Kettering 1 v 0 Yeovil, March 17th 1973
How many will remember Elect Yeovil of the ‘70’s. A well drilled campaign of glossy
brochures, Mr Green ’n’ White and each letter of the slogan lovingly stitched on the
tracksuits of the Town’s stars, so that when they stood in a line at the centre circle,
Elect Yeovil was there for all to see.
The Glovers were losing to Kettering, a club hopeful of league status and who would be
one of our main challengers, when it came to Football League election.
‘Give us a spangle then,’ said the Sage.
‘No spangles today, Sage,’ I said proudly.
‘Eh? No spangles?’
I couldn’t hold my enthusiasm in any longer. I launched into my well-rehearsed schoolboy
plan. I explained to the Sage that I would not be buying Spangles anymore, instead each 5p
piece would be put into a jam jar with a hole in the top kept under my bed. This would
continue until I had a decent sum. This accumulated decent sum would then be judiciously
invested until I was at least a millionaire. And then - and here was the really cunning
bit - I would buy a football team.
‘Oh yeah, ’ said the Sage somewhat tolerantly as Chris Weller fell over.
Not just a team but an entire club.... not Yeovil but a really small club like Odcombe
and in recognition of where it had all come from I would give them a slightly unusual name
like Odcombe and Spangles ( I was particularly pleased with the 'and' bit). I would build an
incredible new stadium, all seats, all under cover, it would even have an electric score
board and probably its own radio station. Further more, all my players would be full time.
I would buy internationals, Pele, Gordan Banks and almost certainly Bobby Moore and
through my hard saved Spangle money we would rifle up through the Yeovil and District
Leagues, win all the championships, get elected to the Football League and in ten years
time win the First Division, F.A. cup and European League and Odcombe and Spanlges would
become the first team in the world to win absolutely everything.
I sat back and waited for Sage Seth to comprehend the stunning enormity of my plan.
‘And then what'? said the Sage after a pause.
‘Well, we’d be happy,’ I speculated.
‘So that’s it, is it? You’d be happy because you were the Jason who bought the Golden
Fleece. Have I taught you nothing? That’s a pretend club, son. A made up football club. You
can’t buy a club son, you’ve got to build a club on blood and sweat and tears. This club’s
crap but it’s ours. I’ve watched the Glovers for fifty years. I dug the railway sleepers in
before the Sheffield Wednesday game. I cycled to Street to see Alec Stock’s heroes lose.
I’ve even got my Chrysanthemums growing on the old Pen Mill ground. I’ve moaned and groaned
with each of these ugly buggers around me for the last fifty years. It might have been a
grim and dreadful experience but its real. And when, maybe just one day, some small crumb
of success might be thrown our way, we’ll know that that success is ours to hold on to for
one, lonely fleeting moment and us Argonauts will have truly won our Golden Fleece because
its ours by right.... not because we bought it.
'No, son you go off and start up your Odcombe and Spangles and good luck to you. And
you’ll not be alone there'll be plenty that follow you and jump on your bandwagon. I expect
they’ll be three parts of the buggers here today following Odcombe and Spangles to the F.A.
Cup final.... but when they see that cup lifted there'll be a little voice deep down in
their hearts telling them that they’ve not sweated for this, it’s not real, it’s a made up
football club and their happiness is all pretend.’
I went down to the tea bar and bought a packet of Spangles.
(Incidentally, as the game was at Kettering there were a large number of Kettering fans
that heard the Sage's speech that day. In fact it was nice to recognise some of them at
Huish Park when we played Rushden.)
More of the thoughts of Sage Seth - the Green and White Guru will be
revealed as the season progresses.