy puddles under piles of other men or doing frankly
revolting things with pint glasses. However, I was interested
to learn that Greenwood's first job - when rugby was still very
much an amateur activity - was on the floor at Liffe (then
itself rather an amateur activity if memory serves). According
to Greenwood, the experience was "exhilarating but?
shattering," which isn't exactly a revelation. The really
interesting bit comes when he explains that he couldn't hack
the pace of City life, at least not when combined with rugby
commitments which seem to mainly involve drinking and, er,
mingling with the opposite sex. He goes on: "Had I carried on
living as I did for those two years, I would almost certainly
have had some kind of breakdown by the age of 30 and no doubt
ended up living under Southwark Bridge, drinking from puddles
and introducing myself to passers-by as Napoleon Bonaparte."
Well, Will, I've encountered plenty of Liffe traders and former
Liffe traders in my time, and I must admit your analysis is
pretty close to spot on. Not yet met one who believed himself
to be the former French dictator, but I can confirm many, many
shared puddle-drinking experiences with the formerly blazered
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