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A nobody - to a somebody?

Started on 7 March 2014 by CBS84
Latest Reply on 12 March 2014 by CBS84
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Authors note: I've read a fair few stories on here and finally decided to bite the bullet and give it ago. I've always threatened I'd write a book one day, but just never got round to starting. I felt this would be a good place to give it a go and see if I was actually any good at creative writing. Comments and criticism are more than welcome. I'll also point out I'm not great with pictures, html code etc, so any advice around making it look "prity", again, is more than welcome. With that, lets get started.

Chapter one
This can't be real....can it?

I was woken by the endless ringing of my mobile. God knows how long it had been ringing because I was in no condition to hear it straight away. We had just won the Scottish cup the day before, all be it the Sunday league Scottish cup, but the Scottish cup none the less, and the hangover I was currently experiencing at that particular moment was ranked somewhere between “Kill me now” and “am I already dead?”

I strongly considered letting it ring off. It was bound to be my boss asking why I wasn’t in work, even though I’d been clear on more than one occasion the previous week it’s highly unlikely i’d be in, but for some reason I decided to answer it.


“Hello, is that Mr Darryl Lindsay?”

“Might be, I’ve not looked in the mirror yet this morning. Who’s this?”

“My name is Richard Morris, I’m the personal secretary to David Sommers. He’s asked me to give you a call to arrange a meeting with him”

“And who might David Sommers be?”

“You don’t know? He’s the Chairman of Rangers football club and h....”

“Yeah, good one Dave. Look, I may have knocked back half a keg of Lager, more vodka than Vlad the mad Russian and more shots of sambuca than is medically advisable last night, but if I wasn’t drunk enough to go home with that fat bird with the wonky eye, I’m not hung over enough to fall for one of your little wind ups. I’ll see you in the pub later on for the hair of the dog”

With that I hung up, dropped my phone on the floor and closed my eyes again, ready to black out again for another couple of hours. No such luck though as the phone rang again.

“I’m gonna kick his head in” I thought as I answered”


“Mr Lindsay, my name is not Dave. I can assure you this is a legitimate phone call to try and arrange a meeting here at the club. “

It wasn’t Dave’s voice, I could tell that after listening a bit closer. Not even he could make his voice sound that different, way too proper spoken, But I still wasn’t buying it.

“I’m sorry to wake you Mr Lindsay, but Mr Sommers wants a time and date arranged as soon as possible.”

“Okay. Richard. What’s it about?”

“I’m afraid I’m not privy to that information”

“Oh is that right, what a shame. Well tell your boss I’ve got work tomorrow and I’m too hung-over to drive to Glasgow today, so I’ll have to pass.”

“We can send a car for you”

Whoever this is, they’re putting on a good show, I’ll give em that I thought.

“Ok, no bother, you send a car for me whenever and I’ll be right there. Now if you don’t mind, I’ve still got a few more winks to catch up on”

Again, I hung up and looked at my phone. I shook my head “My mates really are a bunch of head cases.” I closed my eyes and turned round, letting my arm fall across the other side of the bed. Instead of feeling up the nice cold sheets, it landed on top of someone. I opened my eyes. Wouldn’t you know it.

“The fat bird with the wonky eye” I cursed under my breath.
Haha great start mate! Will be following this!
Chapter 2
Christ, it really is real

Later that day, after delicately declining my “conquest” from the previous evening’s invitation of dinner and a trip to the cinema, and showing her the door with the promise of a call sometime, I was stood in the shower on the verge of reproducing the contents of my stomach. Before that came there was a knock at the door.

“Urgh, she really is persistent, got to give her marks for that.”

I got out the shower, dried myself halfheartedly, wrapped the towel round me and went to the door. When I opened it, I got a bit of a shock. Instead of the mess I was expecting to see, stood a suited and booted fella I’d never seen before.

“Can I help you?” I said.

“I’ve been sent to collect you.......for your meeting.......with Mr Sommers.

My face must have gone from a faint shade of green to as white as a ghost.

“Jesus, I thought that was a wind up, I wasn’t really expecting anyone to show up.”

He just stood there, not quite sure what to do.

“Erm, right, give me 5 minutes to get changed and I’ll be out.”

