Belfast Telegraph

Billy Weir on the box: Decency out the window

By Billy Weir

By now the yellow ties are back draped over the banisters of homes across the country while frocks of a similar hue have returned into the wardrobes of the assorted Sky lovelies who had been prised into them on Monday afternoon.

Yes, Deadline Day has been and gone, the transfer window closing with a resounding bong of Big Ben at 11.00pm and no more dealing to be done until January.

Well, not quite, given that the big signings weren't completed until well into Tuesday and it was nearer Wednesday before Aston Villa moved a step closer towards preparing for life in the Championship with the capture of Tom Cleverley.

It's a busy day for players, agents and managers across the globe but to be honest they're all only killing time until Jim White makes his appearance, flanked by two lovelies in yellow this year with Natalie Sawyer and Kate Abdo.

Every reporter at every ground had been provided with a yellow tie, they were filled full of Red Bull and pizzas and prepared for whatever was about to be thrown at them.

"It looks like it's about to take off," warned Jim, more filled with White Bull if we're being harsh, and within 11 minutes things were starting to liven up, as a man, and it was all too apparent he was a man, appeared at Loftus Road in a yellow Morph suit. It was never like this on Take Hart.

He was well-behaved, but up at Everton, things were to take a rather awkward turn as parents across the land tried in vain to convince their children that the purple cylindrical object that a cheeky Scouser had stuck in reporter Alan Irwin's lug was, in fact, a spaceship. More sex toy story and light years away from the truth, buzzing or not.

"Lots of excited supporters out there, if you see or hear anything offensive we apologise for that," apologised Natalie, whose red cheeks clashed slightly with her yellow frock.

Back to QPR and reporter Gary Cotterill had hoped the introduction of the referee's disappearing free-kick spray would work. It may get players back 10 yards, however threats of yellow cards brought mumbled swearing and rude hand gestures, but no spaceships.

"If there was anything you saw or heard that was offensive, we apologise," said Natalie again, while Jim seemed blissfully oblivious to the obscenities filling the airwaves.

"Little pockets of people all around the country indulging in some chanting and singing – it's Deadline Day," he yelled with delight and then we were off to West Ham and our own Paul Gilmour.

The cherubic-faced one had emerged unscathed from earlier in the day when being stalked by a scary-looking bearded man in a West Ham shirt, and I don't mean Frank Lampard Snr, and things seemed to be going smoothly, before he was interrupted, very rudely, by what can only be described as an utter cretin.

"We do apologise for any offensive language you may have heard there," said Paul, before Natalie could, and yes he may have been embarrassed, even angry, but he became a man in the eyes of he who really matters.

"Paul Gilmour, true professional, didn't flinch," said a proud Jim, and looking for some respite we went to Aston Villa and Mark McAdam, joined by a seemingly amiable group including a wee woman in a cardigan holding a Pug in a Villa top. What could go wrong?

Quite a lot as it happened as things quickly got out of hand as Mark was being poked in the head by an inflatable doll before the same bad words used in front of wee Paul were uttered again.

This brought a sharp intake of breath from Jim back in the studio, Natalie's cheeks were now purple, like a, well, never mind, and Jim attempted to rescue her blushes.

"We apologise for what you saw and heard at Aston Villa, it's that time of the night, isn't it?" he said, before we joined Big Ben to bring an end to proceedings at 11.00pm.

"What an extraordinary transfer window it has been," gasped Bryan Swanson but it was far from over, as Jim took his life in his hands by heading back to Everton where our intrepid reporter was now surrounded by more security than at your average NATO conference.

He had little to say, still in deep shock, and at last, back at QPR Gary Cotterill, who had almost been mowed down by Harry Redknapp in his motor earlier as he refused to talk, talked, and satisfied all of us playing 'Arry Transfer Deadline Day Bingo.

You know that at some stage during the day, or night, 'Arry when talking about a player will use the immortal words 'he's a fantastic boy' and you win a prize of your choosing. No, leave the purple thing down.

And on it went past the bewitching hour, Natalie exited frontline duties to be replaced in the apologetic seat by Kate, as we eagerly awaited confirmation of the night's biggest deals.

They finally arrived, well into Tuesday, Danny Welbeck to Arsenal (there is a God) and Radamel 'not Mark' Falcao to Man Utd, while Paul Lambert's move for the Pug fell through and he signed Cleverley instead.

And as the lunatics return to the asylum, putting their rude things back in the rude cupboard, what is there left to say, other than for Jim to be turned down back to 11 and Natalie with nothing to apologise for until January when the madness and mayhem will return.

The good, the bad and the ugly

THE GOOD: Jamie Redknapp had an unusual analogy for the arrival of mad Mario Balotelli at Liverpool in Sky’s Super Sunday offering. “When you go to the supermarket and things are on at half price, there’s normally a reason,” he reasoned. He joined for £16m — if that’s cheap, the lovely Louise has been telling him a few porkies about the housekeeping.

THE BAD: It speaks volumes that the best things about Soccer AM on Saturday were Jamie Redknapp (on his way to the supermarket probably) and a piece where Neil Ruddock won a staring contest with Adebayo Akinfenwa. I don’t know what they get at the supermarket but it looks like quite a lot, even at half price.

THE UGLY: What’s that you say, A League of Their Own is back? And it had Judy Murray joining up with James Corden, Jamie Redknapp (remember him?), Jake Whitehall and Frank Lampard was on too? As my Aunt Mabel says, if you’ve nothing nice to say, say nothing.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph