Act 1 Scene 15 – The Multifaceted Life of a Legend

By A Shit Hot Country & Western Singher

And submitted in partial fulfilment of his PHd within 24 hours of the match!!

The daily life of a Legend is one of true commitment, respect and what was the other value again? Pre-game Legend rituals (?) are always as exciting and unpredictable as what actually takes place on a football ground and today was no different. Firstly, Uber Eats Steve H arrived very early to the ground, dropped off the kit and Paul E, and then quickly departed as he heard the news that his fiancée was going into hospital. Then we nearly lost Mount Macedon Rick, who departed to the toilet and from the volcanic mist fortunately appeared with a big smile some fifteen minutes later a stone lighter. We thought that the “Big Silver Back” was lost in thought there for a moment as if he was back in “Gorilla in the Mist” and taking a dump in the wilderness! And then of course there was the heavily drugged and groggy back-spasmed (sorry don’t know how to spell org…d) Gaffer, who took off his shirt to be oiled up by Eric the Brave … so it was mass exodus towards the park!!

When I say park, was it a cricket pitch, a farmer’s field, a building site or a new set from the latest Skyscraper movie? As the legends collectively strutted their stuff while exiting the change rooms in unison full of confidence and bravado, one stood out from the pack! None other than Zoolander himself leading by example, as if he was on a catwalk to intimidate the opposition of any misconception that they would win the game. Instead they all looked on in awe of his catwalk skills and thought beauty, we’ll break this pansy’s legs!

At that very moment the wind picked up with purpose to state its intent to influence the game. Thank god we all cried out that Stock, Shaw and Lamb had all taken their toupees off and not having to worry about their comb overs and concentrate on winning the game. It was a clear sign that “Mother Nature” would have her say in the match.

After being all oiled up by Eric S (who also exited the changing room with a big beaming … smile), The Gaffer quickly joined the team and analysed the situation at hand. He promptly schooled us in the physics of wind and flight and his tactics. We all shook our heads as if we understood him but what The Gaffer failed to realise was that none of us studied physics at school. So off we went to our positions with Ray trying to work out if a2+b2=c2, Gideon screaming out liquidate, Jeremy asking if “Pythagoras Theorem” counts, and Rob walking around saying “Cuckoo Cuckoo”!!!

The game perhaps somewhat surprisingly started very well, despite Rick losing the toss and Paul E sending Glenn (linesman) on a long chase over the hill, down the valley, over the bridge and past the cemetery (not even a pub on route), to chase and collect one of his wind assisted long errant passes. Actually City were camped in the opponent half for at least 10 minutes … not necessarily stringing too many useful passes together, but we all found it hilarious just watching Glenn throw down his flag and chase “another f……. wayward ball”! At this early stage, Glenn was a shoe in for Man of Match as he had more touches and ran quicker and harder chasing the ball down the road and sideline than anyone else on the field.

Then we got a little bored of this, so we decided to pass the ball back to Rick on the edge of his box, to which he duly passed straight to their centre of midfield. Shocked and totally bemused, from long distance he smashed a ball towards the open goal. Fortunately for us it struck the foot of the post. It was a masterful move by Rick to toy with the opposition and lull them into a false sense of security. Courtesy of the Police Academy of training – to give confidence to the perpetrator of kindness and empathy just before you belt the s..t out of them!!!!!!!!

Suddenly out of the blue we all noticed on the sideline a shady character soulfully walking down the sideline wearing tight jeans, leather jacket and a hat. Was that “Fonzie” from “Happy Days” to give us support? Nooo it was none other than our resident “fleet of foot” Egyptian Pharaoh “Tutan Hassan”. The Pharoah has a soft spot for “Ye Olde Legends” and came to summon his powers from his ancestors and bestow upon us to win the game.

Was this a wake-up call from El Fonzie? With a few wayward shots flying towards the Ashburton goal, were we now starting to get used to the strong Easterly wind? Firstly, Eric L had a venomous 20 metre shot that the keeper scrambled for a corner. Then Martin, who had up to this point started to fully control the centre of the park, limped off for an early shower. This was immediately followed by some great interplay and first touch passes between Ash, Rob and Paul, before he slipped the ball through to Steve B and with just the keeper to beat, exquisitely slotted home. BUT … an elephant never forgets. Glenn, the smiling assassin and eager to gain revenge for his 30 minute ball boy stint, quickly raised his flag ruling it to be offside. This could vey well be the “Muppet Moment Award” considering we scored and it wasn’t offside. Just ask the Ref who was tactfully trying to influence Glenn that had he made the wrong decision while nodding No. Glenn like a deer in headlights continued nodding Yes and missing the point – hence the Ref having to rule offside and continue on.

Shortly after, Ashburton started to press continually down the right flank. After Bulldozer Gideon on two consecutive occasions ploughed through his attacker and Eric S found out that “a headlock was okay if you had been fouled first”, free-kicks were a plenty. For some unknown reason, Eric L walked arm in arm down the aisle with the referee to mark out the 10 metres and shortly after one of these crosses ended up with their unmarked captain/coach lurking at the far post. In fairness it was a brilliant goal by Zino with a pinpoint powerful header. But for the rest of the game it meant that he pranced around with a full chest like a penguin trying to wind us up.  Meanwhile “The Dentist” Michael Kotsafidis (I can actually spell his surname so it’s in okay!) couldn’t contain his enjoyment at taking the lead no matter how hard he tried. Well that’s what I thought until I realised he performs surgery on himself and has a permanent smile because he has ginormous white teeth like in the movie “There’s something about Mary.”  The Gaffer was not impressed!!!!!!! Ashburton 1 – City 0 at half time.

As we all lumbered back to the bench to replenish our energy, reinvigorate and collect our thoughts, the team still had a great spirit and belief. Everyone was supporting and encouraging each other that we can beat them next half. In the meantime The Gaffer had quietly walked away to gather his thoughts and tactics or was it further medication for the second half? Thank god it wasn’t too long as we could sense Glenn brewing up his Churchill/Captain Mannering speech (yes both ARE the same) to never surrender!

Was it going to be another inspirational team talk on the cards? The Gaffer in his usual authoritarian manner, reinvigorated, made a master tactical move akin to Sir Alex Ferguson. I think more like his moves in his bedroom playing the Battle Star Galactica board game with his battleships and toy soldiers! Anyway, knowing he could win the game with one masterstroke, he critically analysed the opposition noting that “they would tire in the second half” (so that’s why he gets paid the big bucks and got voted in!!). Therefore he implemented his plan of action – to conquer the world before Trump does! Hence forth, Ash was substituted to save and use his breathtaking skills, touches, vision and play making abilities for tomorrow night’s game against the far superior opponent “The Old Lady – Juventus Masters.” A brilliant move to infiltrate and demolish Juventus and mesmerise them into oblivion as well as give Ash the opportunity to view his mobile and choose his latest 2018/19 tax year BMW dinky toy. As Les Murray once said, “The young fellow moves like Sheer Poetry in Motion. A delight to watch, pity he had those bad injuries so young.” Furthermore, it had just rained, not that Les Murray knew, so his old 2018 BMW did need to be replaced!

With the decision made, the discussion turned to who was the fastest forward, “Steve the tortoise” or “Eric the snail”, and the tactic to move “Jeremy the worm” (look I’m wearing the number 9 today chaps and it fits) to the centre forward position paid dividends. Jeremy who is in devastating form scoring 1 from 1 is affectionately known as “The Beacon or Flying Giraffe”. With his transformation as our new secret number 9, “The Gaffer” knew the timing was right to unleash the beast! Although he moves at the speed of a worm, he is deceivingly quick with that languid movement of his. Many an opposition have been fooled into thinking he is moving in slow motion! Please click on the attached “video” to form your own opinion.

As the wind dropped and the forwards were told to play closer together, attacks from both flanks became common. Eric L on the left and Rob (right) ran amok. Both were releasing good early balls to other Legend players and the Ashburton keeper began saving close range shots on a regular basis.

