Weekly football conversation since 2009, with Graham Sibley, Jan Bilton and Terry Duffelen. Listen on Apple, Google, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn or your podcatcher of choice.

Feud Glorious Feud

Johnny P counts out past 'differences of opinion'

Johnny Pundit: feudal system
Johnny Pundit: feudal system
Brawling: bringing people together
Brawling: bringing people together
Roses - not the only thing in Sussex growing pinker by the hour
Roses - not the only thing in Sussex growing pinker by the hour
Funny old thing, Football. For instance, feuds. Ferguson vs. Wenger. Ferguson vs. Strachan. Ferguson vs. Keane. They've all got one thing in common. That's right: love-hate relationships.
How we used to feud

I was chatting about feuds the other day with the floppy-haired editor (who, incidentally, isn't, any more — he's shaved off all his hair and now looks like a lightbulb on which someone has scribbled a satirical grin). The Editorial Lightbulb wondered whether there were any notable feuds in my day and naturally that brought to mind 1956-57, and the season-long barney between Reg Chapman and Bert Henderson, Assistant Managers with The Argyle and Wolverhampton Wanderers respectively. My, we knew how to feud in those days, readers.
Pointless little dwarf
Fans rejoiced in the spectacle of Reg walloping Bert with a billboard for Foulkes' Opticians whilst roaring, 'Short-sighted? I'll give you short-sighted, you pointless little dwarf'. They revelled in the knowledge that, after one particularly testy fixture, Reg and Bert tussled their way through the dressing rooms before toppling, still fighting, into a lukewarm bath stuffed with two startled linesmen and a soapy referee. They were cheered, during a 0-0 draw at Home Park, by Bert chasing Reg across the pitch five minutes from time brandishing the notice, 'ALWAYS BE SPORTING, CHAPS!' and screaming, 'Slow down, Chapman, so I can insert this into you!'
Putting the sex into Sussex
Prophetic words indeed. For theirs was the last word in love-hate relationships. They say antipathy can sometimes mask deep attraction, and so it proved; Reg and Bert finished up living together, if not in sin then certainly in Sussex. They grew roses, avoided the subject of football and - so I'm told - gently redefined marital bliss. Which just goes to show: not all those gay chaps wear black leather, have Kitchener moustaches and run the media. Some of them have proper jobs.

'Thump 'im, Bert,'

Next week: whatever happened to formidable hard men?
Johnny Pundit

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