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FA Carling Premiership, 22/1/00
Bradford City
Tall tales
By Pete Fincham

One visit, one ejection. Not a bad record for someone who spent most of last season on bail and keeping his head down!

For those who didn't go, this was one of the most desperate performances of last season. We lost 2-0 but it should have been about 4-1. We were shit. So in times of adversity, what do some of the more colourful fans do? Poke fun at the stewards. On that day, as usual, Liam (aka Ocean Colour Scene) was in fine voice and was having a pop at the helpless looking guy at the front. They ended up getting moved as they were allegedly obstructing the view of others. Quite who had complained was an area of confusion for said steward, but in his opinion they were obstructing! Nice and rational....

Anyhow at half time I moved over a couple of seats to talk to Dr. Dave and as we talked through the loss of another three points, the guy who looked like Hitler in white appeared, and with an 'awight mate' like attitude, asked me for a chat! I told him I would be ready when I had finished my conversation but then the nice guy image disappeared and he told me I should come with him. Not wishing to cause trouble I went and was ejected.

"I've warned you four times!" he remarked, even though quite clearly he had never spoken to me in his life!

"I'm sorry, you clearly have me confused with someone else," I suggested. "I have only just sat there to talk to my friend! Where was I sitting when you spoke to me?"

"Look, just f*** off, you've had your fun! Complain if you's all on video!"

I bumped into a mate of mine, Glenn, outside who had the same situation. His girlfriend had dumped me for him a couple of years back and it was strange to hear him on the phone to her explaining who had also been chucked out!

So we decided not to let this rest and walked round the corner to see the people in charge. A rather decent individual told us to go into the next office where...the same bunch of Neanderthals who had ejected us were waiting for us to escort us off the property....

The rest of the game was spent watching the Bradford attackers make a joke out of our defence, as Valley Parade was being rebuilt and you could see about thirty-five yards worth of pitch from the hill!

A few days later, and after a couple of letters and phone calls I was told it was a case of mistaken identity. The person the steward had spoke to was...Ian Lay! How he could have confused us is something that I will never know. Jesus look-a-like or overweight skin head? Tough!

Thought: Beware the guy with the dodgy 'tache!