Sunday, 16 January 2011
Nah na nah nah, nah na nah nah, Hey, Heyaah, what a...
The following article appeared in the Sunday Telegraph in 1989.
CULT STATUS: 25 - BLOW-UP FRUIT
Rattles and scarves are old hat among the followers of the new-look Football League. Today's fans prefer to leave home equipped with inflatable fruit, preferably bananas, with which to demonstrate their approval of the skills deployed on the park.
Suddenly, bananas are everywhere. Like gigantic market stalls come to life, the terraces are burgeoning with six-foot finger fruits. The Mexican Wave has given way to the Tropical Tribute.
It began, so legend has it, with the arrival of a lone banana at Manchester City's Maine Road. The reason was the appearance of a talented player, Imre Varadi, known to the aficionados as `Imre Banana'.
The dirigible digit with which he was applauded was an immediate hit, and soon the yellow peril had reached Arsenal - inflatable cannons must have been too difficult to make. At West Ham, however, blow-up hammers were soon making their impact felt, while at Grimsby the air-filled fish surfaced. Bury's bloody response was the world's first black pudding blimp.
League officials were nonplussed. Bananas were mushrooming to the extent that a view of the pitch - and the action between the goalposts - could only be obtained from the touchline. Spectators were even turning up at the turnstiles carrying children's inflatable dinghies and airbeds.
There was no alternative. Police sent in the Ludicrous Crimes Squad and began to confiscate the offensive fruit, and soon the sight of a billowing banana may be as rare as a bottle of scotch in the Ayatollah's cocktail cabinet. A sad day indeed for the seriously silly.
(Just to prove that Scrobs is not just a grumpy old man who hates football. He's just been reading the obit for Nat Lofthouse, who was never a 'Jodrell Banker', but he was a damn good centre forward).