Friday, 11 January 2019
Reading time 02 minutes 21 seconds
A Beautiful sunset that was mistaken for a dawn – Claude Debussy
I was at a “relationship fixing weekend” with my girlfriend. We had decided on a 3-star hotel, which was on the coast, where we could get together and have a few laughs.
On arrival I suggested a drink. I promised it would be just the one then we would have an early night as it was a fixing weekend after all. She had that glint in her eye which said “sure why not?”. Four drinks later and we were getting along famously. Things were fixing just right.
At the same time, I couldn’t help but notice three middle aged men sitting in the corner of the hotel bar who were looking at me and whispering. As their drinks flowed they became a little more boisterous and slightly more finger pointy but I shrugged it off as I’m used to people staring at me. My girlfriend was possibly giving me the come to bed eyes and I was talking her into another drink. She reluctantly agreed but only if we could take them to the room and as she departed I stood at the bar and waited.
As I hovered looking for the barman one of the boisterous gang sidled over and asked “Can I buy you a drink Tony?”. I explained that my name was Mat but he just laughed and moved the conversation on as it turned out that he and his friends thought I was the former West Ham United, Everton and Leicester City striker Tony Cottee. The men explained it’d be a real honour if I had a drink with them and whilst I didn’t know who Tony Cottee was, I shrugged it off and played along with it.
(For the record I look nothing like Tony Cottee. He’s taller than me, he’s slightly better looking than me and he’s scored more times for West Ham than I could ever dream of.)
I explained that I couldn’t stay for a drink and motioned to the recently departed lady who had just gone upstairs. “Just the one” they pleaded, “it’s on us”. I relented as when I’m drinking my stranger danger defences are down.
They asked what it was like being a professional footballer and proceeded to tell me about my entire footballing career. I didn’t object as I knew nothing of football back then, which is not dissimilar to now.
Seven drinks later I had become Tony Cottee and went into great detail of the great life I was having although sometimes I needed to escape the limelight hence why I was here. I was lying like a politician.
Then I realised why I was there. My girlfriend, I’d forgotten all about her. It had not only been seven drinks but also several hours. I was in so much trouble that I would need another two weekends away fixing the mistakes of this weekend.
I skulked back to our room. Within seconds my life as Tony Cottee had been replaced by someone going totally potty and I discovered that being a fake professional footballer was not the life I expected it to be. Scoring is not as simple Tony made it look!
Picture: This superb dude hosts a mini Glastonbury music festival in his back garden at Bluebell Hill in Kent. I was honoured with my good friend Kev to host a few years ago where I learnt that hats are not for me.