Fatty Flagstaff

“When I was playing, back in the 60s, early 70s football was a man’s game played by proper men, with a real leather ball, and we had far worse winters than these pampered jessies today. You’d never catch me wearing cycling shorts either, or gloves, it took me all my time to fasten my shorts up, not women’s knickers either like today’s players, ours were made of corrugated iron and hung a quarter of an inch above the knee. Andy Davidson’s shorts were made at Hessle Shipyard and Jock McSeveney had to be crane lifted into his. I looked great in mine though.”

“I remember playing once at Carlisle in the grip of an icy winter storm. There was 50,000 in the ground and it was two foot deep in snow at one end. Fans were making igloos at t’other, three Carlisle players died of exposure, no substitutes then, but me and Chillo scored four goals apiece in the first half, before a polar bear got on the pitch and ate the ref causing the game to be abandoned. You’d never see that today, today’s players don’t know what cold weather is, I loved it me, and someone once said Alf Ramsey would have been at that game but he got stuck in a snow drift.”

“Did you see the World Cup on telly? I thought it was crap, none of the players looked fit and that Hoddle bloke doesn’t know owt about football. I was spotted when I was two dribbling around the entire Mansfield first team squad by Raich Carter and he signed me up there and then. If I’d have been Scottish I’d have been better than Kenny Dalglish. Biggest regret of Alf Ramsey’s life was discovering that I was allergic to Wembley stadium otherwise I’d have even better and more famous than I already am.”

“Don’t think much of City’s chances this season. That Hateley couldn’t pick a team to beat the ex-Tigers, if I was playing. I read that Dean Windass, who I discovered, has signed for Oxford which proves my theory that today’s players are all bigheads. In my day we didn’t have to go to any fancy dan university, we were too busy signing autographs to bother with education. Thousands used to come to watch me to get an education!”

“One of my regulars actually knows someone who’s seen City play in the last ten years and he tells me that Andy Payton looks sharp but the rest of them are crap, so unless I get the managers job you won’t see me at Boothferry Park in person but I’ll be telling Hateley what to do from behind this bar. I’ll be supporting whoever is at the top of the Premier League and my SKY subscription, sponsored by the brewery, keeps my finger on football’s pulse so I can tell you all who’s doing what wrongly.”

“Next issue I’ll tell you all about the time I turned down the England job, how I was hotly tipped to be the next James Bond and how I taught Bob Charlton to shoot, until then I’m available most evenings, at a price, where I’ll talk for four hours, non-stop, about myself.”

Gary Clark