Football's Hardmen (Gallery)

In the modern game, as referees give out cards like candy on Halloween there is less of a need for a designated 'hard man', like Chelsea's Ron 'Chopper' Harris in the photo above, to have a place on a team.
But in the past, when referees weren't quite as strict and let a lot of heavy tackles go, every side needed someone to look out for their club's star players. Teams needed a player that wasn't afraid to stand up to the opposition's hard man and, once in a while, leave a foot in on the other side's best player.

It was an ugly job, but often these characters played a major role in their team's success.

The following are some of the rougher customers that have patrolled pitches over the decades.
Antonio Rattin - Boca Juniors and Argentina

Graeme Souness - Liverpool and Scotland
Peter Storey - Arsenal and England
Andoni "The Butcher from Bilbao" Goikoetxea - Athletic Bilbao and Spain
Paolo Montero - Juventus and Uruguay
Claudio Gentile - Juventus and Italy
Tommy Smith - Liverpool and England
Nobby Stiles - Manchester United and England
Willie Woodburn - Rangers and Scotland
Wilf Copping - Arsenal and England
Roy Keane - Manchester United and Republic of Ireland



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