With that and literally sprinted to my room, threw on my best suit (least worst would probably be a better description), sorted out my hair a bit, grabbed my keys phone and fags, then joined the guy in his, I must say, seriously plush motor.

The drive to Glasgow from Perth is a fairly simple one. Motorway all the way till you hit the city itself. Did give me an hour or so to try and compose myself. I still didn’t have a clue what the hell was going on. Getting conversation out of the driver was like getting blood from a stone. My head was throbbing, my throat was dry and my eyes were aching. We couldn’t get there soon enough.

After arriving, I wasn’t even allowed a quick smoke. I was ushered into the building as if I was the prime suspect in a murder inquiry. This didn’t help calm the nerves. I was now sat outside the chairman’s office, surrounded by mahogany furniture that certainly didn’t look flat packed out of IKEA. The secretary was the only other person there. Young and attractive. Any other time, I would have been sleazing all over her.

“You can go in now” She said, snapping me out of the mind blank I was currently in.

As I walked through the door I straightway figured instead of wearing my best suit, I might as well have thrown on a shell suit, a pair of orange Kappa trainers and a fake Burberry cap, because quite frankly, I still looked like crap compared to what this guy had on. Suit jacket, waistcoat, trousers, shoes, tie, gold watch, the lot probably cost more than my rent.........for 6 months.

“Hello, Mr Lindsay, please take a seat”

“How do you know who I am?” I asked as I sat down.

“oh, I know a lot more about you than that.”

Again, not exactly helping with the nerves.

“You are Mr Darryl Lindsay. An insurance Broker from Perth, Single, living on your own in a one bedroom flat which you can barely afford. Am I close?”

“Aye, no bad right enough”

“However, the part of your life I’m more interested in. Current Manager of Strathord AFC. League champions 6 years in a row, 4 league cups, 3 Fair city cups, 2 trebles.....back to back, and after yesterday 1 Scottish cup....”

“Sunday league Scottish cup” I felt I needed to add.

“Yes, quite. Before you took over as manager 8 years ago, the team finished bottom of the league 4 years in a row, were lucky to get 11 players every week and were, well, quite frankly if you don’t mind me saying, shite.”

“I wouldn’t put it quite like that, but Aye, fair shout”

“What you did with that team Mr Lindsay, is astonishing. You took a bunch of no hopers and wasters, and turned them into the first non west coast based team to win the Scottish cup in over 20 years.”

I was beginning to get a strange feeling sweeping across my body. A sort of warm glow I had never felt before. Pride.

“Which brings us to why I’ve asked you here today. As you’re probably aware, this club has been in a bit of a downward spiral for the last few years”

“Bit of an Understatement there” I mumbled under my breath.

“Officially, as a company, we’re only 1 year old. But unofficially, we’re one of the most successful clubs in the world. But now, now we’re in trouble. Our income and expenditure just don’t match up the way they need to. On the park we’ve got the worst group of players we have ever had.”

“That’s a bit harsh don’t you think? I mean Lee Wallace is one of the best left backs in the country! Wouldn’t look out of place down south in the Premiership. Cammy Bell was knocking on the door of the national side while he was at Killie. David Templeton is one of the most technically gifted players I’ve seen produced in Scotland for a long while and how many player of the month awards should Nicky Law have won while with Motherwell. On top of all that you’ve got arguably the best youth setup in the whole of Scotland.”

He sat there smiling at me while I rattled all this off.

“That’s just what I wanted to hear, because this is where you come in.”

“How so?”

“We want you” Leaning back in his chair “to be the new manager of Rangers Football Club”

Well my arse nearly dropped out of me. I just stared at him with my mouth wider than the Clyde tunnel. Was I dreaming? Was this some elaborate prank? Was I being punked? I was half expecting Ashton Kutcher or even Jeremy bloody Beadle to jump out from behind the photocopier. When I finally did manage to formulate some words, I was tempted to be my smart arsed self and ask to see the size of his hand.

“You’re having a laugh right? You don’t expect me to believe you’ve just offered me a job as first team manager? Maybe a job as a tea boy or something, but come on.”

“Why not?”

“Why not? Why not? Where do you want me to start? Never played professional football for one. Hell, even when I played Sunday league football I was absolutely bogging.”

