26/01/14 Friendly v Ormond Saints at North Inch Campus
David Stewart; Gary Duncan, Calum Colquhoun, Scott Macrae, Allan Mackenzie (c); Andy Dick, Raymond Ford, Graeme McQuarrie; Sean Connolly, David Blair, Adam Walker. Subs:(all used) Ally McNaught, Craig McQuarrie, Michael Cameron, Fraser Marr
The adventure continues.......
An awful lot has happened at QP Towers since I last had the chance to report on a game.
Former owner Mel Gibson has left the Club after being offered 50 Shekels by Malaysian businessman Victor Tanned with the Hollywood heartthrob (circa 1980’s) heading to a new job as peace envoy at Tottenham Hotspur.
The new owner hadn’t been well received by the support though especially after he decided to change the Club Colours from black and white hoops to white and black hoops. This had caused a mass protest by the more outspoken element of the support, “The Irn Bru Firm”, who had refused to buy any new merchandise from the Club Shop.
At the new owner’s first game there was a banner saying, “Tanned Out” which had fifth choice goalkeeper Dougay in tears as he assumed the support wanted rid of him. Dougay is currently convalescing in St.Tropez with his companion Louis Spence and “hopefully” will be back with us soon.
However on a positive note, Victor Tanned had put a substantial amount of money into the Club including improving the facilities at Fortress Holyrood, with the pitch undergoing a million pound upgrade with the addition of “wee black rubber baws”.
On the footballing side Victor had instigated a change of Team Manager as the Mister C had been sacked by mutual consent with young prodigy Andy Boy Wonder taking over the reins.
The veteran ex-Manager had been moved upstairs to the board room as there is no substitute for experience, apparently. Well, I say upstairs, he’s actually been moved to the 2nd basement car park at the Fortress to an office that used to be the cleaners room.
Now that a proper Team Manager was in place Victor gave him a huge budget and Andy Boy Wonder immediately went out and spent £16 million on the McQuarrie triplets, Graeme, Craig and Raymond (£15.9m for Graeme).
The old style, “score more goals than the opposition” had been replaced by a more conservative approach with more organised team systems, more emphasis on defence, less attacking options, no squad rotation and £8 for four pints in The Langside Bar. As Andy Boy Wonder said at his unveiling, “we’re in the results business.”
Well, Andy Boy Wonder didn’t actually say it himself as unfortunately he is emotionally challenged, or “QP’s New Manager Is A Wee Bit Mental” as the Toryglen Times so tactfully proclaimed, so it was left to The Great Marzinho to speak on his behalf.
The beautifully coiffured one, a pin up boy in the Mearns Castle Retirement Home For The Bewildered, was told in no uncertain terms that he had to stick to football and wasn’t to lapse into any political speak.
As he strode to the podium in his red, white and blue suit, with matching Union Jack socks, there was an air of anticipation rarely seen at the Fortress.
“Ladies and gentlemen of the press, I am delighted to be able to announce that Andy Boy Wonder is the new Team Manager of QPSFC.
“Mister Boy Wonder looks forward to WORKING TOGETHER with the massive backroom staff and the Club will work as one with NO INDEPENDANCE.
“It is felt that the Club will be BETTER TOGETHER now that there has been a change of Manager and, although Mister C got the occasional good result, we will VOTE NO to using his principals and ideals.
“Thank you, and I love you all.”
With a flick of his flowing locks The Great Marzinho left the room with his entourage of make-up artist, personal trainer, plastic surgeon, dietician, three ladies in waiting, counsellor, lifestyle guru, security detail, speech writer, hair stylist and his twin adopted African boys.
Money was certainly no object under Victor Tanned although some season ticket holders had queried if the Club was sustainable with £40 million outgoings with only £10,000 coming in. Those people’s concerns were taken on board but they also had their tickets cancelled as they were not the kind of supporter the Club was looking for.
No expense was spared by Victor on the team and in preparation for the humungous game against Ormond Saints in Perth the team travelled to Las Vegas for an overnight stay in the MGM Grand Hotel because “only the best is good enough for our team.”
The 156 strong party were determined to keep their focus on the game ahead and to be “professional” so as soon as they arrived at the Hotel they all went straight to the casino.
The Neville Brothers were very excited as it was their first time in a casino and they both had 10 Euros to spend on whatever took their fancy.
As they skipped into the “Poker Dot Room” they were asked by a maître d’, “would you like to use the crap table ?” Gary was flabbergasted and said, “no thanks, I’d rather use a good one.”
