Posted 20 hours ago

Nice One Cyril

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There are far fewer Cyrils (or Cyrilles) playing in England’s top-flight of football today than there were in the 1970s. In another example I was particularly annoyed by the Virgin East Coast line train manager last week, who decided it was really funny to announce that the train was stopping at various “holes in the hedge” on the way to London, and that “unfortunately” we would be stopping at Doncaster.

Given that my name isn’t Cyril, the reference might appear baffling to Millennials and Generations Zers but, at one time, it was a phrase used in common parlance as a way to express praise for someone. In 1972, Wonderloaf Bread created a television advertising campaign written by Peter Mayle with the slogan "Nice one, Cyril", where the slogan was used to congratulate a baker named Cyril for baking a good loaf of bread.In Greg Wood and Chris Cook you have two of the best racing journalists around, so why can’t we have the racecards? The song was performed by the Cockerel Chorus (the cockerel is the emblem of Tottenham Hotspur) fronted by Spiro, with Jamie Phillips singing the opening operatic part.

In Cockney rhyming slang it was adopted to mean "squirrel", [12] and it was the title of the autobiography of Cyril Fletcher. The "Nice one Cyril" chant used by Tottenham fans for Cyril Knowles is also used for another Tottenham player Son Heung-min, reworded as "Nice one, Sonny, nice one Son / Nice one, Sonny, let’s have another one.Tottenham Hotspur quartet in a defensive wall – L-R: Steve Perryman, Cyril Knowles, Phil Beal and Roger Morgan – at White Hart Lane in 1972.

Staggered that at 43 you didn’t know the original connection to Spurs, and that has just made me feel like an OAP. Your feature about localism initiatives in Preston ( How to take back control, 31 January) was inspiring. Due to the popularity of the TV slogan and the song, "Nice one Cyril" became a popular catchphrase in the 1970s used to praise someone. Nice one, Cyril” was actually invented by Peter Mayle, of A Year in Provence fame, as an advertising slogan for Wonderloaf Bread in 1972.It was borrowed from a TV Wonderloaf advert and, performed by Cockerel Chorus, it peaked at No 14 in the UK singles charts in March 1973. Photograph: Popperfoto/Getty Images View image in fullscreen Tottenham Hotspur quartet in a defensive wall – L-R: Steve Perryman, Cyril Knowles, Phil Beal and Roger Morgan – at White Hart Lane in 1972. The slogan was picked by fans of the football club Tottenham Hotspur, who chanted "Nice one Cyril" to praise a Tottenham player named Cyril Knowles. From Cyril Knowles the baton was passed to Cyrille Regis, and from Cyrille Regis it has passed to Son Heung-Min.

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