Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Celtic legend?

Back to the large turn-out again this week, as Simon’s butler (name of Harkins) helped file the various Monday morning replies to his master’s weekly SMS. Harkins duly came up with the following, based on the assorted digital missives:

Blues: Mick, Yev, Bristol Paul, Dave, Danny, Simon Ink, Dan, Alan, Simon Gas, Paul Guvnor, me

Yellows: Spizz, Alex, Patrick, Steve, Specialist Goalkeeper Phil, Ian Baggies, Sakho, Tony, Ian Gooner

The early team news – or late team news, in Mick and Yev’s case – was that Hampstead’s answer to Jean Luc Goddard was very much in attendance, despite last week’s contretemps, while Simon appears to have struck up a relationship with Big Sam Allardyce and managed to arrange a guest appearance by West Ham striker Diafra “Sakho”. Truth be told, the Senegalese forward is skating on thin ice having already cost his club £75,000 by appearing in the FA Cup while he was supposed to be too injured to participate in the African Cup of Nations in Africa; it’s difficult to envisage FIFA grand fromage Sepp Blatter taking a relaxed stance on the former Metz striker’s appearance at Coram Fields when he’s currently under contract at the Boleyn, but Simon has obviously got Harkins to pull a few strings.

And so we were underway. The Yellows took a two goal lead through Spizz, one a rebound off the post following a shot from either Patrick or Sakho, the next a poacher’s finish as he sought to evade the attentions of Alan. The Arthur of Daley of punk bagged his hat-trick courtesy of very cheeky chip over the outrushing goalkeeper (me) – in addition to scrambling backwards unsuccessfully to claw the ball away I had the added ignominy of hearing a passer-by chirp up “Ooh, he’s lobbed him!” from behind the goal. 

By this stage Simon had switched Ian Baggies for Paul, but the writing was already on the wall with the Blues having the youthful dynamism of not just Patrick, but also the ringer from Upton Park – oh, and they also had Alex. Combine these three with Spizz having his best sixty minutes since 1979 and it was uphill for the Blues. 

The Blues did bring some semblance of respectability to proceedings – Dan, by common consent the Blues’ man of the match – bagged one following a deepish run from midfield and Yev got another. But at the other end Ian Gooner trundled in a tap-in as the Blues pushed too many people forward and I think Monsieur Sakho finally got on the scoresheet, too. 

[Disclaimer: I did email Alan for some corroboration on this week’s scorers, but either I’ve upset him or my email has fallen foul of the government’s zealous spam filer. If I’ve made any factual blunders, I can only apologise].  

Relatively little incident off the ball this week, thank goodness, bar the usual theatrical reactions to disputed handball shouts and 50-50 challenges. 

Final score: Yellows 5- Blues 2

Having drank a liquid hectare of Shiraz the previous evening I had a mild case of the horrors and gave the pub a miss for once. However, I received an interesting phone call at 22.12 precisely, as Ian Gooner called to hand on some fairly startling news concerning Steve McAiton, he of the perpetual Scotland jersey and Rabbie Burns poems. 

Apparently, on entering the Skinners and seeing the rugby on the television, Steve clocked that England were beating Wales and ventured, “Oh, we’re winning”, swiftly followed by an “Oh, shit”.
I hereby propose that a quorum of fellow Celts, including Liam, Mark, Mick and Alan convene to adjudicate on whether Steve can continue to refer to himself as a Scotsman, or whether he is, in fact, as English as crumpets, high tea and the Long Room at Lord’s. Steve may or may not have to reveal what he wears under his kilt. 

My proposal would be to ask him to say the word “current” and see if it sounds like something you’d find in a teacake or the most explosive swearword in the English language. That’s the best way to determine a true Scotsman.

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