Previously on “Football, Fun and Frolics”…….
P.Danny had become an international rap star.
The Nevilles had a new Devil Dog puppy.
Mad Boab had done very little for charity and didn’t want to talk about it.
Mister Buffo was stuck in the Troon sand in his motorised chair.
Phil Neville discovered that he wasn’t the answer to the central defensive problems.
Sunday 27th March v Calders
at Holyrood Sports Centre 4-4 (2-3)
Martin Kelly, Robert Shimmons (Douglas Stewart), Allan MacKenzie (Neil Skinner), Jack Waugh (John Crosbie), Stuart Waugh (Stephen Fox), Ally McNaught (Sean Connolly), Craig McKenna, Calum Colquhoun (Arthur McCue), Paul Joyce (c), Andy McNaught (Fraser Marr) and Adam Walker
It was the game everybody wanted to see and the hype had begun as soon as the details were announced.
“Calders To Play At Holyrood”, screamed the headline writers at the South Uist Standard.
To prepare for this momentous event the squad headed to the coastal resort of Ballantrae where they would be relaxing by playing golf, fishing, bird watching and all night drinking in the Kings Arms.
“This is a momentous event”, said Mister C when asked why the team were wasting money on a week away.
“It’s not every week we get to play the famous Calders who everyone in my squad has loved since they were old enough to know about football”.
The support had also gone into a frenzy and tickets were going like hot cakes, a mistake that won’t be repeated as Club Chef Ainsley Harriot will no longer be allowed to help in the Club Ticket Office.
Even the notorious “Wanchope Train Spotters”, led by the uncompromising “Slightly Less Fat Than Usual Due To An Unfortunate Case Of Diabetes Martin”, were organising a Samba street party to welcome the Calders support to Holyrood.
And it was good to see Holyrood back in action after the shrine to the fallen “People’s Indian Orphans” had been removed after every penny and bit of publicity had been squeezed out of an unfortunate incident.
However, a bombshell was dropped the week before the game when the Club decided that the kick off would be at 9.15am to accommodate live TV coverage from Fijian Breakfast programme, “Ni Sa Yadra”.
As Club President, Lord Drennan of Crosshill, explained, “well………..eh………..it’s worth four hundred Fijian Dollars to show this game and that’s great money in anybody’s language…….eh”.
The early morning kick off could prove a problem to the squad, particularly as Saturday Night Was Party Night, in the bustling coastal town of Ballantrae .
But, our squad are athletes and there was never any danger of anybody missing the game, despite the early hour.
Well, apart from P.Danny, LHD, The Dick Brothers and Short Haired Dave, still working his way back to fitness after head therapy, who had decided to travel to London to enjoy that wonderful British tradition, the Boat Race.
“I wonder if they’ll see any coxs”, said tenth choice keeper Dougie over the phone as he was again absent, this time as he was giving away his good friend Rupert at his wedding to long time partner Humphrey at Gretna Green.
The Ballantrae week had been an unqualified success.
“The week has been an unqualified success”, said Mister C agreeing with what I said, “the squad have got to know each other better, they’ve spent plenty of time on the golf course, they now know more karaoke numbers than ever before and, more importantly, they all got a good drink”.
It hadn’t all been trouble free, of course, as the Neville Brothers had had to fly home early as Fifi, their new puppy, had accidentally attacked and maimed their mother Nieve Neville when she had playfully tried to grab a leg of lamb Fifi had been devouring.
Sadly the authorities were called and Nieve Neville has been charged with animal cruelty, a crime which carries a maximum life imprisonment.
Fifi remains hold up in a cage in the Neville’s back garden but seems none the worse for her awful experience, and she has been given the rest of the lamb as a treat.
The Neville’s problems, which are our problems, were put to one side as the team assembled in plenty of time for the early kick off.
“This is probably the biggest game of my career”, said Slide Tackle Stu, resplendent in his favourite Union Jack suit, “I have dreamt of playing Calders since I was a boy, last week”.
There was a huge roar as the Calders team bus pulled up at the stadium and the crowd gasped as they caught their first glimpse of the world renowned Danni, Old Jackyrinho, Wan Eyed Willieo and Big Jim who is originally from Shettleston but his paternal grandmother was Brazilian.
