There are many questions facing me regarding QPR at the moment, including: 1) Will we ever get back to the Premiership?; 2) Will we still be playing at Loftus Road in 10-20 years time?; 3) Why does the Bloke with the Big Gob (BBG) always sit within five yards of me?
Being an old git, I’ve been going to Rangers for 40-odd years now, and my earliest memories of the BBG are when Mark Lazarus was playing right-wing for us. (For you young ’uns, that’s a football position, rather than a political stance.) The BBG in question was stood behind us on the South Africa Road terrace and insisted on laughing just a bit TOO loudly every time Lazza pissed all over some hapless Third Division left-back “HooHooHOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!” in a really high-pitched voice, which was inappropriate given that the BBG was about 19 stone. Every week he was there.
The next memory - and some of my fellow old gits might remember this one - was a night game v Hull City when Terry Neill got sent off. To this day, I reckon the BBG got him sent off. I think this was early 70s and we had it in for Neill because he’d kicked Rodney Marsh all over the park one time. Also he himself was a BBG who would always give it that (at this point you have to use your right hand to mime a mouth jabbering away. Yes, like that... that’s it...) to referees. Every time he came anywhere near the touchline, he was getting slaughtered by the crowd in the traditional manner, and just as the noise dropped a little, there was the BBG, again just behind me, to shout “Yeeeeeeeeew facking waaaaaaaaankerrrrrrrrrr, Neill!!!!!!!!!!” eventually resulting in the red mist descending. Neill lost it big-time - and the referee, presumably to protect ol’ Tel from more abuse, offered him the sanctuary of an early bath.
BBG’s can also be female, of course, and my worst experience of the Bird with the Big Gob (behave!) was at Luton, before the away fans were banned. It started like a dream. Looking around in the away section in that poxy ground, to see where my seat was. Spied this gorgeous blonde sitting at the end of a row, and said to my mate: “That seat’ll do me, right there!” Couldn’t believe my luck... 30 seconds later, I’m sitting next to Miss QPR, who indeed has the seat adjacent to mine. On her own, in the last seat against the side of the stand. It would have been impolite not to strike up a conversation with her - and so I did. Things were going well. She lived in Watford. I was going back to Watford after the game. I lost total interest in my mate’s conversation... sorry, Steve, you know how it is.
And then the game kicked off. Jesus wept. Right from the kick-off, she was at the players: “Allen, you f*****g c**t, get in the “f*****g game!!!” This was after about two minutes. Every decision given by the referee and linesmen was questioned with maximum obscenity. “Referee, you f*****g c**t. How can you f*****g see that, you f*****g c**ting c**t???!!!” She was possessed. I think we actually won the game and I seem to remember that f*****g c**t Clive Allen scored the winner. At half-time, she was as nice as pie. Talk about a split personality. And, no, I didn’t make any attempt to see her safely home to Watford - although I couldn’t help wondering, as you do, what she was like when she was... er, you know... not, er, at the football.
BBG stories sometimes work out very well, though. At Anfield one year, with a mate and my Dad, we were in the enclosure at the side of the pitch, stood behind four Scouse BBGs, who spent most of the game having a right go at Stan Bowles. We kept our mouths shut. They didn’t seem like the sort of blokes you’d want to disagree with, and then Emlyn Hughes - rest his soul - steamed into Stan right in front of us.
Well, me and Dad couldn’t hold it, so we turned into BBGs: “You dirty bastard, Hughes. Get him off the f*****g pitch, ref, the dirty git!” The look of horror on my mate’s face as these Scousers in front turned around to face us: “Yew lot Cockneys or wha?” (You know, the way Scousers leave that ‘t’ off the end of ‘what’.) We could hardly deny it, so I said, “Yeah?” (You know, that way you do when you’re with your Dad - even though I was in my 20s.)
“Eh that Bowles is a great player inne? F*****g magic...” We then had the best football chat you could imagine. These boys had been all over Europe watching Liverpool. They knew their stuff, went right through our team, knew all about our players. Thought I was going to get the biggest kicking of my life, and it turned out like that.
Not so good on the other side of Stanley Park, when the BBG turned out to be an Everton steward. Paul Parker was all over Tony Cottee this particular game. Cottee never got a kick. All of a sudden this bloke says loudly. “Coom on Cottee, he’s only a f*****g ******!”
Since I am a reasonable man, I quite reasonably told him to stick his poxy racist opinions up his poxy arse - to which he took some exception, threatening to have me ejected from the stadium. “Go on then!” I told him. “And then it’ll all kick off here. There’ll be f*****g seats on the pitch and everything. Is THAT what you want?” I bluffed. He didn’t want that apparently.
I don’t get to so many games now, due to work, and where I sit isn’t too bad for BBG’s, although there are a couple who are extremely vociferous in their criticism of our manager. And when I go away, I can bet there’ll be one person - and he won’t make himself known until kick-off - who will turn out to be a BBG. Had one at Watford this year. He wanted to argue with everyone in the ground about... well, everything.
There is one bloke I see all the time. Home or away, he’s there, a definite BBG if ever I heard one. You can always hear him above the crowd: “Kick up the R’s, brand new edition,” he goes...
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