It’s Man United versus West Ham and the Hammers are putting up a damn good fight. United’s manager, Sir Alex, is becoming apoplectic in the dugout.
Over on the wing, Ron, that foreign chap who plays for United, is doing some of his clever stuff with the ball. He rolls it around with his foot, flicks it into the air and catches it between his shoulder blades. The crowd cheer, but in a distracted way – they’ve seen it all before.
Spector, the West Ham defender, is bemused but he’s not bothering to try and tackle him, he’s trying to remember if he left the grill on after he made toast this morning.
Ron does a step over, and another one. Spector spots his mum in the crowd and waves. Ron does another step over.
In the goal mouth Green, the goalkeeper, is chatting with that little Man United attacker who looks like the Tasmanian Devil from Bugs Bunny.
“So have you settled in ok?” asks Green.
“Eez okay,” says the Tasmanian Devil, “ze money is good but za climate is bleak.”
“You’ll find a way to cope, most British people take drugs.”
“I may try that. Thank you for the advice. Ron might cross the ball in a minute so I better go, but it’s been lovely to meet you.”
“Come and chat again, I’m usually hanging around here, in front of this net thing.”
Spector’s mum is shouting from the crowd.
“I thought I saw a fire engine down your street earlier, is everything ok love?”
Ron does another step over. Spector stops to talk to his mum.
Seeing his opportunity, Ron kicks the ball into the penalty area and runs after it, but Uptight, another Hammers defender, spots him and takes a swing at the ball.
He misses ball and player but Ron pretends he’s taken a knock and throws himself onto the ground. He rolls, flicks and bounces like a car crash in a Hollywood film.
“Are you okay, son?” the Ref asks Ron, who is rolling about in a muddy puddle.
“Yeah, he didn’t touch me but I think that’s one of the best dives you’re going to see on Match of the Day this week,” says Ron.
“Yeah, you’re right, I don’t think anyone will beat that. You can have a penalty.”
Ron places the ball to take the penalty. If he gets this United will go into the lead and retain their position at the top of the table. The crowd are hushed, except for Spector’s mum who is on her mobile to the fire-brigade.
Ron does a step over. The ref blows his whistle to start the penalty bit of the game. Ron runs up and kicks the ball, Green dives into the mud. The ball bobbles past the post, missing the goal and bouncing into the stands. Ron’s only gone and missed completely! The crowd laugh, cheer, boo and throw pies.
The ref talks to Ron. “Do you want to take that one again, son?”
“No, that’s ok, the games nearly over now, if we get on with it I might have time to practise my newest step over.”
Sir Alex is shouting something from the sidelines.
“I think he’s saying you can’t,” says the ref.