Chapter 2: ‘Get Jim Duffy telt, Leigh’

Hiya a’ body. It’s me – the bold Leigh Griffiths again. I’d like to say thanks to everyone who added comments to my BBC blog. There’s a couple of points I’d like to address:

To all the United fans who wondered when I’d be signing for them. I can only say, ‘Suck my sex-wang, you filthy Arab bastards.’ As the song goes – there’s only one team in Dundee. There always was and always will be. I’m proud to play for the People’s Club in this fine city and have no intention of ever crossing the street like a Judas/Wilkie bastard.

To, ‘Jocky #1’, who enquired, ‘Wha’s in cherge here?’ I’d like to say – you are boss. You’re in charge here.

Saturday saw us host Glasgow’s finest – the mighty Jags, Partick Thistle. The players gather at Dens mid-morning to begin preparations. Gary Harkins, who hasn’t been shaved for more than 15 hours at this point, gets out a taxi resembling Cousin It from the Addams family. He walks into a lampost and trips over the kerb before his team of barbers get to work and make him presentable. Rab Douglas comes barrelling down Sandeman Street on the back of a shopping trolley full of stolen goods, indicating that far from being as dedicated to training as he appears, he’s merely a common thief. His accomplice, Tony Bullock, isn’t far behind, juggling his way down the road on a unicycle.

At this point on match day we usually head to a local hotel for a nutritious breakfast that will provide a slow-burning release of energy throughout the day. Not so this fine morning. Ray Farningham informs us the boss has a special breakfast lined up, and that we should make our way to the changing room. The players exchange nervous glances.

On entering the changing room we find our glorious leader, Jocky Scott, in a bath overflowing with Rice Crispies and milk. He raises his megaphone to his mouth and bellows, ‘Mornin’ lads. Breakfast time, ya cunts. Snap, crackle and fucking pop. Get tucked in. If it tastes a wee bit of piss take it up with Wiseman’s, no’ me.’ The backroom staff dish out bowls and, in turn, we approach the bath and dip them in. As we do this the gaffer delivers his team talk, which is punctuated by him shouting out quotes from his favourite films. As I tentatively dip my bowl into the bath he puts the megaphone down. ‘Hiya Leigh. Hiya! You’re up against Jim Duffy today. Good defender, but he’s not going to be able to match your pace. Nae bather!’ I decide it would be safer not to mention that Jim Duffy hasn’t played for Partick for about 20 years. As I take my bowl of Rice Crispies and walk off to eat them he’s back on the megaphone hollering, ‘That’s no moon… it’s a space station!’

Ten minutes before kick off and we’re stripped and ready to go. Jocky’s got his top off, singing Beastie Boys songs through his megaphone, ‘We go ooooon! To the break of dawn! Mowing down MC’s like I was mowing the lawn!’ Ray Farningham’s breakdancing on a piece of lino in the middle of the floor. ‘Fucking yaaaaas! Check oot Ray a’body! That’s what em talkin’ aboot!’ The referee sticks his head around the door to tell us it’s time to get out for the game. He looks on agog at the scene before him. Jocky bellows, ‘No! Sleep! ‘Til Brooklyn!’ at him as Ray spins on his head. Lord knows what he must think of us – the champions elect. Jocky’s final words of wisdom are, ‘Right lads, get right in tae these weedgie bastards! Nae prisoners! WHA’S IN FUCKING CHERGE HERE??!!!’ We all shout, ‘YOU ARE BOSS!’ which pleases him no end. ‘That’s what em talkin’ aboot! Yaasssss!’

As we file out into the tunnel Jocky pulls me to one side and passes me a tiny ear-piece. ‘Stick that in yer lug, son. It’ll allow me to talk you throughout the match. Look, there’s a wee microphone attached to my nipple!’ He tweaks his nipple and nods his head, smiling at me disturbingly. I’m extremely apprehensive about this, but I’m scared to refuse.

The game gets underway. ‘Can you hear me, Leigh? Wave at the bench if you can hear me.’ I wave. He waves back. ‘Hiya Leigh. Hiya pal! Right, Duffy appears to be wearing a wig these days. Go and tell him I shagged his wife in 1987. Tell him she was loving her slice of big Jocky. Get him telt, Leigh.’ I walk up to Alan Archibald and deliver the good word. He looks at me like I’m mental. I hear Jocky laughing down the line. ‘Tell him she went first class on the Jocky Express, Leigh! Tell the baldy fucker I pummelled her until her teeth fell out! GET JIM DUFFY TELT, LEIGH!’

Thankfully the ball comes my way at this point. I fire it across goal, and the ball eventually falls to Eric Paton who drives it home – 1-0 Dundee. Jocky tells me he had me down as first goalscorer on his coupon and that I won’t be getting paid for three weeks for fucking his line up.

I didn’t have my best game on Saturday. This may or may not be due to the fact I had the ear-piece in. I spent the game listening to the boss telling me about having to get his car MOTed, taking his cat (also called Jocky) to the vet, and what he was up to on Sunday (playing golf with ex-Dee Stevie Campbell, who Jocky described as, ‘a wee ginger-heided bawbag, but a helluva good golfer’).

Anyway, we won 1-0. A good three points against a tough team. The lads were in high spirits after the game. We pile into the showers and hear the boss in the dressing room shouting, ‘Prepare to feel inferior lads, big Jocky’s coming in to wash his balls.’ He strides in, naked but for a pair of swimming goggles and rubber armbands. ‘Whaur’s Soapy Soutar? Get over here, son. You ken the score.’ Reserve goalkeeper Derek Soutar tentatively approaches the boss. ‘Nae cunt works up a lather like Soapy Soutar. Get stuck in, pal.’ Soutar proceeds to wash the boss with a bar of soap and a scrubbing brush. Jocky stands there with his hands on his hips surveying the shower room. ‘There’s a few no’ bad cocks in here, lads. Looks like em the biggest though, eh? Yaassss! That’s what em talkin’ aboot! Wha’s in cherge here?’

We get dressed and head off home. As I leave the ground I hand the boss my ear-piece. He looks at me and says, ‘Don’t hand it back, pal. Eh dinnae want it back. I want you to keep that in your ear over the weekend. When inspiration strikes, Jocky wants you to hear it. Ken?’ We walk out together. As I wait for my taxi the boss straps on his jetpack and fires it up. ‘Are you needing a lift, Leigh?’ he asks. ‘…Erm, naw, I’m alright boss. Taxi’s booked.’ He shrugs. ‘Nae bather, pal. Mind and keep the ear-piece in now…’ With that he jets off towards the Ferry, a topless, moustachioed lunatic streaking across the sky. Through my ear-piece I hear him singing Rocket Man by Elton John to himself. My taxi pulls up and I retire to my tepee in Caird Park for the evening.

The rest of the night isn’t pleasant. Through the course of the evening I listen in as Jocky Scott eats his tea (‘Stovies! Jocky fucking loves stovies, like. Teckle!’), phones Jim Duffy to apologise for my behaviour during the game, and finally, horrifyingly, makes love to his wife (Ooft!….. Ooft!….. Oh ya fucker, here it comes….. Wha’s in cherge here… Wha’s in cherge here… WHA’S IN FUCKING CHERGE HEREEEEEEEEE?!’). I lie in my sleeping bag with my head in my hands, weeping gently, wondering where it all went wrong. The sound from the ear-piece finally ceases and I close my eyes. As I welcome the silence and relax, I hear Jocky whisper, ‘Did you hear me shagging there, Leigh? That’s what em talkin’ aboot! Night night pal.’

I drift off to sleep praying he doesn’t go for a piss in the middle of the night…

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