The Independent London Newspaper
26th April 2019

SCORE BLIMEY: Welcome back! The return of the long lost Liverpool fans

    Richard Osley

    Published: 10 November, 2016

    HE false smiles of Amanda Holden just won’t do. I need more.

    Ant and Dec can do the right levels of happy I’m looking for, but not the sad bits. I don’t want Pip Schofield, he’s a bit pompous; not sure he even likes football anyhow. 

    Dermot O’Leary: too big (fame, not height). Nick Knowles: too small (fame, not height). Gaby Roslin: too mumsy, leave her to her lottery balls. Zoë Ball: too downright annoying, bangs on about herself all day. Denise van Outen: too retro. 

    No, for the new BAFTA-winning television programme I’m working on, only Davina McCall will do. We need someone who can scrunch up her face and, depending on the moment, unravel it into a perfect picture of ecstasy or despair. 

    Call her, she’d be perfect for this one, it’s provisionally titled “Long Lost Football Fan”. The premise is simple but wonderful: Davina reunites Liverpool fans who have not been seen since Graeme Souness signed Neil Ruddock. 

    They hold back their tears as they talk to a camera about how they had wasted years of their lives hiding, or babbling on about money and Sky TV ruining football throughout the 1990s and 2000s, and the game not being as pure as it was in the 1980s, when their team was winning everything. 

    “Liverpool spent millions and millions and millions of pounds on players but they didn’t win the league, so that didn’t count as money ruining football,” Ziggy from Grange Hill will tell Davina.

    “Now, though, it just feels right to come back and join all the banter again. The club has spent millions and millions and millions of more pounds again, but somehow the game seems pure again at the moment and not ruined by money at all. Oh, and the team is playing great too.” 

    Davina scrunches her face and a worried frown comes out of the jumble. “Are you sure you are ready?,” she’ll whisper, “are you sure you are ready to talk about football in the pub again after so many years of saying you’d lost interest because of Sky? Are you sure sure? Because while you’ve been away, well a few things have changed a bit since the 1980s: now we’ve got a reactionary Republican president of the United States, physical walls are going to divide nations and (ED... cut this passage out, we agreed no more laboured switcharoos or self-satisfied zingers about things not to do with football). 

    Sinbad from Brookside will reply: “I think... I think, Davina, we are ready”. An Atomic Kitten nods. One of the sons from Bread breaks down in tears. Emotional music will play, probably something by Elbow – it usually is. And then Davina will stand and tell a studio audience with her face beaming: “Ladies and gentlemen, they’ve been gone a long, long time so they are being very brave. But please, please welcome back THE LIVERPOOL FANS.”

    Send your views to Sports, 40 Camden Road, NW1 9DR or email



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