After losing all their money the assembled party headed for the Banquet Hall for a specially prepared nutritious evening meal consisting of buffalo wings, steak pie, burgers, fries and a lettuce leaf on the side. This was the meal of choice for all bar the mercurial midfield (?)/striker (?) Camzo who, being Vegan, settled on a plate of three cherry tomatoes and a stick of celery which the Hotel had hastily sourced and stuck a (v) beside it on the menu.
Camzo was another big signing by the Club and this meant that a Prayer Room had to be installed at the Fortress as the mercurial right back (?)/left back (?) is now a practising Muslim. This has led to increased attendances from the local population who have flocked to see the mercurial central defender (?)/winger (?) warm up before games.
There was a stooshie after the meal when the new Club Nutritionist, Greggy Wallace, declared that there would be no dessert as they’d had enough calories for the day.
“Whit, nae pudding ?”, the whole party shouted. But Greggy was sticking to his guns. As was Club Captain Andy Dicko who had an AK-47 on the table beside him which he’d got free with the enormous chocolate gateaux which he’d bought at Wong’s 24 Convenience Store next to the Hotel. It’s still not clear whether the skipper had known that Greggy was going to put the kibosh on the dessert or not.
Anyway, the game in Perth would be geriatric left back Wee Al’s 200th appearance and to celebrate he passed around some celebratory cigarettes before lights out, psychically in some people’s cases.
It was an early start with the chartered Airbus leaving at 3am for the flight to Dundee Airport.
The big day had everybody excited especially the Neville Brothers who were tucking into some jelly babies whilst looking at the view out of the Airbus’ windows.
“Phil, everybody keeps going on about today being Wee Al Day, but what does that mean ?”
“Gary it means that we are celebrating the day, 200 years ago, that the fair city of Perth was discovered by the great explorer Sir Ken Weeal of Auchterarder. Sir Ken found this land of ugly farmers and berry pickers all driving horse and carts and talking in a strange unintelligible language”
“That’s really interesting Phil, has much changed in Perth since then ?”
“Yes, they’ve now got a braw Tesco, ye ken”
From the way Phil replied it was clear that he’d picked up some of the lingo from Legendary Title Winning Manager Higgy Higgins’ talk, “The Twa Titles Were All Down To Me, Ken”, the previous week at Ninewells Hospital, Dundee (Psychiatric Wing).
Talking of Legendary Non-Title Winning Managers, Mister C overjoyed by the occasion of Wee Al Day, and probably light headed from the celebratory cigarettes, had asked if he could make a cameo appearance on the park but sadly he had to be taken aside and told that it wouldn’t be possible due to a long standing ban.
It turns out that Mister C is still banned from playing after being given a fifteen year ban for an offensive goal celebration.
It happened in 2002 at the now defunct QP Sevens when, after he’d scored a wonder goal against Motherwell Dossers [Ed: surely this deserves its own story ?], he celebrated by mimicking the great Morecambe and Wise’s dance routine.
Unfortunately two of the Club’s Amish supporters, Samuel and Martha Hershberger, took offence at the celebration, the “Fucinelle” saying that it mocked them because they didn’t have a television and therefore had never seen Eric & Ernie and that they were offended, blah, blah, blah.
Immediately the SFA got onto the case three months later after the “Fucinelle” appeared on You Tube and off popped a 168 page document to Mister C’s lawyers, “Di Stefano & Associates”. Sadly Mister C was found guilty and the stout kicking right back’s Gola Drennan boots were thrown into a cupboard to gather dust. A sad end to an inglorious career.
Eventually the party touched down in Dundee with everybody being a bit worse for wear as they all had enjoyed some in flight cocktails, just to calm the nerves. Three luxury coaches were waiting at the airport to take everybody on the short journey to North Inch Campus where the mammoth game was taking place.
In the dressing room Andy Boy Wonder made a “short” speech about the man of the moment Wee Al.
I have to admit that the heat in the dressing room had made me a bit drowsy so I only caught some of the Boss’s speech, “lovely guy ……zzzzz…… heart of gold …..zzzzz…… never do you a bad turn …..zzzzz…… does a lot for charity ……zzzzz……. helps old ladies across the road ……zzzzz……. rescues cats from trees…..zzzzz…. did time for manslaughter …..zzzzz….. robbed a post office.…..zzzzz…”, WHIT ?
Only joking about the last two because, as we all know, Wee Al is the nicest guy and best player we’ve ever had (yawn !).
Anyway, the squad went out onto the plastic pitch for a warm up and Camzo was given a fitness test on whatever it is he thinks is wrong with his leg.
