Welcome to issue 24 of FMTTM, and thanks to your help it looks certain to be the first fanzine of the week. To be honest, I thought we might struggle a little bit to honour our promise of an issue every
Saturday league game when two games come on consecutive weeks but the response to our appeal for articles has been terrific and I hope next Saturdays ‘ish will be as varied in its comment and entertaining (dare I say) as usual.
With the fanzine a year old, I think its about time we reiterated the function of FMTTM. It is essentially a vehicle for you to have your say on any matter concerning the club. Our intention is to produce a lively magazine that deals with the issues of the club in a positive way whether they be on or off the field.
We would like to stress that though we occasionally, sorry, persistently parody certain individuals at the club, we do not mean to be hurtful or scathing, its simply a reflection of the satirical mood of the moment.
FMTTM is a fans magazine and like all fans our view of MFC is in many ways an idealised. We know that we are far superior to our rivals on the Tyne and Wear. Our past teams are better, our present team is better, our fans are keener and greater in number, and who cares that our league position or trophy cabinet doesn’t bear this out, it doesn’t change the facts. Yet, we are never slow to criticise the club when it is necessary, nor are we slow to defend it. The number of people now involved in FMTTM and the improving sales figures proves we have successfully provided the mouthpiece the fans of MFC deserve.
The quality and quantity of the fanzine will improve the more you fans contribute (compare issues 1 – 15 to issues 16 – 24). It has been said in the past that a healthy fanzine means a healthy club. Think about it. Note: FMTTM is now a full time job for the Editor, and believe me my hourly rate stinks.
Oh, Leeds. Well lets just say that if we beat ‘em today we’ll forget a lot of what’s happened so far this season and have one helluva Xmas.
The organisers of the Schools 5-a-side penalty competition were hauled before Chairman Col last week. The Boro boss was furious after unprecedented scenes saw a Mackem taking a penalty during the half-time break against Oxford.
Startled Boro fans watched in horror as the pre-pubescent Sunderland fan crashed his penalty gleefully into the Holgate End goal before revealing his troubled teams coloured from under his shirt. The drama continued as his side, the appropriately named English Martyrs, squandered their one goal advantage, forcing the game into sudden death, where the offending youngster, in the image of the team he supports duly blazed his penalty high over the bar. A fuming Colin Henderson, speaking after the game said “There could have been a riot”. He also applauded the Holgate fans’ part in causing the crucial miss. “As if being a Mackem isn’t bad enough, to call him a Geordie, as in ‘Fat Geordie B*stard’, must have been too much for him to bear”.
He went on to reassure concerned Boro fans by stating that the changing rooms had been thoroughly disinfected and the culprit ‘soundly beaten’. Speaking of the flogging Henderson said that regrettably “The little b*stard appeared to be enjoy it”. Suckers for punishment those Mackems.
Fly Me To The Moon, i have always presumed, is a reference to those immortal words uttered by Sir Bruce Rioch about taking ‘Captain Courageous’ to the moon, in those heady days when Mogga epitomised the spirit of the Boro, a characteristic of the ideal player, a Roy of the Rovers.
The other day though, after flicking back over issues 21 and 22, i pondered what conclusion the average Grimsby or Charlton fan would reach if they were to pick up a copy of this perplexingly title tome. It didn’t take much reading through recent issues to decide – they probably believe that it refers to the fact that all Boro fans live in a nostalgic world far away from Earth.
For this they could hardly be blamed, just count the number of references to liquidation, Wigan Athletic, Doncaster, ‘Division 3, the best days of my life’ and ‘I remember when there were no transfer requests’, in fact if FMTTM were a radio programme it would inevitably be played to the background strains of the ‘Hovis’ theme.
As a fan I am equally afflicted with this air of despondency from present times, barely able to contemplate Boro vs. Oxford at the wrong end of Division 2. Just as we all had to remind ourselves in May 88 at how hopelessly unrealistic it all was (being in Div 1 that is, not getting out of Stamford Bridge alive). So too we have the same problem accepting the alarming speed with which elation has turned to depression.
Delving into my own psyche, i reckon that Boro fans are now drawing upon the halcyon days as a kind of hallucinatory drug, an acid, to dispel the effects of losing to Plymouth and Swindon. This drug, medically known as ‘SDSA’ (Second Division Sh*te Acid) is staggeringly successful in promoting a feeling of well being, despite witnessing a formally decent full back and a keeper who once played a blinder in the First Division make a terrible balls up of a back pass against Swindon Town. The drug requires no injection and is merely absorbed into the bloodstream by any conversation beginning with any of the following comments:
“Do you remember Archies header against Blackpool? What about the time we all thought he’d scored against Wigan in the last minute, mind you, Bury had the best bogs in the League”.
In fact, i can not for the life of me work out how the suicide rate on Teesside in the summer of 86 didn’t take a sharp up turn when SDSA was unavailable.
