Part One of a reading from Danny Blanchfowler, A Life In Football – a pamphlet (out of print) published in 1991 by the Malice Aforethought Press.
This episode was recorded on the 29th May 2008. For more information please visit Frank Key’s Hooting Yard website. Accompanying Hooting Yard On The Air, the two publications Unspeakable Desolation Pouring Down From The Stars and Befuddled By Cormorants are available for purchase.
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i knew danny in the last month of his life. i was an overstressed, underpaid care assistant at the hospital ward for distressed eldergentlefolks that he was unlucky enough to pitch up in at the sad end of his marvellous life.
i know very little about football, but was impressed when an equally venerable (and confused) irish lady, who had been eyeing him oddly for hours, suddenly asked (with a penetrating belfast twang) “Are you Danny Blancheflower?” He affirmed this, although the poor chap was barely able to string a coherent thought together by then. Thereafter, she was like a coquettish kitten whenever he was around.
THe next day I went to a library and found a picture of him hoisting aloft the (FA, was it?) cup.
I took it to work, and said “Look, Danny, it’s you!”
He had no idea what he was looking at.
I remember his feet; I washed them often enough (a great honour, I’ve since come to understand); great hefty slabs.
By the way, Frank, I’ve become hooked on your podcasts, exiled as I am to Hamburg, and burdened with a job that has me hurtling around the city on various forms of public transport. “Schmulzeling” (one for you there, mate, stick it in a story, please!) in public notwithstanding, your wonderful prose has kept me insane.
your obediant servant,