How did you spend transfer deadline day?
I’d wager that it was probably spent at work, as normal. Maybe a quick glance at your team’s website or the gossip section of a tabloid newspapers sports section to check the comings and goings for your team. Other than that, normal. Perhaps, if you were REALLY committed you may have taken a day off, nipped to the Co-op for a pack of custard creams and watch the (complete lack of) drama unfold from the comfort of your sofa.
Let me tell you this. Whatever your Deadline Day routine, you ain’t got nothing on Jacob South Klein. Jacob South Klein knocks your commitment to Deadline Day into the park. Jacob South Klein spends HIS Deadline Day in a bush.
Tales decided we needed to find out more so sent Jim Salveson to catch up with the Reading FC fan and Bush-dweller and ask the all-important question… Why?
Tales: So… er why?
Bushwatch: It’s a hard sell but I undertake a venture every transfer window called ‘Bush Watch’. That is essentially the brand name for me lurking outside the Madejski stadium, in the shrubbery, watching people come and go, hoping to spot an incoming transfer or two.
Tales: How many windows have you done this for now?
Bushwatch: This window just gone is my 3rd year. I started in August 2014. Very bored, very unemployed and kind of disillusioned by the lack of press attention that Reading were getting. So to cut out the middle man I thought I’d go down and have a look myself. People on Twitter seemed to enjoy it and here I am, 3 years on, trying to be the first to break the news to Reading fans.
Tales: Is it the same bush every year or do you vary it?
Bushwatch: I used to do a lap of the stadium to scout out a suitable bush but it has now become the same bush. The recurring bush. I’d like to think that in years to come the club will put up a plaque or a statue or something but that could be wishful thinking.
Tales: So what makes a good lurking bush?
Bushwatch: You want dense leafage from the waist down. It’s difficult if the conditions are a bit damp and soggy like this year. You need to be able to easily squat without compromising yourself. It’s serious business picking the optimum bush.
Tales: It’s a fourteen-hour stint. There must be times when you just want to get up and go home?
Bushwatch: Oh yeah. I think it was last August was a total non-event. That is counterbalanced by the generosity of fellow fans. People run me down food, coffee, phone chargers. My favourite moment from this year was a guy and his mate rocking up and making me a mojito from the back of his car. Utterly bonkers.
Tales: What advice would you give to any “Bushwatchers” of the future.
Bushwatch: You have to commit to the cause because it’s a mental challenge as much as a physical one. You’ve got to love your club. You’ve got to have some money in the bank to pay your bail. Other than that you just need to have a suitable mobile phone and some time on your hands. It’s amazing what is possible thought the power of social media and the power of human generosity.
Tales: A few decent transfers must help too?
Bushwatch: Of course, when it all comes together like it did this year and your club does a bit of business then you get a day like we had this year. It’s truly unforgettable.
If you want to listen to the FULL interview with #Bushwatch Jacob (aka Bushwatch) along with a whole load more football funny then check out On The Left Side the funny football podcast here.
Bushwatch 1: Jacob is a massive fan of the gifts he receives… especially when it’s a Mojito.
Bushwatch 2: Reading did some decent business this Deadline Day including Jordan Mutch, Reece Oxford and Lewis Grabban.