THE Hairy Fadjeetas manager has launched an expletive-ridden tirade in response to criticism of his approach to tomorrow’s Kenna League transfer window.
Labelling several Kenna figures as a rude word associated with a lady’s part, criticising league rivals and getting several of his players’ names wrong, the Hairy Fadjeetas manager held a press conference the likes of which football has never seen before*.
Despite an underperforming strikeforce of Roberto Soldado and Javier Hernandez, the manager has come under fire from fans and the club for choosing not to release any players ahead of tomorrow’s last chance to make changes before the end of the season in May.
Speaking while on holiday in the Austrian Alps as to how he planned to push for his maiden Kenna title without freshening up his team, the Fadges manager spat out this furious tirade earlier today:
“Don’t you f*ck!ng start. Which one’s the Chairman? You’re a c*nt. And which one’s from Mogadoodoo? You’re out of order. I don’t have to stand for it. Trying to f*cking undermine my position are you? It’s going to my lawyers.
“Transfers? Why do I need to make transfers? Are you trying to say my squad isn’t f*cking good enough or that I can’t get anyone in? We’ve got a great side with that Aaron Ramsden and Gethin Bazzard holding things together. I spend my whole life picking up the phone, talking to Alex Ferguson, week in, week out, what would you do, what would you do? I can pick the phone up at any time of day and speak to Arsene Wenger.
“And you can tell that Tactical Brambler… I’ve kept really quiet, but I’ll tell you something, he went down in my estimation when he did that – we have not resorted to that. But I’ll tell ya – you can tell him now if you’re watching it – we’re still fighting for this title, and he’s got to go to keep Dzeko scoring, and… and I tell you honestly, I will love it if we beat them, love it!”
The list of available players for tomorrow’s Kenna transfer window has been published in The Rub.
Managers attending the window will be surprised to see some big names released this week. In particular, the Piedmonte manger, another pushing for his first Kenna title, jettisoned Samir Nasri – who returns from injury in a couple of weeks.
Defending Kenna champions Sporting Lesbian waved toodle pip to Stephen Jovetic.
The Young Boys of Vauxhall manager, looking to escape a relegation first, released six players, including Operation Yewtree’s Rolf Harris.
*Disclaimer: football may have seen a press conference like this before
By the Hairy Fadjeetas manager
ST REATHAM FC’s weekend preparations were thrown into turmoil as club star striker Wayne Rooney was sent into space by the Persian Mafia.
Rooney, who has bagged 81 points for the mid-table outfit, missed key training sessions due to the unscheduled rocket ride but was said to have returned ‘in perfect health’.
It’s rumoured that Rooney and St Reatham were approached by the Persians after their first choice cosmonaut overdosed on bananas. It’s thought he was allowed to take his own life after he embarrassed state officials by sending an unconvincing stand-in to a scheduled photo call with the world’s media.
The St Reatham boss was unavailable for comment this afternoon with the club’s press office informing journalists that ‘he has not fled to Switzerland to avoid difficult questions about an incident on Chobham Common – that’s just speculation’.
England manager Roy Hodgson was also unavailable for comment.
A BOAT. A pub crawl on a boat. In London. On the River Thames. Would that work?
Following up the success of October’s number 38 bus route pub crawl would be difficult.
Many have walked the well trodden paths of Thames pub crawls along the banks at Hammersmith, around Greenwich and even through Bermondsey, but the decision was made to give a unique, edgier take on this old cliché.
A plan was resolved upon: three pubs in Greenwich, a short ride on board a Thames Clipper and a stroll through Southwark up to Tower Bridge.
On Saturday 13 April 2013 a group of determined souls met in Greenwich just after 1pm with the itinerary below. Photos have been anonymised to avoid reprisals.
- The Cutty Sark Tavern, Greenwich
- Trafalgar Tavern, Greenwich
- The Gipsy Moth, Greenwich (followed by a boat trip up the river)
- Wibbly Wobbly, Surrey Quays
- The Ship and Whale, Rotherhithe
- The Clipper, Rotherhithe
- The Blacksmith’s Arms, Rotherhithe
- Old Salt Quay, Rotherhithe
- The Mayflower, Rotherhithe
- The Angel, Rotherhithe
- The Anchor Tap, Tower Bridge
1. The Cutty Sark Tavern, Greenwich
Agreement was never reached on whether the Georgian architecture of this pub warranted the amount of money charged for sausage rolls.
There was a good crowd, a few families, enjoying lunch and the beamed interior at 1pm. Picnic tables outside by the Thames proved adequate seating underneath the greying sky.
