Three Fulham cult heroes

10 March 2010

What does the term ‘cult hero’ mean to you? Perhaps it invokes memories of an honest tryer with wayward shooting but a loveable face. Or that surly bloke from the continent who only stayed for a season but scored the winner against your local rivals that one time. Or even that ridiculously talented bit-part player whose omission from the side you always resented the manager for. The characteristics that qualify a player as a cult hero are plentiful, diverse and often intangible; and, in recognition of these life-affirming souls, picks three Fulham players who once graced Craven Cottage and have lived on in the hearts of Cottagers fans ever since…
Tosh Chamberlain – Never the greatest of players, but persuading his mate Johnny Haynes to join Fulham over Tottenham Hotspur was one of the greatest contributions that any one man has ever made to the club (although Chamberlain may have come to regret the move, given how often Haynes would openly admonish him on the pitch). Packing one of the hardest shots in the game, Chamberlain was always good for a screamer on the rare occasions that his shots remained within an 80 mile radius of the stadium – in fact, he is purported to have claimed the record for longest ever kick when a shot of his flew over the riverside terracing, landed in a barge and ended up seven miles down the river in Brentford!
Greatest moment: A hat-trick against Newcastle United to level the scores after the Cottagers trailed the Magpies 3-0. (They still lost 5-4, but hey.)
Simon Morgan – A significant and full-blooded contributor during a dark time in the club’s history, defender Morgan was also one of the greatest moaners ever to take to a football pitch. He wrote a book – and very well! - about the Third Division championship-winning season under Micky Adams and had a special edition of Fulham fanzine ‘There’s Only One F in Fulham’ dedicated to him called ‘There’s Only One Simon Morgan’ and his presence at the club extended to a cameo appearance in the Kevin Keegan side that raced to the First Division title (and hasn’t dropped back since). Truly Morgan is Mr Fulham himself.
Greatest moment: His goal against Hull City on the final day of the 1996-1997 season.
Luis Boa Morte – Part of the legendary front three, along with Louis Saha and Barry Hayles, with which the Cottagers romped to the First Division title in 2000-2001. The Portuguese’s mixture of continental flair and traditionally British-valued work rate and tracking back made him beloved amongst his own, while his snarlier side – born of a desperate desire to win – made him a pantomime villain for everyone else. Like Steed Malbranque, he has never quite been the same since he left.

Greatest moment: His gleeful cartwheel after scoring the winner at Bolton Wanderers in the First Division title-winning season.