“I know i come from Woking, and you say I’m a fraud. but my hearts in the City where it belongs…”
Can’t possibly start off a blog about Woking without quoting its most famous son, yep, the Weller Fella, the old Modfather himself, a man worshipped by our own desert boot fetishist and turnstile spinner Marky N and many of my old mates from back in the day. And good luck to em. He made some of the most vital music at a time when we were spoiled for choice and he’s still ripping up the floorboards today. The Style Council video for Solid Bond filmed at Woking FC is a classic. Check it out kids.
Me? Love the Jam and would have All Mod Cons in my top three albums all day long but when it comes to the crunch I’m born a Clash man, die a Clash man, a Strummerista and one of those ska punks still searching for the Last gang in Town and the spirit of Smokey Joe under the Westway lights. But Sutton aren’t playing in West 10 today, they are down The A3 in Surrey and that’s the hand I’m dealt so that’s the hand I will deal with.
|“My name is Totts. And I endorse this beverage”
Do you want to know the second most famous person associated with Woking? Course you do, and I won’t tease you, I will tell you. Clive Walker, that’s who. Another name to conjure with and one that will arouse and excite by older readers in equal measure.
Clive “Flasher” Walker played for Woking after a pro career where he achieved legendary status at Chelsea in the days before Stamford Bridge became a fucking tourist attraction and when the club were routinely shit and bobbing between the second and first divisions. Clive turned out for Woking on a regular basis until he was over 60 and would often arrive for games on the bus with his boots over his shoulder making use of his Freedom Pass*
*this bit may or may not be true but our good friend and Woking historian Cardinal Tales will put us straight.
I was lucky enough to get in the Shed just before the doors closed on the day in 1978 that Flasher ripped that famous Liverpool side to absolute shreds in a FA Cup game burned deep into the memory. Wild horses wouldn’t drag me back to a game at Stamford Bridge these days – as Weller said, you’ve made yer bed, you better lie in it. And that’s why, on the day before my birthday, I’m on my way to Woking for a league clash with one of the few genuine long-standing local rivals that we get to rub up against in these heady days for our club.
Fifty five. A good age. It’s got symmetry. It adds up to ten. And its got a pleasing and sexual kind of shape to it laid out on the page and I like to have something in common with my age. I’m lumped with it for the next twelve months and do you know what? I’m happy with that.
Do you want a Totts fact? Course you do. Here’s one, when my old man was born in 1919 over sixty per cent of geezers were dead by the time they were 55. Now you cant move for old fellas squeezing into Levis and Fred Perrys and poncing around on clapped out old scooters moaning about this that and the other to anyone mad enough to listen. Usually their poor old Irene’s or identical looking blokes huddled together in self-selecting support groups in the local Weatherspoons. Fucking years of that ahead lads.
Due to work commitments I had to miss the Dagenham game on Tuesday night but Lordy Miss Claudy what a cracker that turned out to be with the Dundo notching his ton and Kenny D blagging a winner at the death lifting us back up where we belong at the top of the pile . Turning over ex league clubs away from home just for fun has become the hallmark of what is already another extraordinary season and we are less than a quarter of the way in!
Woking have never been in the football league but they are a famous name stretching long back through the old amateur era and I remember them and K’s being our proper Surrey rivals back in the good old Rothmans Isthmian League days . Also, our record in recent years at Kingfield is pretty shoddy to be honest. So I was chuffed to get the call from BBC Surrey to whore myself out, sorry, to preview the game on their Friday breakfast show. My throwaway quip about giving the moaners in Woking’s Moaners Corner something to moan about would inevitably come back to bite me on the arse.
I was looking at getting the 1140 out of West Sutton International but urgent business in the People’s Republic meant shifting back half an hour. No bother, that would still get me into Woking just after one with plenty of time for a few scoops and a bit of old bollocks and bantz. Ha, fucking ha.
Got to Wimbledon no problem only to find that South Western Railway, now sold off by a British Tory Government to the Chinese Communists – yeah, go figure that relationship out – was completely fucked. Not only that, but I was running out of cans in the midst of all this palava, and had to nip out for a top up, a risky business with the pack of lies jamming up the departures board but one of the platform staff marked my card and so it was about half an hour late I was trundling down through Surbiton towards the arse end of Guildford.
