On a recent episode of BBC1 quiz show Pointless, Cheltenham Town FC was the only answer in the show’s history to receive a negative score. Explaining this, smug arrogant dental disaster Richard Osman said that not only did none of the 100 people that were surveyed name Cheltenham Town as a current League 2 side, but 57 people steadfastly refused to believe that Cheltenham Town FC actually existed as an entity. Osman then went on to talk about the world cup of biscuits that he routinely oversees on Twitter which, despite being interminably boring, is nowhere near as boring as the fact that Cheltenham hosts a current Football League team.
Nobody knows anything about Cheltenham Town. We couldn’t name any of their squad or the name of their manager. Having been informed that their manager is somebody called Michael Duff, we’ve instantly forgotten his name and had to go back to Google to remind ourselves of his name. And we’ve instantly forgotten it again, even though we’ve typed it out in the last sentence.
We’ve actually played Cheltenham a grand total of 16 times, yet we don’t remember anything about any of these encounters. We’ve tried but we honestly can’t. It’s like trying to remember pi to the 99th decimal point. It’s like trying to remember the plot of an episode of pretentious wanky detective show Sherlock after you’ve drunk a pint of lighter fuel. It’s like trying to remember any one of Westlife’s 24 top 10 singles other than Uptown Girl. Much like Steve Evans’s diet, it’s a fruitless exercise.
One can only conclude that Cheltenham Town is the single-most boring football club in the Football League. And this in a league that includes Crawley Town, Rochdale and Stevenage. In all likelihood their away kit will be beige, with magnolia shorts and socks. They’ll be sponsored by a building society or financial institute that will have T&Cs in small print below the name of the sponsor on their shirts advising how investments are liable to go up or down. They’ll play in a traditional 4-4-2 formation, leaving one man up front when defending corners. They’ll grind out a 0-0 draw that will be devoid of any talking point whatsoever. They’ll take the scenic route back home along the A40. They’ll have an end-of-season meal at Cheltenham’s 3rd best curry house and all order the chicken korma or omelette and chips. They’ll then vanish off the face of everybody’s consciousness for the next 12 months until we realise that we have to play them again. And then we’ll say to ourselves “I didn’t realise there was a football club in Cheltenham. I wonder who their manager is”.