“Jose Mourinho never played”

“ You’ve already got a manager”

“Ally has served this club with distinction a true club legend and what he’s done for us, on and off the pitch should never be forgotten. But the pressure of it all has gotten to him. He has stepped down from his role. He is going to get back into his Television work. We’ve just not told the media yet, we wanted to get a new man in place first.”

“Why me?”

“As I said what you did with such a miserable bunch, was simply remarkable. The club can’t go back to its old ways. Buying high and selling low just isn’t an option anymore. We need someone who can mould a group of players into a solid unit who can eventually claw it’s way back to the top of the game in this country, while at the same time, making the company, a profitable one.”

“and you also need someone on the cheap”

“Exactly, so if you’ll just sign here, we can announce it to the media”

With that he pushed a contract across the table and offered me a pen.

“Look, I appreciate the offer, but I’ll need to think about it. I’ve got no real idea how a job in football management works. I turn up on a Sunday morning, have a laugh with my mates, try and give them an idea how to play football, then go for a pint. You need someone with some previous. I’m sorry”

I rose off my chair to leave. The guy just looked at me disappointingly as he shook my hand.

“The offer is still on the table for 24 hours. Honestly think about it. It’ll change your life.”


Before getting back in the car that brought me, I sat down on the top step of the rear entrance. They still didn’t want me being seen. Just how even the most savvy of the media would have any idea who I was or what i was doing there was beyond me.

“I can’t take this job. I’m only 28 years old. I’m an Insurance broker for Christ sake. I could maybe get the place a good deal on their public liability but that’s about it. I’ve got a steady job. Not exciting or glamorous, but steady. I’m not even a Rangers fan!! I’m a Saintee through and through. I hate Rangers, and Celtic for that matter. Surely they need someone with a passion for the club.”

This was all running through my head when I felt my pocket vibrating. My phone. I pulled it out. ‘WORK’ flashing across the screen. I answered:


“Darryl, It’s John. Where the hell have you been today? The reports are overdue, 3 client meetings have had to be re arranged and your annual review was meant to be later this afternoon and........”

I hung up, slipped my phone back into my pocket. Raised back up to my feet, exhaled loudly, turned, and sprinted through the door, down the corridor, up the stairs and back to the room with the attractive young secretary. Ignoring her (obviously still not in the right frame of mind) and burst through the chairman's door.

“I’LL DO IT!!!”
Great start mate!
Will be watching this, very good start mate!
Brilliant start mate! I have a save with Rangers in my 5th season, and believe me they are so fun! Can't wait to see what you can do with them :D
Loving this mate; real comedic value in the updates, and well written (: KUTGW
Chapter 3
It's all about the money, money, money.

So now here I am. Sat in my own chair, at my own desk, in my very own office. In fact no, make that one of my offices. I’ve got one at Murray Park as well. If the last 2 days are anything to go by, this is gonna be one hell of rollercoaster. At several points I wondered if i’d made the right choice. The media had had a field day. Their reactions to my appointment were at best sceptical ranging to borderline insulting. And if the media were borderline insulting, there was no question how the fans were feeling. Their views were clear. Message boards and forums had just about overloaded with abuse being thrown in my direction. I even had my own hashtag on twitter!!! “Who the hell is #DarrylLindsay what a joke #DarrylLindsay The board must be having a laugh #DarrylLindsay #Bawbag!!

On the bright side most of the criticism was being directed at the higher-ups. I’ve been told to ignore all the calls for me to be sacked, my job was safe......still, it’s only a 1 year contract.

I’ve said the quick good byes to my friends and family, even though their only an hour down the road. I’ve jacked my job in....well, my actual words were “shove your annual review up yer erse”, so doubt i’ll be getting a good reference from them in the future.

My stuff has been shifted out of my old, shithole of a flat in Perth and moved into a new shithole of a flat in Glasgow, owned by the club. So all I need to concentrate on is the job.

Which is where I’m at now, and holy crap did I have a lot to sort out. What formation was I going to use? What tactics were we going to employ? What players were going to play in those positions and use those tactics? How was training going to be handled? Who was going to be captain?

