A fictitious, humorous anecdote by Craig Thompson

Newcastle United’s pursuit of additional firepower has seemingly stepped up a notch over the weekend, as Joe Kinnear delivered on his promise to give the side added impetus upfront. Whilst Pappis Cisse’s blurred outlook on Islamic law has raised question marks over the striker’s future in a Black and White shirt, it appears Kinnear has delved deep into his little red book and might have found an ideal replacement.

The following scenario may or may not have happened over the weekend:

The Newcastle United first team are being put through their paces in sweltering conditions at a rather downbeat and worn out training camp in Portugal. A group of players are taking it in turns to shoot at young, rookie Goalkeeper Jak Alnwick in a standard exercise. Next up is Shola Ameobi, Newcastle’s surviving relic; he controls well, steadies himself and blazes the ball over the mesh fence away into the shrubbery, lost forever. Alan Pardew, who is watching closely from the sideline, shakes his head in disbelief.

‘That’s five you’ve lost now, Shola. Five! This isn’t bloody Benton, you know.’ bellows Pardew.

Ameobi looks to the ground and kicks the dusty soil. ‘Sorry boss.’ he says embarrassed.

Before Pardew can embark on yet another verbal tirade, his mobile phone rings to the tune ‘Im Forever Blowing Bubbles’. ‘Bollocks!’ exclaims Pardew. ‘I thought I’d changed that.’ He walks away from the training field to answer the incoming call. ‘Hello, AP.’

‘Ah. Pardo, you old mucka. How’s it going over there in Spain?’ queries the voice on the other end of the phone.

‘Portugal. Is that Joe?’ says Pardew, bluntly.

‘Yeah, it’s me. So how are the girls out there?’ Kinnear giggles excitedly.

‘We’re actually going through a pretty rigorous training regime out here, Joe.’ Pardew looks over to see Steven Taylor pulling down Gabriel Obertan’s shorts.

‘Suit yourself’ says Kinnear. ‘I’ve actually got some good news for you’.

Pardew suddenly looks interested ‘Please tell me you’ve got one over the line?’

‘Of course I have, I’m your Uncle Joe.’ proclaims Kinnear.

‘Who is it?’ Pardew snaps impatiently. ‘Is it Bent? Remy? It’s Gomis isn’t it?’

‘Calm down, silver man. You’re gonna love this.’

‘WHO IS IT!’ cries out Pardew.

‘Ok, ok. It’s –‘

‘TELL ME!’ Pardew screams.

“Mick Harford” declares Kinnear proudly.

“Mick who!?” Pardew asks.

‘HARFORD’ shouts Kinnear.

Crestfallen, Pardew covers the mouthpiece of his mobile phone and calls out to Assistant Manager, John Carver who is peeling oranges in the far corner.

‘Mick Harford?’

‘The mackem!?’ howls Carver.

Pardew raises his eyebrows. The penny has dropped. He addresses Kinnear once more.

‘But Joe, we need a striker. We’re dreadfully short upfront.’

‘What are you talking about? This bloke is the dog’s bollocks. Mick got goals galore for my Wimbledon side in the nineties’ says Kinnear.

‘Joe, I think you’re missing the point. I –‘

‘Two seconds, Pardo.’ interrupts Kinnear. ‘Ah. Vinnie, you old sea dog. Come on in.’

‘Vinnie!? Who’s Vinnie?’ exasperates Pardew.

‘Vinnie Jones is here. He’s gonna help us out with the Academy from now on.’

Pardew puts his head in his hands.

‘Look, Eric. I’m gonna have to go. Big Mike is paying for this call.’ Kinnear hangs up, abruptly.

Pardew is left clutching his mobile phone with the dial tone now ringing in his ear. The tone gets louder and louder, until it’s replaced with the words ‘Mick Harford’. Pardew puts the phone back into his pocket and in the distance watches Shola Ameobi sky another ball over the fencing.

‘Ah well.’ says Pardew. ‘We can’t do much worse’.

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  1. Craig M Thompson

    You're right Leckworth – turned down by a mackem! What a shameful day but a relief at the same time.


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