“I think we’re in for a hard game today”, said everybody at the same time in the dressing room, “they look as though they’ve brought their strongest team”.
But our squad numbered an impressive eighteen so surely that should count for something, especially after we’d done so well at Troon, despite losing heavily.
Doctor Kuntz, for it was he, came into the dressing room to announce the results of Arthur’s fitness test.
“The Govanhill Jesus is still 92% proof so keep him under the cold shower for another half an hour and he should be available for the second half”.
“Right, I have an idea”, announced Mister C.
“But, is it a good one”, said Uncle Crossers who we were delighted to see back in the squad.
“I see you are on your own today Uncle Crossers”.
“Yes, my wife, Auntie Crossers, is in the West Indies ”.
“ Jamaica ”.
“No, she went hersell, ha ha ha, went hersell…..”
More of these jokes, and even some funny ones, are now available in the paperback copy of “Aaarffur” a light hearted look at life through a Guinness glass.
“Anyway, as I was saying”, continued Mister C, “we did so well to keep the score under eleven at Troon that I’m going to give all those who were there a starting place”.
“That’s it, I’ve heard enough, you’re a complete clown who hasn’t a clue what’s going on and wouldn’t know a footballer if you bumped into one”, said a clearly upset Dug Stewart, who had turned up for his debut, but clearly had his finger on the pulse.
“Oi, that’s not fair”, shouted Mister Joyce, “I was going to say that”.
“Anyway, again, as I was saying, here is today’s team.
“In the absence of Eastenders Big Mo, Safehands keeps his place in goals.
“Full backs are Mad Boab and Wee Al with the Waugh Twins (No Surrender) in the centre of defence.
“In midfield, for one half only, are the Neville Brothers plus Craig and Wee Whatshisname.
“Up front Mister Joyce and Andy Boy.
“The rest of you are subs”.
At that Old Reg Winkerman, the geriatric Club Kit Man, got stripped but forgetting Dougie, the self-proclaimed Flying Coo, wasn’t in the squad he quickly put his clothes back on.
There was a carnival atmosphere as the crowd were singing all the old samba favourites, “The Girl From Inglefield Street ”, “Que Se Comió Todos Los Pasteles” and “You’ve Got A Lovely Bunch Of Coconuts”.
The last song prompted our super sub Marzinho to adjust his sports bra and put his top back on for the sake of public decency.
The teams came running out to a huge welcome and our team performed their usual warm up routine of hitting the ball hard at Safehands in an effort to replicate what was going to happen in the game.
The nerves were clearly showing in the Technical Area (capacity 213) but Doctor Kuntz passed round some calming tablets, very similar to ones he passed round in 1998 after which he spent three years in a Turkish prison.
If the crowd weren’t at fever pitch already they went bananas as Club Clown Mister Buffo was towed round the running track, covered in sand and with his wheels all jammed after being freed from Troon beach by a family from Yorkshire.
It was an emotional scene and there were tears from even the strongest of people, and Mad Boab.
At last, after all the hype and 84 page pull outs in the daily papers, the game was underway and immediately it looked like Calders were indeed a stronger team.
The Super Whites were passing the ball accurately and not panicking at the back which meant we were in for a difficult game.
However, we were playing okay as well and opened the scoring when a through ball found Mister Joyce through on goal and uncharacteristically he finished with aplomb.
The lead didn't last long though as Calders equalised with a goal that I can't possibly do justice by describing.
It was exciting stuff and Calders saw a shot come off the bar as they forced the pace.
The pace was hectic, the crowd were in a frenzy, and the pubs weren't open for another three hours.
What a game it was and what a goal we scored to put us back in front.
Mister Joyce picked up the ball on the halfway line then moved forward a couple of strides before curling a superb shot into the top corner of the net past the despairing Calders keeper.
"What a goal, it must be the Goal of the Season", shouted our modest skipper as he ran to his loyal supporters, Sadie and Ivy McGlumpher, in the disabled enclosure.
Phew, if the crowd was in a frenzy before it was going totally mental now and both sets of fans started chanting "Psycho, Pyscho” in homage to our centre forward who is really a central defender.
Meanwhile, Wee Whatshisname sulked away thinking that nobody ever chants his name or appreciates his efforts.
