That Autobiography – the Missing Bits

KT POOLIE has Edward-Snowden-style revelations

Like many journalists, I get my fair share of invites to Premier League clubs to provide them with much needed publicity. After one such trip to the North West, I recall being lost in a darkened corridor having taken a wrong turning back from the Gents.

Retracing my steps, and ever mindful of the environment, I ignore the light switch, pick the lock of a door into what turns out to be a storeroom, and enter. Hoping to find a map of the building, I jemmy open the nearest filing cabinet marked documents for shredding. Imagine my surprise as I pick up a sheaf of handwritten papers entitled “AF – My Biography” each page stamped "REDACTED by Grewgious, Buzfuz and Snagsby, Barristers at Law.""Yer spoutin' aye ma auntie. They'll gie a'body a joab thae days"

My reporter’s instinct fires a tingle down my spine to the wallet in my back pocket. Here is a chance to elevate my Saturdays from slurping cold tea in an old converted portakabin to luxuriating in plush Premier League press boxes with copious wine and nibbles. Better yet a cushy studio job like Jeff’s.

Of course, there’s nothing in the published book about Hartlepool, but there are a few diary items in the draft. Before I decide which newspaper pays best, here is an exclusive extract for MonkeyBizz.

Aug 1988 13:30
Pre-season game at some minor North East club. A confidence booster before the season starts. Some of the lads are not happy. Viv and Paul McG are mithering about the changing facilities at the club – apparently a single Moulinex 900 hairdryer in Avocado is not good enough for these fancy dans. Time to bring them down a peg.
“We hud yin raucle towel atween 11 o’us in mah day. Dry yer eyes afore a dae. Yer paar o’ eedjits”

Later the same day
On the M62 the goalkeeper, Chris, tries to apologise. I am not in the mood.
“Six Nil. In the name o' the wee man! Wail ye can sook mah dokey if ye thaink yer aff hoorin' th' nicht”
On the positive side, I notice the Moulinex 900 is a robust little devil. I manage to clobber five players before it shatters. Must get them installed in our dressing room.
Norman burst into floods of tears. Cathy says I forget how young he is. She’s right, as usual. I settle his mind.
“Stoap greetin. 'Ye’v a face lik' a dug lickin' pish aff a nettle.”

Aug 1988
The Chairman turns down my request to bring in Kevin Dixon.
“See me? See ma' guidwife? See fitba? Loves it. She kens mair than ye, sittin` at yer desk wi' yer fancy phane 'n' filofax, yer boggin' gowk”
Fortunately in these early days he can’t pick out a word I am saying. I settle for the lesser option of Mark Hughes.

Feb 2002
I find myself in the stands casting an eye over young Fletcher playing for the youth team when I am tapped on the shoulder by a familiar face - the goalkeeper from that dreadful night fourteen years ago.
“Chap me doon wi' a feather! Whit urr ye daein' back 'ere?”, I ask.
I have no idea who we are playing tonight, and no idea he was in charge.
“Yer spoutin' aye ma auntie. They'll gie a'body a joab thae days”