Then there was the staff!! Christ, I might actually have to sack someone, jesus.. I’d never sacked anyone before. I can’t even bring myself to break up with girl friends! I think there might be one lassie still thinking we’re together wondering why it’s taken me 3 ½ years to pick up a pint of milk from Tesco! How was I going to tell someone with mouths to feed that they were no longer required. “Good luck, I’m sure there will be loads of clubs after you in no time”. Aye right, with the wages some of them were on now, no chance they’ll get anywhere close to that.

That’s another thing! Due to my financial services background, I had been let loose with the club finances. I was responsible for everything player and team related. Expenditure and income. Which included contracts. It’d didn’t look good. We’re in the 3rd tier of Scottish football, not the most affluent nation in footballing terms as it is, yet we’re giving some players £10 grand a week! Plus it seemed everyone had 30% promotion uplifts as well. I needed to get this under control.

I just sat there, leaning back in my chair, letting it all run through my head. 2 things kept coming to the front over and over again.FAF...... Finances & Future. I wrote the 2 words down and stared at them. A plan started to come together. This is where I had to focus on. Then it came to me. Our money is going to come from the fans. We need to get them through the turnstile. As many as possible, as often as possible.

First, I checked our fixture list. The friendlies that had been previously arranged didn’t exactly set my imagination alight. I fired off an email to each team basically saying “Thanks, but no thanks” or “It’s not you, it’s me” if you prefer. After that, it was SPAM time. I lost count of how many emails I sent to different teams requesting games. All decent teams. All at Ibrox. I don’t know what I was gonna do if they all replied yes....or if none of them replied at all. How many games was I realistically gonna fit in before the start of the season. I reckoned if I could work it the way I hoped, maybe about 10. It would require a fair bit of squad rotation, but that’s no bad thing. The way I saw it, the fans spent all of last season playing teams like Berwick and Stirling, they would jump at the chance to see Chelsea or Barcelona lining up against their heroes. If I could pack out the place 10 times, or even get near half capacity, that would be a decent cash injection. All I could do then, was wait.....
Great update!
nice update mate, really pragmatic look at the club, interesting stuff :)
Chapter 4
Glory Glory!!

“Ally, Ally, Ally, what the hell were you thinking?”

I was sat in my other office, overlooking the Murray park training pitch. I had a list of all the players currently with us, and also depressingly, how much we were paying them.

“Jon Daley is paid how much!!”

I was gonna have to try and move some of them on. Even if just for pennies, just to get them off the wage bill. I’d already had a few enquires about a few of the lads, mainly the younger ones who had some obvious potential, but weren’t as big a drain on the clubs resources as others, so I wanted to keep hold of them. It was a bit of a balancing act. We needed the money, but we also needed the players.

The trickiest part of the season was going to be the start, I knew that before I even looked.

For the diddy teams in the country, all the cup competitions seemed to come at once. Both our Challange cup and league cup campaigns were gonna kick off within the first week or so of the season. Ouch!! That however, wasn’t my main problem. My main problem, was that a good whack of our real top quality players weren’t available till September. That meant just over a month with a very thin squad. Nicky Law, Nicky Clark, Arnold Peralta, Richard Foster and Cammy Bell were unavailable till then. Ross Perry was already out for pretty much the entire season with a cruciate injury, Barie Mckay was out on loan for the season and Ian Black would probably get banned at some point because....well...because he’s Ian Black.

I’d also had an email a few players were gonna be called up for International duty right away. Just another head ach. But then again, I’m sure if any of the other boss’s in the division heard me moaning about players being called up to their national sides, I’m pretty sure they’d be wanting “a quite word”.

“Aye, I better have a look at the youth team to see who can step up and give us a hand for a month or so”

I turned to my computer and went to bring up the under 19s squade, but before I did, I noticed my email icon was flashing.

“Might as well have a look I suppose”

Since sending all those friendly invitations out a few days ago I had been getting drips and drabs back. All politely, well, some not so politely declining. Barcelona, Real Madrid, River Plate, Byern Munich, Dortmund, the list went on, all no. So as you can imagine, I wasn’t exactly full of hope.

“Hmm, David.[email protected] , well im pretty sure I know what.........”

I had just clicked open the email and was about to delete it, until I started to read it.

From: David Moyes [[email protected]]
To: Darryl Lindsay
Subject: Re: Friendly Invitation

Hello Darryl,

I hope things are going well in your first week in charge. I still remember how hard it was for me when I first started. It must be hell up in that Fish bowl of a city.

