Saturday 8th September 2007
"Guess who just got back today?
Them wild-eyed boys that had been away
Haven''t changed, haven''t much to say
But man, I still think them cats are crazy"
Thin Lizzy (1976)
As I woke up Saturday I wasn''t sure if it was all a dream, would the ''4th team of yesteryear'' really be getting back together again for one last gig? Was the brainchild of Scotty J (now there''s a sentence I never thought I''d ever use) as a tribute to Des just one of those ideas that sounds good in Bibas but actually never comes to light? The answer was no and despite Des not realising who half of us were (he''s not getting any younger) once the team got together it was like time had stood still (everyone was still telling the same jokes).
During the warm up there was some apprehension as, for many of us, this was going to be the first time we had crossed the white line for over 3 years but as soon as Ricci had smashed a couple of balls into the woods behind the goal we were all feeling a little better. I also sensed that no-one was hungover, lacking sleep, still under the influence of substances etc. which is slightly ironic as that was never the case when we all played together for five years - maturity I think they call it?
So it was time for kick off and the 4th Team legends lined up again Des''s current colts as thus - Jonny Be Good in goal, Dave Bootyfluff, Pete ''the King'' Bullions, Bobby D at the back. In Midfield, Terry D, Zizou Silvey, Barry P, Teddy Stamina and myself. This just left the original gruesome twosome up front, Scotty ''I''m a boxer now'' Jasper and Si ''no longer a playboy'' Ricci.
Both sides soon settled down and with the sun shining (no. 1 on my list of things I didn''t want to happen) both teams tried to get the ball down to play. The legends had the better of the early possession and chances but went 1-0 down when Djan pulled a bit of magic out of his locker and chipped Jonny with a lob from an acute angle.
The half time whistle went and we spent the interval still trying to work out exactly what formation our illustrious skipper Bootyfluff was asking us to play - still not sure to this day. Think it was 3 at the back without wingbacks but hey, we pressed on anyway. We fully expected to run out of puff in the second half but adrenalin somehow kept us going as we searched for the equaliser. A couple of very smart manoeuvres and finishes from Terry D and Scott J meant we were suddenly leading 2-1! We suddenly became 5 at the back and after a goalmouth scramble the current 4ths equalised with around 5 minutes to go with a close range volley. Djan was running riot at this stage and with the game on a knife edge, Des showed he hadn''t lost any of his managerial nous by replacing him with a left back (or something).
With the clock ticking Charlie ''Busted'' Kenward found himself one-one with the oppo keeper, what would he do, chip, slide, place? Well, he went for toe punt but it didn''t matter as the net billowed and Charlie made up for all those previous misses (only joking Charlie Charles) and became the hero (especially after some dubious linesmanship in the first half saved us from going 2-0 down) - we had won! Other highlights included Barry Ps ''pleading look to the ref'' as he took a tumble, Scotty J''s backheeling magic and Si''s let''s start a fight even though it''s a friendly, it was like we''d never been away!
A few beers (quite a few actually) were had after the game as everyone talked about how great we all were - Vic lingered hopefully with registration forms and even got a couple of Oranjeboom-inspired signings (clearly Vic hadn''t seen any of the game!).
In summary, it was great to see everyone again, especially the Silver Fox. It''s only when you come back you realise how good a club Farnboro'' is to play your football and how much you miss it when it’s gone. All that remains is to thank everyone involved in what was a great day/night and wish all the teams every success for this season.
Now, where''s that Toby Harlow''s number…