A fitting end to the most extraordinary of seasons sees the resting place of KRIII (as we call the bottled spider up int’Void) havin a party, with TLF getting the extra bonus of a random upgrade at the Holiday Inn Leicester (dunno why they spell it wrong).
Monday’s party attendance cost me a days annual leave and the princely sum of £255 (hotel, train and incidentals) which sounds a lot until you divide it by the number of seasons spent supporting Lesta through thin and a bit thinner and all of a sudden £5.52 per year sounds like a bargain. And to be honest you could have doubled it, trebled it and more besides and it would still have been money well spent. The most exhilarating, bonkers, unexpected thing to happen to my lifelong football team needs to be celebrated in style (CIS).
CIS is proving to be a handy phrase. As is IWNHA*. Both justify a multitude of purchases and excess – 3 flags, 2 pieces of art work, 1 tattoo (pending inspiration) and 5 t-shirts (1 was a gift!!) to date….and I think that you, Mr TLF and Mr HSBC know the opening of the wallet may not be over yet.
But as with every season I have experienced as TLF, it is the stuff that doesn’t have pounds shillings and pence attached to it (old skool) that really counts and at the risk of sounding, like I do at the end of every season, like some sad Oscar winner, some acknowledgments are in order:
To my fellow mighty Saints fans: thank you for the camaraderie, humour, crash course in running a tote, lifts to away games, lifts home, the best wishes and delight for my other City’s success which have made for brilliant weekends and also reminded me how lucky I am to be involved with a local club.
To everyone who just seems quite pleased for me and my football team: I have been chuffed as mint balls as 32 texts celebratory text messages arrived the night that Lesta won the league, from the usual suspects of course but also from friends around the world and those who NEVER text me about football. I have been congratulated at work, had hilarious and touching emails and been told by long term friends that their friends are saying, “what was the name of your Lesta mate?….she must be delighted.” Just lovely to be honest.
To my lucky shirt and socks: the secret ingredient in a spectacular season. You are really filthy, a bit smelly and VERY LUCKY.
To my two City managers:
Ian Allison, he came, he saw, he inherited a Saints team at the bottom of the league. He looked like a proper gaffer, behaved like a proper gaffer and pulled a great escape out of the bag. He might not have the Ranieri lines but he performed his own miracle.
And then we do have to come to our Lord Claudio. The man who charms the press, the fans and the world. Who told us to never wake up and never stop dreaming. Whose players are very concentrate-ed, who gets an opera singer to serenade his crowd. Who buys his players pizza when they finally keep a clean sheet. Who I admit I wasn’t sure about. Who made us all love him and who because he was so charming made everyone else love us. Forza Claudio and grazie.
To Mr TLF: er…sorry for all the mardy grumpiness when:
* we sacked Nigel Pearson
* we appointed Claudio Ranieri
* ever Lesta dropped points
* Arsenal scored that last minute winner – yep that one when I slammed the door and stormed out of the house – after I had promised I’d be calm no matter what the result
* Spurs had won 4-0 after Lesta had drawn 2-2 with West Ham and I realised Vardy would get an additional suspension
* Spurs went 2-0 up against Chelsea
* I was generally a gloomy, doomy TLF
And also sorry for my response to you when you said that we had qualified for the Champions League and so I should see winning the title as the ‘icing on the cake’. It went along the lines of, “YES I CAN SEE THAT. BUT IMAGINE IF THE CHEF HAS THROWN AWAY THE PIPING BAG!?” No I didn’t understand it either….And on the positive; thank you for your continued patience during all the times when footballing things went well and I was an exuberant, absent, sometimes intoxicated and possibly annoying (shurely shome mishtake) TLF.
There will now be a short interlude as I track down a few brain cells lost in the celebrations. Am thinking regular Euro 2016 would be a foolish commitment…but being a very foolish TLF I imagine I might just see you back here on Friday 9 June. Ca alors!
* It Will Never Happen Again