Elton John's soccer-fan side that Rocketman forgot

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While Rocketman has been well received, there are several fans who left cinemas with a bitter taste because of the omission of a fundamental side of Elton John

Elton John's soccer-fan side that Rocketman forgot

Last Thursday, Rocketman premiered across the UK and reached more than 30 countries on the weekend. Although Elton John is not such a recognized figure as Queen -even those who are not very close to music have at least listened to 'We will rock you' or 'We are the champions'-, his strongly publicized biopic will leave more than one spectator  with a curiosity of researching about this extravagant musician who this year celebrates half a century of activity as Elton John.

Leer en español: El lado futbolero de Elton John que Rocketman omitió

Fortunately, most of those who entered cinemas without having any idea of the pianist with more than thirty published recordings will enter the streaming platforms and listen to the Rocket Man's LPs from beginning to end.


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On the day of the premiere, the film managed to raise eight million dollars and this week is expected to reach the figure of twenty million dollars in the United States alone, according to Variety. The production of the most recent biopic amounted to forty million dollars, so, considering only the estimated figures of the United States, we can say with confidence that the money will not be lost.

You may be interested: 5 decades of Elton John

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However, there will be a population that will be tremendously disappointed with the omission of an essential chapter in Elton John's life: soccer fans. More specifically, Watford FC fans in England will be offended by being completely ignored in the pianist's biopic. Wait, calm down, there is no problem. We will take care of the task that the production of the film did not fulfill.

From an early age, Elton John -at that time known as Reginald Kenneth Dwight, his real name- was a fan of Watford FC. He was born in the town of Pinner, in Middlesex County. Watford is fifteen minutes away by train from Pinner and is home to the closest soccer team possible to John's place of residence, so the young man formed a bond of love with the club.

It should be noted that in the sixties, when Elton was still a teenager and was flirting with the idea from living music, Watford FC was a tiny team that had not managed to be beyond the third division of professional English soccer. Just the year of Elton John's solo career musical debut in 1969, the club managed to ascend to the second division of professional soccer, but in the third year it descended and the following year it descended again to the fourth division.

The dream of soccer success of the 'Hornets' -the most popular nickname of the club, although it is a bit confusing since in its logo there is a deer- seemed a simple illusion and that its destiny was to be condemned to the minor divisions. All this until the Rocket Man appeared.


Una publicación compartida de Elton John (@eltonjohn) el

In 1976, superstar Elton John officially purchased the rights of Watford FC and alternated his busy musical life with the duties of club president. In his first season as president and owner of the club, hand in hand with the young trainer Graham Taylor, they managed to ascend from the fourth division to the first in a period of six seasons, a feat never before seen until then. In 1983, they managed to be runners-up in the league below the Liverpool Colossus and the following year they reached the final of the FA Cup, the oldest active soccer competition in the world, and lost against Everton, Liverpool's backyard rival. Coincidentally, this year they achieved their second appearance in the final of the same competition, although Manchester City crushed them 6-0.

However, after being runners-up, the following seasons were a half-table team until the 1987-88 season in which they were last in the charts and descended. Coincidentally, that year Elton John sold the club to businessman and philanthropist Jack Pretchey, although his work as president remained intact. The following seasons are meant to oblivion, because also in the second division they were a team of half table until 1996-97 season, in which Watford FC descended. Immediately, in the following season, Elton John bought the club again and with the newly-hired Graham Taylor, he returned to the Premier League in a matter of two years, which meant two promotions in a couple of years. Likewise, that same season he saw them advance and get back to the second division.

In 2002, Elton John was forced to leave the administrative work of the club when he did not have enough time to attend the team, although he was named honorary president for life. Towards the end of 2014, the club's board of directors named a section of the eastern part of the stadium as the Sir Elton John grandstand in homage to the pianist. According to the British newspaper The Telegraph, the day of the grand opening was one of the happiest days for Elton John. The musician has also offered some concerts at the Vicarage Road, Watford Stadium, whose winnings went directly to the coffers of the club to buy players.

And none of this appeared in Rocketman. There was not even any mention of the soccer team...


LatinAmerican Post | Pedro Vergara

Translated from "El lado futbolero de Elton John que Rocketman omitió"