Thank you for the Invitation. We’d be delighted to meet you at Ibrox for a preseason kick about, but don’t think we’ll be looking to take it easy on you ;)

Give our match secretary a call to get a date sorted out. See you and your lads soon.

David Moyes
Manchester United First Team Manager

This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed.
If you are not the intended recipient, please do not read, copy or otherwise use it and do not disclose it to anyone else. Please notify the sender of the delivery error and delete the message from your system.
Any views or opinions expressed in this email relating to matters which are outwith the scope of Manchester United Football Club’s normal business activities are those of the author only.
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Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail


Well I think for the umpteenth time in the space of 48 ours my arse just about dropped out from under me. Had I just managed to sort out a game against the champions of England? One of the biggest clubs in the world? More to the point, was I about, a serious money spinner!

“YA FUCKING BEAUTY!!!!” I screamed, just as one of the clubs directors walked into the room.......and not looking best pleased, I might add.

“Here we go” I thought, as he almost took the door of the hinges while he closed it.
You said you always wanted to try writing a book...If this goes far, and from what I have read, you could easily try and turn this into a book! Loving the story mate!
Chapter 5
There's no such thing as bad publicity?

The man who had just attempted to give me no choice in whether I was going to operate an open door policy was Sandy Easdale. Basically my immediate senior. I'd seen him around but never actually spoken to him yet. It didn't look like that run of form was going to continue though.

"Erm, can I help you?"

"HELP ME! HELP ME!? Yes, actually, you can! You can explain what the hell this is!!"

I hadn't noticed, but he was carrying a few folded up newspapers which he proceeded to slam down on my desk, causing me recently constructed and rather intricate paper clip statue to topple over and disperse. Which annoyed me more than it probably should have. I however straight away noticed why Sandy was on the verge of an aneurism.

Yeah, not good. Then there was the photos to confirm it.

And yup, there's the fat bird with the wonky eye.

"Well? Explain!!"

"Sorry, I can't."

"What do you mean you can't explain?"

"Honestly, I can't. I have no idea how the papers got my age wrong. Not that I'm complaining. They've made me a year younger, well almost 2 actu........"


Bit harsh that. Was only having a laugh.

"Why the hell did you not tell us about this?"

"About what? Those photos are about 3 years old at least. Well, the ones of me are anyway."

"The debauchery! The booze!! That's what! You are now a role model to thousands maybe even millions. You are to set an example. You are meant to show this club in the best possible light. We are a family club and we don't tolerate shenanigans like this from our players, never mind our manager"

I was beginning to get the hump with him at this stage.

"Look, what the hell do you want me to say? Sorry? For stuff i did when I was young?"(Lets forget the fat bird) "Ain't happening Sandy. Do you have any ideas about the layout of Perth by any chance? You know what Perth is full of? I'll tell you. Curry Houses, Hairdressers and Pubs. I'm not a fan of spending most of my mornings making sure I have a toilet in my near vicinity and as you can tell, I don't spend too long getting my hair permed, so guess what that leaves? Yes, I like a drink, fuck it, I like a lot of drink but I haven't touched a drop since I took this job on. I'm not saying that's gonna stay the case, in fact I'm feeling the urge to tan a bottle of whiskey at this precise moment, but I can assure you, I will do my up most to not drag this club into disrepute. However, I am not gonna say sorry, for stuff I did, before you lot decided to turn my life upside down and offer me this job."

I rose out of my chair for the final part of this dressing down.

"Now, if that's everything, I'd kindly like to invite you, to get, the fuck, out of my office, so I can do something a little more constructive" Which would probably involve reassembling the paperclip statue.

Sandy just looked at me, slightly taken a back at how I'd just spoken to him. Maybe a hint of respect showed, but it was the sheer fury that I could see radiating from him. Yup, I'm sure an aneurism was on it's way.

Instead of continuing the argument, he just straightened his suit, turned, opened the door and strode out. I sat back down and released the breath I didn't realize I was holding.

"That's more like it Darryl" I said to myself.

