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The Next United.....

Started on 19 August 2011 by Kiwi
Latest Reply on 16 September 2011 by Kiwi
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A long time ago in a galaxy far, far,, no, no, that just conjures images of Jar Jar Binks now.

Once upon a that just sound naff doesn't it?

Okay, okay...third time lucky right? Without further adieu...

It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents — except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London Maidenhead that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame glow of the lamps street lights that struggled against the darkness.
(Apologies to Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton).

I had finished work and was keen to meet my friends for a couple of bevies before the game. Running late, I cut through a park and saw blokes doing reps around the paddock. Having had a couple already, my mouth got the better of me and I stood, almost spellbound before hollering "Put your back into it, you Muppets." I stood and egged them on for a good half an hour, before realising I was close to being late and now conscious of the fact that I was soaked to the bone and standing in a puddle. I excused myself from the sideline with an extravagant wave and sprinted away to raucous applause. I didn't think anything of it at the time, but a mysterious figure stepped out of the murky shadows and ripped up paddock that I hadn't focused on him during my short time there. Foreshadowing events to come, he pulled out his cellular phone, dialed a number and started a conversation in a low and mysterious voice with persons unknown.

Running up to the High Street, dodging the now pelting hail, the stormy weather had really closed in. Arriving home at the flat, I leapt into the shower, the water against my body warmed me through, a change into my kit and I felt I was ready for the game. Descending down the back stairs, disappearing into the night....

At the bottom of the staircase, the air was gloomy; thick fog had descended on the town. Glancing at the time, I should have been there an hour ago. Thoughts were running through my mind of my punishment as I jogged two blocks down the High Street and made a left and headed for the bright lights emanating from within....
The South Stand was my local, and it was televising live the England versus New Zealand "friendly" match. The notion of a "friendly" has always perplexed me, it means that there are no competition points up for grabs, but both sides would run themselves to a standstill before accepting a defeat.

I had been due to meet my mates there earlier in the evening and have a couple of jars before settling down to eagerly watch the match on the big screen. Yes, I was already late, and my eyes needed to adjust to the brightness of the pub after the bad weather outside.

I scanned the room, punters were still few and far between at this stage. There was still a good hour or so until kickoff, and the game was been held at Emirates Stadium, so going to the game was a popular option. I would have as well, but I had a busy weekend planned and then an end of month to contend with. Such is the life of an Analyst.

Moving quickly to the bar, I had a Speight's poured and half drunk before I had noticed. Ah, another thing I enjoyed about The South Stand, they had Speights Gold Medal Ale on tap. It was something I had been missing since I had departed New Zealand, British passport in hand and had arrived on England's fair shores.

I settled in for a great nights viewing, fully expecting a second string England side to dork the All Whites, but secretly hoping for some good ole New Zealand fight.

If only I knew what was to transpire....
My mobile phone ringing woke me from my slumber. Opening my eyes, I was at my flat, but yet something felt strangely awkward. It was mid-morning, Saturday. The morning after the night before.

I crawled out of bed, and into the shower. It was refreshing and I felt like I needed it. After I had washed and shaven, and had made short work of my second cup of coffee, I looked more closely at my phone. Six calls from a private caller? And two messages?

I was suddenly peckish, a kebab was sounding ideal. That in itself was normally a great indictor of an overindulgence in the firewater.

I started having flashbacks from the previous night. What exactly had I done? I am not entirely sure I could, nor would want to, remember. I seem to recall I had a lot more to drink that I would ordinarily have had, but the memory is decidedly hazy.....

You are reading "The Next United.....".

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