Binksy had one hanging on him and reports came through before his arrival that he was sick running for the train. Crawlers were quick to point this out when he turned up.
Crawlers’ pub comments
Fat Peter Sutcliffe said: “Pretentious and expensive menu (no burgers!) but tidy bar staff.”
Vicki the bus spotter said: “Do we get to go on a bus on this crawl?”
2. Trafalgar Tavern, Greenwich
The Trafalgar sits like a fortress on the banks of the river. Fortunately, it was penetrable and offered wooden floors, views of the river and what an estate agent would call a ‘well-appointed’ interior.
Lots of photos of an historic British naval theme inside. Admiral Nelson features heavily. A French provincial would enjoy this place as much as Nick Griffin would enjoy taking Napolean in his mouth.
Crawlers’ pub comments
Fat Peter Sutcliffe said: “Pretentious (but nice) potato wedges took too long to arrive.” One gets the feeling Sutcliffe would find eating with a knife and fork ‘pretentious’.
Vicki the bus spotter said: “I’ve been mis-sold this crawl. I thought there would be buses.”
3. The Gipsy Moth, Greenwich
The epicentre of Greenwich? The throng of people in here probably more due to its location between the market and the rebuilt Cutty Sark rather than its strengths as a pub.
Walk through the front bar and it opens out into semi-conservatory style area.
It’s a pity to think this kind of boozer is the image of a traditional London pub many tourists take home.
Crawlers’ pub comments
Fat Peter Sutcliffe said: “Pretentious (i.e. small) macaroni cheese.”
Vicki the bus spotter said: “Binksy had to go on to the bloody Mary the cure the hangover.”
The boat queue, Greenwich
Thames Clippers run regularly, but as the mantra goes ‘no one every plans to fail, they only fail to plan’. It turned out rather than bowling on board, London Oyster cards had to be used to buy tickets from a booth.
To cut a long story short, a 20-minute wait in the drizzle was overcome with the boat drinks.
The boat, River Thames
The boat trip from Greenwich to Greenland Pier takes around 10 minutes. Ample time to have a drink and hack off all the other passengers…
4. Wibbly Wobbly, Surrey Quays
If a sign outside a pub says ‘No work wear’ then it’s safe to assume there are building sites nearby. So what conclusions can be drawn of the surrounding community’s socio-economic make up if the sign says ‘Tops must be kept on inside the bar’?
The growing inclemency of the weather meant all tops were on, but did little to dampen the spirits in this welcoming boozer on board a boat moored in Surrey Quays.
The ceiling around the bar was covered in foreign currency, Binksy’s cue to show off his exotic trillion dollar bill. The barmaid smiled for the camera and afterwards asked him to pay in sterling.
Crawlers’ pub comments
Fat Peter Sutcliffe said: “Nice Cockney boozer. Probably best to avoid on Millwall match days.
Vicki the bus spotter said: “Nice maps on the ceiling! Rough as hell but very amusing. We all kept our tops on.”
5. The Ship and Whale, Rotherhithe
A short walk from the boat bar, the Ship and Whale is an enticing pub tucked away on a backstreet.
Light, airy and many interesting photos on the wall, there’s little to hold against the place.
Everyone appeared to be holding it together too, although the volume knob of conversation had been tweaked up.
Crawlers’ pub comments
Fat Peter Sutcliffe said: “Classy back street boozer with photo of a famous visitor behind bar (can’t remember who though).”
Vicki the bus spotter said: “Much nicer than the last pub! Good beers on tap.”
6. The Clipper, Rotherhithe
When a pub plays Heart radio from a late 90s television, one can expect all the other trappings of a proper London locals’ boozer, such as a man in a flat cap playing the fruit machine and the dip in conversation when a bunch of half-cut strangers enter.
Plenty of regulars were in early doors and a convivial atmosphere quickly resumed.
The Spartak Mogadishu manager finally arrived with an excuse that will go down in the annals of history: “I forgot where south London was.” Quite how his fellow countrymen command such terror on the high seas is anyone’s guess.
Crawlers’ pub comments
Fat Peter Sutcliffe said: “Fags behind the bar for £8.50. Don’t look anyone in the eye.”
Vicki the bus spotter said: “Dodgy pub – nice maroon carpet. A bit like the Duke of Sussex in Waterloo. The Spartak Mogadishu manager finally managed to grace us with his presence.”
7. The Blacksmith’s Arms, Rotherhithe
Tudor building, possibly mock, with wood pannelling and an island bar. A big screen showing something we could have never planned for: Millwall in an FA Cup semi final.
Some of the initial party were starting to struggle with pints, evidenced by the switch to shorts in areas of the round.
Grumblings about the price were heard.
