A man who stood in for someone during his office’s weekly football match is trapped in cruel, futile and stereotypically blokey nightmare, it has transpired.
Rod Flannigan agreed to attend ‘the footie’ on a Tuesday night last May as a favour and is now the club’s Finance Officer despite being four months in arrears on subs himself.
‘I see now that I was tricked’ explained the Systems Analyst from Swaffham, whose interest in the game amounts to once owning the gold Pique sticker for his Mexico 86 album before a larger boy made him swap it for an Everton sliver.
‘At first they were grateful for me filling in, and promised me it was “just a bit of fun” says Flannigan, ‘But within two minutes of booting up I’d been aggressively asked “who are you marking?” and by the end of the match, openly called a “useless sack of shit” and made to walk home. Admittedly, I chested out a very slow ball whilst in goal. I called myself a w*nker for that. Useless, useless w*nker’.
‘I thought I’d got out in November when a family funeral prevented me from ‘practice’ but my team leader left a message on the office answerphone which began “Flannigan, you ****!” I was told in no uncertain terms that despite my “pitiful” and “shocking displays” on the pitch that I was not allowed to leave. They’re calling me “Flannaldo” and I doubt for the right reasons’.
‘What are we ‘practising’ for anyway, a mid-life crisis? There’s a 32 year old from West Runton who thinks he’s got a shot at playing for Liverpool for Christ’s sake and then there’s the psycho who arrives and leaves on his own, who no-one will ask for subs because he bit someone’s ear off in prison. One guy who smells of whisky did a three footed tackle last week, unbelievable Jeff’.
‘You know what I’m talking about’ he continues, ‘the bloke who used to try and organise the game each week is still sectioned, rocking back an forth and repeating ‘we need one more or it’s pointless’. My advice to the younger players is to get out early-doors…oh God, I’m one of them!