On the playground at school, wherever that playground was, there was always one kid; not really one of the football crowd, but liked to join in from time to time. Problem was, they wore Doc Martens and had mastered just one football skill: the toe punt.

It was the shot of shame, the ball flying over the fence as they put their steel toe capped boot under it time after time. The toe punt was frowned upon and its author derided.

But that toe punter (or toe poker or toe ender, or whatever else you might have called them) knew something the rest didn’t. In truth, the deriders were the footballing troglodytes. For the toe poke, when put to good use, is football’s most underrated art form, a skill as beautiful as it is effective.

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