Heroism

13 03 2010
Prestatyn Town 1 Bangor City 1
Welsh Premier League

A tale;

“At the start it was all about colour; Heroes in blue,  villains in red, pitch in green. From these primary colours an epic struggle was painted. Dark tones were added by the judge with no name. He was attired in deadly black. The match wasn’t simply a sporting contest, it was a metaphor for the expreience of humanity.

The heroic blues toiled under the massive oppression of the villainous reds and he cowardly man in black. Reading “The Villain’s Handbook of Underhand Tactics” was obviously the reds’  pre-match preparation and they set about the blues with abandon. One would have thought that the era of skullduggery had ended in the 1970s but today was a masterclass in the dark arts. Not a shirt was left un-ruffled, not a pair of shorts was left un-pulled, not a nostril left un-gouged.  Unfortunately the Bangor fans had an all too-real view of these bestial atrocities. In an enclosed football ground everybody can hear you scream.

The reds’ approach made it seem as though Prestatyn Town’s new Ice Hockey team had turned up instead of the football players. Nasty challenge after nasty challenge was made, clothesline after clothesline, body-check after body check. In short it was a catalogue of assaults unseen outside a Saturday night in Caernarfon. Where was the neutral arbiter? Where was the person charged with keeping the contest on a fair and equal basis? What was he doing? He was obviously taking cover behind his cowardice and a buff envelope full of money.

At one point Sion was quite literally sandwiched between two red brutes but due to his fortitude he not only kept possession he was able to anticipate and hurdle the next attempt at castration. On this occasion Sion was only stopped by the giant carcass of a centre back. The only thing bigger than the stature of the grotesque centre back was his desire to destroy.

Throughout the first half we saw countless acts of mindless villany; Stotty felled, Reedy pole-axed, Garside grounded, Robbo chopped and Johnno raized to the ground. Bangor’s physio was so busy that he had cramp by half time. It says much about the moral spine of Bangor City Football Club that the players continued to play football. The referee booked three Bangor players for returning to the pitch without permission but not one Prestatyn player was awarded a yellow card in the first half. “Travesty!!!!” muttered the Bangor fans.

At the start of the second half Prestatyn decided to finally use their moral turpitude creatively. The ball was hoofed into the box and a Prestatyn striker rugby tackled Smithy. The assault was as clear as an azure sky in deepest summer, well aprt from the referee of course. The other red striker calmly stroked the ball into the unguarded net. The protests would have been more prolonged if the morally bankrupt referee had not sent off Peter Hoy for shrugging. 1-0 down, down to 10 men, where would it end for Bangor City?

The Prestatyn juggernaut rolled on mercilessly over weak human limbs; Sion was  banjaxed, Stotty felled, Reedy pole-axed, Garside grounded, Robbo chopped and Johnno raized to the ground. Bangor’s physio needed treatment for cramp again. Bangor’s socks resembled the outcome of several vicious tiger attacks yet Prestatyn remained unpunished. Brewie failed to heed the warning of Peter Hoy’s red card; he received his red card for tutting too loudly. Bangor now had 9 heroes, could they hold out?

Luckily Smithy was in remarkable form; no save was less than spectacular, no cross was mis-judged. Whether it was rushing out to deadly feet or tipping the ball round a post, he was there, a one-man wall, unbeaten and unbowed.  Despite the studs and elbows of outrageous Prestatyn he was there, heroism personified. He was booked for time-wasting whilst receiving treatment for an assault.

Then the moment arrived. “HE” was ready. At first he appeared in a kit and tracksuit top. The fans joyously exclaimed; “HE is ready!!!!”. He removed the jacket of mere mortals to reveal the polyester clad body of a demi-god, “…..and LES was his name-oooooooooooo.” rang out the song. Every step toward the pitch brought glory closer.

Then, Les was on! He got the ball. One Prestatyn challenge was rebuffed, another was skipped. Then the third arrived, a body-check. Les stood, the challenge came, Les conquered. Les absorbed the body check and stood as unmoved as a granite work surface. The Prestatyn player hit the ground, the ground  shook violently; “WE ARE BANGOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” RARRRRRRRRRR”

Bangor were battered, Bangor were bruised, Bangor were bloodied but Bangor were born again!!! Prestatyn tried everything. They tried to hew  it, tried to crack it, they tried to chip at it but Les, the granite hero of Bangor, was immense. Les became the base upon which this story of legends was about to be written.

Les may have been  immoveable but yet again Sion was  banjaxed, Stotty felled, Reedy pole-axed, Garside grounded, Robbo chopped and Johnno raized to the ground. Les was still there.

Legends only need one chance but that chance wasn’t coming; When Bangor legs moved Bangor legs were kicked.

The match drifted into injury time, the clock ticked inexorably towards the end of time; 1 minute of injury time gone…..2 minutes of injury time  gone…..3 minutes of injury time gone…..4 minutes of injury time  gone…..5 minutes of injury time gone…..6 minutes of injury time gone.

They say the Battle of the Somme was like this; perpetual deadlock in a muddy battlefield. Then in the 7th minute of injury time Chris Roberts swung his bloodied leg at the ball with all of the strength he could muster.

The cross appeared to be too high, but Les rose like a salmon. He and the path of  the ball coincided fully 9 and a half feet off the ground!!!! The header was perfectly placed between the leaden-footed goalkeeper’s feet. The ball was in, THE BALL WAS IN!!!! The battered and bruised ones were level. Never in the course of Welsh Premier Football has a such a goal brought so much joy to so many people!!!

We never gave in. We never gave in!!

Heroes are made in such circumstances.

Arise Comrade Les of the Blue Army!!!! Thou art a hero of the People of the Bangor Football Republic.”

We didn’t actually go to this match, on account of a date with destiny, so you may choose to believe  this account (I heard it from a bloke who heard it from a bloke) or you may not. That’s the beauty of the Postmodern world, metanarratives are redundant and we all have to make up our own minds about things.

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