Young Camzo complained about “inappropriate touching” by our Chief Medic Doctor Kuntz, the only one of the Backroom Staff to keep his position under the new regime, which was a very similar incident to one that the good doctor had been involved in back in the 70’s when he was at BBC Radio 1 and personal Medical Assistant to…….. [unfortunately the person Doctor Kuntz worked with cannot be named for legal reasons and the good doc is currently a prosecution witness at a trial going under the name of “Doctor K”]. Anyhow, nobody was listening to Camzo as they were all “in the zone” as the Boss deliberated over the starting line-up.Also trying to sort out a team was the Ormond Saints Gaffer, the Legendary Gav Stewart, who I saw in the corridor outside the dressing rooms with a puzzled look on his face. Sorry, with his usual puzzled look on his face.
Anyhow, nobody was listening to Camzo as they were all “in the zone” as the Boss deliberated over the starting line-up.Also trying to sort out a team was the Ormond Saints Gaffer, the Legendary Gav Stewart, who I saw in the corridor outside the dressing rooms with a puzzled look on his face. Sorry, with his usual puzzled look on his face.
The Legendary Gav Stewart was talking away on his mobile phone but, as I don’t agree with eavesdropping, which was the reason I got sacked by News International, I couldn’t make out what he was saying but he seemed to be chatting to some guy called Ken.
I’m not sure if it was Ken that had caused there to be friction between the two clubs earlier in the week but Ormond Saints had refused permission for Grandpa Crossers to play in the white and black hoops as they claimed they still held his registration.
Grandpa Crossers had apparently signed a 35 year contract back in 1970 when he was but a sprightly middle aged man and therefore Ormond Saints had first dibs on him.
It was a monstrous blow but Andy Boy Wonder was quick to point out, “he wisnae getting a game anyway.”
It was just as well that Grandpa Crossers was available as Ormonds were a bit short of numbers as there was a pig sale at the local mart and that had taken away some players as well as the majority of the home support.
After the extensive workout the squad squeezed into the dressing room to hear Andy Boy Wonder’s team selection.
“Right guys, here is today’s starting eleven. In goals we’ve got Wee Leggy Stewart [son of Legendary free scoring centre forward Big Leggy Stewart, 3 appearances, 1 goal].
At right back we’ve got the winner of the Craigy Boy McKenna lookalike competition, Wee Gary. Left back is Phil Neville [now a first half regular who has become a damn fine left back and is currently at 15th place in the Hospital Radio Player of the Year Table, just behind Nicko Nicholson]. Wee Al, who I love to bits and is a lovely human being, is skipper and at centre half alongside man mountain Sebo.
(Sebo and Wee Al)
“In midfield we have Andy Dicko and two of the McQuarrie Triplets, Graeme and Ray. Up front are Seanelli, Wee 8 Goal and LHD.
“On the bench are Gary Neville, Craig McQuarrie Triplet, The Great Marzinho and Camzo.
“If we don’t win by ten goals today then you should all take a good look at yourself,” were his last inspiring words as Wee Al got a final hug before leading the team out.
The air was thick with the smell of smoke as the Irn Bru Firm had thrown flares and smoke bombs onto the pitch prior to the game. But what a lovely atmosphere they provide, and there should be made compulsory at every game.
FIFA referee Richard Madd was the man in the middle and Wee Al, after yet another hug from the Boss, won the toss and QP shot towards the romantically named Abattoir End.
The away support were in fine voice but booed loudly when Victor Tanned took his seat in the Tommy Teckle Main Stand.
The boos continued when they realised that the defence wasn’t up to much and there were murmurings that maybe Wee Al was past his best. Security had to be called when Andy Boy Wonder tried to get at the loudest offenders but thankfully Club Masseur Graeme Norton calmed him down with a much needed cuddle.
To be fair to the support they were right as the defence were getting run ragged by the powerful Ormond Saints front two and after only fifteen minutes the home side went ahead when they scored with probably an unsaveable shot. Unfortunately I missed the goal as I was buying some wonderful stovies from Wee Jessie’s Tuck Shop under the Tommy Teckle Main Stand.
Ten minutes later and the mood changed considerably as Andy Dicko scored direct from a free kick on the edge of the box to make the score level.
A couple of minutes later and the away support went pure mental as Andy Dicko fired in a rocket shot from about 25 yards into the top corner and this sparked a mini pitch invasion which led to Andy Boy Wonder getting a stiff ticking off by Referee Madd for encroaching the field of play.
The tackles were flying in and there was a lot of aggravation towards Referee Madd who it would be fair to say wasn’t having his best day.
