Never trust a silver-haired gent from the FA

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The Independent Online

Today - A complete modern-day football romance story!

Angela had been sitting on a suitcase at King's Cross, weeping, when the nice gentleman came up to her..

She had run away from home the day before. She had grown up in a town in the Midlands which was so boring that even her parents had considered running away. When they learnt that she was going to London, they had begged her to take them with her. But she couldn't bear to have them around with her after she had left them behind. He mother's suffocating tenderness... Her father's pedantic obsession with statistics...

"Father, mother," said Angela. "I must go to London alone! I have my whole life in front of me!"

"No, you don't," said her father. "Statistically, that doesn't make sense. You are already 18. That means you have at least a fifth of your life behind you already! Why, if you die at 36, you will have had only half your life in front of you! So what you should really have said was..."

And she had run away with her fingers in her ears, and got on the train to London, and now here she was in King's Cross, and the nice gentleman was saying something about how he worked for the Football Association, and they were always looking for young girls to come and work for them...

"You will enjoy life there, my dear," he said. "There are lots of very nice gentlemen who are always looking for company..."

It didn't sound very nice to her, but she had nowhere else to go and she let herself be taken away, and the next day she had started work at the FA as a secretary. She actually quite enjoyed it. The work was mostly about writing to people asking for free tickets and flights and things.

On her third day there she was promoted, and became an assistant marketing executive. The work was exactly the same, but she went abroad a lot more, as assistant to nice gentlemen.

"How are things, Ange?" said her mother on the phone. "Have you settled down yet, and found a nice young man, and married him, and had some children, what are your children called, why don't you bring them to see us before your father dies, you never call us...?"

"Mother!" said Angela. "I've only been in London two months! How could I have had babies by now?"

"Well, statistically, it's quite possible," said her father, who was listening on the other line, "at least, if you were seven months pregnant when you left home, though I concede that does seem unlikely..."

Angela put the phone down and found herself looking into the eyes of a silver-haired gentleman who had come into her office.

He smiled at her.

"Would you care for lunch?" he said.

Seconds later she was having lunch with the silver-haired gentleman, who was telling her all about his troubles.

"My team does not understand me," he said.

"Pardon?" said Angela. "I thought it was always wives who didn't understand silvery- haired gentlemen!"

"Not in my case," he smiled. "I have no wife. I am married to football. I am indeed married to a team. They do not understand me. I understand them only too well. They are boys. Do you like boys, Angela?"

"Well, I..."

"And you are quite right not to. They are not to be trusted. Even they do not know what they really want. They are given too much money when they are too young, and they never learn what to do with it. Whereas an older man who has seen life and knows how to behave, well, he knows what to do..."


Got the idea? If you think Angela should give up this relationship right now, call the NO telephone number. If you think she would be well advised to carry on, phone the YES number. Remember, all calls cost £10 a minute and all proceeds go to the FA Holiday Fund. Let's hear from you!