Thursday, 10 February 2011


Hey Guys, sorry for the delay but I would like to take you inside a footballers sense of humour and some of the funnier times at Brentford.

My time with the Bees in hindsight was a halcyon time full of great characters when players could still relate to the supporters and make them part of the entertainment and Griffin Park was my stage.

During a game early on in one season I fell in to the crowd on the half-way line near the dugout and when I looked up an elderly gentleman was standing there wearing a flat cap. I decided to remove it from his head and take a throw in with it on mine and proceeded to play till a shrill voice belonging to Phil Holder shouted out ‘this isn’t a f***ing circus!’.

A relationship was born and Mr Flat Cap would call me across before every home game and proceed to unveil a hip flask from inside his jacket pocket from where I would have a crafty swig of Brandy to the cheers of some inebriated fans. Can you imagine any footballer doing that today?

This is so funny, I will try my best to draw a mental picture about my mate Bliss and fellow Northerner Andy ‘the beast’ Feeley. We went on a Pre-Season tour to Lisbon to play in a tournament with Brighton, Sporting Lisbon and a couple of other teams. We had played in an evening game and Steve and Phil who were staying in a different hotel to the players decided to give us the next day off to rest or do some sight-seeing. We all ventured to the seaside by train, split up and arranged for everyone to be back at the train station at a given time. Now! You can guarantee letting loose 15 footballers on a foreign town that we have a slight chance of some mayhem ensuing. It was a boiling hot day in coastal Portugal and we all split up in to ‘mates’ groups and wandered off. Some decided a nice brunch with a couple of glasses of Portuguese Rose was in order while others perused the fashion shops and market places. Our meeting time back was 6pm at the train station for the journey back to town and ready for the evening meal. Six o’clock came and all had gathered except the 2 Northerners, Messrs Blissett and Feeley. We waited about half an hour and decided to embark on the journey back to our hotel. We finished our meal minus 2 northerners and sat in the foyer relaxing and having banter when the moving of the revolving hotel doors caught our attention. What greeted us was ‘The Beast’ and ‘The Tash’ leaning against each other with the mandatory footballer’s flip flops in hand. Looking at them from head to toe we saw sunglasses on head, t-shirts with sleeves rolled up, white arms, shorts rolled up with white legs. They both seemed to be walking as if treading on a floor full of drawing pins and when we looked down to their ankles and feet they greeted us like a stop sign at a traffic light. The Northerners had decided a day on the beach was in order because sand was a rarety in their part of the world. Accompanying them were a couple of plastic supermarket bags with a bottle of something strong and the equivalent of some cans of Lisbon Special Brew. Now! Can you imagine what happened? More and more booze consumed, they managed to rent a parasol for which to shade their milky white bodies from the burning costal sun. After emptying most of the alcohol they had done what all blokes tend to do and decided to have a kip back to back with their legs outstretched surrounded by squashed empty cans. One problem with this is that the parasol didn’t extend the shade to their feet and ankles so a few hours later when they awoke they realised that what is essential to any footballer is their feet on which they had not put on any Ambre Solaire.

Even funnier, Steve made them both play in the game the next day and watching them put on socks and shin pads was painful but every touch of the ball was met with an ‘Ahhhhhhhhhh!’ expression on their faces. Thanks boys for the memory – absolutely hilarious!

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