July 15, 2024

Verily, this is Warren’s Column. Oh sorry, where are my 12th Manners? It’s King Warren’s Column! My word, I do hope I’m not beheaded for that remark…

The Wigan Athletic press conference room, replete with ornate patterned wallpaper and gold plated sandwich trays, is filled with an expectant hum. Suddenly, three trumpeters burst forth from the ladies’ toilets, beginning a spectacular rendition of New Order’s ‘Blue Monday’ (full ten minute mix). Just as the bass is about to kick in, a tall, bespectacled gentleman addresses the assembled reprobates:

“Good tidings I bring, for Warren is our king. Residents of Wigonia rejoice -here’s Joyce in his Rolls Royce!”

The trumpeters abruptly end ‘Blue Monday’, launching into a note-perfect version of ‘Donald Where’s Your Troosers?’. And sure enough, the double doors swing open to reveal the king seated inside a silver Phantom labelled ‘on hire from Whelley Poundsavah Motor Cars’.

“Greetings, citizens! Nathan Ellington might have been your Duke, but I am King Warren, as declared by my most ardent fan in some article for the club’s third fanzine.”

There is a deafening silence punctuated only by a lone whisper: “I didn’t know Wigan Athletic had three fanzines”.

“That, my loyal servants, is where you were supposed to applaud. But I shall forgive this oversight as there are more pressing matters to attend to – namely allocation of duties here at Whelangham Palace.

“For royal training ball polishing and shorts washing – the most crucial aspects of day-to-day operations – I appoint Graham Barrow. My kingly pantaloons shall be allocated their own separate washing machine at the highest point in the kingdom atop the East Stand.

“And as my royal toilet cleaner with trusty toothbrush and soap, I hereby re-appoint Gareth R Caldwell. His royal anthem shall henceforth be altered to ‘Caldwell is Pooper Man’.

“To the dissenters, I remind you that there is no chance of abdication, since nobody else would dare take this job right now. And don’t even think about forcibly removing me from my throne, since these shorts are lined with lead – there’s £2.14 in 2p coins in my pockets.”

The amazed audience gasp as King Warren proceeds to take a sip from a goblet – possibly even a chalice – marked ‘poison’.

“But now I ask you to join me for a ten-course meal followed by the guillotining of vagabonds.

“Barrow, my dear butler! Fetch the candidates for my seventh wife…”

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