Extract From When Saturday’s Gone by Jonty Morgan

When a football mad kid goes to live with his grandpa, a former soccer coach who cannot give up the game, shouting such things as “Man On!” whenever he sees a crucifix, they make a significant impact on a club’s fortunes in the competitive but secret world of The Premhairy League.


(Statto, Coach’s grandson, realizes that he needs to decipher Coach’s mixture of football language and the English language to fully comprehend the wisdom he seeks to convey.)


Added Time: If someone has had their life saved by medical means, or intervention by a Good Samaritan, Coach says that they are into added time.

Against the Run of Play: A harsh critic of a theatrical production.

Aggregate Score: Whenever Coach sees two adjacent gravel drives he scratches his chin as he assesses them and then declares which one he thinks is winning on aggregate.

Anchorman: If Coach observes someone choosing butter to spread on their toast instead of margarine he calls them this. If that same person is halfway through their meal at the time, he then calls them ‘a mid-filled Anchorman’.

Arrive at the Edge of the Box: Coach is most impressed when pallbearers do this.

At Full Strength: When Coach is in a supermarket he is prone to approach the deli counter, take a strong whiff and say that the Stilton is at full-strength for today’s encounter.

Attendance: If Coach notices five couples on the dance floor he says this. If it is at a ball for civil servants he calls it ‘The Official Attendance’.

Auto Promotion: Any advert for car sales gets called this by Coach.

Back Heel: Any old fashioned remedies. Leeches are a good example of what he’d call ‘back heels’.

Back Ten Yards: Directions given to a lorry driver, by Coach, who’d overshot his delivery location on an industrial estate by quite a margin.

Bicycle Kick: Anyone using pedal power is said to have this by Coach.

Between the Sticks: A rock star between two model girlfriends.

Bore Draw: A newspaper cartoon that doesn’t make Coach laugh.

Bottle: Whenever Coach hears a baby crying he always says that he or she ‘lacks bottle’.

Bundled into the Net: If Coach sees someone putting a calculator into a bag he says, ‘Bundled into the Net…Well, they all count’.

Business End of the Season: Coach says this when approaching the till at the supermarket if he has salt or pepper in his basket.

Byline: ‘See you soon,’ would be an example of this.

Centre-Half: A concessionary bus fare and destination.

Charity Shield: An item of clothing, such as a Real Madrid shirt with a big ZERO on the back, which tells charity collectors that he isn’t worth bothering with.

Copa America: Kojack is a very old example of this.

Counter Attack: If Coach hears that Start I has been told off by his math’s teacher he calls it an instance of one of these.

Creating Space: Refuse collectors impress Coach by doing this when they empty the bins.

Cup Final: This is what Coach calls his last cup of tea before retiring to bed for the night. The following morning he says that it’s time for the First Round of the Cup again.

Cup-Tie: A commitment to visit someone for a cuppa.

Cut Down the Angle: Whenever Coach watches a programme where an invading Viking thrusts his sword into a native of England, he says this. If the invading Norsemen are deliberately starving an Englishman he says that they are ‘Narrowing the Angle’.

Deadly Marksman: A gravestone.

Dive: When Coach observed the rubble being loaded onto a lorry from a sleazy nightclub in town that had been demolished he remarked, ‘He took a dive, there’.

Far Post: The British Ambassador in Australia.

Fifty-Fifty Ball: A celebratory event attended by an equal mix of men and women.

Flick-On: What Coach does with his light switches.

Football Hardman: Any statue of a soccer player.

Fresh Legs: Any new vertical parts of a table or chair.

Free Transfer: A concessionary travel pass that costs nothing.

Full-Time: The point where it’s best to stop eating.


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