Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Yeovil Town 1-2 Leicester City
It's Tuesday morning and the legend is limping heavily down his driveway. He's scheduled to have a hip operation on 1st November. The trademark blue coat, yellow and blue striped Polo shirt and navy tracksuit bottoms are on show. He slides his hand into a grey bag and lifts out his new Garmin sat nav. His old one has finally bit the dust. "The girl who gives directions has alzheimer's" chuckles a perky Bolton.
A pint of Tanglefoot and three slices of pate on toast have engergised him into an early start. A litre bottle of cider has the top twisted off. His right hand clenches the plastic bottle in a vice-like grip as he guzzles the cider like my car does petrol. Recent booze fuelled holidays have taken place in: Wetherby, York, Cornwall, Kent and Scotland.
We drive at a steady pace down the old Fosse Way. New readers to this blog may need a cold flannel or a glass of water and a sit down when they read about Trumpy Bolton's sole mission in life. He has a crumpled, old dog-eared atlas with each village and town marked-off with a highlight pen where he has had a drink. This obsession has been going on for over 35 years. Today is the opportunity for two more tick-offs for him.
First port of call is the Nog Inn in the horse-racing town of Wincanton. I have a pint of Otter from the Otter Brewery in Honiton, Devon. Trumpy has a cider and real ale. We both have a fish finger sandwich. We're soon pulling into pub number two in the picture postcard market town of Sherbourne in Dorset. I plump for a pint of Badger. A chef emerges from the kitchen and serves up some warm complimentary home-made pork crackling to customers in the bar.
The Glovers - Yeovil's nickname due to the town once being the centre of glove-making - were founded in 1895. Huish Park (capacity 9565) has been their home since 1990. They are the only Somerset-based club in the Football League. Their previous home, Huish, had a sideline to sideline slope of eight foot.
The Club's record transfer fee received is £1.2M from Nottingham Forest for Arron Davies and Chris Cohen in 2007. Record fee paid is £250,000 for Argentinean striker Pablo Bastianini from Quilmes Atletico Club. Previous well known managers include: miserable sod Ron Saunders, Fedora-wearing and big fat Havana cigar-smoking Malcolm Allison, Graham Roberts and Russell Slade.
The town centre is in desperate need of some tender loving care. It makes Mansfield look like St Tropez. We book another taxi at 7pm, agreeing to meet the driver at the rear door of J D Wetherspoon's William Dampier. It's as cheap as chips in here. Trumpy slips into top gear as we quaff pint after pint of Dorset Knob and Piddle. A darker side of life emerges outside as we wait for the cab. Large groups of intoxicated teenagers stagger in our direction. A young girl collapses on the pavement like a punch-drunk boxer. Our taxi driver arrives just in the nick of time.
This time the guy is Romanian. Trumpy repeats his earlier conversation. We're dropped off outside the ground. Bolton slopes off in search of further liquid refreshment. I stand at the top of the open terrace, absorbing the atmosphere and admiring the huge away following. The PA announcer pumps up the crowd with tunes from The Jam, The Hoosiers and Calvin Harris. T Bolton appears back on the scene, but he's blowing a gasket having had an altercation with one or two suited and booted Yeovil officials. It's a dry house with no public bars for away supporters.
I notice Joe Ralls is playing for the Glovers; he's on loan from Cardiff. My boss and I watched him for Farnborough Town under 18s in the FA Youth Cup a few years ago at Buckingham. It was at the time of Munto and Sven. He played a couple of trial games for the Magpies before Munto Finance were exposed.
The Foxes attack with speed but their shooting is off the radar, Nugent, Vardy and King fail to work the 'keeper. Yeovil come into the game. Former Crewe Alex and Wycombe winger Joel Grant poses problems with his trickery. Only last ditch tackles and some smart stops by Schmeichel prevent Yeovil scoring their first home League goal of the season.
An exciting ending is set up after a needless challenge by Moore sees substitute Hayter, who holds the record for the fastest-ever League hat-trick, reduce the arrears from the penalty spot. Leicester see out an agonizing last ten minutes as the heavens open on an uncovered Trumpy Bolton. His hair frizzes up like Kevin Keegan's used to at SV Hamburg.
Man of the Match: Lloyd Dyer