Deadlock finally opened with a Rob cross that Paul E headed towards goal for Eric L to tap in. Brilliant play and running up and down the wing from Eric. Fantastic movement and dribbling skills akin to his idol “Attilio Lombardo” (Please view the link attached to his name should you not know who TF he is – only view it for 3 seconds apart from Eric Lombardo who can relive his wet dreams of Sampdoria days by pressing continuous play).

I’ve heard of idols but ‘crikey mate’, Eric is taking it to the next level with his dedication to looking and playing like him!!! Eric’s response was that he likes to sign autographs and hopefully get some action! Clearly the Finnish ladies on this occasion … were NOT amused!

 

 

 

[NB Please listen to link “attached” re Steff and Mario running as you read this next paragraph.]

The Gaffer then seemed to be having his own fun, playing the offside game regularly with both ex-Legend Steff and Mario who he somehow managed to catch offside just 1 metre into our half. Both were running aimlessly in all directions much to the amusement of the Ref, and the expletive laden scorn from the Ashburton defence was simply priceless.

However there was a moment of madness when “The Gaffer” passed a simple ball to Ray at right back who somehow did a half pirouette and kicked the ball out with his other foot and fell to the ground. He got up sheepishly and blamed the surface and not his ability and misfortune. Upon quick review of the VAR, we identified that Agent 13 somehow popped his head out of a divot to see what was going on, and unfortunately put Ray off. Poor old “Agent 13”, we were all wondering how and why he keeps getting injured before the start of every game. Even when he says hello he gets injured? Thinks its all the hideouts he squeezes into.

But never the less, we should never expect to write-off a spirited Ashburton side. From a fast counter attacking move down the right side, they opened us up and who was there to finish off, the lively “I have a shirt from every team in the league” Steff.

With Glenn now controlling the centre of the midfield like “Carlos Dunga“ from Brazil, the last 15 minutes of the game really opened up and City dominated. Brownie (who found another Scottish opponent to understand and share his fit bit prowess data stats with) and The Big G Jeremy both found heaps of space and started to lay off some nicely weighted balls for driving but knackered midfield players to run onto. And then with clear instructions that forward players should stay closer together echoing in our ears, we had Rob, Jeremy and their keeper all within 1 metre of one another in the six yard box. As the ball ricocheted between them, Jeremy tapped the ball into an empty net! Fantastic goal from the “Flying Giraffe!” That makes it 2 from 2, devastating form! Hate to say it but brilliant tactical move from “The Gaffer” again.

With Ashburton’s starting to play a high defence, Rob then played Paul through to finish off a one on one with the keeper. And then 2 minutes later, Eric L cut in from the left and with his “I’m a fast snail” belief behind him, he superbly finished with a 20 meter shot to complete a much deserved hat-trick. AAAAAAttttiiiiillllliiiooo LLLLoooommmmbbbbaaarrrrddddooo!!!! GGGGGGGoooooooaaaaaaaallllllll!!!!!! Ladies I’m over here!!!!

Perhaps the score flattered us, but the fact we had at least 10 shots actually on target this week, The Gaffer walked off the field a very happy man. Paul and Ray meanwhile ran off, well the spent former did his best impersonation of something moving quicker than reverse, to hopefully get home and help (really???) in their respective daughters/in-law labour processes.

Game over 5-2 Legends winners!!

As the lights dim and the curtains bring the scene to a close, the Legends can all hold their heads high and indulge tonight in wine, feast and debauchery. For we are Gladiators and TRUE Legends! Dyksie can you stop singing the bloody war cry “Men of Harlech” in the background as the curtains close. We want to go home! Till next time, may you be safe and those hospitalised quickly return home to their loved ones.

MMM Equal effort by Glenn for his offside decision when we scored and Ray for his half pirouette and kicking the ball out with his wrong foot. Oh yes and how can I forget Eric L, for trying to marry the Ref before half time in the hope that he might influence his goals not being ruled offside in the second half!
BMW BoP Tough one – Lamb for his Attilio Lombardo hat-trick, as it changed the game. Snowball – for his Der Kaiser (Beckenbauer) performance in the back. Emery – moves like an elegant gazelle in midfield like the Legendary Fernando Redondo.

 

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