An Exclusive Trip Inside The Mindset Of A Rag
Vital Manchester City, with a due sense of dread and trepidation takes a step into the world of a Super Rag...
Nobby Allcock, erstwhile editor of rag fanzine smugfests United We Issue and Red Stand needs little or no introduction to the VMC posse having taken part in Q and A's with us last season throughout four epic derby contests.
Rumours that Nobby had passed away following a camera lens juggling created car crash not far from united's Carrington training camp proved unfounded. It's been toe cringingly heartening to see him back stalking the VMC Forums this past fortnight.
In truth, the hatstand united obsessive who quintessentially hits all the right notes for vintage united arrogance found himself in Strangeways for a short period having repeatedly tried to gain entry to Old Trafford disguised as a club official. But his lumberjack's coat, knee patched flares and silks scarves on each wrist constantly gave the game away. Other offences we'll get to later.
We've all met them. At bus stops, coffee machines at work, airport bars, pub urinals, wedding receptions and midnight masses. Mainly in the London area. The classic loudmouthed rag. Breaking that mould via his Salford location alone, Nobby Allcock once again takes us inside his Red World.....
WHEN JOHNNY MET NOBBY:
So Nobberidge, months on from your latest injury time win over resurgent City, what's the mood amongst the united faithful?
'In a word, we remain DEFIANT. We will never die and we'll keep the red flag flying high. Deep down you know we are superior from terrace to turf.'
What do you think united will achieve this season?
'We have two big scores to settle. We will take back what is ours from Inter Milan and Chelsea. Pretenders. You lot as usual come way down the list of our priorities.'
Go on then. Touchy subject. Have you bought a green and yellow scarf from streetsellers outside The Arndale in protest against Our Malcolm? Did you support The Barron Knights failed takeover bid?
'Hand on RED HEART, I haven't done it. I can't do nothing but RED. I believe in RED. The culture of RED, the legend of RED. The winning mentality of RED. The door to my flat is RED, my Capri is RED. I am PROUD of my RED Devils curtains, the lampshades, even the fridge magnets. I told you berties in your bitter forum that on my kitchen wall is a framed photo of the GREATEST manager the world has ever seen. INSPIRATIONAL. This is the COMMITMENT built on history that you can never understand!'
How's your cousin Eric Whiteside doing who guested with us while you were in prison for stalking Michael Owen? Is it true he has been advising two new united websites The Pubic of Mancunia and Red Farce Rising?
'All I wanted was a photograph and for Michael to sign my legendary Gary Pallister SHARP shirt but the scouse bastard wouldn't come across. There was no need for that privacy order either. Alright, I should never have superglued my hands to his Hummer's windows, but Michael let me down big time. It's not as if he hasn't got time on his hands always being on crutches but I tell you, and it hurts to say it, but he's the one United player I don't like. He's no Henrik Larsson, I can tell you, although that legitimate last minute goal against you bitters will live long in UNITED LEGEND. The look on Bellamy's face was PRICELESS.
'Our Eric's doing sound. He's been helping the new generations of our fans with their websites but also got involved in the campaign to get the club bought. He's started to follow FC United of Manchester and I went with him to watch them at Ashton United. It felt good to see the fans singing all them ANTI-CITY songs all game but I felt a bit gutted cos we could use those boys at the Theatre.'
'Eric did have a top spot up a tree at Carrington. We used to take sandwiches and a flask and watch our boys. Until someone had it chopped it down. We need to be building branches with the fans not knocking them down. But that's another story, my should be in the third division friends.'
Carlos Tevez. Jealous?
'Watching our boy playing for you used to make me be sick but not anymore now I remind myself he is a money grabbing mercenary and a dog chasing a stick.'
Which brings us to your favourite scouser Wayne Rooney. Death threats, home visits. What was all that about then?
'Come on, you were tapping him up. Your Prince of Darkness that Marwood had been leading the boy and his agent down a dark alley like in Harry Potter. I was told this by an in the know mate of mine who is a cousin of the LEGEND Pete Boyle. He brings people to the Theatre from the M6 Man U Car parks. He gets to meet a lot of top businessmen who deal with Yanks and Chinese in London.
