Why is every ex-sportsman now referred to as a “legend?”

Over the last few years I have noticed that virtually every ex-sportsman (and woman) when being introduced on TV or radio is described as a “legend”I have heard reserve team footballers and those who made scant few appearances for the first team as “footballing legend”, well excuse me I think not.

Even the newspapers have jumped on the bandwagon. A recent article criticising the “standard of football” in the American soccer league referred to ex Liverpool player Stevie Nicol (now coaching in America) as a “Liverpool legend”

I think this started with the dire Talkradio station who, because they could not get top players onto programmes were reduced to interviewing players from lower leagues and in an attempt to “big them up” started referring to them a “legends”

It was not long before the BBC and ITV sports programmes jumped on the bandwagon and now everyone is a “legend”

Out of curiosity I though I would look at the definition of the word legend and this is what I came up with”- “a nonhistorical or unverifiable story handed down by tradition from earlier times and popularly accepted as historical.”

I leave you to draw your own conclusion.

From a personal point of view there are very few who would qualify as a “legend” or as I would prefer to call them “innovators” and here is my list for what it is worth:-

Edson Arantes do Nascimento (better known as Pele)

Alfredo di Stefano

Johan Cruyff

Ferenc Puskas

George Best










The whole of the 1970 Brazilian world cup winning team (the greatest team to grace a football field)


The whole of the 1960 Real Madrid European cup winning team (they took football to a level that was unequalled)


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