Ref! On Jurassic strikers

The candid thoughts of former Premier League referee Colin Preece, as recorded by our eavesdropping mole in the Duck and Peasant.


Evening lads. Hey, Baz, you had a phone call from Roy Hodgson yet? Because you had a good game yesterday in your Sunday league, didn’t you? Everybody’s talking about it, mate. Me and Jody were out for a walk in the afternoon and bumped into your Mum and Dad and they told me your striker had a torn stag party ligament so they played you up front.

Two goals, yes, that’s what they said. So I immediately got on the phone to Roy and put your name forward for the Euros this summer. I’m serious, Dave, if Andy Carroll has one good game  after years of nothing and people are calling for him to go, why not Baz? Especially as the squad is now open to players from the lower leagues.

Vardy and Alli made the transition no sweat, so Baz Parkinson from the Carshalton Cobras could do it too. Think of the publicity. Hodgson the visionary, that’s how I put it to him. No, I didn’t get through to him personally, of course not, but I got my message across, don’t worry. No, Ray Lewington didn’t answer the phone either. I sent Roy a Whatsapp, as it happens. Today’s form of communication, Dave. I suppose you’re still stuck in the age of the fax, but since I met Jody I’ve joined the modern world, mate. You can send all sorts – it’s a very secure system. So there’s no worries about the media getting hold of the story.

Or the police, no, but why would they… oh, I see. That’s what you use it for, is it? Trying to get the barmaid to send you pictures of her drawers. Yeah, well some of us are still decent, mate.

Cheers, Gary, just get us a bag of dry-roasted. No, no drink. Well it’s not obligatory, is it? I’m taking it easy, nothing wrong with that, is there? Weird? What’s weird about it?

Anyway, so Baz for England. There’s a certain mentality, isn’t there, that says you’ve got to have a big centre forward on the bench so that late in the game if you’re desperate you can abandon the fancy stuff you’ve been cultivating for years and just bang long balls into the box and hope your trained giraffe gets his head above their earthbound colossus.

Poetry, it’s called, Baz. Some of us are born with images flowing from our mouths, but you can understand what I’m saying, can’t you? That’s right, I’m not really suggesting you should play for England; I’m being ironic. I’m drawing attention to the fact that there’s this outdated way of thinking that comes up again every time there’s a tournament squad to pick. England managers have been doing it for decades. Emile Heskey, Peter Crouch, Long John bloody Silver.

Bring on the big guy with 10 minutes to go. That’ll surprise the fancy continentals, they won’t know what’s hit them when we stop playing football and start that lark.

They’ve been talking about the embarrassment of riches we’ve got up front right now and suddenly they want to squeeze one of them out and put a dinosaur in there. No, Baz, I’m not calling you a dinosaur. You’re post-Jurassic, just.



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