I HAD TO QUICKLY SORT MY JAFFA OF MISTAKE
I LISTENED carefully to Louis van Gaal talking at last year’s League Managers Association management conference.
He spoke with passion about the necessity for a manager to learn and respect the culture of the club where he was in charge.
It resonated with me. During my early days at Preston North End, a female fan approached me, boiling with rage, demanding to know why I was eating a Jaffa cake. “It’s tangerine Westley, bloody tangerine.” I must admit I had been warned about the intense rivalry between Blackpool (the Tangerines) and Preston when I wore an orange T-shirt to training one day, but I overlooked the connection between my choice of biscuit and our rivals. I went on to change my snack and enjoy some good banter with that lady.
There was a brilliant moment last weekend as I arrived at our ground for our cup-tie with North End. The very same lady found me out and handed me a ‘no hard feelings’ box of tea bags so that I could enjoy my customary pre-match cuppa!
They are sitting in pride of place on my desk to remind me of the wonderful humorous and human side of football. For all of the passion and desire to win, there is nothing like the humour of the people, who constantly make me smile with their terrace chants.
Football fans are just brilliant.
CUPPA: The perfect gift