Will Gatti & Daniel Finn


It’s a family affair

It's a family affair

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‘It just keeps happening and no one knows what to do about it.’

‘And your man does the same thing every time?’

‘He does. Right in the middle of the game.

‘Scuppers it right and blinking proper, every time, and the rest of them standing about like a bloody field of grazing dawks. If you know what I mean?’

‘I know exactly. Of course. And this one… ‘

‘This one! Did I tell you he’s Italian? Well, if I could get my hands round his neck, I’d give him a right and proper choking, I’m not kidding. But he’s up in the air, isn’t he? Up in the bloody air shouting this name that sounds like a pope! Can you imagine? Or like a bloody Roman Emperor!’

‘You’re not serious!’

‘I am.’

‘What’s this name he’s shouting?’


‘Is that it?’

‘It is.’

‘It sounds like a beer, man.’

‘What do you mean?’


‘Peroni? That doesn’t sound like a pope, does it? It doesn’t end in O.’

‘Name me a pope, then. One with an O at the end of his name.’

‘Name me one that doesn’t.’

‘I’m struggling. Name me one that does.’

‘Double or quits?’

‘Go on, then.’

‘Pope Yoko Ono. Is that enough for you?’

‘Italian is he, this Yoko Macono?’

‘As pasta.’


‘Will I tell you what happened then?’

‘Go on.’

‘This Italian fella appeared out of nowhere, right in the middle of the game. There he was whizzing about in a bright green shirt and … and he’s suddenly up in the air and kicking the ball… from about twenty foot up in the bloody sky like a helicopter!’

‘It wasn’t the James Bond fella, was it? He has a thing about the helicopter. I’ve seen it in a new film , Septico.’

‘I don’t know about that but this fella’s a helicopter-man, that’s for sure. And wait… the goalie’s got a mouth wide as his bloody goal posts and your man, the flying shouter, he pops it in. La deed dah. And then he’s down again, running about like some stupid ostrich, arms out, flapping them up and down. And why would he do that when he can jump up in the air, no problem?’

‘He’s excitable.’

‘He is. I’d say they all are where he comes from. And absolutely no one’s moving, just him, and the people up in the stands just watching aren’t saying a thing either. You could have heard a mouse squeaking on the other side of the Severn Bridge because it was as if the world had gone as blank as bloody stone sheep. Not him, though, running about and making these little jumps. Even did a handstand!’

‘Why don’t you give him the boot, then? Kick him off the team?’

‘Oh, yes. Great thinking, Sherlock. Never occurred to me. Kick him off the team. Genius…. He’s not on the team, is he! And if he was, how do you kick someone off the team when they are always up in the bloody air? Tell me that. Up in the bloody air, like a bloody seagull!’

‘Or a parrot?’

‘Or an angel who likes football.’

‘That’s stupid; angels don’t play football. They play the harp.’

‘I know. Like lager.’

‘A stupid angel, then?’

‘Or just Italian.’


‘That’s the one.’

(John Agostino, born on Wednesday, 18th November 2015)