These conversations, under the influence of SDSA continue for several hours over a few Saturday night pints in merry reminiscence. Unfortunately, it does carry nasty side effects which are extremely unsociable. The addict is prone to outbursts towards the end of a defeat, such as chanting “Davenport, Davenport, Davenport” at an expensive striker who never scores. Doctors put this down to an attempt to turn the clock back 12 months and pretend nothing has happened (which it hasn’t in Dav’s case). The effect wears off on Sundays and reading the Sunday Sport can be quite disturbing – “Boro star found in bed with Mother-in-laws cat” (Sorry, wrong report). These after effects continue on Monday when the addict develops a manic rage when Boro are not featured on Northern Life and he writes endless letters of complaint to Roger Tyne (sorry but im writing this on a Monday).
The only cure is a 15 match unbeaten run or a valiant struggle to face reality – a course which i am desperately attempting to follow and will demonstrate to all FMTTM readers right now… Boro 1 Oxford 0, what a game! Ah well, maybe not – I concede – Hey do you remember the time Bernie scored that late winner at Bolton…
The lads, having done moderately well of late, plan to escape Stalag Luft Ayresome for a night on the town, except Brenda, who planned a week on the town instead. Sitting around the players lounge our goal shy heroes make plans…
“Och, i dinnae fancy a night at the Madhouse again” said Bernie, flicking biscuit crumbs off his “Me for Scotland” T-Shirt (on which Scotland had been hurriedly scribbled out and ‘Ireland’ added instead). Brenda looked positively suicidal. He loved the Madhouse, especially as he got a discount for buying in bulk.
“Okay” said Gilly “What about Blaises on a Thursday?” as he vaguely remembered he had a black leather jacket and a Cure LP somewhere in the house. “Blaises! Goths!” shrieked Mogga, “You’re not getting me to go out and enjoy meself with a bunch of blokes who dye their hair funny colours!” Gilly resisted the temptation to call him a hypocrite on the grounds that he’d only have to spend 20 minutes explaining what the word meant to Coops (who was quite happy in the corner reading ‘Spot the Dog gets wormed’).
Big Al coughed and looked over the top of his Mike Read approved dark glasses. “Excuse me lads but i could have a word with me mates in the wonderful world of showbiz. Me and Pete Waterman are good buddies these days”. Proc flung his copy of ‘What Pension’ in the general direction of Big Al. “Good grief, don’t you realise that the only people who listen to Radio Luxembourg are either p**sed, stupid or both?” Coops looked up, “I thought you were really good last night Al”. The team let out a collective sigh.
“Eh up me ducks!” said Simon “ah remember pub back ‘oom, t’ Ferret an’ Dark Satanic Mill, it wer’ reet bloody marvellous. Good grub, best tripe an’ parkin toasties in miles, an live clog dancin’ on Sat’day nights”. Simon didn’t say much but when he did he invariably gave away his primitive roots and lower league ancestry. The big city was still vast to young Simon who thought traffic lights and streets without trams were a revelation. At least his flares had never really gone out of fashion back home and were right up to date in the Boro.
Alan Comfort pointed out there was a church social coming up, Brenda pointed out that they were wasting valuable drinking time. The arguments started to get a bit heated now. At one point Putney had Parky by the throat against the wall. Parky had pointed out to Putney that he had no right to comment on beer as he was a southerner and would know little, if anything, about it. Someone suggested a trip to see Pally in Manchester. Someone else suggested they go and watch a class defender instead.
Eventually, after much debate it was decided that they should go on a full scale pub crawl down the Linny Road, ending up at Maddoes. Brenda took the precaution of ringing up every pub on the route to let them know he was coming and the pubs took the precaution of ringing up their respective brewers who soon had fleets of beer tankers heading towards the Boro.
The lads, with a firm target in mind were now in a good mood and Pearsy nipped out to book a taxi or two. He came back five minutes later. “Er, i didn’t bother with the taxi” he said “WHY NOT” the team shouted whilst making their final preparations, gelling hair, polishing egos and rehearsing chat up lines (“alright girl, fancy a cheap seat in the South Stand?”) “Fraid the booze is off said Pearsy. Riochs got wind of it and the bitch has locked the gates…” – Part 8 Next Issue
Sunil Gavasker, Avi Cohen and Denis Smith were driving north after appearing on A Question of Sport when their car broke down in the middle of nowhere. After walking a couple of miles down the road they came across a farmhouse and after explaining their predicament the farmer told them they could stay there for the night.
Unfortunately he said he only had one spare room with bunk beds so one of them would have to stay in the barn on some straw. Sunil Gavasker volunteered to go in the barn but after twenty minutes there was a knock on the bedroom door, “Bloody Hell” he said, “There’s a cow in there, i’m Hebrew, i can’t sleep where there’s a cow, they’re sacred”.
So Avi Cohen said “Get into bed, i’ll sleep in the barn”. Twenty minutes later, there was a knock on the bedroom door and Avi Cohen was stood in the corridor “Bloody Hell” he said “There’s a flipping pig in there, im a Jew, I can’t sleep where there’s a pig”.
So Denis Smith said “Get into bed, i’ll sleep in the barn”. Twenty minutes later was a knock on the bedroom door. Sunil and Avi answered it, there was a cow and a pig stood in the corridor.