This is a tale of joy in the maw of defeat; of kinship under duress; and of laughter in the face of adversity.
Our story begins on a beaming Saturday afternoon. Four friends in the car, speaking of high minded concepts; such as purity, beauty and Jay-Jay’s personal pursuits. We arrive at Wellsborough feeling serene and ready for a spirited challenge against our opponents.
The intrepid captain Jan booms out a gruff and manly speech further emboldening us; followed by a serenade of the famous soprano aria, “Dido and Aeneas”.
Feeling as the Athenians must have done at the Battle of Marathon, facing down a superior force we began, teeth gritted. By the half time whistle we felt more like English football supporters, having been spanked five-nil. After a rousing debate we agreed on a new formation and swung into the second half with that cliche’d nil-nil attitude.
This new approach certainly showed. I’m not completely certain what Pete sprinkled on his cornflakes that morning, but he battled up the pitch from right back, making some excellent passes and positioning himself in the box to score a cracking goal. Feeling pumped, we upped the pressure. Swiftly, two more goals were smashed in by that charming rogue, Jelley.
However, this is where things turn. The young hero James Hayes trips into a player on a short and is given a yellow card; then Fate casts her bitter gaze upon the hazel-eyed, saintly statue of humility, Ollie Scott. Having seen our meek champion’s consistent good humour she pulls out a yellow card and sends him off. This narrator calls it what it is. Life.
With the earth-shattering loss of two deific titans, a p-flick and two further goals are conceded and hope of victory is extinguished.
What is the moral of this painfully accurate story?
You may well ask.