I am not what I would call a ‘man’s man’; I don’t do all that ‘we’re all lads together, let’s get hopelessly drunk and celebrate our manliness’ stuff that others tend to do.

In my misspent youth I could have qualified for the Olympic Drinking Team, as others will attest, but these days I fall at the third pint hurdle. Probably the alcohol conflicts with the pain-killers I take daily for my wrecked spine. But even in my drinking days I was not the typical man.

Tonight I demonstrated my lack of male credential: we were in a pub in Bournemouth. The Cardiff vs Reading match was on and the Welsh chap with us was almost weeping at the sight of his team being slaughtered.I happened to say, “On fashion grounds alone, Cardiff should win.”

Every one looked at me like I was mad.

“Ah, come on,” I urged. “The Welsh are in blue and white, and Reading’s uniform is black shirt and red shorts. They look stupid.”

What was my mistake? What did everyone pick up on? Was it the fashion statement?


Apparently, soccer teams don’t wear uniform, they wear a strip.

Did I mention that I don’t do football?