This isn’t a traditional Strikerless post, as in that it is a story. A brilliant story I might add. It is also someone else’s work, namely an author operating under the pseudonym of Vic Flange, so I do not want to take credit for something I have not written. The story was written back in 2005 and posted on the TheDugout community forums. With TheDugout dying a slow death, I would hate to see this story lost in the annals of internet history, as it is truly the best (and most disturbing) piece of Football Manager fiction I have ever read. I hope you enjoy the story as much as I do, as I will be posting regular updates every week.
The football song (or chant, as it is known by some with less than angelic voices) is an integral part of the modern game. Mass singing of popular ditties hit the big time in the 1960s when mop-topped scousers swayed rhythmically on the Kop during half-time mass singalongs of Beatles offerings. However, as the Beat-less moved on into the realms of pseudo-psychedelia, the Kop-tops finally latched onto the moribund “You’ll never walk alone” as the anthem of their team. The song went on to spawn a thousand variations at grounds across the world, including the inevitable “you’ll never work/walk/wank again” versions.
Not all football songs were as emotive; some were just plain monotonous chants. Millwall fans incessantly drone “No one likes us, we don’t care”, which raises the question why, if they really don’t care, they harp on about it endlessly! Portsmouth fans mimic the Pompei Chimes in a parrot-like fashion. Leeds fans ensure you remember who they are with their extremely irritating “We are Leeds, We are Leeds, We are Leeds, etc.”, and fans of Arsenal pucker up and sing out about their less than savoury love of small boys in tight shorts.
However, there is one football song that truly tugs at the heartstrings; that brings a lump to throat and a tear to the eye of even the most hardened hard-man from hard city. The tune it is set to comes from a mysterious and distant age, and carries with it a haunting sense of foreboding. As if that is not enough, the words – the modern words, that is, used in a football sense – tell a tragic tale of despair and loss; the misery, pain and struggle required to create the foundations upon which men can rebuild their broken lives; a dirge to the human qualities long since forgotten or abandoned in an increasingly materialistic world.
Even in translation from the Serbian mother tongue, the tale that is told fills the coldest heart with woe, as the singers intone: “Come sister, shave off that beard and put on your cardboard shoes, our friends and family are dead, our country ruined. Take a bite of the turnip and a drink of turps, my heart is as empty as the Deterlinari stadium”. The song goes on to describe how a weary few, battered and bruised but not defeated in spirit, take turns on the sister, and breed a superior bunch of men who then take back their heritage, restoring their culture and national pride. The final line of the song, however, hides a dark secret. The sister who begat the warrior men had a club foot, and forever the Novi Sad football team, the fruit of her loins who play at the aforementioned Deterlinari stadium, will subsequently be crap, and will serve as a reminder of the black days the region once went through.
I know all about this song because I have heard the maudlin bastards singing it in the run up to the pre-season friendlies, week in and week out. Christ alone knows what joyous variations we’ll be hearing as the season proper starts.
NB. As I said before, this is not my own work. It is Vic Flange’s. The original work can be found on TheDugout, right here. TheDugout is dying, so I’m rescuing the story and giving it the attention it deserves.