The last time he scored the crowd chanted “who are ya, who are ya” and that was as close to hero worship that he’s ever had.
Anyway, enough about the Wee Forward Guy, what a performance we were putting in, despite not playing well, and Calders took advantage of a gap between Safehands and the net to score an equaliser.
Worse was to follow for our heroes as Calders snatched the lead just before half time to make it an uphill struggle for us in the second half.
"Okay, we have an uphill struggle in the second half", said Mister C, "and to make matters worse I'm going to randomly make seven changes as Arthur is now down to 62% proof".
Gary, naturally, went to get changed and instructed his brother Phil to copy him as he’ll more than likely be joining the one half gang in the near future.
On came Dug for his debut along with six of his new team mates including Foxy and Uncle Crossers.
They formed a central defensive partnership which was a bit of a gamble as both like to play ten yards behind the defence or thirty yards ahead of the defence.
Luckily Craig, Uncle Crossers’ boy, had been kept on and he equalised when a corner from the refreshed Arthur found Foxy’s head but his effort was blocked to Craig and he lashed the ball home from inside the box.
Our big midfielder, for once managing to play a whole game without hurting himself, then put us ahead with another superb strike, this time from outside the area and low past the keeper.
Suddenly the away support were silent, as was Andy Boy on the bench as Club Warm Up Man, Mister Motivator noticed.
“What’s up Andy Boy, how come you’re not playing today ?”
“Whit you talkin aboot, I wiz oan in the first half, did you no notice me playing up front ?”
Sadly nobody did.
Time was running out and it looked like a victory for our Heroes but disaster, and I don’t want to overstate the fact, struck with only five minutes remaining.
Big Jim found himself on his own on the right wing and lobbed up a harmless cross cum shot towards goal.
Inexplicably Safehands couldn’t get his safe hands together and the ball found its way into the net for a terrible equaliser, from our point of view.
Despite this setback there was still time for us to win the game when, from a corner, Craig saw another powerful shot saved by the keeper’s feet and The Great Marzinho couldn’t keep the rebound down and put his shot over the bar.
The final whistle blew and we were gutted, like a fish.
Back in the dressing room the incriminations began and the fingers were pointing at Safehands.
“So, Safehands, what happened at the fourth goal, even Dougie could have saved that one, maybe”, quizzed Mister C.
“Well, the string that was holding my gloves together broke and I couldn’t get my hands together in time to make my customary save”.
Uproar followed at this explanation and a torrent of abuse was sent in the direction of the allegedly six foot “keeper”.
“You know what, I’ve had enough of your excuses and your mistakes, your fired”, said Lord Sugar who is now in charge of Club Recruitment.
“I’d like to thank everybody for the opportunity to play for the team, it’s been the best time of my life and a tremendous journey for me”, said Safehands as he held back the tears.
Old Reg Winkerman took Mister C aside and said to him, “you’re not surely going to let this happen are you ?
“Safehands is rubbish in goals but at least he turns up, when was the last time you saw Dougie, apart from in the Showbiz columns in the papers ?
“I think you should go and get him back as we’ll probably be left with only Uncle Crossers and you know how unpredictable he is.
“Of course you could always pick Jaaack but he only played in goals for twenty years so lacks the experience to play behind our defence”.
“Okay Reg, I’ll sort it out, I’m not having Lord Sugar telling me what to do, Safehands will be back, don’t you worry”.
As the crowd queued up at the local pubs, which didn’t open for another hour and a half, they felt satisfied that they’d seen a game packed with plenty of goals which both teams could have won.
It had been a great experience for our squad to play such a class team and it could only help us in future games, particularly with Car Giants, The Volkswagen XI next up.
As Mister C and Old Reg finally left the ground at midnight after enjoying the free bar, a taxi drew up and The Neville Brothers jumped out with astonishing news.
“Mister C, you’ll be astonished when you hear the news.
“It’s Lord Drennan……………….”
TO BE CONTINUED
NEXT TIME in “Castlemilk, Castlemaine and Castle Lager”
What is it that is astonishing about Lord Drennan ?
Why did the Neville Brothers get out a taxi when Phil has a car ?
Did Andy Boy really play the first half ?
Will Safehands be back ?
Why are the reports taking so long to be published ?
All these and so many more question wont be answered next time……..