Season’s greetings, here’s this year’s Christmas poem guest post. Ho, Ho, Ho
Before he moved to pastures new, namely a pub on the Isle of Man,
Our retiring ‘Father Christmas` Phil, came up with a super plan.
In thrall to ‘Kettle Eddie`, and in love with Vital Bolton,
He organised a charabanc trip as the Wanderers` elder statesman.
In lieu of the annual Party, he saw fit to have a ‘leaving-do`,
Somewhere south of the Macron, but north of Timbuktu!
In fact, a magical mystery tour, notwithstanding snow and ice,
And considering present finances, it was dependent upon the price.
The coach was from the 50`s! The clock said half a million miles,
But as they loaded on the crates of beer, fans were full of smiles!
The driver was no other than our sugar daddy ‘Saintly Eddie`,
Known for his benefaction, but with his ‘tips-box` at the ready!
As he squeezed into his tiny seat and switched the engine on,
He gave the fans a ‘thumbs-up` sign before leaving the Macron.
All the way down the Motorway, the lads were in good voice,
And with ‘Stella` flowing freely, the turn of phrase was ‘choice`.
Ably led by PE Fred, in an extra-curricular alcoholic haze,
He was abetted by our stalwarts Skopelos Chris and Nathans Phase!
There was lots of stuff about SKD and the ‘Gingerman` being tops,
The question of Phil`s parentage and Eddie watching out for cops!
His driving was quite erratic, but is it any wonder at his age,
And what about the ditty, pointing out Phil`s enormous wage!
Meanwhile in the on-board toilet, he morphed into Santa Claus,
Then distributed bags of folding money to thunderous applause.
One lonely voice in the wilderness, was that of Aussie Mike,
Who shouted out defiantly, “It`s Judas money! Get on your bike!”
But his stock had never been so high “There was only one Gartside”
He grinned behind his shaggy beard and literally swelled with pride.
But it was the lager that was talking with Xmas spirit in evidence,
When both were done and dusted, they`d return to diffidence!
Once past the Trafford Centre, the road was clear ahead,
Man United country, a place we`d often visited with dread!
But this was wholly different. This was ‘Vital Bolton` on the road,
However just in case of emergencies they had a portable commode.
Then on a long stretch of countryside between Congleton and Leek
Those literally bursting for a piss got off to have a leak!
Suitably relieved, they hit the bottle with unrelenting vigour,
All except poor Santa Claus, who abstained to keep his figure!
Now at this point, ‘Saintly Eddie` switched on his microphone,
To serenade us with a number, delivered in monotone!
It was a ‘standard` that our dads would call, a 1950`s swinger,
Pity that with all his brass, he couldn`t afford a decent singer!
Nevertheless, the fans sang along, in tune with their inner soul,
Orchestrated by Nicky Crompton, literally a born-again Creole!
Eventually, they reached the mid-way point, in truly festive mode,
And rolled into the ‘M6 Services`, on the newly built Toll Road!
Once inside and settled, Eddie shook the moth-balls from his wallet
And ordered fish and chips all round. Well within his budget!
Then without more ado, Santa Phil produced the ‘wooden plaque`,
He`d been hiding it from public gaze, at the bottom of his sack!
The award you may remember was for outstanding posts that year,
And the lucky winner of this accolade, was far and away quite clear.
To noisy and prolonged applause, with the odd ungracious mumble,
The recipient on this occasion, was no other than Barney Grumble!
To raucous shouts of ‘Speech`, fuelled by copious amounts of beer,
Barney accepted gratefully, while his comments brought a cheer!
But this wasn`t to be the last surprise which caused them to reflect,
For Eddie Davies pushed his chair away and stood up quite erect,
He said, “Seeing as it`s Christmas I`ve had a sudden change of heart!
You know we`re fighting relegation and well and truly in the cart!
Well, I`m giving you a present, that`s beyond your wildest dreams,
‘Cos what you hear and read about, isn`t always what it seems!
Forget the Thai`s or Stelios, even Deano and the Irishmen,
What they say is ‘paper talk`! That doesn`t take much acumen!
Don`t you worry! I`m staying put. Your sugar daddy`s at the helm,
My finger`s still on the pulse, while I survey my crumbling realm!
But let me get to the point. I`m giving Bolton some more dough,
To go out and buy a striker.”……To which Santa cried, “Ho!..Ho!
“Ho, bloody Ho!” echoed Vital Bolton`s quick reposte,
While Eddie added fervently, “And no matter what the cost!
Just so long as Lenny keeps us in this really champion league,
Then perhaps I`ll get my money back with less effort or intrigue!”
On that controversial note, depending on your point of view,
Everyone climbed back on board and broke open the Special Brew!
Much later, at the ‘bewitching hour`, as the charabanc trundled on,
No one told those on board, they were the recipients of a ‘con`!
Eddie and Phil, or little and large as they were affectionately called,
Were merely masquerading! Yes, they`d officially been blackballed.
Guilty of fiscal extravagance, yet wilfully neglecting loyal fans,
Plus wasting Big Sam`s legacy and ruining future plans.
Drummed out of the FA no less, for appointing hopeless bosses,
Their past and present efforts being marked with little crosses!
“Must do better!” was the official phrase, written in bold, red ink,
With emasculation, now in sight! They were teetering on the brink!
With this in mind, Eddie went and bought a pub on the Isle of Man,
And invited his fellow conspirator to promptly join him in his plan.
It was at this point I suddenly woke and rubbed my sleepy eyes,
It was just a dream. I felt a prick. A Christmas nightmare in disguise!
Eddie and Phil were history. There was extra money pouring in,
Next stop! Maybe the play-offs!…..Surely, dreaming isn`t a sin!