Stuart Pearce, Chris Waddle, Gareth Southgate, David Beckham, John Terry, Steven Gerrard, Ashley Cole and Wayne Rooney. It would be fair to describe that as an illustrious list that Dean Furman has now joined.
Not selected for South Africa’s opening match at the Africa Cup of Nations, Furman grabbed his opportunity with both hands thereafter. He raised his game effortlessly and was one of the top performers in the competition.
Furman should not be remembered for one penalty miss when he eventually hangs up his boots. At 24, his best years in the game lie ahead of him, clearly, and he has turned into a wonderful ambassador and role model for sports-minded Jews across the globe.
His parents, Ronnie and Carol, could not be prouder of what their son has already achieved in his career. And with Chelsea and Rangers at the top of his CV, it would not surprise me or his agent, Matty Kleinman, at all if a club offers him a move back up the ladder once his contract expires at Oldham Athletic this summer.
And if all else fails, I’m sure Barry Abrahams, the owner of K Pizza in Edgware, will be happy to let the former Rosh Pinah pupil promote his products, just as Pearce, Waddle and Southgate did with another well-known establishment. Sorry Deano.
* Some of the community’s most promising sportsmen have been in the wars. Rugby starlet Scott Spurling has been sidelined for two months with a hand injury that forced him to miss the U20 Six Nations win over Scotland. The Saracens youngster has compartment syndrome in one hand, but this hasn’t stopped him from training with the squad, although on a non-contact basis for now. He hopes to return for the match against France.
Cross Country starlet David Stone is out of action for around three months following a freak sledging injury. The 11-year-old, who claimed the Barnet School under-13 and Hertfordshire under-11 titles last month, was ruled out of the Middlesex Schools race.
AC Mill Hill’s Joe Levy suffered a broken leg in the MSFL match against L’Equipe on Sunday. The incident, which occurred after 75 minutes, resulted in the match being abandoned. Levy had surgery a day later and "was in good spirits," according to a Mill Hill spokesman, who added: "Joe’s happy he could watch the Super Bowl without having to get up for work the next day." Best wishes to all.
* I find it hard to believe there’s not a single Open category player in Great Britain good enough to play tennis at the Maccabiah Games in Israel this summer. Come on. Your country needs you!