The roots of Stevenage Football Club’s dramatic decline from “boring football club that occasionally wins a few games” to “boring football club that loses five games in a row” in just a matter of weeks can today be revealed for the very first time. Rather than being the result of managerial ineptitude and tactical incompetence, the real reason borders on the other-worldly powers of the occult. This startling revelation has been relayed to The Daily Stevenage by Arthur Cockles, 78, a West Stand season ticket holder and retired bee keeper.
Speaking from a secure unit at Lister Hospital, Arthur takes up the story. “I was in the club shop back in July. At least I think it was July but it could have been August. Or even September. I couldn’t remember why I was there but I’m sure it had something to do with renewing my television licence. After a while a man entered the shop and advised the staff that he had driven over a pothole in the car park. Due to the fact that he spoke with a strange accent and that he was talking about potholes, I instantly concluded that he was a gypsy. This was confirmed when I asked to see his tax returns for the past 5 years, to which he told me to ‘feck off’. As he left the shop he threatened those behind the counter that “if you don’t get the pothole filled in, the problem may get worse’. I took this to be clear evidence of a gypsy curse on Teddy Sheringham and everyone else at Stevenage Football Club”.
After witnessing this horrific exchange with a member of the itinerant travelling community, Arthur informed the police but, to his astonishment, was advised that he was wasting police time and that he may be prosecuted for a breach of the Race Relations Act. “It’s political correctness gone mad” spluttered Arthur in between mouthfuls of Horlicks. “What has the world come to when a man can’t use the words ‘gypo’ and ‘pikey’ in an indiscriminate fashion?”.
As The Daily Stevenage went to press Stevenage Football Club refused to comment, other than to confirm that the pothole had now been filled in.
The final word, however, must go to Arthur. “I’ve heard rumours that Bragbury End used to be a native American Indian burial site. Until the club brings in an exorcist it runs the risk of Charlie Lee’s head revolving through 360 degrees in the middle of a match. Even worse, we could end up losing at least a few more games this season. Even to shit like Barnet”.
On his days out from the hospital Arthur has taken to wearing lucky heather. He has also chalked a pentagram in the middle of Broadwater Crescent and decapitated a chicken to ward off evil spirits. “I know I’ve already had the last word” said Arthur, “but I feel it important to tell people that I’m not bonkers”.