Belfast Telegraph

To Hull and back with Jeff and the boys

By Billy Weir

With the Premier League's finish ending up more damp that a squid's undergarments, it was refreshing that the Championship reached such a chaotic conclusion on Saturday.

The final hour of the regular season was an adrenalin-filled roller-coaster of a ride of despair and joy, and that was just in the Sky Sports studio as Jeff Stelling and the boys put in an early shift on Soccer Saturday.

Tuning in for the second-half it didn't take long for the screaming to start, Charlie Nicholas, out of shot, yelling 'chance, chance' and my initial thought was an impromptu game of Monopoly had kicked off.

Of course, we're dealing in that type of money, news of Hull's German striker Nick Proschwitz's miss at the KC and The Sunshine Band Stadium, not going down well with Jeff.

"I don't want to put too much onus on the boy, but is that the £100m miss?" he pondered, to snorts of derision from Charlie, Alan McIlnally, Phil Thompson and Matt Le Tissier.

"It's called building the drama up, for goodness sake," he said, but there was no need, the goals were doing that, especially when Germany's finest showed he wouldn't give it up at the KC by scoring a £100m goal.

At the other end it was just as exciting, Iain Dowie covering Huddersfield v Barnsley and when it went to 2-2 he was making noises only decipherable to dolphins. If only he was as good looking.

In the end they survived, meaning the relegation of Bristol City, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Peterborough or The Robins, Wolves and Posh – a bird of a very different kind.

At the other end, the Tigers of Hull were forced to wait an agonising quarter of an hour as Watford's Hornets buzzed around looking for a goal that would take them up to second.

"They need two goals, Jeff," panted Thompson.

"They need one goal, they need to score one goal," Jeff pointed out helpfully.

"I'm frazzled, Jeff," came the reply and we all shared in his pain as Jeff explained that Gianfranco Zola's team were throwing the 'Italian equivalent of the kitchen sink' at Leeds.

Much chortling from his cohorts but not to be beaten he returned shortly after having checked his Big Boy's Book of Italian Football Clichés to point out that Watford were chucking the lavello della cucina at Leeds but unfortunately hadn't noticed their own keeper's gloves were marigolds as the ball slipped into the net.

Much pandemonium ensued in the corridors of the KC, players did a little dance, made a little love, and ensured they got up tonight, while Steve Bruce, looking more like Mrs Brown by the minute, went for a lie down in a darkened room.

There was a chance to actually see how the day unfolded on the Beeb's Football League Show much later presented by Manish Bhasin (or Manish lavabo del bagno, if he was Italian) but the drama had long since disappeared.

Not even the much-missed final day flitting around from one ground to another could recapture the drama of the KC, Jeff and the lads, but maybe that's just the way I like it.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph