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Let There be Light - Sunderland AFC: A Veritable Bible of Behind the Scenes Shenanigans and Tittle Tattle Culled from Six Years Hard Graft at Sunderland AFC Paperback – 15 Oct 2001
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Paperback, 15 Oct 2001
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Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
September 1 Tuesday
At work I bumped into John Fickling in the kitchen where we discussed the heart warming series of football results that had taken place over the weekend. He then expressed further delight that Damon Hill had won the Belgian Grand Prix on Sunday. Although I would prefer to watch paint than a car race (it doesnt even necessarily have to be drying), I could not pass up this opportunity for sycophancy and replied that my weekend had been rendered complete by this motorised boredom.
Nevertheless, it seemed to make him happy and he left me with a smile on his face and, metaphorically at least, an arse that was considerably cleaner.
September 2 Wednesday
Hopes have been expressed along the lines of having an Indian summer. Yet we are now into September and these hopes have so far been unrealised. The only way that our summer can be anything like the one in India is if it starts bucketing down over there too.
Our summer finally began this afternoon at around half past two when there was what may or may not have been a break in the clouds, but it had ended by tea time. This is quite possibly the worst summer we have had since the last one. As ever, there is always next year, something of a stock phrase for a Sunderland supporter.
September 4 Friday
Those of us ordained with the task of maintaining the stadium were recently issued with a t-shirt for each day of the working week. Most of mine are surplus to requirements as I now only indulge in vulgar manual labour on a match day. Still, these stylish garments are about the cut of my jib, so I paraded myself in one of them whilst out on the razzle this evening and a resplendent and eye-catching figure I was too.
I was standing in the queue for the bank in a busy High Street West, easily eclipsing my fellow queuers fashion wise, when I heard a fearsome cackle behind me followed by, Hey! You want to stop wearing your work clothes to go out! Ha! Ha!.
How enchanting it was to meet Leanne and Claire, two winsome and genteel young ladies from the administration building.
September 8 Tuesday
We were at home to Bristol City and chucked it away rather by letting in a late equaliser in a 1-1 draw. The game was also on television so we had some difficulty in getting rid of the visiting supporters as they were keen to watch the 44 replays of their goal. It was I who had to go round to the South Stand with the remote control and then run away as fast as the sandwiches I had scoffed would allow.
September 11 Friday
We almost damaged the clubs dull-ometer this morning. It was the shareholders Annual General Meeting.
September 12 Saturday
Sunderland came perilously close to losing this seasons unbeaten record. We were 1-0 behind at Wolves this afternoon when we won a corner and Kevin Phillips asked the referee how much time was left. He was told ten seconds, so there must have been about six seconds remaining when he nudged in the equaliser.
This type of story represents why I still harbour hopes of becoming a professional footballer, and lets face it, there is only my abject lack of talent that is preventing this from happening.
September 15 Tuesday
Roaring was ripped, swash was buckled and barn was stormed. Sunderland 3 Chester City 0 in the second round first leg of the Worthington Cup. Kevin Phillips was injured, which will please some people who would prefer a centre forward that can be vociferously slagged off for turning up.
September 16 Wednesday
I was in the print room this morning indulging in the type of frivolous arsing about that gets people through the day. I was impressing upon Rob the printer that you put your left leg in, your left leg out, your left leg in and you shake it all about, you do the hokey-cokey and you turn around, THATS what its all about! as I thumped on the table to make my point even more forcibly.
I did the hokey-cokey, but when I turned around it was something of a shock to see the Chairman standing there and smiling curiously at me. He and two other important looking blokes (they had briefcases) were evidently amused, but this failed to stop me from feeling like a prize nob.
September 17 Thursday
Sunderland supporters have a new song about Niall Quinn wearing disco pants(?). It seems that the best possible rhyme for pants is Adam And The Ants. Poet Laureate beware.
September 19 Saturday
I got a bloke called Mickey Johnson a ticket to this afternoons game with Oxford United. We were leading after two minutes and went on to win the game 7-0, a record defeat for Oxford. This was actually Mickeys first visit to the stadium. I have assured him that it is like this every week.
Top customer reviews
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A witty, sharp and delightful look behind the scenes at a football club, and I believe every word of it - except the bit about Alan Shearer being really nice.
Sort of a cross between PG Woodhouse and Adrian Mole, except the characters are real and very often famous.
If you like a laugh, and let's face it who doesn't, then this is the book for you.