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Johnny Pundit On Letting One Go

It's the hardest part of a manager's job

Johnny Pundit: parp
Johnny Pundit: parp
Morris Traveller: parp parp
Morris Traveller: parp parp
Rodney Davenport: retired
Rodney Davenport: retired
Funny old thing, Football. For instance, it's about this time of year that players can be 'let go' by their clubs. Odd phrase: as Missus Pundit can testify, you wouldn't want to be sharing a Morris Traveller with me when I 'let one go.'
Nostril hairs
Perhaps that's the origin of the phrase? After all, a player past his best is often said to be 'stinking out the dressing room.' Either way, it's a rough old time when you finally get the boot. After one last hurrah in the Third Division South, or a lucrative final season out in some desert playing for a dodgy local panjandrum with even more dollars than nostril hairs, there aren't many options for those who don't have natural punditing skills like yours truly.
Worst case I heard of was Dangler Dawson, a holding player blessed with many talents at Colchester. Fellah ended up doing a paper round for thirty years. He'd tell his family he was working in media. Never saw the fellah down The Mixed Metaphor though, and now you know why. No, in the autumn of your career there's every reason to fear the call to the manager's office. Up you plod, knees creaking like the doors in one of those Hammer house of horror movies. As you hobble across his office you try not to blunder into his furniture in case he thinks you'd do the same to opposing defenders. Really, the most a chap can hope for is to be let down gently.
Bit like my pal Rodney Davenport when he was at West Brom, playing under Horace Hawkins. Hawkins called Rodney into his office — Rodney hadn't had a bad season but to be fair he was fifty-eight by then, and even for the 1950s, that was pushing it. Hawkins offered him a Senior Service and they both sat down. 'Well Rodney,' said Hawkins, 'I don't know what we'd do without you.' Rodders puffed out his chest with anticipatory pride. 'But we're gonna damn well try,' continued Hawkins, handing him his registration forms and showing him the door.

Till next time,

Adieu mes braves,
Johnny Pundit

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