“Hey Richie, what are you trying to do, get me killed with that fucking suit?” – Donnie Brasco, Donnie Brasco.
I’m really missing the Five from Fitzgerald, a column by Liverpool writer Martin Fitzgerald about the Liverpool games. It was one of only two blogs I ever read on a regular basis. He had an inimitable sardonic wit, his match reports had a marvellous economy, dripping with misanthropy. He’s taken the year off, lazy bastard. So I’m filling in. Unelected, of course, but I’m just going to keep the seat warm for him. Here’s the match report from last nights EFL Quarter Cup final game against Leeds.
Arrived a record 3 hours early for the game. In the Sandon pub Mike whips out a pair of glasses that made him look like Forrest Gump with an incriminating hard drive. ‘Jesus Christ Mike, not in here. We’ll get fucking murdered‘. A young lad takes a chair next to me and asks,
“Anyone sitting here mate?” I tell him to take it. Mike pipes up with.
“Here mate, take the chair, but if my mate Pete starts touching you up, let me know. He likes touching up boys.” No one knows what to say to that. I finish my Guinness in record time and debate doing a shoulder roll through the nearest window. Instead I leave quietly, hoping not to be killed in the next ten steps to the door.
They can smell it on ya
Inside the ground it’s an eventless first half, apart from one fan getting a bollocking for smoking weed. I only catch the tail-end of the exchange on the stairwell, the Steward accuses.
“I can smell it on you. I know it’s you?”
“How can you tell?” The fan downs a pint with a shit-eating grin. “There’s a thousand people round me?” As I passed the fan on the way to my seat I too could smell weed. I noticed in my periphery he was clutching a half smoked bifta, still lit, tucked not so discreetly behind his back.
Inappropriate Mike (part 2)
Halfway through the second half Mike turns to me. “So who do you think Leeds most famous son is? Jimmy Saville or Peter Sutcliffe.”
Loud enough for everyone to hear, a gag he obviously had chambered but waited for the biggest audience. Luckily, one of their lads hits the post and everyone forgets what just happened.
Milner Can do anything
Woodburn scores. Not only scores, but finishes a move that was 17 years and 45 days in the making. He is now Liverpool’s youngest ever goal scorer and the night is over 2-0. The score board reads: GOAL MILNER ’81. Obviously a mix up, with Milner about to come on as sub. The lad in front quips, “How has Milner scored? He’s not even on the bench.”
His mate replied dryly. “That Milner can do anything.”
A quick hand shake
On the way out the ground, debating which alley to take a piss down, I clock Neil Atkinson, host of The Anfield Wrap, standing on the corner by the chippy. I detach myself from Inappropriate Mike and make my approach. “I listen to your podcast.” I say, like a sycophantic twat. His mate is standing looking on thinking, ‘sycophantic twat’.
“Thanks very much.” Neil says and shakes my hand. I don’t think he thinks I’m a sycophantic twat. I bet he wasn’t thinking anything at all. It was the briefest of handshakes, the most inconsequential of handshakes, the most pointless of handshakes, from which neither participant took anything from.