Conspicuous by blogging absence after various unreasonable work and life demands, and inspired by current Philip Pullman mania, TLF presents a trilogy of blogs and a prequel. Well ‘prequel’ really means the blog IOU the most. I’m trying to imply that I am topical as opposed to just plain old late…..
La Belle Matchday Magazine
So where were we? Ah yes. The FA Cup, with TLF making her official debut as a programme seller. There had been a previous appearance for last year’s game against Carlisle, but that was from the sub’s bench and involved a small transgression with regard to stock control. Clearly JJ had recognised that every penitent TLF deserves another chance. Or more likely no one else was agreeing to take on the prestigious gig that is ‘Official Match Day Magazine Seller to the Away Fans”. Largely because it isn’t. A prestigious gig, that it is.
Because apparently away fans never buy programmes and we were playing Boreham Wood, whose fans, according to some crueller Saints fans than I, can’t read anyway. And yes their daemons are all probably stoats, weasels and hyenas too. Still TLF likes a challenge, plus Julie was working the away turnstile so there would be topnotch company to ward off the boredom when my programmes didn’t sell like hot cakes. Although if i am honest I generally prefer a cake that is cold.
Important pre-match turnstile operator’s briefing
Early signs were promising as three programmes flew off the shelves before the turnstiles were even open. Admittedly the purchasers were me, Julie and the bloke from the BBC. “Sorry mate I know you are media but it’s more than my job’s worth to be handing out freebies…”, but a sale is a sale. And once the turnstiles were open it seems that TLF can sell ice the Eskimos. The secret really is to make it up – imply the programme will be worth a small fortune once they are at Wemberlee (disloyal but hey this is the cutting edge of retail), tell them Julie and I wrote most of it under various nom de plumes and if someone mishears TLF’s claim of “it contains a right good read”, thinking TLF has said, “it contains some right good weed”, don’t disabuse them of the notion. And before you know it, BOSH 50 programmes are all gone and TLF followed the ‘Official Match Day Magazine Seller to the Away Fans’ protocol to the letter.
Sadly successful programme sales were as good as it got that day. Well that and being able to finish your beer in the bar and watch the game because the game was on the TELLY. Red button admittedly, but telly is telly. I don’t think The ‘Wood needed a dodgy penalty to beat St Albans but that is what they got and before you knew it the magic of the cup had disappeared like the proverbial rabbit in the hat for another year.
Three beautiful ladies and a TLF*
*(Hatboy you are toast)
Hungerford were in town and the girlz were in the hood. Well it was cold and they had all chosen their coats wisely……
Somehow TLF had convinced work colleagues Sarah and Jess and Jess’s mate Megan to make escape the Big Smoke and experience the myriad of delights that Clarence Park has to offer. The one delight TLF wasn’t totally sure was an essential match day experience was lunch Chez Burger Van. Not that their offerings aren’t top dollar – their chips are particularly fine – but if you don’t like bacon, beef burger or sausage then it’s all a bit limited. Pub lunch then. Admittedly a pub that was having a minor kitchen meltdown but when the food did arrive, sort of in shifts, it was very good. Time was ticking on and so a taxi was next on the menu. TLF was shocked that the driver asked us for money when we arrived at the Ground as I would have thought our non-stop tales of excess inebriation and vomiting were payment in themselves.
Any fule kno that there was only ever one kind of welcome that the new posse were going to experience at Clarence Park and that was of course a warm, witty and friendly one. Sadly no goals, but each visitor took away a special memory – Jess won the wine in the raffle, Megan took a bruise home having taken a stray football to the thigh (TLF has never managed that!) and Sarah achieved legendary status as she managed to send flying across the clubhouse not only a post-match bag of crisps but also a whole pint of Stella. #Quality.
First game and she wins in the rafflle. It’s an outrage.
Hatboy, 3 lovely ladies and TLF…..
TLF meanwhile, armed with the insight that only six pints of lager can bring, decided to impart some wisdom to manager, Ian Allison, explaining that if he only abandons the matchday tracksuit and returns to the proper suit and brown brogues, results will dramatically improve. He’s a patient and decent man that Ian Allison.
Farewell to a Fox
When TLF wasn’t busy advising our manager on matters sartorial or finding a cloth for the small Stella lake that Sarah had created, she was busy meeting yet another member of the Norwegian branch of the SACFC supporters club. But this was one was special. Mind you they are all special. And I mean the good kind of special. Anyway the point is that back in the 70s this Norwegian had played against the Lesta City legends that were Keith Weller and Frank Worthington during a pre-season Lesta tour to Norway. There he was, a man who shared a pitch with my childhood heroes, in the Mighty Saints club house, and I was saying ‘hello’. That might not mean much to those who weren’t in love with Jimmy Bloomfield’s wonderful Lesta team of that era but it would have meant a lot to Mike Brennan, close friend of Mr TLF, and proper Lesta fan who sadly left us during October. Mike, wish I could have told you that story and wish I could be lending you my season ticket and receiving your always witty post-match analysis via text. Much missed x
This man once graced the same field as Lesta legends, but without the Guinness
Mike and Mr TLF on our grand day out at Wemberlee, August 2015
Ready, Welling and not Able
A few weeks ago an unwise man said to me that with the Mighty Saints sitting joint top of the league, ‘there was no way we wouldn’t make the play-offs.’ Since Satday’s defeat to Welling and with St Albans sitting in the last play-off place, with three teams breathing down our necks, he might want to revisit that statement. The performance was off, but worse than that, TLF was i/c a vehicle and therefore off the Stella. At the start of the second half, apart from being one nil down, TLF was nursing a cup of tea while standing with Hat Boy who was festooned with a pint. Just plain wrong.
On current Saints form there is no such thing as a lucky TLF pint but I feel it is my duty to never be teetotal at Clarence Park again.