The Darwin Awards is a project that recognises outstanding contributions to human evolution by individuals who self-select themselves out of the gene pool – invariably by their own unnecessarily foolish actions. If there is a non-fatal equivalent in the world of football, the nominations should be handed to players who put themselves out of action by dint of faintly ridiculous, self-inflicted injury. Picking up a strain playing Playstation, dropping bottles of salad cream or aftershave on feet, poking themselves in the eye with aircraft boarding-passes or using an electric drill to drain a blood blister with predictable results – these actions do not reflect well on the intelligence of footballers.
BTLM would like to put forward for consideration to this list the name of 1960s French goalkeeper Daniel Eon. He’s not a well-known player outside his native land, but he’s certainly one who deserves his place in the pantheon of players who picked up the most avoidable of injuries.
Eon was first-choice keeper of long-standing with French club Nantes during their rise to prominence under coach José Arribas. He was a steady presence between the posts as Nantes were promoted to the top division in 1963, became national champions in 1965 and successfully retained the Ligue 1 title the following year. Known for his safe rather than spectacular style, Eon struggled to capture the imagination of successive national team managers and stood third-choice in the international hierarchy behind Marcel Aubour and Pierre Bernard.