Thursday, 10 November 2011


Not being your normal football fans... Actually, that needs repeating. NOT BEING YOUR NORMAL FOOTBALL FANS, but doing a good line in cosy nostalgia, SILVERY are proud to
publish the OFFICAL check list for that most British of wintery pastimes - a frosty Sunday morning sat in front of the TV to watch the early rounds of the FA Cup. There's really something magical about these matches, beamed live from some small non league ground as the unknown local heroes leave their day jobs as carpenters and plumbers to take on the might of some fabled professional club. Like Norwich, or Wigan. Sometime you'll even be lucky enough to witness millionaire playboys like Chelsea or Man U play so badly on the poorly maintained local pitch that they get systematically taken apart and crash out. The headlines write themselves when the winning goal is scored by a taxi driver or a butcher. So what to look out for? What can YOU spot at these disheartening yet somehow wondrous games? 1) The camera will zoom in on some local boys who are watching the match from up a tree, just tall enough to look over the pie shop in the ground.
2) They will be responsible for returning the ball from the street outside after some fat old local defender clears the danger (and the stand) in an over the top manner.
3) The local club always has the middle aged remnants of a player you remember from your 1988 Panini sticker annual. He will play amazingly.
4) 9 times out of 10 that player will have actually won the FA Cup with the big club they are playing against today. He'll get a big cheer from his old fans, but with break the legs of whatever Italian firebrand they have playing in his old position. 
5) The big club will have a player who started playing for the non league club. Or his parents are still supporters of the minnows. Cue the local rags running the story of a family at war. But it's all in good spirits.
6) Recently, the non league clubs seem to always have one full time player - usually a very confused American international who thought he was coming to England to play for a slightly larger club than the Hursley Town Jelly Moulds.
7) Adverts for local timber merchants are always excellent - and seemingly left over from the late 70s.
8) The ground being much smaller than those at normally televised matches, you can work out almost every voice in the crowd - the only time in the year you'll clearly hear post watershed foul language on a sunday morning's TV. Apart from CBBCs.
9) There is no need to zoom in on that topless fat man.
10) The camera will zoom in to someones living room who are watching the match on their TV.

I'll do some more after a quick cuppa. And a quick look at Time Team on the other side to see if it's that one in Shoreditch Park.