As my “homey” Andy would say: WARNING: THERE NOW FOLLOWS A FOOTBALL POST. (Though I don’t actually know squat about it, so don’t worry). The two newest and keenest guests here are the très sportif Messrs Gaw and Brit, so to encourage them here’s my first (and possibly only) post about footy.
CHAPTER 2: WHERE DO I FIT IN?
Many people ask at one time or another “Where do I fit in??” It is for this reason that structures are created, and people are employed to impose them. Football is such a structure, and with some tracksuited goon on the sidelines shouting at you to run somewhere or stop falling over (that’s start falling over, now - Ed.) you’ve no need to question the point of your existence. Mental health professionals also know this. So, using my own experiences and still aiming to destigmatise being a pork pie short of a picnic, here’s my Fantasy Football 11, comprising only psychiatric patients or those who should have been.
(NB: My knowledge of The Beautiful Game comes from a golden 4-4-2 era when players had to walk to away games and the ball was filled with gravel before each match. I make no apology for this. Also, these days players taking the field appear to have numbers greater than 11 on their backs. They are clearly homosexuals. I neither know nor want to know what any of this is all about.)
No. 1 David Icke: Actual former professional goalie and actual nutter, bless him.
No. 2 Spike Milligan (bipolar disorder): The original Goon(-er), and so, as my memory of how Arsenal play is 1970s-based, he’d be very defensively minded.
No. 3 Ronnie Kray (paranoid schizophrenia): Ruthless psycho in central defence, and definitely a “man-marker” if you know what I mean.
No. 4 Ian Curtis (depression, not helped by epilepsy): Former Joy Division frontman. Not a great mover so stick him at the back. And with his knowledge of divisions generally he’d be able to tell me what the flip “The Premiership” and “The Championship” are.
No. 5 Paul Merton (episode of hallucinating persecution by The Freemasons): With his one straight look at the audience he always gets people on his side. He could do that to the ref, just like that slimy Cristiano Ronaldo did to our Mr Wayne Rooney.
No. 6 Paulo Coelho (his parents had him committed, age 17): Wrote a novel called The Alchemist, so we're expecting a little magic from him. Oh, and he’s from Brazil.
No. 7 Buzz Aldrin (depression): Lent his name to a video game called “Buzz Aldrin's Race Into Space” which shows how to intelligently get on the end of long balls and crosses.
No. 8 Steven Fry (major depressive disorder, allegedly): Don't get me wrong I love Sir Steven as much as anyone, but he’s seen the insides of prisons rather than hospitals so maybe he’s more bad than mad. And he’s a slacker. Dr Dilo prescribes “Football Therapy”.
No. 9 Lt. Colonel Oliver “Iran-Contras scandal” North (mental breakdown 1974): Ran naked through the streets at the time, so would be a natural striker (that’s “streaker” – Ed.)
No. 10 Morrissey (he certainly sounds a bit depressed): We need a big, magnetic No. 10, and Mozzer will do a job for us. Oh, and he’s from Manchester.
No. 11 Bill Oddie (clinical depression): As an ornithologist he’d be good on the wings - (Geddit?!!??!)
As you can see we’re going to win everything in sight. This chapter’s closing song is by the inestimable Napoleon XIV. “Napoleon” would be a great sobriquet for a footballer – better than “Kaká”, certainly - though I’m not convinced that even a number 14 shirt has an place on any substitutes’ bench.