For a football fan whose preferred over used phrase of choice is “Put it WIIIIIIDE!” I could feel the early onset rumblings of disappointment when I surveyed Leicester’s team for the game against West Brom. Four central midfielders didn’t fill me with hope. I was by then though quite full of curry, having had a pre-match meal at the very brilliant Spicy Haandi….and very handy it is too (BOOM!) being a mere onion bhaji throw from the ground. Sinuses were most definitely cleared, optimism was in all honesty low…possibly not helped by Mr TLF’s farewell that morning, “I don’t fancy your chances much.”
But there was a spring in my step as I made my way to the ground, only my second game of the season (having eschewed, not boycotted the mighty Saints trip to Bath – a distinction that is more important than you may first think) and my first time back on the terraces in the seat that has been MINE since we moved into Filbert Way/King Power Stadium/Walkers Crisp Bowl. Added bonus was the expansion of the TV camera platform behind me, which is a requirement or our lofty (and at this rate very short) Premiership sojourn. That small extension has meant the removal of a couple of seats behind me and so I have lost the curmudgeonly gits who sat behind me for years moaning and slagging off every single Lesta player and also most of the opposition. Perhaps they were doing heavy duty irony and it passed me by…but I doubt it. All hail the power of television!
The icing on the cake though was the lady sat next to me, “Are you Sophie? Now I am always a bit suspicious of why I am being asked that question, but in the end I fessed up that yes I was. “Good. Because I’m Pete’s wife.” Mrs Pete! Bloomin heck. Pete, who had looked slightly terrified all those years ago when me and my mum descended on the seats next to him in the first ever game at the newly opened Filbert Way/King etc etc, who told shocking jokes, made me laugh, was always lovely and who died last September. Whose wife never came to the games, and I couldn’t make the funeral and so I had never got to meet. Crikey. One of those moments that makes the day worthwhile and briefly makes football seem a bit less important. Cue a bit of a natter, a few tears and the the football was again the thing and it was time for kick off.
At which point Mrs Pete and I were not left with much to be cheerful about. It was all a bit huff and puff and no end product, although I did at least show that I can adapt, “there’s no bloody WIIIIDTH”, I shouted on a regular and pointless basis. That was as high as my discontent got but there were more pronounced grumblings from the left hand side of the stand. This went something along the lines of:
“Mr Pearson, old boy, we were wondering if you wouldn’t mind awfully, popping down from your preferred seat in the stands and perhaps lending a hand on the bench to see if you might find your way to helping the chaps grab the bull by the horns and perhaps put their shoulders to the wheel and produce a performance that an association footballer might be justly proud of. If it is not too much trouble. Otherwise we may, sadly, be compelled to suggest that your unfortunate demise might be of assistance to the aforementioned chaps in what will shortly become a battle against RELEGATION.”
They were standing about 5 seats away and a row back but I am pretty sure that’s what I heard.
Talking of discontent, things were taking a distinctly wintery turn on the mighty saints front, with some people clearly getting the hump. Turns out that John Frendo, no glorious son of York (road) had indeed popped off to Spain rather than playing in the FA Cup. His punishment was viewed by some as not severe enough and that combined with a decision to charge £15 for entry into the Hertfordshire senior cup game at home on Monday evening (not a competition to get the heart racing) had opened up a gulf between fans and club somewhere along the size of Bosworth field. Hence a boycott by some of our terrace singing all stars of the weekend Bath game, followed by a meagre turnout of 57 for that home cup game game. We won apparently (once again I cannot be seen to be a proactive protestor. I was at yoga), with in a case of irony of which the bard would have been proud a hat trick for…..yes of course Mr AWOL Frendo.
Roll on Satday for new skirmishes
TLF the Third