I was about to gather up the paper clips when I noticed a few more emails had come through. As I clicked through them, I think I lost the ability to blink. Our preseason had just filled up, very quickly. Very quickly indeed.
Been reading these stories for months. I actually signed up to comment after reading this one. I have enjoyed what you have written so far. Very lively, and entertaining. Please don't let the fat bird with the wonky eye fade into obscurity :)

Keep up the good work, I will be following this closely.
Authors note: Guys, thanks for all the comments and the positive words, really means a lot and encourages me to keep the quality up. If it does start to slip, I hope you jump on it.

Chapter 6
Bitter Sweet.

How did I manage to pull it off? 10 Games against not only pretty good opposition, but some of the best that England has to offer. Chelsea, Arsenal and of course Man Utd! Not to mention Spurs and Newcastle as well. I thought I’d hit the jackpot when I got replies from Dortmund and also Bayern Munich again, but they were just to say they wouldn’t be sending their first teams, but would be happy to send their B teams over instead. I can’t say I wasn’t a little disappointed, but still graciously accepted.

3 teams from Belgium rounded off the preseason. Or at least I thought it had until I was advised that we had an obligation to play one of our affiliates as well. Somehow I managed to squeeze them in, but it was tighter than a nuns Woowoo.

I had decided to sit in the stands for the games and not have any contact with the lads on match day. I wanted a birds eye view of the action and see how everyone got on in the various set ups I tried out. Too be honest, a big part of it was because I wanted to watch the other teams big players and see how they played. How did they go about their jobs on the park, what adjustments were made. It was all a massive learning curve for me and it was the best way I could think of catching myself up.

The results were, mixed I suppose. We got some absolute pasting’s, but we got some pretty credible results as well. 1 all with Arsenal was probably the highlight. But shipping 19 goals in 4 games against Chelsea, Spurs, Newcastle and Man Utd, kind of took the gloss off that one though.

But at the end of the day, results were not the main goal of the exercise. Money was! Bums on seats was the goal, and by god did we manage that.

Man U: 49,000 plus we got 10k in television rights
Dortmund II: 38,800
Bayern II: 38,800

Plus a combined 63,000 for the games against Newcastle and the 3 teams from the land of Chocolate and porn star mustaches.

The first goal I had set myself as a Professional football Manager had been a complete success in my book, no matter how much flack I got for the results and the fact I just sat in the directors box the entire time. The bean counters estimated I’d made around £1.5 million for the club. This threw me a little. I’d been used to dealing with thousands in my last job, maybe 10s of thousands at a push, but now here's this guy sat in front of me talking about millions!

I’d managed to reduce the wage bill a little as well, but not by shifting any players. Sadly, I’d had to let go some of the staff and bring in others on much lower wages. Damn those meetings were tough. I’d let go of our chief scout. He’d been with the club for decades. I’m sure he was in tears as he was leaving the room. The man had the good grace and respect for himself to look me straight in the eye and shake my hand while wishing me and the club good luck in the future before left though. That’s what made it tougher I think. I’d have preferred if he’d just screamed and shouted at me. Kind of like my ex mrs during an argument.......just without the angry make up sex afterwards.

I've still got a whole 11 members of back room staff which is something. Although, that does include 2 goalkeeping coaches, a fitness coach, 1 physio and a scout. Yeah, one single scout. Thank christ we aren't going to be trying to sign anyone for a good while. I might have to look into bring some guys just to work with the young lads at the club, but I had other things to worry about.

The start of the season was on us and I hadn't decided who would effectively be my "starting 11". I knew we had a chance to really give the youngsters first team experience over the next 2 years. Maybe even enough to really develop them into SPL standard players. Because lets be honest, we were going to walk this league, and quite possibly the one above us as well.

My issue was no one had showed even the slightest interest in what I had nick named, "the duds". Obviously I fully intended this to be kept as an inside joke.....inside my own head. I was referring to the likes of Cribari , Shiels , Foster , Black and Daly .

As far as I was concerned, these lads had no future at the club. Not because they were poor players, hell, Daly was quite possibly the clubs best striker, but they were all old and being paid far far too much. All they were doing was sucking much needed money out of the club.

Therefore, if i did just play the kids like Aird, , Hutton , Macleod and Gasporotta and left the duds out, I wasn't likely to get any further bids for them come January.

The more I thought about, the more I really didn't have a choice. They were going to have to play, end of.

You are reading "A nobody - to a somebody?".

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