Marcus and his little Chelsea/Sutton mob had already messaged me that they were holed up in the Ogilvy. As you know I refuse to join the scam that is the Gandermonium What’s Up group and to be fair I wouldn’t believe anything I saw on it anyway but inevitably they were also sprawled about the juicer like toffs in a gentleman’s club, well in the swim already, knocking back Amstel and laughing their tits off at the dual spectacle of the Croydon Posers and Leyton Orient getting fucked over. I had a quick natter with the sort behind the jump and on her steer had a pint of something called Dead Pony and very nice it was too. Even our own beer snob and personal Jesus Four Days nodded approval. Blimey. I later over stretched myself with a can of something called Earl Grey IPA which was very strong and very rank. That will teach me yet again not to venture beyond my limits.
Mr X picked up a message saying that there was a bar for away fans in our segregated zone which I suspect came through that What’s Up shit show and which I also know for a fact turned out to be total and utter bollocks. Anyway, our police spotters had now turned up so it was time to do one. We were planning to walk but Jesus intervened and me, him, Lil Chris, Crockett and Belly jumped in a giant sherbet at the station and for a quid each were soon bowling up right outside the ground. So, was there a bar for away fans? You know the answer to that. I did ask a female steward if there was any chance but she just smirked and stared right through me with the dead eyes of a cod that’s been on the fishmongers slab a day too long. Welcome to Woking.
Nothing to do but spark up by birthday Lah Dee, courtesy of my near-neighbour the upwardly-mobile Millzy, and check out the faces. Dirty Barry is absent as he’s still away on a Saga warden-assisted sex festival in the Canary Islands and that leaves the Cheam Park DILF’s leaderless and rudderless with Ces doing his best to marshall the troops but I can smell their confusion and disorganisation. Tony Bacon and Jack are present and correct and even my spiritual adviser Father Kev has made it down in the Popemobile. All in all, it’s a good Sutton turnout.
|It wasn’t. We stickered it.
Now then, I don’t mind segregation. In fact, I quite like it as it eliminates nonsense like those Maidstone twats at GGL a few weeks back. I also remember those wrong end wankers at Woking not long ago and no one needs that sort of bollocks going on. Be nice to be able to get a drink mind and I’m told the food was shite with one of my mates who had a slipper complaining that his innards dropped out of his arsehole a few hours later. The sign on the Khazis saying they were out of order when they weren’t out of order was total non league.
Butler, Thomas A, John, Davis, Cadogan, Dundas, Eastmond, Spence, Wright, Walton, Taylor SUBS: Coombes, Emmanuel, Jeffrey, Bentley, Downer
Anyway, we are off. We are bang on this. Dundo is causing absolute chaos in their defence and with Cadogan bombing around it seems like only a matter of time before we score. A combination of their keeper and some Sutton profligacy is the only thing keeping Woking in this but as the clock ticks on I start getting that dread feeling in the pit of my guts that we could regret not making the most of our dominance. The pit of my guts would, inevitably, prove to be totally prescient. Others around me have that same furrowed look as half time looms and it remains nil nil. Especially Taz who looks like he’s peered deep into the future, well 45 minutes anyway, and is white as a fucking sheet. Even for a full-on Ginge.
Nothing to do at half time except kick our heels and chat with Dukey about proper men’s stuff – don’t ask – before we amble down to the other end of our uncovered side for the inevitable denouement to our date with disaster. We don’t have long to wait before some of the worst officialling even by this leagues horse shit standards knocks us right back on our heels. Anyone who doesn’t think that Woking’s first goal was offside should be auditioning for a Peters and Lee tribute act. It was an absolute shocker. After the ref blew for the goal, the lino, instead of heading back to the half way line remained stock still, paralysed by his own chronic fucking ineptitude. He knew he’d fucked up wholesale but even after the ref went over and chatted to him for an age the pair of them bottled it and allowed the goal to stand. Pathetic.
|Half time exodus
Unfortunately, this is the cue for us to lose our shape and stop doing all the good things we did in the first half and with Woking winding up the time wasting and play acting we just get more and more ragged as the half spins on. At one point a Woking player goes down for ages and the pitch is crowded out by a growing gang of fat stewards in hi-viz doing nothing in particular like some mad arsed re-run of It’s a Knock Out. With us chasing the game and slinging everyone up front we are vulnerable at the back and despite some top work from Jamie Butler inevitably Woking get their second and our day is done. Did I ever tell you how much I fucking hate Kingfield? The whistle blows and we can’t wait to get the hell out of the place.
I swerve the walk back into town and jump a lift with the Bacons. I’m off to Spain in the morning and will be catching the big Copa Del Rey derby between my boys Hercules and the Elche scum. Back in time for Barrow though kids. Chin up, still just a point off the leaders.
In other geo-political news Woking’s new owners are thought to be South Koreans and North Korea fucking hate South Korea and that little fat geezers got ICBM’s within striking distance of GU22 and he clearly couldn’t give a shit about loosing them off. Ah well.
See you on the Shoebox.