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.

Clumpy Weaves His Magic

Johnny drifts away in a drug-induced haze

Johnny Pundit: Just say no
Johnny Pundit: Just say no
Bronze Age pottery: Draws blank looks from Johnny
Bronze Age pottery: Draws blank looks from Johnny
Light ale: 1950s tactical innovation
Light ale: 1950s tactical innovation
Funny old thing, Football. For instance, performance-enhancing drugs. Nobody approves of them; most of us can't even pronounce them. Meanwhile, Missus Pundit keeps handing me leaflets about them which she says might help.

Bronze Age pottery

And I'm not saying things were perfect in my day. I remember one fellow in particular, name of Clumpy Clodworthy, played on the wing when I was at Huddersfield Town. He knew as much about wing-play as I do about Bronze Age pottery. He couldn't sprint, he couldn't go round people, he couldn't cross. Conventional wisdom holds these aren't unhelpful skills for a winger. None of us could understand why he kept getting games. We asked the coaches, the manager, even the Chairman, Reg Clodworthy, who happened to be Clumpy's Dad; but we were none the wiser.
Mazy rings
We got to the quarter final of the Cup that year - we were drawn away at Portsmouth. And it was the weirdest thing: from the word go, Clumpy was uncharacteristically confident. From his first touch, he dazzled. For the entire first half he drew mazy rings around the opposition, creating three goals (two were mine).

Chomping and gawping

As we chomped on our half-time oranges we gawped at Clumpy. "You're going round everyone! They don't know what you're going to do next!" (Mind you, neither did we). Clumpy hiccupped, giggled and said: "I love you chaps. Always be besht mates, righ'?" Well, that rather gave the game away — particularly when, five minutes into the second half, he curled up on the pitch "for forty winks, all righ' maaaate?" He never played in top-flight football again. The fifteen light ales he'd had before the game had done wonders for his confidence and his ability to weave round players but once he started snoring in the centre circle, the die was cast.

So: drugs don't work, kids. Or only for the first half, anyway.

Keep your noses clean,
Johnny Pundit

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