Thank God it’s Monday. By goodness but today has dragged its heels in arriving, but at long last it‘s here! Now we can all put our agendas to bed so to speak and, even if it’s only for a week or two - though clearly one aspires to a somewhat lengthier stay (smile) - we can join shoulders and root for the common good; the thing we’re all here for. The football.
But enough of that. As I wandered through the charming alleyways and backstreets off Swetego Krzy, I was pleasantly surprised by the sheer proliferation of dapper little men favouring highly back-combed, exquisitely blow-waved hairstyles. Most of these men were under five-foot-five - yet they carried their voluminous bouffant with a carefree aplomb, not to say a certain swagger. Now, as many of you - if not most of you - will appreciate, Polska is not my mother tongue (smile). Nevertheless, not for nothing have I managed to a very high level not to say some degree of success in various countries (citation needed).
Therefore, though naturally cautious in outlook, it has been noted by many that a spirit of adventure drips through me. It was just such gay abandon that led me to approach one such fellow - so short in stature that his bouffant barely grazed my nipple, yet as elegant as a Sutton Grande Dame - and in the calm and assured manner Bevington has now instilled in me, I bade him share the secret of his excellent quiff. At first, I thought the little chappie had taken offence. He raised his fists as though to engage me in fisticuffs, but once I had swiftly and with a minimum of fuss brought his attention to the three lions astride my own (and, as I have previously mentioned, loftier-than-his) nipples, a belated look of recognition not to mention respect drifted across his face.
Now, as many of you – if not most of you – will appreciate, Polska is not my mother tongue (smile)
“Howl!”, he laughed.
“That’s the name of your salon de coiff?”
“You! The Howl! Terwit-terwoo!”
At that point a slightly portly gentleman appeared from nowhere - though obviously he had to have come from somewhere - and it transpired that the place whence he’d come was none other than Skagny Varagny which is, as I am now very well aware (smile) - THE most prestigious gentlemen’s hairdressers’ in Krakow not to say Poland in its entirety. He hurried the diminutive Pole away with a brusque gesture and wrapped his arm around my well-made shoulders, guiding me back across the road.
“Mister Hotchson!”, he smiled. I was wary at first, I’ll admit. “Please, please….”
He ran his fingers expertly through the Croydon’s Glory, eyes besotted as he glanced with barely-disguised admiration up and down my buoyant head of hair. He murmured some strange incantation under his breath.
“Zmrożone bawełny”, he said, his eyes shining with some wild, no doubt Polish fervour. He touched my hair gently and stepped back.
I insisted upon bringing along my own personal backroom Styling Team. The F.A said no, and that was that
“Sir. Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Stanislaw, proprietor-in-chief of the fabled Skagny Varagny. This style you carry off with such elan…this is the justified and ancient Croydon’s Glory?”
I don’t mind admitting my face broke into a very warm smile at this point (smile). All and any misgivings one might have harboured disappeared in that one shared, humble moment. That’s the beauty of football, I tend to find - and, I might add, have always found on my many and varied adventures on the continent, in a variety of top Euro jobs (citation needed).
“It is, yes. I have favoured The Croydon’s Glory for many a year. It’s fair to say - indeed it is indeed a fact - that I very nearly found myself unable to accept this unexpected yet not altogether undeserved post as the F.A turned out to be a - how should I put this (smile)…pretty tough negotiator when came to the terms of my contract. We got down to one final point - my non-negotiable stance on coiffage. I insisted upon bringing along my own personal backroom Styling Team consisting of long-time Backcomber Morrie Dotkin from Purley; his Power Dryer Operator (and, indeed, brother) Ernie Dotkin, formerly of Purley, now of Banstead; along with The West Wickham Wonder himself, the famed not to say infamous Finish & Tint maestro Jimmy “The Finish” Fitch. The F.A said no, and that was that.”
I was inside Skagny Varagny by now. Dapper little fellows sat back in sumptuous red leather grooming chairs while portly little chappies attended to their quiffs.
“Sir”, smiled Stanislaw knowingly. “I imply no insult, but….perhaps on this occasion just this once we could try something different - to celebrate your first major game in charge of the world’s most over-rated footballing nation?”
“Go on”, I smiled, having no intention of being coaxed into any of your fancy Euro-nonsense. “Let’s hear it…”
"The Frosted Cotton”, I said. “I like it. Not for nothing am I know far and wide as Roy Hodgson, Crack Euro Coach
“Mr. Hotchson…with hair as brittle as your own, and with such fullsome underlift, I was thinking…”
“I think you would be a marvellous ambassador for the Zmrożone Bawełny, sir!”
“ Zmrożone Bawełny”, he beamed. “Literally, sir - The Frosted Cotton!”
I ran it through my keen and incisive not to say calculating mind. “Frosted Cotton”, I said. “Frosted Cotton, Frosted Cotton, Frosted Cotton, Frosted Cotton, Frosted Cotton, Frosted Cotton, Frosted Cotton, Frosted Cotton, Frosted Cotton, Frosted Cotton, Frosted Cotton, Frosted Cotton….”
“The Frosted Cotton”, I said. “I like it. Not for nothing am I know far and wide as Roy Hodgson, Crack Euro Coach. My experiences and influences - not to say my tentacles - reach far and wide. My style is, shall we say, a pot pourri of techniques and influences. I am satisfied, now, that The Frosted Cotton shall be just the latest in a lengthy and continental-tinged list of Hodgson‘s choices. Do it, Stanislaw. Do it.”
As I pace my room now, awaiting the call from England’s Heroic John Terry to let me know the team are ready for my talk, I have these thoughts to share. Have hearts of oak, Englishmen - for today, at five o‘clock your time, we face our fabled foe France, sometimes known as The French. Be men of steel for 75 minutes, Englishmen - then hit them on the break. Above all, have faith; for sitting on the bench, masterminding this audacious swoop for Euro-glory is a gentleman of a certain age, possessed of a rare and twinkling intelligence, sporting a Frosted Cotton (smile). Now let’s go and fuck those cunts.
If you haven't read Kevin's books or seen the film adaptations you're missing out, here's some handy links to buy them.
Other great articles about England at Euro 2012
Click here for more Football and Sport stories
Click here to follow Sabotage Times on Twitter
Click here to follow Sabotage Times on Facebook