I stand corrected. Back in the day I claimed that there were no eco-friendly chaps in the English Premier League. But lo and behold — I bring you Calamity James.

James, a goalkeeper for Portsmouth, was born David, not Calamity, but seeing as Wikipedia lists him under the heading “Notable footballers prone to errors,” it’s a deserved nickname. Still, judging from a recent op-ed, at least his heart’s in the right place.

James berates English football (yes, soccer, whatever) for its eco-slackerness:

Not many clubs – and probably not many fans or players – worry much about their carbon footprint, but they should.

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And carbon footprints don’t come much bigger than football’s. Think of all the teams and fans flying to fixtures, football stars driving around in gas-guzzling 18-litre cars, and all those thousands of fans driving to the grounds, spewing litter, week in, week out.

James suggests a reasonable mix of kicking individual arses into high gear, coupled with regulation:

It’s about changing attitudes on an individual level, but also in terms of the way the clubs themselves operate.

So whose responsibility is it to enforce this change? Environmental damage is a global problem so let’s bring in the global authority. Fifa should be issuing directives to football’s national governing bodies to be more responsible.

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He urges recycling, carbon offsetting, tax incentives, better transportation — the list goes on. It may be just “David James on another moral crusade,” but it gives me a Premier League player to respect (and he’s cute, too — even with the hair). Besides, does it get any better than this?

Football can and should be moulded into the perfect ecological role model. Get a load of footballers on a reality TV show and challenge them not to chew the balls off kangaroos or whatever, but to reduce their carbon footprint by 20 per cent.

Love it.