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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Ain't That a Bitch ? Famous Footballer Attending Family Funeral Service Collapses and Dies

How often is it that someone goes to a funeral to pay their respects to a deceased friend or loved one...only to die themselves ?

The irony is almost too much to bear, and the scenario is almost too funny to believe that it happened.

And yet it did.

Former Chelsea stalwart and England international Peter Osgood died at the age of 59 while attending a family funeral service on Wednesday.

Known as the 'King of Stamford Bridge,' Osgood made 380 appearances for the Blues, scoring 150 goals and helping them win the 1970 FA Cup and 1971 Cup Winners' Cup. He also was part of England's 1970 World Cup side and made four appearances during the tournament.

A fantastic footballer, Osgood was a prolific scorer and enjoyed an illustrious career. He earned legendary status at Chelsea, accomplishing such feats as scoring twice in his professional debut in 1964, finding the back of the net in every round of the 1970 FA Cup, and forming part of the Blues side that defeated Spanish powerhouse Real Madrid to win the 1971 European Cup Winners' Cup.

Osgood also enjoyed spells with Southampton and Philadelphia Fury in the United States before returning to Chelsea, where he ended his career. He remained close to the game in retirement, working in football-related media, becoming a popular after-dinner speaker and involving himself in Chelsea club events.

Sadly, I never knew anything of Peter Osgood before today. In reading about him, I've learned that apart from being a legendary footballer, he was an amazing person on and off the field.

Nevertheless, I'm still always going to remember him as the guy that died while attending a funeral.

Now, you may be saying, "That's not funny ! That's bullshit ! If there is a God, how could he let something so cruel take place !?!"

I used to ask myself the same thing. That was, until I watched Grey Dawn, one of my favorite South Park episodes, which came out around the time that an old man plowed through about nine people in a crowded market in California a few years back.

It was the moment that the South Park priest gave this explanation of such unexpected and crazy events that I learned to appreciate the comedy that results from them:

"...we must understand, God's sense of humor is very different from our own. He does not laugh at the simple "man walks into a bar" joke. No, God needs complex irony and subtle farcical twists that seem macabre to you and me. All that we can hope for is that God got his good laugh and a tragedy such as this will never happen again."

Further reading and references:

Peter Osgood: Official Site

BBC: Football Mourns the Death of Osgood

Telegraph: Peter Osgood

Technorati Tags: , Peter Osgood, Chelsea, Chelsea FC, Funeral, Stamford, Stamford Bridge, King of Stamford Bridge, South Park, God

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