Soccer Magazine

The Tuff Gong’s Greatest Lesson

By Simplyfutb01 @simplyjuan11

Bob Marley There were very few musicians like Bob Marley.  As a matter of fact , there were few people like him.   This is what made him a mystic both on the football pitch as well as the stage.  

Yeah, you heard me. Bob was a huge fan of the game.  He was a man filled with passions and football was one that filled his time and was integral in his life.

Bob, of course, was a huge football fan and he did everything he could in order to play when he had some time.  Before a concert, with family and friends… to him football was a way of life.  Looking at various pictures of him and having seen videos of him playing, well he was no slouch.

More importantly, Bob was genuine and so in touch with himself with a ball at his feet.  Those photos that you can find of him, he’s relaxed but yet mildly serious.   

His frenetic beats were a reflection of what his life was all about.  His laid back attitude was the antithesis of what football was about, although that temperment would switch whenever there was competition.  But it wasn’t a violent type of competitiveness.  Instead it was that of a childish nature according to many.  

It was sincere joy that he got from kicking a ball around with whoever was around, whereever he was.  Many even argued that if his first love wouldn’t have been music; Robert Nesta Marley would have had a promising career as a player.  


 “I love music before I love football. If I love football first, maybe that a bit dangerous, because the football very violent. If a man tackle you hard, it brings feelings o’ war!”- Bob Marley.  

His music as well as his love for football were reflections of how he thought the world should be.  HIs music emasculates an inspire classes and individuals that look to rise up from whatever or whoever is keeping them down.  

I mean his music fit into a footy match.  There is just no way you cannot get hyped up or inspired to go out there and run through a brick wall or dribble through a defense the way Maradona did against the English.   Unfortunately for many of us we would either get hurt, embarrassed or both in an effort to do that.  The point is that Bob believed that he could and that was what was most important. 

There was an urban legend where he supposedly told a few kids in Brazil while he was recording there that he, much like his idol Pelé, could play different positions.  This all while he prepared himself to play in a pick up game with them.   He also believed that your idols 

Football is a whole skill to itself.  A whole world.  A whole universe to itself.  Me love it because you have to be skillful to play it!  Freedom! Football is freedom.”-   Bob Marley 

He fits perfectly in that role onceyou see him kick a ball.  His role is quite pronounced.  When you go all over the planet, Marley personifies the justice and peace that his music expresses and that many around the world are striving to obtain.  When he is seen kicking a ball, he encompasses all of that with his grasp for “the people’s game”.  This is what makes this all so perfect.   

I was way too small to appreciate him as he rocked venues all through Europe.  I was just a toddler when he was just making it in the United States and when he eventually passed away back in 1981.   Football, according to many urban legends was a reason for his passing because of a stomp he took on his foot which knocked out his toenail and eventually developed a gangrenous-type condition.  The reality was that there was a malignant malinoma already in his toe.    

When Marley passed, he was buried with two of his favorite symbols-  a bible, his red Les Paul guitar and a football.   

I might be a little bit late in giving one of the icons of not just soccer culture his respect on the 67th anniversary of his birth.  That is because I have spent most of my life celebrating the way he lived.  One of those ways was by playing the sport  Bob so dearly loved.   In a way, he was a person that kept that childhood romanticism to the game and refused to grow up despite the influence he ended up being.  Yeah, there was a bit of everything that  taken in the appropriate doses makes a life complete. 

Football was life to him, but in the positive sense.  He personified the innocence and passion for a pastime, but also knowing that there are greater things in life.   To be honest, there needs to be more of that nowadays as we see the game in its current state.   

Thanks, Bob.


The Tuff Gong’s Greatest Lesson

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