From Stand Up If You Won The Cup
ENTER MEERA DRESSED AS A ‘FOXY LADY
Meera: [singing and performing an FXL routine badly] And I like it, I like it, I like it, I like it, I lie lie lie like it, lie lie lie like it, here we go oh: Rockin all over the world.
[Sitting, out of breath] When they ask me at home if it’s going to be account, solicitor or doctor I just say; ‘oi Dad no!’ it’s the FXL for me; the foxy Ladies. OK, so I guess God didn’t have that in mind when he designed me but one day I’ll be out there in front of the Carling Stand twirling my pom-poms.
I was there last season. Were you? Wembley? Caused a storm at home I can tell you. See, I was supposed to be revising for my mock ‘A’ levels but I said to my Dad, I told him; what’s more important, the digestive system or us winning at Wembley?
He just went quiet; he knows not to argue with me over football. Don’t know what all the fuss was about; I passed with flying colours; a C and two Es.
Me? I stand behind the goal; I like a bit of rough [pause] and tumble. My Dad doesn’t know. I bought the ticket with the money I saved working in Next. ‘The retail service industry’ that’s what Dad called it. Shop assistant, I call it. Never a Saturday girl though, never on a Saturday. Most of the girls at my college are Saturday girls, spend their earnings at Rosey O’Briens and soul night when their mums and dads think they’re working late. And Asian blokes; all dark man and wearing designer labels, with their mobile phones and make like their gangsters- wannabes. No, when I go for a man, it’s going to be a real man, like that Stuart Wilson. Fit or what!
See when I turn the corner from Burnmore Street and smell the fried onions and steak and kidney pies and hear all the cries; ‘Where’s the money gone? Get your Leicester Lottery’ then I know I’m in my world, behind the goal, where I can be who I want to be and who I want to be is an FXL girl. I’m off to practice my cartwheel. That should knock them dead!
You wait: you’ll all get to see my pom-poms yet.
WE MEET RAZOR
RAZOR: [CHANTING] Nam Myoho Renge kyo. Nam Myoho Renge kyo Nam Myoho Renge kyo
PMT. Do you suffer from it? PMT? It gets me bad, down here in me stomach. PMT. Pre-Match Tension.
[CHANTS] Nam Myoho Renge kyo Nam Myoho Renge kyo Nam Myoho Renge kyo
Head shaved ready for the game. Clippers? I don’t have clippers they’re for wossies and pussies, na, it’s the razor for me: sharp, clean, dangerous.
[SINGS] No one likes us, no one likes us, no one likes us we don’t care. We are Leicester, frightening Foxes. No one likes us we don’t care.
No one likes us, no one likes us, no one likes us it’s not fair, they never put us on the telly, no one likes us, and it’s not fair.
Call me Razor, Razor off the Northfields. You have to laugh on the Northfields, we were brung up tough. In school assembly we didn’t sing hymns, no, used to be [SINGS] Come over here if you think you’re hard enough, or, you’re going home in a ‘ucking ambulance.We never wanted to live on the Northfields. City Council gave us no choice, you know why? They gave all the best gaffs to them. The Abduls. Positive racism that’s what they call it.
[CHANTS] Nam Myoho Renge kyo.
I’ve got time on my hands see, loads of it. Haven’t worked since I lost my job in the Boot and shoe industry. It was odds on at the beginning of the season for me to go down. Down the job club, re-start enterprise, whatever they call it, it’s still the social to me. Odds on to go down, we’ll see.
Destiny. Dharma. Razor lived all his life waiting to be part of destiny.
Razor knows that when your name’s written on the cup, engraved on the silverware, then nothing can stop destiny.
AND THEN THERE’S CHARLIE, A FLAT CAP FOOTBALL SUPPORTER
CHARLIE: [SINGS TO HIMSELF] he’s here, he’s there, he’s every flippin where Rodney Fern, Rodney Fern . . . . . [HE TRAILS OFF IN REMINISCENCE]. It’s funny isn’t it, how your mind plays tricks: I could’ve sworn there was 58 thousand of us here a minute ago. Leatherhead, third round of the FA cup, nineteen seventy... [HE KNOCKS HIS HEAD TRYING TO REMEMBER] I told you, the old bird brain playing tricks again. It was only a minute ago wasn’t it?
[SINGS] Lenny, Lenny Glover, Lenny Glover on the wing. Lenny, Lenny Glover, Lenny Glover on the wing. Ging gang goolie goolie goolie watch ya ging gang goo, ging gang goo.
I could’ve been in the Scouts but I had a paper round. I’m Charlie. I know everything there is to know about the Fighting Filberts. That’s what we used to be called, cos we were all nuts!
I’ve stood behind the goal since they knocked the old members stand down. I’m not one for suits and televised replays. No, if you’re not cold enough for a flask at half time then it’s not real football.
When I was young, when I was, I used to work overtime at Pecks Socks to buy a season ticket; my own seat in the wing stand. Not so much a seat, more a small part of a blue bench, two white lines and your number. Girls never came to football or to pubs and you went courting in them days. After the match you’d meet under the Clock Tower and you’d walk out with them and they’d put their cardigan over your arm. The winters were hard and long, there was always snow, but they never cancelled a match and we didn’t have any of these fancy tents, deep soil heating and astronaught turf. No, they used to bring the sand over from Indgomelds or Skegness. The seasiders that’s what we were called. Come on the seasiders! Because the pitch was covered with sand. All we needed was a donkey, mind you we had plenty of them playing for us in them days.
Skegness, that’s where I was when the first million pound player, Alan Clarke, scored that goal in 1969. The goal that took us to Wembley for the fourth time. Sitting in the Victa looking at the sea and listening to the crackley wireless. Alan Clarke, the golden boot. I didn’t go to the FA cup semi-final, we’d just lost the baby, it didn’t seem right, so me and the misses went to Skeggy for the day. I wanted to try again but she said she’d sooner get a dog.
[LAUGHING TO HIMSELF] Do you know what she used to say, ‘it’s only a game Charlie, football’s only a game.’ After we lost the baby, it was my life.