Retro Football: Ben Thatcher Elbows Pedro Mendes In The Head, 2006 (Video)

Ollie Irish

7th, December 2010


By Ollie Irish

One of the most disgusting – and upsetting – acts I’ve ever seen on a football pitch in Britain:

Of course, to call this a horror ‘tackle’ is grossly unfair on horror tacklers everywhere. This was a flat-out assault: deliberate, brutal and criminal. The FA suspended Thatcher for eight matches for this incident, with a further 15-match suspended ban for two years. He got away very lightly.

Imagine if such an incident were to happen today. We would all be foaming at the mouth, calling for the aggressor to be banned for life – or longer. As I remember it, although people were sickened by Thatcher’s assault on poor Pedro, and some people did indeed want him banned for life, it wasn’t to the extent where the entire media was screaming for his head on a stick; I even remember some people defending him with the classic line “he’s not that sort of player”, which in Thatcher’s case plainly wasn’t true (and also smacked of “foreign players don’t like it up ’em” xenophobia) – he was very much that sort of player.

Angry young man: Thatcher in action for Man City in 2006

As for Thatcher, he’s currently a free agent after his contract with Ipswich Town was terminated in February 2010. At 35, and with dodgy knees, his pro career is almost certainly over – he won’t be missed at all and I couldn’t care less that he curbed his temper as he got older.

Mendes, who is only 31 (I thought he was a couple of years older, to be honest), currently plays for Sporting Club in his native Portugal.

Posted in Hardmen, Man City, Portsmouth, Retro, Videos

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  1. Ian says:

    That was horrifying! I remember watching that game. That elbow from Thatcher was 100-times worse then the elbow Leonardo delivered to that American chap from the ’94 World Cup. Brutal!

  2. Connor says:

    as a city fan this definitely ranks as one of the incidents i hope not to see again… disgraceful. thatcher is a thug and a shit defender to boot

  3. Santi says:

    What a cunt

  4. Tinez says:

    The most disgusting thing about this assault was the way Thatcher reacted. Looking at Glen Johnson as if to say ‘I barely touched him, he’s soft as shite and your complaining is ridiculous’. His taudry attempt to see if Mendes was ok also smacked of a player who is and forever will be associated with this sickening attack. Completely sickening.

  5. Tom Jones says:

    “He got away very lightly”
    You have got to be kidding. 8 matches ban for that who is not deliberate at all is far too much when people who try and injure other players only get a couple of games.

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