Daniel Chapman | Writing etc

The Diary of Gary McSheffrey: Part 3

31st January Transfer deadline day again. Doyler phones to say he’s heard more rumours linking me to Old Trafford, but yet again Jim White fails to mention potentially the biggest transfer of the day on Sky Sports News. I phoned the complaints hotline and asked for Leanne, but apparently she’s changed jobs since the last transfer window. Apparently she also left word that I’m not to know where she works now, which is just typical of her obstructive attitude.

1st February I knew this day would come! Doyler called from Sheffield, and as usual was reading the BBC Football website to me down the phone, when the news broke that Simon Grayson had been sacked. Ha! Up yours, Harry Grayson! It didn’t take long to prove McSheffrey was right: just twenty months after refusing to sign GOAL MACHINE, Cry-mon Grayson is TOAST.

2nd February Been on the phone to Sky’s complaints line, asking why nobody has called for my views on Nobber Grayson’s sacking. That’s a basic lack of respect from Sky, if you ask me. I pretended to be Doyler, but they still wouldn’t tell me where Leanne has moved to.

3rd February Looking at some of the names in the frame for the Leeds job. Seems everyone wants to follow Wacko Grayson. Some big names linked: Neil Warnock, who has always rated me; Lee Clark, who I’m told sees me as an ideal replacement for Jordan Rhodes; Sven-Goran Eriksson, who only overlooked me for England because he thought I was Scottish.

4th February Got my application in for the Leeds job. Player-managers are out of fashion these days, but as I said on my application form: ‘GOAL MACHINE is just the (player) MAN(ager) to bring the eighties back.’ I’ve told Doyler that I’ll make him my first signing. The dream team reunited!

6th February What a coincidence! Leanne works on reception at Leeds now. Found out by accident when I phoned to ask why they hadn’t announced my appointment yet. She said something about a restraining order and I never did get an update on my application. Doyler’s mum said Leanne doesn’t sound like she’s worth GOAL MACHINE’s time, and she isn’t putting this call on my bill. If only there were more landladies like Doyler’s mum. Told her to put everything she has on me for the Leeds job: well, why shouldn’t she benefit from an insider tip?

8th February Apparently Ken Bates has been slagging off Sven Eriksson, saying he won’t get the Leeds job because he’s a danger to women. He might have said Sven, but I think we all know he really meant GOAL MACHINE, right ladies? We play Leeds next week, and I’m looking forward to discussing transfer targets with Ken.

14th February Valentines Day, and I kick aside the flood of cards on my doormat. Sorry girls, but GOAL MACHINE has the hottest date in Coventry tonight: a hot date with Ken Bates, and destiny!

15th February Well, as job interviews go, that was impeccable. Not just one penalty, but two – that’s FIVE GOALS this season for GOAL MACHINE. After each goal I lifted my shirt and ran to the director’s box. I’d copied some diagrams from that Zonal Marking website in felt tip on my chest, to demonstrate how I combine goalscoring with tactical nous. There was no sign of Bates though, and I was told later that he’s in South Africa. That can only improve my chances – Doyler’s mum bought me three copies of ‘Free Nelson Mandela’ from Woolies back in 1984. The night ended badly though: Ken wasn’t there, but that Leanne bird was, and she’s had me done for indecent exposure. Indecent! As if exposure to the chest of GOAL MACHINE could ever be called indecent!

16th February Still waiting for Doyler’s mum to get here with the bail money. Apparently she’s busy arguing with the bookies.


From The Square Ball magazine 2011/12 issue seven.