Sunday, December 14, 2008

Bobby's Mum Keeping it Real

If you were, this Sunday morning, to take a stroll to your local bookshop, find a copy of Letters to the Editor 08 and turn to page 99 you would find the following...

January 21

Bold approach of Fischer's mother

Your reporter Stephen Moss (death of a madman driven sane by chess, January 19) mentions that Bobby Fischer's mother was "an immensely strong-willed woman". in 1977, standing on the Grunwick picket line in north-west London, I recognised Regina Fischer and introduced myself.

"Ah yes," she said, grimly, "you're the one who writes all those horrible things about Bobby." I explained that I would be delighted to learn that Bobby's alleged views on the inferiority of women, the evils of socialism and the duplicity of the Jews had been totally misrepresented, and I would be sure to get published whatever she told me.

She considered this offer carefully. After some thought, she handed me a slice of the orange she was eating and said: "I forgive you". She added some words on the significance of vegetarianism and the meaningfulness of giving fruit. "But now," she said with absolute conviction, "I will stop this bus."

For months, hundreds of pickets, including Arthur Scargill and the Yorkshire miners, had tried to stop the strike-breaking Grunwick bus from crossing the picket line, but without success, for massed police lines held back the pickets as the bus drove through the factory gates at speed. Some time later the bus appeared, as it did every day, cleaving its way through the enraged crowd. As it reached the gate, Regina threw herself in front of its wheels. Braking sharply, it ground to a halt. This was the only time during the historic Grunwick strike that the infamous bus was stopped by a demonstrator.

Graham Taylor

Of course it would be marvelous if this was old turnip head himself but sadly I rather suspect it's not that Graham Taylor.

Anyhoo, let us not bemoan the fact that failed national football managers are not more frequent correspondents of the Guardian and consider instead what can be found in the top left hand corner of page 84. Modesty forbids an outline here but suffice to say it constitutes the present the sole evidence for the present author's claim to be a published writer. Well that and the lingering feeling of resentment that my 'work' was butchered by an uncaring editor. The original was much funnier. Honest!


Anonymous said...

Ah yes, village idiot Graham Taylor. Anyone really could have taken Watford from the fourth division (old money) to second in the top division (where they stayed for 5 years and then were immediately relegated when he left) and to the FA Cup final. Inexplicably Watford went down to Division 3 (old money) but this was a dream job to take up again as Watford is one of the biggest cities and best supported teams in England and was bound to get into the Premiership. Anyone could have also taken Aston Villa from Division 2 (old money) to second in the top division in 3 years. Oh yes and Lincoln City were clearly destined to set league records for most wins (32), fewest defeats (4), and most points (74) (when 2 points were awarded for a win), which they achieved under Taylor.
Graham Taylor, what a muppet!

ejh said...


Being a club rather than country man, my view's a bit closer to Andrew's than Jonathan's.

If you want a documentary that really shows up a football manager, the one about Leyton Orient under John Sitton's the place to go.

ejh said...

Still, if he'd only restrained himself and not bought Tony Cascarino...

Jonathan B said...

John Sitton:

That "and you can bring your dinner" remark at the end of challenging somebody (the leftback?) to a fight during the halftime 'team talk' always makes me chuckle when I think about it.

Jonathan B said...

Graham Taylor:

I only said he failed as the national manager. I think the evidence supports that view.

I didn't consider his successes at Watford mainly because I so rarely think about Watford :-)

ejh said...

Does Sitton also refer to "the cockraoches behind the goal"?

Jonathan B said...

John Sitton:-

Jonathan B said...

John Sitton again:-

-ruined, as these things tend to be, by the talking heads though