Crawlers’ pub comments
Fat Peter Sutcliffe said: “Surprisingly posh (and expensive). Used to have a beer garden but now full of junk.”
Vicki the bus spotter said: “£5.45 for a pint of Peroni!”
8. Old Salt Quay, Rotherhithe
Huge. The rest of London now considered the time of day suitable for drinking, so this massive pub was bursting with trade.
There’s an upstairs, downstairs and views of the river. Crawlers nestled in a corner near the bar to enjoy the franchise.
The rain was now steady drizzle.
Crawlers’ pub comments
Fat Peter Sutcliffe said: “Aircraft hangar size and Wetherspoons style pub with all the character of something made in China.”
Vicki the bus spotter said: “I think this one was that massive pub.”
9. The Mayflower, Rotherhithe
Everyone was looking forward to this place, and the pub itself didn’t disappoint. Curious articles on the wall and a decked terrace right over the river make it a must visit.
Crawlers found a big table to sit around and, as more had joined the ranks, one by one gave a short introduction of themselves.
When it turned out that two of the girls both had freakish long tongues, the day’s refreshments turned into open raucousness.
Three times were the party told to ‘keep it down’, which marred the visit but the not the mood.
Crawlers’ pub comments
Fat Peter Sutcliffe said: “Full of grumpy locals and landlord who kept asking us to keep the noise down on a Saturday night. WTF?”
Vicki the bus spotter said: “Best pub of the day. Very cute but we did get shushed a lot.”
10. The Angel, Rotherhithe
When it turned out the Angel had a fireplace and wand-like poker, one crawler’s scarf was pressed into action for Harry Potter impressions. Don’t judge, if it wasn’t for the photos no one would have remembered it.
Lord alone knows what the assembled locals thought, but when the Spartak Mogadishu manager spilled his drink everywhere the landlord made him clean it up, much to general amusement.
Crawlers’ pub comments
Fat Peter Sutcliffe said: “Sam Smith’s and landlord makes the Spartak Mogadishu manager clean up his own spillages.”
Vicki the bus spotter said: “Do like a Sammy Smith’s pub!
BONUS PUB: The Old Justice, Bermondsey
On the Sunday morning recce a few weeks beforehand the Old Justice had looked shut for years, but as crawlers stumbled along the river towards Tower Bridge it was open and it seemed churlish not to pop in for one.
Without a doubt the strangest pub all day. The staff consisted of a landlord and hoardes of Asian women, who served our drinks and then gave us plates and plates of battered seafood and a free shot of rice wine.
No one was entirely sure what was happening, but everyone was glad to move on.
Crawlers’ pub comments
Fat Peter Sutcliffe said: “Oriental money laundering front with hookers out back on request (POA). Free room temperature scampi, onion rings and salmonella washed down by nasty rice wine.”
Vicki the bus spotter said: “Cold battered fish and odd sake!”
11. The Anchor Tap, Tower Bridge
We made it! The last of 12 pubs between Greenwich and Tower Bridge. Everyone was so excited that change was pooled and 15 shots of rum were ordered.
The bar staff didn’t share our joy, having to cater for the rowdy bunch just before closing time and fetch another bottle of rum from the cellar.
Crawlers’ pub comments
Fat Peter Sutcliffe said: “Hazy memories of this one. Sawdust on floor and Sam Smith’s cheap booze.”
Vicki the bus spotter said: “Rough rum shots.”
The after party: Village East, Bermondsey
Forever dedicated to exploring new pubs the crawlers went on to enjoy more cheer at Village East on Bermondsey Street.
Recollection is sparse. Afterwards it was marveled at how we got into this marginally upmarket bar.
Life tasted good. We were pioneers of the first ever recorded pub crawl from Greenwich to Tower Bridge, and it included a maritime adventure. We were proud descendants of our country’s finest naval heroes. We were Sir Francis Drake singeing the King of Spain’s beard at Cadiz. We were Admiral Nelson smashing through the French at Trafalgar. We were… desperately trying not to fall asleep on the night bus home.
ONE QUESTION was only the start of it. How could we ride the new model number 38 bus?
It was accepted that the ‘hop-on, hop-off’ routemaster-style bus only runs around once an hour on one bus route – the number 38.
Despite its meandering path through the boroughs of Hackney, Islington, Camden and Westminster – taking in some of the most iconic sights in London – there was one problem: none of us ever used it.
All of a sudden the answer was clear: a number 38 bus route pub crawl.
The curious mix of order and chaos that happened on Saturday 20 October 2012 is chronicled below. Where applicable comments about the route, the pubs and learning points have been noted. It is hoped these will instruct, inform and entertain both the crawl aficionado and the casual drinker.
