That Time Donald Trump Helped With The League Cup Draw

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Paste Magazine’s readership trends young (and North American), but surely there are some of you out there who remember the British football show Saint and Greavsie. The programme ran on ITV in the 80s and early 90s and featured retired Tottenham legend Jimmy Greaves and retired Liverpool hero Ian St John. The show has received some extra attention lately thanks to a particular segment aired in December 1991.

Greaves and St John were in the US filming some segments on the country that had recently been awarded the 1994 World Cup. The producers wanted to explore what an American World Cup might look like and how a previously football agnostic populace was receiving such a huge honor.

As St John recalled in an excellent interview in The Guardian, he and Greaves were scheduled to film a segment in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York, which producers arranged due to the perceived iconic nature of the building. While setting up, the hosts and producers made the acquaintance of Donald Trump’s personal assistant. After a bit of conversation, the assistant (and English expat) broached the possibility of Trump himself appearing on the show.

Trump, of course, knew nothing about football. But as we’re all painfully aware of now, the future reality TV star and presidential candidate is pathologically incapable of resisting the lure of a television camera.

Per St John:

”To be fair to Donald, he was really good with us. He respected the fact Jimmy [Greaves] and I were former pros and asked about that as the crew set up to film the draw. We also had a good chat about golf as he was really into that and we played a bit. But, as I say, he had no idea about football and certainly no idea what Rumbelows was. We didn’t bother explaining it to him.”

You mean Donald Trump inserted himself into the proceedings of something he didn’t remotely understand? We’re shocked. Shocked, I tell you.

But the segment went forward and production migrated to Trump’s boardroom. And so it was that Donald Trump muscled his way into a popular British football show and helped conduct the draw for the League Cup quarterfinals.

There’s a lot going on in this clip, but perhaps the best part is Trump— who, again, did not know the first thing about English football— commented on Leeds being drawn with Manchester United with this nugget of wisdom: “That’s a biggy, that sounds like the type of game I want to go to.” There’s no way he could’ve been aware of the history of that particular rivalry, but sure Donnie, that’s definitely a “biggy.”

(At least he didn’t say “bigly.”)

St John also talked about the end of the segment where Greaves offered Trump a coffee mug and described it as “the most prestigious award in footballing history” and said the famous-for-being-famous businessman wasn’t in on the joke. “Jimmy’s the biggest piss taker I’ve ever met and Donald wouldn’t know a piss taker if he tripped over one!”

The draw for the quarterfinals of the EFL Cup will be held immediately following today’s round of ties, featuring a Manchester Derby. Meanwhile, the presidential election is less than two weeks away. Both are inciting high levels of anxiety. Only one, thankfully, has implications for the fate of humanity.