July 16, 2024

The Springfield Stand in its formative years

Aww, August already? Just when I was starting to enjoy the suitably football-free silly season of full-flavoured froth. The discerning gentleman will tell you the most enjoyable part of a pint is its head.

This particular summer has had an unmistakably meaty taste. Lucky visitors to Wigan North Western station were shocked to witness local super-celebs Sean Kennedy and David Sharpe bathing in an open top train filled with pure Grigg Brand™ gravy.

“Come one, come all to our delightful DW dining hall! You may partake of the sweet sauce for a small fee.”

And come they did, in their thousands from Manchester and Liverpool to buy their half-and-half scarves and Jose Mourinho watches.

But fantasy trainspotting in the rainbow-filled Care-a-Lot cloud kingdom can never fully satisfy, endless supply of Grigg Bovril or no. Football is neither a popularity contest nor a travelling sideshow.

As the late Robert W. Robson might have said, “a club isn’t about the buildings or the people paid to represent it. It’s about standing on a rain-soaked Oldham terrace on a bitterly cold Tuesday evening. It’s about scoreless draws and comically inept officials. It’s about season cards with partially-printed client codes. It’s about…”

Okay, you get the general idea. Besides, I think I might have been quoting one of Monty Python’s four Yorkshiremen there.

On this day, make a new season’s resolution to enjoy everything. Even if it’s broken by Aaron Wilbraham within minutes of the start, you can at least tell St Peter you tried.

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