There was almost a riot when Referee Madd awarded a goal, from his perfect position in the Ormonds Saints six yard box, as the ball bounced over Wee Leggy’s head and the wee keeper scrambled back and kept the ball out.
“This could cause a riot,” shouted the Irn Bru Firm, until John Dunbar of Ormond Saints told Referee Madd that the ball hadn’t crossed the line and he should change his mind.
“You know, it’s moments like this that make you proud to be British,” said The Great Marzinho in the Technical Area, whilst everybody else applauded this tremendous sporting gesture [well done, John].
It was the last incident in the first half apart from Referee Madd again having words with our Technical Area as he had received a complaint from Miss Mabel Kenneth that the choice language was putting her off her enjoyment of Countryfile.
Just to explain, Miss Kenneth donated the land that the North Inch Campus is built on and her cottage sits behind the top goal within the Stadium at The Kenneth End.
In the dressing room Andy Boy Wonder was ranting whilst The Great Marzinho and Camzo entertained the crowd with their attempts to pass the ball to one another which was probably going to tire them out but, not to worry, they wouldn’t be getting on anyway.
Gary Neville and Craig McQuarrie Triplet did come on though with LHD and Phil Neville, of course, going off.
Into the second half and the home side started to put some pressure on with their Route One football causing problems.
Eventually Ormond Saints equalised when a close range shot beat Wee Leggy and this upset the Irn Bru Firm so much that they started a chorus of boos again. With winning being everything even an away draw is not good enough nowadays.
Things went from bad to worse when Wee Al forgot who he was and tried to dribble the ball out of his own area and was dispossessed by an Ormond Saints forward whom he tripped to give away a penalty.
The Boss went apoplectic and it took the whole security detail to hold him back from attacking the referee. “But, Wee Al’s a Legend, and a luv him, you cannae give a penalty against him.”
It’s not often you see a grown man cry at football, unless the cameras are pointed at him after his team has been relegated from The Biggest League In The World, but Andy Boy Wonder’s tears really touched the heart strings although it didn’t stop Referee Madd awarding a deserved penalty.
After an interminable wait, which again saw The Great Marzinho and Camzo entertain the crowd with their one touch passing, Camzo this time having to go round the back of the Tommy Teckle Stand to get the ball back, the penalty was taken.
Camzo had just climbed back into the ground and luckily the ball just missed him as the penalty was put wide and we had a let off of huge proportions.
The luck had turned and we made the most of it when Craig McQuarrie Triplet volleyed home from the edge of the box and set the crowd singing, “One McQuarrie Triplet, there’s only One McQuarrie Triplet.”
Time was running out and the Boss was looking to waste time so sent The Great Marzinho out to warm up, a confident move if ever I saw one, but he needn’t have worried as we scored a spectacular fourth goal with five minutes remaining.
Seanelli leapt like a salmon forty yards from goal and made the most wondrous and powerful header I’ve ever seen which sailed over the Ormond Saints keeper and into the net. It may have taken a ridiculous bounce off the surface first but I’m not sure as I was having a wee cup of tea and a scone on Mrs Kenneth’s front lawn and was distracted.
“Right guys, let’s waste a bit of time, The Great Marzinho, you’re going on,” said Andy Boy Wonder, tactically astute as always.
With only seconds remaining the Boss this time said, “right Camzo me old chum, we need a bit of strength in the middle of the park so on you go.”
Camzo certainly did his job as Referee Madd blew the final whistle and we’d won our first game in Perth since 2009 after an up and down performance.
The Irn Bru Firm celebrated the victory by throwing seats onto the park and The Great Marzinho took the opportunity to have a wee sit down after his lung busting two minutes on the park.
What a way to celebrate Wee Al’s 200th appearance and it took all the team’s effort to carry him through a game which he tried to throw away.
There was singing and dancing in the dressing room after the game and the Buckfast, which I believe is an English form of Shampain, was flowing.
Hospitality was provided in the Ormonds Bar Night Club after the game and the soup, stew and tatties, mince rolls and chips were gobbled up after a hard shift.
Eventually it was time to hit the road and the luxury coaches arrived to whisk the team away back to Dundee Airport to catch a flight back to Glasgow as the road can be quite busy at night.
[A great day out and thanks to Gav and his Saintees and Davie Fair in Ormonds for their hospitality. Amazingly everybody made it home in one piece despite some shenanigans on the bus home and well done to Wee Al on his tremendous milestone]
More adventures soon……….
This report is dedicated to the memory of Martin “Safehands” Kelly who enjoyed and featured in many of these “reports” in the past.
Gone but never forgotten.