The Gospel according to the Unknown Allstar
Many scholars believed that this first gospel can be attributed to the most venerable St Pete and his Magic Boots. Such belief was based on the following textual evidence left by the author: must have played in the game (no spectators); left-handed (from handwriting); erroneously calls 75 Lenton Boulevard, "Sid's house"; calls Nipplehead, "Andy" (though may be a reference to Mr Nockton); didn't know where Billy was stranded - the text "at RAF Syerston" has been inserted by a certain Physics World subscriber; very brave (calls Mince a "namby"); and finally, a bit of a dandy (finishes the piece with a sartorial reference). However, full handwriting analysis was undertaken in 2003, and concluded the author was John Gilligan (independently authenticated by Mr Simon Waters).
Date: Sunday 20th October, 1991
Match: Northern Allstars v Hillsies Heroes
Weather: Calm, Cool, Cloudy
Referee: John Gilligan (playing)
McKinlay (aka Sid); Conor O'Prey; Gordon McMillan; Tom Drake-Lee*;
Simon [Waters]; Simon Fielding (aka Mince, Mincer or Excalibur); John
[May]*; John Gilligan; Mark Baker; Ian Cook (aka
The high expectations of a successful season for the Allstars took a blow at Allstar HQ (Sid's house) when the weekly scratch for players could raise only ten. With Shaggy in Paris, Billy stranded at RAF Syerston without a lift home, Jez away, and Andy on a course, the Allstars were badly depleted.
Undaunted, the Allstars took the field despite the questionable fitness of Cookie (whose birthday was yesterday) and Mincer (who is an unfit Namby anyway!). Spirits were lifted when "Chubby" asked to play for us - an honour he obviously recognised.
Sid won the toss and elected to play up-slope. The first quarter of the game was quite evenly contested with the Allstars having more possession and territory. However, a misunderstanding between Gordon and Sid allowed a Heroes forward to pounce on a short back pass and put the Heroes one up. The rest of the half was still very close although two more goals fell the other way, one from a header from a corner on the right - the man being left unmarked, the second a good shot leaving Sid for dead from inside the area. Rumour has it that Sid was barely alive anyway. 3-0 down in the second half, the Allstars fought back, inspired by an inspirational team-talk at half-time. However, they were caught on the break and went four behind. The Heroes were not making many chances, but those they did were put away. In desperation (and the fact that Sid was getting too much stick) the goalkeepers were switched...to no avail.
Despite Heroes going down to nine men, the Allstars suffered the indignity of going 5-0 down - once again caught on the break, the defence being made up of whoever happened to be there at the time. The fifth goal was slightly embarrassing, as anyone of three could have scored.
The Allstars maintained their possession play [and] the game became static, as the midfield and defence played and passed just inside the Heroes half with the rest waiting on the edge of the area - the ball, however, failed to reach them. Only once did we come close when Baker hit the bar. Mincer's shots could only be described as slightly inaccurate (!).
The Allstars hopes of winning Pool B [of the Sunday League] therefore took an early blow, particularly since [it] could have been six when their striker missed an open goal.
Manager Sid remained optimistic: "We'll be fine when we get a proper team together", he claimed. Obviously he doubts the Allstar strength in depth, but will the arrival of the new second strip be the motivation they need?
Result: Northern Allstars 0 Hillsies Heroes 5
|1. The Gospel According to the Unknown Allstar (manuscript)||2. The Gospel According to St. Shaggy|
3. The Gospel According to St. Jeremy
|4. The Gospel According to St. Conor|