Saturday finds me travelling to Accrington Stanley; an important fixture in our domestic calendar as we edge closer to our target of 50 points for the season. We arrive nice and early and whilst the manager – I’m fairly certain his name is Darren – gives the team talk, I go for a stroll around the Haworth Art Gallery, which hosts the largest public collection of Tiffany glass in Europe. Slightly engorged, I return to the Wham Stadium (no sign of George Michael. Lol) to watch the match. Darren often asks me to watch the game from high up in the main stand but I usually get a little bit bored having nobody to talk to so at some point in the match I will go down and have a chat with the 4th official. Favourite topics of conversation? Usually Gardeners’ World, Call the Midwife and Brexit. We win a thrilling game 3-2, until somebody tells me we were playing in blue this week.
Sunday is spent looking through the papers and watching Cool Runnings. I also look through holiday brochures. I understand that Madeira is supposed to be nice at this time of year.
Monday I travel up to Stevenage for the first training session of the week. Whilst Darren and Nicky (?) put the lads through their paces I put on a tracksuit and go for a nature walk around the Bragbury End estate. It’s lovely to see the snowdrops starting to come through. I’m also almost 100% sure that I saw a red kite. Or it might have been a crow.
Tuesday is pretty much the same as Monday (but one day closer to next Saturday. Lol). I’ve been at Stevenage for longer than I can remember and now know most players’ names off by heart. I have a great relationship with Darren and the rest of the management team and they love to hear me talking about my time as assistant manager at West Ham, where I had the responsibility for filing Harry Redknapp’s tax returns.
Wednesday Because I used to play as a defender, Darren asks me to do some defensive work with our centre backs. I get Franky Fraser, Will Lukerson, Dean Wells and QVC in a room and tell them all about the time I played in the 1982 FA Cup Final. I finish the session by telling them how I nearly accompanied Paul ‘Gazza’ Gascoigne to Lazio but couldn’t go as my passport had expired. Franky said that he half-expected Gazza to turn up at Accrington last Saturday with his fishing rod and a bucket of chicken, but I didn’t understand the nuances.
Thursday morning is spent writing this article before heading to the club shop to get some more Stevenage leisure wear.
Friday It’s tricky to know what Friday holds in store as I’m writing this on Thursday. Lol. I expect it will consist of preparing for the visit of Luton Town on Saturday afternoon: such as working out where to safely park my car away from where it might get damaged. I might even give Luton legend David Pleat a call to reminisce about the old days and to see if he fancies a trip out to see the Whooper Swans on the Ouse Washes on Sunday.
Glenn Roeder was talking to Barry Chestnuts.
This article was first published in the February edition of Saga Magazine.