Birmingham City Football Club boast that they have won a trophy that other 'big' clubs haven't. They won the Autoglass Trophy... a sort of 'Cup for Losers' played out by clubs from what used to be called the Third and Fourth Division in old money. Apart from that, these sleeping giants who have been snoozing for over 100 years, are the Newcastle United of the Midlands. They don't have a trophy room... but a glass cabinet with the 'Autoglass' in it, together with a pennant from the Anglo-Italian Trophy and a boot from a full back who died tragically from polio decades ago. So... it was difficult to suppress a snigger when their owner splashes out half a million quids worth of his earnings from his porno business to buy this.
I can empathise with Tony Blair over his back problem. Last year my back went into spasm and for a couple of weeks I was in mortal agony. “You know what you need” said my mate Reg, “You need a chiropractor. My wife swears by them.” So, I booked an appointment, had an examination and an x-ray, and, £120 lighter, I fixed an appointment for treatment. “Come in and lie down on your stomach on this bench,” said the Amazonian chiropractor. I did as I was told, and she started lightly manipulating my back muscles. “Ah yes”, she said, “your muscles have gone into spasm.” I should have been suspicious then… and asked for my money back. Suddenly, with an almighty fury, she punched me violently in the back with incredible force. “Did you hear that, well that popping sound was the sound of air coming out of your spine.” Well, actually, it was the sound of the air being forced out of every orifice in my body …. but it was also the sound of my rib cracking! So, for the next two months I went to my GP who repaired my back problem with a course of acupuncture, and I almost forgot the pain anyway because breathing, twisting, turning over in bed and virtually any sharp movement sent stabs of wracking pain through my rib cage. So, Tone, if you want the address of a chiropractor, give me a bell.
I have followed the fortunes of Hartlepool United Football Club for forty years... since a young Brian Clough was their manager. Next week they will be playing in Cardiff in the play-offs and today, in The Guardian letters column, their elected Mayor, Stuart Drummond (AKA H'Angus the Monkey) puts forward the case for Hartlepool. Good on ya... and best of luck in Cardiff!