Santa is a Villa Fan
Crimbo and footy; as traditional amongst Britain’s wastelands as Boxing Day turkey and stuffing butties, and just as likely to make you ('both ends') sick.
The cliché-minefield is far deadlier than the no-man’s-land “Lugers-for-goalposts” pitch Tommy and Jerry used in 1914 to try out their new Questra casey and Diadora Baggio 10s (Jerry won on pens, ho ho ho). So let’s jib all talk of what Neil Ruddock did on his Christmas Party and forget that Louis Van Gaal is currently on the phone to the UN bemoaning the inhumanity of United’s Crimbo run-in, and fish these novelty throw-away gifts out of our collective stocking.
Oh Nein You Didi-n’t
Kids these days hey, it wasn’t that long ago (in Newcastle at least) you got a sheep’s heart for Christmas and you bloody well liked it.
In 1998, that’s just what Alessandro Pistone got from a Secret Santa within the Toon ranks, as a comment on his lack of commitment apparently (I don’t either). Bald-Georgian-God Temuri Ketsbaia received a hairbrush and Big Dunc a prison shirt. The whole thing stinks of Alan Shearer if you ask me, and I for one hope Ketsbaia reacted as if his face was an Adidas sponsor board. Presumably on account of him being a cricket-loving Tory, and not because most footballers have the sense of humour of an evacuation era tween. Dietmar Hamann received a copy of Mein Kampf. I tried to get Hamann to tweet-the-beans, but it’s not like ve haf vays of making him talk, so apropos absolutely-fuck-all-but-making-you-think-about-his-woeful-bowl-head-for-the-first-time-in-fifteen-years, my money’s on Andreas Andersson. Not had a coupon in for time though so..
Work Christmas Dinners are woeful enough without being pelted with eggs by an angry mob, so spare a thought for AS Roma’s players this festive season (or don’t, I’ve personally always preferred Lazio).
The already massive weight of expectation on the Giallorossi was increased ten-fold this season when Juve began the term slow, with many billing Roma the likely next-in-line for Lo Scudetto.
Before beating Genoa this weekend, Roma had gone seven games without a win, including being dumped out of the Coppa Italia by Serie B Spezia at the Olimpico. Understandably, the ever-passionate Romanisti are a bit fed up.
Their Ultras are already pissed off by new policing methods in the stadium - protesting by not going the games, leaving the club’s normally intimidating Curva Sud practically empty. Maybe if they had been going, the likes of Atalanta and BATE wouldn’t have been raiding Roma for points.
Still though, they can hardly be criticised for not turning up to Christmas dinner. Hundreds showed up at a Rome restaurant last Thursday to hurl abuse and eggs, at their ‘heroes’. Shame Ashley Cole left really isn’t it.
Santa is a Villa Fan
Back to December 1998 and there must have been something in the air. In fact there was until it hit the ground and broke both its legs in front of a packed Trinity Road Stand at Villa Park. I’ll never forget how much me and our kid laughed on hearing that as part of a half-time show gone-wrong, a parachuting Father Christmas had missed his landing and tail-spun from the roof of a football stadium, landing in a heap on the floor. Before you say anything; we were kids, and no one died. And besides, all we could think of was the amount of believers that must have been there to witness it. It’s fine. It’s fine. They were Villa fans. No one died.
In researching this childhood-memory, I’ve since found out he had to have a leg amputated, and I’d never wish that on anyone. Villa fans though, perpetually thinking Santa hates them. Makes that ‘Santa is a Villa Fan’ hat Doug Ellis used to wear seem a bit far fetched.
Nigel Rogoff, an RAF Veteran, was 39 when the accident happened and was lucky to survive the 80ft fall. Experienced in over 6000 jumps, he’d go on to meet his wife during rehabilitation and has raised thousands of quid for charity by rowing across the Atlantic. Well in Nigel. Seems like a good guy. Villa beat Arsenal 3-2 too.