'The truth is the boy never wanted to leave. He was led astray but this was where THE MASTER stepped in to take control. Fergie used the situation to get the Glazer's to understand that in order to stay at the very top we have to be able to compete financially with big clubs like Spurs, Arsenal and Chelsea. He made sure Wayne was sweet for a top up and we will outspend everyone next year so everyone's happy. For me it's like Jim Bowen talking to a granny who has lost on Bull's Eye. 'City - Look what you could have won!'
'But I don't condone those hoodies on BMX's that went round our talisman's house. They were well out of order. I think it's the same one's that threw that telly in my Auntie Nora's front garden. There's no place for that in football.
'I might be a maverick, but I'm a traditionalist.'
Big 'taches and sideburns. You've stayed loyal to the fashion since the 70's. Do you think we'll ever see the like again out on the pitch in the top flight? Nutter Joey 'Errol' Barton grew a bit of a one recently at Newcastle.
'My postman who is always wearing a citeh scarf like Henry Mancini is into all that futuristic music that your fans spend time listening to when all your competition games have dried up.
'He says I could be well in now and in some tripe band called The Amorfish Andy Cole or something which I listened to on his ipod. Garbage. I mean look at Oasis. Like I've told you before. Dead and gone. But The Quo live on. Even Queen. End of. 'This is how it feels to be City, this is how it feels to be small...!''
Back to tonight's big one. Who do you perceive to be the dangermen for both sides?
'I'm with Patrice Evra on this. Walk the walk or shut up, ciddy. We remain unafraid of anyone on your side and you should be afraid of everyone on our side. The ghosts of King Eric, Paddy Roche, Alan Brazil, Juan Veron and Chocky McClair will surround your mercenaries and they will freeze. Big time. Again.'
You've been very critical of City's spending since summer 2008. But City's juggernaut has ploughed on and is back in your faces again. You seem to forget Summer 1989 when united spunked millions on new players. What would that spree be worth now??
'I get this every week at my fish stall on Smithfield Market from you bitters. It doesn't matter which way you dress it up, what the City arabs have done and are still doing is wrong. It's obscene. You lot can whine on about us spending big money in the past but at least we did it over a long period of time. One thing for sure is we haven't got the mercenaries that you lot have.'
Owen Hargreaves (The English Patient), Tiny Tim Owen, Ratboy Neville, Scholesy, Giggsy, Edwin Wanders Far, Count Dimitar and the glass backed Rio Ferdinand, as ageing examples. Isn't it high time that the stratospherically debt riddled united recruited?
'As I said before Fergie has pulled a masterstroke on the Americans that will lead to new money for players. Be afraid.
'In the face of panic from a small section of fans, Fergie showed the world as ever the way to operate with calm dignity. As he said, he wouldn't have insulted us fans by spending massive money this past two summers 'cos the quality isn't there as the shite you have signed proves. The Debt? Ask any Cockney Red and he'll tell you that we'll never die and keep the red flag flying high, so no, I'm not concerned. I was minding Wai Yu Kum Nao's camera bag again at half time versus Wolves and he said he's not bothered, neither.'
Are you an empire in demise?
'Have you not been to Manchester Airport recently? Our adverts greet the world with 'The best view in Manchester.' My mate Barry 'the baggage' works there and loves it when people come through looking at it. You lot want to go global but we will be on the next planet by the time you get known like what we are. We're like one big family at Man U. Even the people I sit next to in the Stretford End that change each week sort of bond with me and use my Salford born and bred knowledge to find the bus and train stations when it's home time or plane taxi time. Respect.'
And so to tonight's twelve pointer. Your prediction?
'It's your cup final again and anyone who knows anything about football knows that normal service would be resumed next weekend if you somehow manage to scrape past us. This is your last chance to topple us before we sign stars like the boy Sneijder in January and our DOMINATION will resume. Anyway, tonight. I can't wait to see your faces when we take the field at FULL STRENGTH after Fergie's MIND GAMES win the day!
Three nil to The Champions Elect. Shabba.'
Very many thanks and respect going out to Nobby and the staff at the Bolton Salford and Trafford Mental Health NHS Trust for making this interview possible.
THE MANCHESTER DERBY ON VMC TONIGHT:
Head for the VMC Match Day Experience Forum for the build up and beyond to City's crunch clash with the rags.