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An Old Trafford Christmas Carol

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It’s coming up to the two hundredth anniversary of Charles Dickens’ birth and it’s nearly Christmas. So this year’s Christmas Dispatch was easy. Say hello, to a famous old curmudgeon…

As the dying embers of the fire crackled and hissed, Ebenezer Ferguson clasped his gnarled hands around a flagon of whiskey and took another sip. Pinched of cheek and red of nose, he sat awaiting the fast-approaching hour of twelve; the night before Christmas morn. An hour before he had received a visitation from a spectre. His former partner, Brian Kiddisworth had miraculously emerged from an ethereal dimension to reproach and warn him to mend the error of his ways. Kiddisworth had betrayed his mentor years previously and the two men had not exchanged a passing pleasantry for the remainder of Kiddisworth’s time on Earth. Ebenezer Ferguson had cared not a jot. He had become hardened of heart and allowed personal feuds to destroy what aspects of humanity still remained within him.

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There’s Something About Mario

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Michael Owen. Jonny Wilkinson. Tim Henman. You still with me? Or have I lulled you into a mind-crunching stupor in the opening few sentences of this week’s Dispatch? Granted, these individuals achieved a certain level of success in their sporting disciplines during their careers but in all honesty, they won’t be lauded or celebrated for their exuberance and iconoclasm when their adventures are recalled in years to come. In many respects they were Blair’s Sportsmen; stylishly packaged by sporting manufacturers but very little substance beyond the obvious.

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