It appears that football hooligans are back. Radio phone-ins are full of people called Ian and Dave ringing in to recall the wonderful times they had travelling the country asmembers of the ICF. They are not thugs, they are keen to point out, just people who will defend themselves when attacked. Now, they seem to be starting it all up again – mid-life crisis hooligans.
I was there at the inaugural meeting of one new "firm" as they planned an upcoming trip to Manchester.
"Morning everybody. Where's Dave?"
"He's just started a new job as an estate agent so he can't make it, he says he's sorry."
"He'll be facking sorry the next time I see the bastard. I'll break his face apart... anyway... minutes of the last meeting, Ian?"
"We didn't have a last meeting, Dave, this is the first one we've had."
"Are you trying to make me look like a facking mug in front of everybody here?"
"No, Dave, I'm not, it's just that there are no minutes of the last meeting 'cos there wasn't one."
"You show me up like that again and there'll be some claret spilt... understood?"
"Right, to business. You've all signed up for the trip up north next week – has everybody got their rail tickets and got the dress code?"
"Uuumm... I don't have any Doc Martens but I do have some boots that are like, for hiking and stuff... will those do?"
"You really are a useless piece of shit, aren't you, Ian? Is it totally impossible for you to leave the trading floor for 10 minutes and go get yourself a pair of Doctors? I think you've already done enough damage to the world economy – it can spare you for another 10 minutes, you tit."
"Right... OK, Dave... I'll sort some, don't worry..."
"You'd better, my son, or there'll be some Barney Rubble I swear."
"Right, we've got the number of that Manc wanker who's promised to sort out some Oliver Twist action once we leave the station. Has anybody been to Manchester before?"
"I went there for the Labour conference..."
"You facking what? What the fack were you doing at that, you twat?"
"Well, it's my job Dave – I'm a special adviser, aren't I... I sort of have to be there..."
"You fackin' ponce... you wanna get yourself a proper job rather than runnin' around with those commie bastards. If I ever find myself down a dark alley with Ed Balls, he's gonna have that fackin' smug smirk taken off his face right sharpish. Anyways... Manchester right?
"The game is at two, does anybody actually want to see it? No? Good, then the plan is to turn upat the back of the station, have a ruck and then fack off back down south before we catch rabies. Is everybody all right with that?"
"Uuumm, Dave... I'm actually supposed to be having a meeting the next day in Manchester – you wouldn't mind if I stay on after the ruck and don't go back down with you lads?"
"What??? What the fack are you doing in Manchester for work?"
"Um... I'm representing a client in court up there, so it would just make sense if I stayed on... as long as that's all right with you lads?"
"Yes, Ian, what is it my son?"
"Well, it's just that I sort of thought we were actually going to the game and we would only have a barn owl if someone came for us. That's what you said on the radio, wasn't it?"
"What? Are you taking the piss?"
"No, Dave, not at all..."
"Let me get this straight, you want to go up to Manchester, go see the football game and then come back down to London without so much as raising our voice – are you a fackin' nonce or what?"
"No... just... it's a big game and I thought it would be good to see it – obviously we can break a couple of windows or summat..."
"Break a couple of windows? Well, listen up to old Gary Glitter 'ere. We're going up there to break some fackin' 'eads, not give those Manc glaziers a bonus day ... are you off you fackin' rocker?"
"Actually, Dave... I wouldn't mind seeing the game either – thing is, I've got a pony on Betfair so... couldn't we just do both?"
"I seem to have convened some conference of nonce 'ere. Fine, you all go see the footie and I'll start off on the Manc wanks and when you get some bottle you can come and join me.
"Sorry, Dave, would this be the moment to say I can't make it? It's just that we've got Ikea delivering on that day and they'll only give me an am or pm..."