Soapbox: maybe it’s because I’m not a Londoner


How do you get Boris Johnson, the Duke of Edinburgh, Tommy Trinder and camel beauty pageants into the same posting to a football website? By getting Pete Sixsmith to preview Fulham v Sunderland, that’s how

A big weekend looms. End of school term on Friday (two weeks holiday – mmmmm…..), Grand National on Saturday and a chance to claim three Premier League points in London for the first time since Stamford Bridge in 2001. But it could be a sad weekend for me as it could well be my last visit to the Great Wen until 2012.

Yes, comrade readers. I am ready to abandon future trips to the Emirates, White Hart Lane et al if the citizens of our beloved capital are pathologically stupid enough to elect Boris Johnson as Mayor.

I have watched the London Mayoral Election from my eyrie in the far North Country and find it impossible to believe that any one could possibly vote for a middle class, bouffanted, grinning clown like Boris. We in the North are not taken in by his ilk. For instance, could you imagine the electors of, say Sedgefield (a constituency which includes such congenial spots as West Cornforth, Deaf Hill and Ferryhill Station) electing someone like that as their MP? Of course not.

So, the election of the idiotic Boris – a man once described by a friend as being neither as nice or as stupid as he makes out – may well mean a self-imposed exile on future capital gains.

But not yet. Craven Cottage beckons with all the genuine pleasures that go with a visit there. The Spotted Horse in Putney High Street used to be a cracking pub in the 70s and 80s. I remember having a couple of pints in there the day that Alan Mullery scored the finest own goal in living memory. I also saw George Best turn in a wonderful performance in his later days, and the memory of Liam Lawrence’s stunner a couple of years ago is still relatively fresh in the old memory box.

The walk through Bishops Park is always a pleasure, rivalled only by the delights of the underpass that leads to the SmogMonsters Riverside home.

The main stand in Stevenage Road is a genuine treasure and the day would have been perfect if the Boat Race had been taking place, thereby enabling the Silksworth Head Hunters to push floppy-haired Oxbridge youths called Josh and Toby into the Thames.

The Cottage itself is a lovely old structure, redolent of Tommy Trinder, Johnny Haynes and Tosh Chamberlain. Legend has it that Bulwer Lytton wrote The Last Days of Pompeii here. That’s the story where a huge, mountainous object blows out lots of hot air and steam and causes irreparable damage to the rich and powerful. One can’t help but feel that that is an ideal metaphor for Fulham owner Mohamed Al Fayed and what his intentions were for the British Establishment and our beloved Royal Family.

In the aftermath of the coroner’s conclusion that Diana and Dodi were killed by a drunken chauffeur and not the combined efforts of the Duke of Edinburgh, MI5, MI6 and MP3, I am looking forward to seeing Phil the Greek joining with 2,000+ Mackems at the Putney End as we attempt to give the Phoney Pharaoh’s boys a jolly good thrashing.

I have it on good authority that Philip was drawn to SAFC in the 1950s by our South African centre forward Don Kichenbrand. His nickname of the White Rhino equated with the rare species that Philip spends other parts of his leisure time gleefully slaughtering. Dukey should get on well with our former winger, the full time Reading substitute and renowned crack shot John Oster.

I noticed that yesterday’s newspapers revealed that after years of research, scientists in Newcastle had produced the world’s first human-animal hybrid. Sorry to pour cold water on your “discovery” guys, but don’t out look out of your windows on a Saturday? If you did you would surely notice 40,000+ hybrids brushing their knuckles on the ground as they lope along to Sid James Park to worship at the altar of the half man, half sports shirt God, Mike Ashley. What do scientists know that we don’t?

So, on Saturday we have an ideal opportunity to put our relegation fears to bed with a win. Fulham are running out of time so it’s a must win for them and their bequiffed manager, whereas a point for us would be acceptable. If Derby can score twice against them, what chance Kenwyne causing havoc amongst their back four?

I guess the editor will be too busy judging the camel beauty contest in Abu Dhabi to watch this one so the texts will be hammering back and forth. He will need to be there early in order to ensure that he can chat up a good looking one.

Keep the faith and London Branch – keep Boris out.

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