THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

Division Two

Fulham-v-Forest7216 December ~ There's a mixed message in the programme's opening column Stock Taking, a sophisticated pun on the name of Fulham's manager Alec Stock. It's written by Tony Stenson, who's presumably a hack judging by the picture of him holding a telephone and looking very serious indeed, like he's calling his mum to tell her he won't be home for Christmas after all. Perhaps Stock is on the other end of the line saying: "Ideas for the programme column? None at all. That's your bloody job, Mr Wordsmith.”

Oh yes, that mixed message. The headline is HAPPY CHRISTMAS. The text reads: "As this is our last home game before Christmas, the Directors [with a capital D], manager [with a small m], players and office staff take this opportunity of wishing all supporters a Merry Christmas." Wait, a Merry Christmas or a Happy Christmas? You can't have it both ways. Everyone knows it should be a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. This is, quite frankly, confusing, and you wonder how many Fulham fans left the ground that day just not knowing the most appropriate mood in which to celebrate the forthcoming holiday to mark the birth of Jesus Christ Our Lord and Saviour.

Perplexed punters could, however, have taken some lessons in chilling out from Irish defender Jimmy Dunne: "For such an extrovert character in the dressing room, Jimmy seeks a surprisingly quiet life at home. Reading a good thriller, watching a western on his new colour TV, and listening to his favourite singer, Tom Jones, provides him with his ideal relaxation." Ideal, maybe, but not exactly the image we have of West End football players from the 1970s. Chelsea players would probably come round late and moon him through the living room window of the house in Cheam he shared with wife Linda and son Nicholas, two. Jimmy, though, would draw the curtains with an inscrutable expression and just turn the stereo or the new colour TV up another notch or two.

Hazing hi-jinx Apprentice Terry Bullivant explains the hilarious initiation rituals set up for newcomers. "We once got a player to cut the pitch with scissors, but he soon realised what was going on." He did? How?

When referees had proper jobs The Man in the Middle, DW Smith of Gloucester, is "a Chargehand Linesman for the Midlands Electricity Board". The irony!

Result Fulham 3 (Mullery, Mitchell, Barrett) Nottingham Forest 1 (Galley)

Crowd 8,255

Fulham Mellor, Cutbush, Callaghan, Mullery, Went, Dunne, Conway, Earle, Mitchell, Lloyd, Barrett

Nottingham Forest Barron, Hindley, Winfield, Chapman, Serella, Richardson, O'Neill (sub Lyall), Martin, Galey, Robertson, McKenzie 

Ian Plenderleith 

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