A little research found that despite the best efforts of the valiant Bob fabled therein, the last recorded effort along the same route two years previously had mostly fizzled out around halfway along the seven-mile route.
We immediately determined to make the excursion as achievable, fun and damaging to the liver as possible. We had three considerations:
Number of pubs – Circle Line or Monopoly board pub crawls have two flaws, there are too many stops to take in surroundings, and everyone drink halves. We decided on visiting 10 pubs, so we could comfortably spend 38 minutes in each one.
Direction of travel – this was simple, start in north east London and travel south west to Victoria. No one wants to be without their wits in Clapton Pond on a Saturday night, an area on a stretch of road commonly referred to as ‘The Murder Mile’.
Pub locations – establishments should be chosen at even intervals along the route, and as much as possible on the same side of the road as convenient bus stops. This second point would prove invaluable in the later stages.
A Sunday morning bicycle ride two weeks beforehand identified a number of suitable boozers, rubber stamped by a kangaroo committee. The route would not be followed to its absolute end because, as any Londoner will tell you, there are no decent rub-a-dub-dubs in Victoria.
Here’s the list:
- The Clapton Hart, Clapton Pond
- The Cock Tavern, Hackney Central
- The Duke of Wellington, Ball’s Pond Road
- The George Orwell, Essex Road
- The Old Queen’s Head, Islington
- The Old Red Lion Theatre, Angel
- The Exmouth Arms, Exmouth Market
- The Old Crown, New Oxford Street
- The Marquis of Granby, Cambridge Circus
- Ye Grapes, Mayfair
Each pub name links to it’s location on Google maps. The nearest bus stop is also included.
At 1pm a handful of intrepid souls, including Vicki the Bus Spotter, fat Peter Sutcliffe and the athletic frame of the Vasco De Beauvoir manager, met near the Lea Bridge Roundabout. The weather was overcast, but not inclement.
The Clapton Hart has an airy, pleasant feel with respectable staff, and for a moment the social depravity of the surrounding neighbourhood was forgotten, until a regular ambled in with a dog on a string.
Lunch was adequate, but had that fairtrade, made-of-recycled-principles taste about it and the cauliflower was purple. In hindsight, three pints was excessive.
A couple of new 38s idled in the middle of the Lea Bridge Roundabout, but the clock was ticking. There’d be plenty of time for that.
A few minutes ride on a boring old Wirght Gemini 2 and we discovered that Jesus was wrong: the meek did not inherit the earth. The meek grew up and moved to east London to work in digital marketing and stay up since last Thursday banging meow meow. A trio of such specimens scratching around the Cock early doors hinted at the clientele, but by thunder did the place stock ale.
After a quick beer we emerged to see… Not already? No, it couldn’t be? It was the new 38!
In a moment not unlike an episode of long-running ITV police drama series The Bill, we crashed along the pavement towards the bus stop, except instead of chasing drug dealers through a notorious Sun Hill housing estate, we were trying to take pictures of an arriving bus. And what a bus it was.
Decadent maroon soft furnishing tastefully intertwined with the luxuriant caramel glow of the hand rails. The step entrance was pristine, yellow trim shining, with not a drop of chewing gum, blood or urine tarnishing its surface. The ‘new car smell’ was yet to be overpowered by half-eaten boxes of fried chicken and old people.
For a few intense, heady minutes at the front of the top deck we sailed along Graham Road and over Dalston Junction. Then it was time for another drink.
Charming island bar and abundance of natural light aside, the Duke always feels brittle, as though ordering a round of Jägerbombs for the whole pub would reduce it into a delicatessen. One notable feature is the former doorway turned into a cosy corner which still boasts the original floor mosaic bearing the pub’s name.
At this point latecomers – including Anders Breivik doppleganger the Judean Peoples’ Front manager – swelled our numbers and the throng dutifully moved onto pub number four. Vicki the Bus Spotter was beside herself: at the next bus stop we took another new 38.
Orwell famously treatised of the perfect London pub where the punters were friendly, barmaids affable and beer well served. When visiting his namesake establishment in Canonbury the dream the author weaves, like Boxer the horse in Animal Farm, takes an ugly one in the knackers. Not quite Room 101, but a bit more Down and out than Moon Under Water.
More joined the ranks, with even a one-year-old child putting in a shift.
Whether the Old Queen’s Head is an accurate representation of what’s going on inside the monarch’s noggin is uncertain, but if years of wet paint fumes have finally got to the old girl then why not retro furniture, a slim fit crowd and a baby seeing off a pint of bitter?
Middle-aged men in turtle neck sweaters using the shallow cover of literary drama to crack onto impressionable, young girls awkwardly asserting their creative independence having thrown off the shackles of a sheltered, suburban upbringing – is what you expect to find in a theatre pub. We found Norwich City Football Club fans. Loads of them.
A Canary army had descended on the Old Red Lion to watch their team play Arsenal in the dim red glow of the pub’s quasi ghost train decor. Some crawlers had something to eat. It could have been chips.
At the introduction of the 50p game in the Exmouth Arms events spiralled out of control. For the uninitiated, if a 50p piece is dropped into your glass while you’re holding it, you must immediately drink its contents. The coin is then yours with which to cause mischief.
Many of the unsuspecting crawl were seven pints to the good and, as it would go on to do a week later, the game caused no little degree of mayhem.
Small. Really small. The Old Crown was the next boozer on the 38 route of any claim. A small claim. A small claims court. Girl Guides. Lots of 50ps.
Composure regained, we found the Marquis of Granby was shut – a common symptom of central London pubs on weekends. Panic spread through the camp, but it turned out there were lots of other pubs nearby and everyone realised they weren’t really that fussed anyway.
We went to the Cambridge. A horrendous place that only exists to convince thousands of tourists every year who know no better that they’ve been to a traditional English public house. The former Young Boys of Kilburn manager ordered a large glass of red wine thinking it would be exempt from the 50p game.
Ye Grapes is also the last pub on the official Monopoly pub crawl, which meant they were used to people wandering in on the sharp end of 14 pints. This was fortunate, as through a consequence of bizarre, delayed trauma to having their childhood television memories recently besmirched in the media, some crawlers were singing the theme song to Jim’ll Fix It.
A fair amount of leering at the barmaid took place, people bought poppies and the Lokomotiv Leeds manager took it upon himself to neck pints with astonishing speed.
So there it is: 10 pubs, one bus route. Easy.
A spring offensive is on the drawing board…
A MASSIVE COCK up has forced Kenna HQ to accept responsibility over defender Fabio playing for two teams at the same time last weekend.
A controversial procedure for resolving the matter will now ensue. On the back of last week’s James Collins fiasco, Kenna HQ’s ability to run a well-governed league has been called into question.
“What can I say? There’s been a balls up,” shrugged the Chairman, scrolling through his phone contacts for the Charts and Graphs department.
Under precedent, Fabio would remain at PSV as the club paid a higher fee (£5m, compared to Lokomotiv’s £0.5m).
Lokomotiv would be awarded the next available defender going down the player list. The next four of which are mostly of respectable quality: Chris Smalling, Per Mertesacker, Steven Caulker and Aleksander Kolorov.
THE CHAMPIONSHIP title may have wanted to padlock itself into a bag because current managers are so inept, it emerged today at the Kenna-in-the-bag inquiry.
The panel heard chilling evidence from the 2006 Claudio Caniggia World Cup, which attempted to padlock itself into a bag in the aftermath of the controversial tournament.
“The group stages went well, but then the newspaper stopped printing the scores. The administration tried to deal with it by waiting until after the final and getting all the player totals from some random Yank sports website. I felt completely devalued. It was an utter clusterf*ck,” said the Caniggia after the inquiry had watched video evidence of the tournament trying to lock itself in a holdall in 2007.
The panel heard that the Kenna title could have resorted similar actions.
“The mediocre managers in the league today? Their naive auction tactics? I wouldn’t be surprised if this season’s championship had wanted to be in the bag,” stated the Caniggia, fighting back the tears.
Experts maintain that it’s unlikely the Kenna could have got into the bag itself, and that it must have been forced in by a third party.
The inquiry continues.
CLINT Dempsey, Wayne Rooney and Wojciech Szczesny are all set to be called as star witnesses in an official Kenna investigation.
The FC Testiculadew players will give evidence after it emerged that their manager has had the Kenna championship padlocked in a bag in his bathroom since January.
The FCT manager will also be called to answer allegations of using ‘dark arts’ to steer his team to league victory in his debut Kenna season.
“I’ve absolutely nothing to fear from these allegations. I think it’s just handbags from the league administration. They’re trying to get me the sack because I’ve been so successful,” said the FCT boss, who’s yet to explain the £20,000 of women’s clothes found in his flat and his decision to buy Shaun Wright-Phillips for £8m.
Kenna HQ are due to call Bosnian striker Edin Dzeko, even though his form has done the biggest disappearing act since the Sky News IT department deleted the canoe man’s emails.
“We will be conducting a full, fair and fearless inquiry into this highly controversial issue. This is no open-and-shut case,” said the Chairman.