Hello again, I’m back and that in itself is a bit of a surprise really because I got into a bit of hot water after last month’s rant. It would appear that one or two in the media who like to make the news and use their opinions to tell me what they think about my rugby team, don’t really like it much when I tell ‘em my thoughts of them. Still what the hell, at least Wilf’s still talking to me.
So for now I’m still here and I’ll press on for another edition and see who I can upset this week, as I look at what’s been getting my particular goat since the last copy of this excellent publication. This month’s grumble is something that, the Bingo aside, has been the main topic of conversation in the Cholmley Club for weeks now, namely; what the hell is all this ticketless ticketing twaddle all about?
Is it just something else designed to piss us off? Quite frankly I don’t think that lot who run the KC want Hull FC in there any more, do you? For me, it all started with the ‘Whiteleygate’ pictures fiasco when ‘man of the people’ Mr Allam said that he had never even heard of Freeman of the City, ‘Gentleman’ John and promptly took his pictures down. Let’s get one thing straight about The KC Stadium, we signed up for our tenancy at the venue before City did and the City Council provided the pictures of both teams that adorned the walls; I know because my brother Frank gave them two when it was being built. Now my Club have to pay to have ‘our kid’s’ donated pictures put on display. What a bloody farce.
However then, once the strange case of the disappearing pictures had quietened down, more subtle tactics were used as week by week and game by game, someone appeared to be surreptitiously sawing a foot off the top of our goal posts, until now we have the smallest there are in the league. More recently however there’s all this shemozzle about not being able to pay on the gate. The SMC’s business plan certainly has me baffled. I mean, firstly they say they are losing cash and need to sell more pies and beer, then they make it almost impossible for us to get in to buy ‘em and then, to add insult to injury, when you do get in, they’ve put the price of the bloody beer up again.
Booking in advance and expensive beer might be all the rage when you go to see the pyramids, but it ain’t going down at all well in the Cholmley Club. When, like us lot, you’re getting old and you’re set in your ways a bit, you lose interest in sex, your wife doesn’t talk to you anymore and your children often ignore you (There are other advantages of course, but these are the main ones), so, riding round and round Hull all day for nothing on your bus pass, or turning up with a pocket full of loose change to pay on the gate at the KC, are two of the only pleasures you have left.
However one thing you ARE proficient at when you’re old, is harking back to ‘the good old days’ because back then I remember we were all creatures of habit and life was much more sedate… I think? I do however remember the days when after a black and tan or six with my pals in the ‘Cholmley’, I would, with hundreds of others, stagger down to the Boulevard to dredge all of my remaining change out of my pockets and deposit it at the turnstiles. Then, I’d be just about ready for a quick ‘wazz’ behind the stand, before I would clamber up onto the Threepenny’s to watch the lads. I’m still that creature of habit and so I did exactly the same when we moved to the KC (Well perhaps not the ‘wazz’ behind the stand bit, I was still busting, but I’m still not past having a bit of style).
I also understand that perhaps it’s a young man’s game these days, with its momentum rule, dominant tackles, Super 8’s and microwave frankfurters, but when we go to watch the most physically challenging game in the world with the roughest toughest players, do we really need toilets that are labelled Tigers and Tigeresses? The bloody worlds gone mad. You know we were the most successful team in the City when we moved into that Stadium. Okay things change, that’s sport, but all of a sudden the football is booming and we’re made to feel that we’re not wanted. In fact many of my pals say that they feel like second class citizens in the place. Yet the KC was built with my money and that of all the community charge payers in Hull (which I admit, excludes most of the regulars in the Cholmley) and all we want is to be able to pay to get in. The SMC should understand that for a lot of us folks in our 70’s, it’s the ‘Peoples Palace’ and a community facility, not the bloody Nou Camp in Barcelona. Furthermore it’s in a City where us careful folks don’t like to spend our brass until the day of the game. It’s a hereditary thing and I know that my Dad and his Dad before him always used to count the cash they had left from the pub on Friday Night, before they stuck their noses out of the door on a Saturday morning to decide whether they were going to the game; they never got passes and neither have I.
And another thing… We are told as a Club that the place is our home and yet we can’t even train on the pitch, yet City do every week. My pal Trevor reckons he wrote to ‘em about that last year and even got a reply. He says it stated that it’s all to do with ‘the grass and its recovery in the growing season’ plus ‘the effect successive hot months have had on it’. In my youth we had another word for all this global warming malarkey, it was summer.
So it seems to me that the crowd who run the Stadium take great pleasure in buggering us about and quite frankly it’s getting on my wick. I’m a simple bloke who loves his rugby and who wants to watch it whenever he can and I come from a long line of folks who have done the same. But I guess too that I’m also an old bugger who was more comfortable in a time when at the Boulevard, ‘All must Pay’ meant exactly that, the only Squash enjoyed in a rugby ground was in plastic cups and Doctor’s were the men that you went to when you had the runs. After reading my efforts above, I guess you’ve already realised that the current ‘Doctor’ has only succeeded in giving me them.
Old Folks eh, don’t you just love em?