Don’t really need to introduce you to the man who said those now famous words…
… But I’m still going to because I like to fill in some space before I post the music.
The son of a Afro-Surinamese migrant and his mistress, Ruud Gullit started playing and developed his football skills on the street. In 1978 he signed for (the now defunct) HFC Haarlem by the coach and former West Brom player Barry Hughes. In his time there he scored 32 goals in 91 appearances. Then in 1982 he moved to Feyenoord and Ruud played alongside Johan Cruijff. The season after they won the league and cup double plus Gullit was named the Dutch Footballer of the Year. There was another move in 1985 when he signed for PSV and bagged 46 goals in 68 league appearances as well as another Footballer of the Year award.
By now, with his international performances also gaining attention, it was AC Milan who came calling in the form of that shrinking violet Silvio Berlusconi who paid a then record fee for him. Gullit slotted into a team that already had his compatriots Marco van Basten, Frank Rijkaard, along with Paolo Maldini and Franco Baresi. More success came to him and the club when they won their first Scudetto in 9 years. In the following seasons Milan won back-to-back European Cups.
With his playing career and himself slowing down Gullit was signed to Chelsea by Glenn Hoddle, initially to play as a sweeper but eventually moved into midfield where he started scoring goals.
A year later Hoddle would leave to become another disappointing England manager and Ruud was appointed as the player-manager. Then a season later he led Chelsea to their first major trophy in 26 years when they won the FA Cup.
That first time as a boss was the highlight of his management career because after this… well let’s get to the tunes shall we ?
Winding back to 1984 when Ruud was the darling of the (Dutch) game. Feyenoord had won the double plus Gullit had won his first Footballer of the Year award. He was in the papers all the time and he could do no wrong.
Then the big fan of reggae music did what every other footballer does when this spotlight is shone upon them. He released a single:
» Ruud Gullit – Not The Dancing Kind
A turgid effort but it didn’t matter to his fans, one remark I spotted said:
“This actually made the top 10 in the Netherlands, but Ruud was so popular back then that a record of him farting would have made the top 10 too.”
In 1987 a Dutch reggae band who Ruud had befriended (he had even occasionally played bass with them) released a single in praise of the dreadlocked midfielder:
"He runs like lightning / Thunder when he kicks the ball / Don't try to stop him / Natty dreadlocks a go pass them all
Captain dread / Captain dreadlocks at the ball / Captain Dread, natty dread /Bongo natty dreadlocks in full control"
The gesture was intended to raise awareness. It certainly raised eyebrows. Ruud Gullit, 25 years old at the time, had just been named European Footballer of the Year and, on receiving the award, he dedicated it to the world’s most famous political prisoner. “This is for Nelson Mandela,” declared the Dutchman, then of AC Milan. “In Italy,” Gullit recalls with a smile, “that made a big stir. There wasn’t such an activism about apartheid over there.”
Then in 1988 he got together with the Revelation Time band to record a single, once again to raise awareness of what was going on with South Africa:
» Revelation Time (feat. Ruud Gullit) – South Africa