Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Festive Footie Is for Hardy Souls; Christmas Should Be the One Time Fans Get a Break

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Festive Footie Is for Hardy Souls; Christmas Should Be the One Time Fans Get a Break

Article excerpt

WHO out there has tried in the past to sneak out of the house for a Christmas Day pint down the local? Didn't think it was just me. I have only managed it twice in my whole drinking career, which shows no signs of slowing down. I am like the Ryan Giggs of alcohol.

One of these occasions was when I had to bow out of Christmas dinner with my appalling ex and her family, who I despised, or I honestly would have strangled them all with tinsel.

And who wants to give the police even more to do over the festive period.

So I persuaded them it was tradition for me to have a pint on Christmas Day and so I sat in one of those soulless chain pubs on Christmas evening, all on my own, sipping at the bar for a few hours and failing to chat up the barmaid.

Compared to the right-wing conversation back at the house about immigrants and why women cannot drive, I had a great wee time to myself.

I just about got away with that, as I did one year at my folks when I simply had to get down the juicer to get a proper pint, which saved me from the worst hangover this side of Oliver Reed.

However, I think I would be pushing it if I turned around to the missus next Wednesday and uttered the following.

"Right, love, I am nipping out for a few hours. I am going to the Alloa-Cowdenbeath game. Leave some sprouts for me, but do not wait up."

I would spent the night in casualty nursing an injury caused when she used the nut-cracker to do exactly what it says on the tin.

Yet that is what a few hundred souls did in 1976. This was the last Christmas Day that witnessed any British senior football games.

A full scheduled round of fixtures was arranged, but only the match at Alloa, plus Clydebank-St Mirren (managed by Fergie) survived.

Who goes to a football game on Christmas Day? Who goes to a Scottish bottomtier game on Christmas Day? …

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