It’s Monday February 2nd, 2015. All around the country people are stirring from their slumber. Mobile phones are buzzing incessantly, social media networks are ablaze. The day has come. Transfer Deadline Day.
Somewhere in London, 12pm
Backstage at a busy TV studio somewhere in London, a grey-haired man is looking into the mirror, adjusting his tie and repeating mantras into the mirror.
"Sky sources have informed me."
"Spotted at the airport."
“The clock is ticking.”
A young production assistant knocks on the door and enters the man’s dressing room. “Mr White?” she enquires.
“Go away, I’m busy,” he replies, in a gruff Scottish accent.
“But Jim, it’s time for your injection.”
“Ah, I see.”
Jim White unbuckles his belt, and removes his trousers to reveal a dappled buttock. The young production assistant inserts a syringe into the Scottish bottom.
“Hmmm, that’s much better” says Mr White.
The Internet, 2pm
After a sluggish start, the social networks kick into life.
On Twitter, both ‘Lionel Messi’ and ‘Port Vale’ are trending, but nobody is sure if the two are connected.
Elsewhere, a user called @cuteass69 has tweeted that Wayne Rooney has just entered the hairdressing salon in London that she works in, and is convinced he is joining Chelsea. ‘Maybe he’s just getting more fake hair sewn into his scalp?’ the rest of the world replied.
And then it happens. The news that EVERYONE has been waiting for. Marcus Jones had joined Torquay from Burton Albion for an ‘undisclosed’ fee. There it was: the floodgates opening. Questions like ‘who the fuck is Marcus Jones?’, ‘what is an undisclosed fee?’ and ‘is transfer deadline day just an overhyped pile of shite?’ would have to wait.
The world watched on with baited breath.
Here, Hayley McQueen acts as attractive punctuation of White's lunacy. It's much needed.
Sky Sports, 4pm
The rumour mill is in overdrive.
Jim White – high on a cocktail of adrenaline, crack and Buckfast – is trying to hold it together, but he’s excited. As excited as the first time he clapped eyes on his future lady-wife Yvonne, and slightly more excited than when he saw her naked for the first time. Jim knows that something massive is about to happen....
Jim White is joined in the studio by Iain Dowie and Tony Cottee, two men who are emotionally unstable at the best of times, but today they really are at their wits end. Dowie is adamant that he passed Cristiano Ronaldo in Keele Services’ branch of Maryland Chicken.
Jim White flashes him a knowing smile. “He’ll be unveiled at Old Trafford by the end of the day,” he announces to everyone on Planet Earth. They're all watching Sky Sports News. “It’s for an undisclosed fee”.
Around the Country, 6pm
People all over the country are arriving home from work, and eagerly switching their TV’s on. ‘MARCUS JONES JOINS TORQUAY’ screams the ticker tape on Sky Sports News. The people wait for more information, more gossip, more transfers, more ANYTHING.
‘Tikki Tokki signs for Motherwell from Finnish club FC KVYNTP for an undisclosed fee’ sprints across the screen. Now things are getting exciting, the people muse. Very exciting indeed.
Suddenly, the camera cuts to a man in a suit with a microphone outside Arsenal’s training ground. He is surrounded by a group of real people in replica shirts and scarves, each of whom looks bored, confused and, to be quite frank, a bit narked.
“There’s nothing to report here, Jim” says the man in the suit, with a look of resignation on his face. “Although we do know that Arsene Wenger is in the market for a striker.”
These words prove to be of little comfort to the group gathered, as they begin to talk and chant amongst themselves. One young rascal flicks the V-sign at the cameraman. And in that gesture, he captures the mood of a nation.
Sky Sports, 8pm
Something bad has happened to Jim White.
He is no longer the calm and assured presence that his fan base knows and loves. All of a sudden, he flings his jacket to the floor, loosens his tie and looks straight down the camera lens.
“Ladies and gentleman of Great Britain, please stop whatever you are doing. I have breaking news. Ryo Miyachi has joined West Ham on loan.”
Behind Jim White there is an enormous outpouring of emotion. Is it relief, joy, constipation or a mixture of the three? Nobody is sure. But what they do know is that this is the first Transfer Deadline Day signing that involves two Premier League teams. “This is where the money is made, baby!” cries one over-enthusiastic dickhead on Twitter who works freelance for a national newspaper.
Elsewhere, in a tiny council house in the North, a man and wife – who had been bickering all day about this and that – are holding each other, gently weeping. This is the sheer power of the transfer window.
Planet Earth, 10pm
One hour until the window gently blows shut in a light breeze.
Everything feels like that bit in a Hollywood blockbuster where something massive looks like it’s about to happen, but then the world is saved by some reluctant hero twerp so it doesn't really matter anyway. Every footballer on Planet Earth, from Abel Xavier to Zico, is being linked with a transfer to a new club for an undisclosed fee.
An eye-witness has claimed that he saw Andy Carroll suspended upside down from a Chinook helicopter, which was being piloted by Darren Bent and co-piloted by that Aussie keeper from Liverpool who never seems to get a game. The eye-witness said they were heading for Birmingham.
But then it turns out that the eyewitness was just being mischievous when he said that, but because it was Transfer Deadline Day everyone had believed him.
Sky Sports, 11pm
The time of the year that Jim White hated had come around. The end of Transfer Deadline Day. He’d been looking forward to this day since August, and now – as he sipped from his glass of triple Vodka & Red Bull – it felt like a distant memory.
Jim White became misty-eyed, and raised an imaginary toast. “Until August” he sighed out loud, climbing into his cryogenic preservation chamber.