Sunday, 22 June 2008

Shakespeare and football

I’m knackered. I’ve done a 5k-5mile-10k series of races over the weekend and I’ve got football this evening. I’ve been limited to one glass of champagne to celebrate my sort-of niece Lizzie getting a 2.1 in English Literature (‘sort of’ because she’s my daughter’s mother’s brother’s daughter, if you follow the connection, but there was never any marriage there to formalise the relationship). I could really do with a spliff right now but I know it would set back my recovery from injury out of all proportion to the pleasure I’d get out of it. And football has turned into a strange enough experience of late anyway without the assistance of some Class B psychoactive pumping through my capillaries.

One game I played in last week finished off with a punch-up between two players that only just stopped short of the kind of scenes that followed the Poland v Germany and Croatia v Turkey games in Euro 2008. Then I learnt that one of my team-mates, Andy Havill, who appeared with Kylie Minogue in last year’s Dr Who Christmas Special, is currently performing in The Merry Wives of Windsor at the Globe Theatre - a pathetic excuse for his missing out on this summer's football fixtures, if you ask me. The Daily Telegraph review says his ‘chisel-faced Ford is a sublimely comic study of obsessive jealousy and tortured masochism’ – a description that also tells you something about how he plays football.

As if that isn’t enough Shakespeare for one football story, Stephen Boxer, who is one of our Sunday evening football regulars, has just quit as Dr Joe Fenton in the daytime BBC soap Doctors and got himself the role of Petruchio in Conall Morrison’s production of The Taming of the Shrew at Stratford. I don’t know whether I should be practising my free kicks or learning my lines.

As for Euro 2008, my politically-correct guide to who to support, which for a brief spell appeared to be following the actual results, turned all-too-quickly into a ready-reference guide to who was going out of the competition. I found myself in the strange and unfamiliar position of supporting Germany by the halfway stage of their quarter final against Portugal (something to do with the Pinochet apologist, gay hater, Chelsea incumbent Scolari, I suppose, but it still didn’t feel right). Tonight, I hardly dare say that it’s got to be Spain but it really does have to be Anyone But Italy, doesn’t it?

Photo: Andy Harvill and wig. Would you play football with this man?

4 comments:

dave said...

Now I know why the explanation for all those over the top tackles. Bloody luvvies! ;)

dave said...

Spain won, you got one right!

johnny giles said...

Can you play football in a wig? Has anyone ever tried?

football said...

Spain won just a lucky factor... I think....