As soon as the fixtures were announced last May I could have put money on a Christmas trip to The Fort being off. And so it proved to be on Saturday for Locos. So, with no match to discuss, I thought I would relate some seasonal football quips, all true, which I have picked up over the years.
In late 1974 l left Inverness to pick tomatoes in Jersey and ended up in Exeter laying sewage pipes in the Tamar Valley (don’t ask, it’s a long story!). My digs were in Oxford Road adjacent to the Exeter City ground and so I became a temporary supporter. As Christmas approached the Exeter fans chanted about their close derby rivals: “Torquay For Christmas”. This is best told in a West Country accent.
Several years ago, again just before Christmas, I was in the main stand at Tynecastle watching a Hearts forward from France called Stephane Paille (pronounced “pie”) and, as he ballooned yet another shot over the bar, a guy behind me shouted “You’re mince, Paille” and became an instant hero. He was honest enough to admit that he hadn’t realised what he’d said until he heard the round of applause.
Back in the Highland League, Elgin City had two great forwards in the 1970s – Hugh Thom and Gerry Graham. One Saturday they each scored two goals in a 4-0 win and this led to that evening’s Inverness “Football Times” (sadly long gone) headlining the match report: “Thom and Gerry play cat and mouse with….” For younger readers Tom and Gerry were a cat and a mouse who continually knocked seven bells out of each other on television, but who have long been retired as fictional cartoon violence is no longer pc! The ever-encroaching Nanny-state! By the way, this wee story has nothing to do with Christmas, but I lob it in because I’ve always wondered how long the reporter waited to use this one. Several seasons, I suspect.
And finally, here’s one to cheer up the Rangers lot. And they certainly need cheering up. Just after the war Rangers played a British Army XI at Ibrox and from the terracing came the Glasgow shout: “C’way The ‘Gers!”. Quick as a flash a voice behind responded: “C’way The So’Gers!”. I wasn’t at this game myself, you understand, my father related this one.
I hope you enjoyed this festive diversion which has absolutely nothing to do with Inverurie Locos. I apologise unreservedly if you are groaning at my sense of humour. I promise I’ll be back on relevant topics next week, with the Festive derby with Formartine to look forward to. In the meantime, it’s back to the asylum for me for another week!