We haven’t had a single signing, let alone a double, for absolutely flippin’… days. Wilder out, I say. Get your cheque book out, Thomas, I say…
The momentary lapse in transfer action has allowed me to catch up with a bit of correspondence. Not least, the renewal of my season ticket. When I first started going to The Manor in 1980/81-ish (first game in 1975), I stood with my dad in the London Road, before settling on the more homely Osler Road.
Apparently, as a small child we once dallied in the Cuckoo Lane End, though I don’t remember it and I’m not sure why. We also had occasional trips to God's Waiting Room in the Beech Road. My dad even went in the funny little stand in the corner once.
But, once my dad gave up going in the early nineties, I graduated back into the big boys’ stand (right side), before taking up position behind the goal at the Kassam.
And this is where I’ve been ever since. This season I was again joined by The Twat Who Stands Next To Me, but also by children, hundreds and hundreds of them.
It turns out they’re ‘ultras’. What I know of the ultra movement is that it is politically driven; it’s where radicals are born. They’re run by whorey civil war veterans bent on revolution. They intimidate the club for free tickets. It’s all rugged and romantic and threatening.
Our ultras are more like the Bash Street Kids. They spend their time playing tricks on each other like tapping each others' shoulders and putting sweet wrappers in each others’ hoods. But, they are funny, they dress well, have great big flags and have completely transformed the atmosphere at the Kassam. And they’ve got a name – Gallus Esercito – which is a very cool name indeed.
But, this is not for me; and so I’m heading for the South Stand Upper for next season. It’s quieter and I can drink my coffee without risk of it being spilt. I shall sit and wait to die (or turn 40). So, farewell Shermy and farewell Gallus Esercito – I shall be watching from the posh seats.