Chapter 3: ‘You’ve no scored for a while. Nae bather’

I’ve been giving myself a hard time about my lack of goals recently. I set myself high standards and when a few games go by without hitting the back of the net it dents my confidence a bit. Self-doubt starts to set in and that’s never a good thing for a footballer.

Our glorious leader, the ‘man in cherge’ himself, the bold Jocky Scott, must have picked up on my dip in form and mood because he let me play a key role in Monday’s training session. It’s a familiar routine and a much-loved ritual we all enjoy immensely. As the players play British Bulldogs in front of the Main Stand a giant cannon is wheeled out into the centre circle. The perma-topless Jocky gets his megaphone out and announces it’s time for the weekly attack on Tannadice. We gather round the cannon and watch in awe as Eddie Malone is stripped to his pants, greased up, and issued with a crash helmet bearing the legend, ‘ONE TEAM IN DUNDEE.’ He is then loaded into the cannon and given a large hunting knife, which he clasps between his teeth. Jocky proclaims, ‘Lads, it’s that time of the week when we get United telt by firing Eddie into Tannadice. Those tangerine-wearing fuckers are over there thinking they rule the roost in this toon. DO THEY FUCK, LADS! DO THEY FUCKING FUCK! THERE’S ONLY ONE TEAM IN DUNDEE AND THIS IS HOW WE REMIND THEM IT’S ONLY A MATTER OF TIME BEFORE WE’RE PUMPING THEIR ARSE FOUR TIMES A SEASON AGAIN! YAAAASSSSSSSSSSSS!’ We all cheer. As far as motivational techniques go it’s highly unconventional, but firing a semi-naked, knife-wielding Eddie Malone from a cannon into the midst of United’s training session at Tannadice is one heck of a team building exercise.

Eddie is primed and ready to go. Jocky looks at me and announces, ‘Lads, has everyone met Leigh Griffiths? He’s been playing up front for us this season, a’ cunt should ken him by now. Leigh – I want you to light the fuse that fires Eddie this week. Get up here, cunt face.’ What an honour. What a lovely gesture by the boss. As I approach the cannon Jocky puts an arm round me, ‘Nae bather, Leigh. You ken the score. I want to have a wee heart-to-heart with you later on. We’ll hae a good blether, like. It’ll be pure teckle like, nae doubt about it.’ He gives me a playful slap in the face and hands me a lighter, ‘You all set Eddie?’

‘Fuck aye man,’ bellowed Eddie. ‘Let me at the cunts. Yas!’ I light the fuse and stand back. As it burns down Jocky bellows, ‘WHA’S IN FUCKING CHERGE HERE, UNITED? WOOT-WOOT! THAT’S WHAT EM TALKIN’ ABOOT!’

BOOM! Eddie shoots out and arcs over Sandeman Street. He drops down over the Fair Play Stand, ‘Good shot, Leigh,” screamed Jocky. ‘Good fucking shot ya teepee-dwelling bastard!’ Jocky’s clearly delighted with this crazy behaviour. He rips his tracksuit bottoms off, revealing his Soapy Soutar-washed cock and balls and screams, ‘FOLLOW ME, A’ BODY! TO EDDIE! THUNDERCATS – HOOOOOO!’ With that war cry he charges off out the side of the Shankly end towards Tannadice. The players let out a roar and follow.

There’s chaos outside Tannadice; the United players have been chased off the pitch, out the stadium, and are running for their lives. Eddie’s running them up the road waving his big knife. The stark bollock naked Jocky Scott meets them head-on. He delivers a savage flying clothesline on David Goodwillie, nearly decapitating him. He stands over him singing, ‘So Watcha’ Want?’ by the Beastie Boys through his megaphone. The Arabs scatter and flee in every direction. Victory! Eddie is carried shoulder high back into Dens. Jocky loads him back into the cannon and fires him at the Hilltown multis in order to tackle social depravation. Never let it be said that Dundee FC don’t do their bit for the local community.

I get changed after training and head to Jocky’s office. There’s a note pinned to the door:

‘Hiya Leigh. Hiya pal! There’s a taxi waiting for you outside. Jump in it, ya wee fanny.

Love, Jocky x

PS – Wha’s in cherge here?’

I walk out the ground and sure enough there’s a cab waiting – I hop in. The driver looks round and tells me Jocky is waiting for me, and that I should sit back and enjoy the ride.

The taxi drives north out the city. I sit back and wonder where the boss is, exactly. I venture a question to the driver, ‘Here mate, where are we going?’ He responds by giving me the finger and driving on, saying nothing. We drive for more than an hour through the scenic Sidlaw hills and beyond. The taxi stops at the bottom of a hill. The driver tells me to get out. I do so and find a cow with the words, ‘Hiya Leigh. Hiya pal! Walk to the top of the hill ya ugly fuck,’ painted on its side. I hike up the hill. I reach the summit and, lo and behold, there’s Jocky. He’s sitting cross-legged over a ouija board. He motions me to sit down.

‘Put your finger on the glass pal. This is pure mental.’ I put my finger on the shot glass that Jocky’s using to direct the communication from the spirit world. He speaks in hushed tones. ‘Ow, spirit world: is there any cunt there?’ The glass moves unprompted to ‘yes’ on the ouija board. Freaky stuff. Jocky continues, ‘Ow, spirit world: wha’s in cherge here?’ The glass moves slowly to J. Then O. Then C, and so forth. ‘That’s what em talkin’ aboot ya cunt!’ Jocky picks up the glass and throws it off the top of the hill into the heather below.

‘Hiya Leigh. Hiya! You’ve no scored for a while. Nae bather. Fuck it…’

He gets up, straps on his jetpack, and fires it up. ‘See ya later, Leigh! I have every confidence in you, ya mad vagina.’

With that he takes off and scorches across the sky back towards Dundee. I’m left at the top of the hill wondering what the fuck just happened, and how I’m going to get home. Every day is an adventure when you play for Dundee. Help me, Jesus…

Please help me.

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