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Friday, 7 February 2014

True Football Stories, Part 6: Championship Manager

When art doesn't imitate life in the slightest

Herculean achievements, long forgotten, make for perhaps the best stories. Here's Sam Macrory with an almost unbelievable tale...

The name of the manager wasn’t important. It wasn’t important when he was appointed. It was never a concern during his long reign in charge. And not once after he had gone did anyone take the time to rifle through an index to discover more about him. All that mattered was he had been the manager. The boss. The undisputed man in charge. The star signings, the manual-redefining formations and, of course, the endless trophies. They were halycon days. His days.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

True Football Stories, Part 5: Stanley Bagshaw

This story DEFINITELY did happen

Everyone loves an unlikely adventure don't they. A caper. We welcome back semi-regular Dan Forman with one such remarkable story of a young lad from Huddersgate. 

When the editors first approached me about this series some time before the last World Cup, I had the idea of writing about a prodigious young boy who so mastered tactics and the transfer market on Championship Manager that he got a break at a professional club in the ultimate Moneyball-style experiment. But then Andre Villas Boas happened.

Monday, 3 February 2014

True Football Stories, Part 4: I Am The Ref

'You f*cking WHAT?!'

We all hate referees. But what if you ARE the ref. Or you are THE ref. Emphasis aside, here's Richard Bellis on the perils of being the man in the middle...

It was when that bloke starting coming to all my matches with an easel, then I knew things had really got out of hand. Every Sunday it was the same. I’d turn up, look around hoping he wasn’t there, it’d get closer to kick-off, I’d shout at the ‘keepers, check they were ready to stand getting cold, then I’d spot him wandering along the bumpy field, equipment tucked under his arm. Was I cursed or just unlucky? All this decisions I had to make, I couldn’t make a decision on that question…