So, ten months ago, me and a load of mates congregated awkwardly at the Freemasons Arms in Covent Garden to watch me ceremoniously pick Grimsby Town out of a hat that contained all 92 clubs. Who knew what was ahead of me. Who knew. No-one knew. Not even Hugh. Ten months of travel taverns and being shunted around based upon who scored more goals. What a precarious way to live. But why not.
Last night, I returned to said pub for end of season drinks. There was Brentford there, Bournemouth, some Darlington and, of course, Spurs. So many people, who ten months ago, I didn’t know. Or was I likely to know. Strangers. Wouldn’t even nod at them in the street. Especially Johnny M. And that’s what has enthralled me about my journey. The randomness, the partial restoration of my faith in humanity…that a bloke on his own can wander the country and accumulate new friends and goodwill (mostly), and be welcomed. Would I have welcomed me? Not sure. I think most of these people are better than me.
But it made me think more than ever that I can’t sit at a desk every day. Do the same commute. Eat the same Pret-a-cardboard sandwich. Pretend I’m not on Facebook. Go home too knackered to do anything. What a load of nonsense tossery that is. You’ve got to get out there and live it. I’m penniless, but I’m rich. The end.
Here it is, the last ever episode (number 76…seventy..flippin…six):
At the time of writing, they’ve put me slap walloped on the front page mooey of the ITV sport website. How nice. So, that’s the end of a ridiculous journey. Ten months of silliness. Not that most of any of my ten months aren’t silly, but this is probably up there with living in a tent in Africa or chasing Corey Haim around with offerings. I can’t quite believe that Saturdays once again belong to me and that I don’t have to constantly think about what I’m filming next.
Hope to see some of you on Saturday, albeit blurry and through hopsy, malty eyeballs full of Messrs. Heneiken and Kronenburg. Bradley, I’ll have that £20 (re Pielympics). Perry, don’t worry, I won’t bring that picture of you in a mankini…
Next? I’m farming myself abroad to write the book ‘I am The Gloryhunter’, which is out August/September. And then? There’s whisper of a World Cup adventure. Any takers?
Time to look back, with a manly, dignified tear rolling down my pointed hooter. Here’s the first of two episodes telling the story of my utterly ridiculous season-long adventure.
Don’t forget the drinks this Saturday in Covent Garden (see earlier post). There’s an special exclusive gift for all who turn up as well…(mysterious trailing dots)……
So that’s it then. The end of the season. I no longer support a team until they lose then support the team who beats them. I have been shipped back to White Hart Lane like an unwanted pair of slippers from the Freemans catalog. It’s over. No more travel taverns, regional accents or beer for £2 a pint. I feel like I’m breaking up with my own alter-ego. We never got on anyway. The writing was on the wall when I had that argument with myself about which pizza to get.
Well, I’ve got a couple of months to write a book about my ridiculous ten-month traipse around the Football League. I’ve booked a cheap flight to Malaysia and will find somewhere very cheap to sit and hammer, prod, shout at and probably destroy the laptop.
The book will be out in August. Meantime, here’s the ITV episode that takes in my last ever game. Look out next week too for the very last episode ‘The Story of My Season’.
Don’t forget the GH end of season drinks on 16th May!