Like Real Life

Mike Hewitson, Videogames

A couple of years ago, a friend and I went to Copenhagen – got a cheap flight and dead into cycle friendly city centres. After a day spent clambering up the Rundetaarn and drinking some lovely pints at Mikkeller we pulled a couple of sweet skids and headed back to our cheap AirBnB.

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Scunthorpe v Oldham 7.2.15

poetry, Rob Walton

Encouraging

Abuse he shout

Off and on and

Snickers bites

 

Half time

He snacky queue

Swearily banter

Swivel head

 

Bovril peanuts

And something

The cunting bench

 

Decorum moment

He glove removes

For nose blows

 

Wedding ring shows

Tonight someone lucky

 

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that figures

poetry, Rob Walton

I don’t know the you know

the exact figures

but football has always been popular

even when it wasn’t

and in the bad hooligan days

with too many bloke blokes

there were say seven million a week

now thirty five million of us

watch a football match every weekend

that’s probably more than half the population

cheering free throws and the other moves and sanctions

and in Greater Manchester alone alone

I read in the Evening News that everyone everyone everyone

who lives there sees at least at least one football ball match every week

and if you take into account the other peripherals

like programmes and matchday magazines and souvenir brochures

and them sorbets

this is essentially essentially what’s keeping the country from going to the dogs

and I don’t know the exact figures but according to my mate Gavin

more than all of us go to the dogs every every Tuesday night.

 

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a guiseley hello

Danny Woodhouse, semi-pro

Nethermoor Park. Home of Guiseley AFC, neighbour of Elland Road.

Wishfully nicknamed ‘The Lion’s Den’.

Where loan signings from the Leeds United academy jostle for a place in the starting eleven with injury-prone ex-Championship bench warmers and lower league or semi-professional veterans. Where white haired men share Werther’s Originals (hard-boiled, not the new soft nonsense) with total strangers as their dogs sit patiently pitchside – presumably praying for the 3 points. And where you’ll occasionally see the Assistant Manager of your club headbutt a fan.

i do love a pitch invasion

Mike Hewitson, post-game

15th May, 2015. Play Off Semi Final, Middlesbrough 3 [5] v. Brentford 0 [1]

I love pitch invasions. They’re brilliant; a pure, unfiltered outpouring of joy – headed up by the lads with their tops off and kids doing knee slides. They’re also one of the rare occasions in this country when our football culture feels properly old school again. Suddenly, you forget all about Gazprom, betting company sponsors and Jose Mourinho. A pitch invasion in 2017 looks just like a pitch invasion in 1977, there are just more high-vis jackets on display, they connect the dots between fan culture across the generations. Far removed from the corporate boxes and hospitality, realigned more with the tifos of Italy and the streamers of Latin America as expressions of passion.

 

They’re usually accompanied by images of shattered players, victorious in battle and held aloft on shoulders – trophies clutched and held to the sky. On 15th May 2015 though, Middlesbrough fans streamed onto the Riverside grass without so much as a medal in sight and with a final still to play. How did it come to this?

IMAG0770_1

15th May, 2015. Play Off Semi Final, Middlesbrough 3 [5] v. Brentford 0 [1]