An Englishman, a Scotsman and a Welshman talk about hair and other peripherals


Sam Allardyce, David Moyes and Chris Coleman allegedly met at the Bridge Café in West Acton this week for one of their regular get-togethers, where they imagined that they were still important players in the football world.

You all know this place – it’s where the losing teams on BBC’s The Apprentice go to mull over who they’re going to mug next. Except they are only allowed polystyrene cups.

In the real world, of course, the windows are still barred, but builders drink out of proper mugs and wipe the tomato sauce from their chins, that hasn’t already migrated down the middle to barely-buttoned up shirts over ample bellies that have never traversed a training ground.

Sam, David and Chris have obviously chosen this place because they feel quite at home and inconspicuous; failed builders though they are, they can still command money up front for doing very little, or not turning up at all.

David starts the ball rolling backwards by asking the Head Chef, whose name is Frank, for a latte.

Frank: “I can’t do that I’m afraid, mate, but I can warm the milk up for you?”

David: “Ach no, ta. I’m getting over a wee ulcer and need things to remain cold.”

Sam: “Did you get that after your time up North?”

David: “Preston, Everton, Man U or Sunderland?”

Frank: “London calling to the faraway towns eh!”

Sam: “Not a very Happy Family…”

David: “It was all about money. Grabbing, grasping. It will all be in my next autobiography.”

Sam: “If it ain’t broke I can fix it. It should be about putting a decent roof over your head.”

David: “Does my hair look OK?”

Chris: “I always worry about that – especially on the way to an important match. Wing mirrors are really useful I find…”

Sam: “Don’t worry about whether there are windows – even doors can be a problem sometimes… ha ha ha; just ask Sammy! Bricks and mortar every time. Best defence there is.”

David: “It didn’t work for you at West Ham though.”

Sam: “Didn’t it? They brought me in off plan and I delivered exactly what I promised; well, once we’d got rid of the rotten timbers after relegation.”

David: “They didn’t like the way you laid things out though!”

Sam: “Does anybody? Do I care if I feel like a little snooze in the afternoons now and again? I design and build things to last and then other people mess them up – trying to build fancy extensions or lofty conversions.”

David: “But we had to move on at Sunderland. We couldn’t keep fighting relegation from the Premier League every season.”

Sam: “So, you went in and sorted it. They’ll remember you for that. Maybe you can repeat the feat at West Ham?”

Frank: “The ice age is coming; the sun is zooming in.”

David: “There wasn’t even a mirror in my office when I arrived at the Stadium of Light; just some kind of tactics board with chalk scribbles all over it.”

Chris: “Shameful. I always say to my players, ‘Take a look at yourselves in the mirror.’ I always do. Several times a day on match days, obviously. If Ash had done this, we might not have conceded that goal and could be on our way to Russia – on an aeroplane with Duty-Free and new earplugs. He’d have seen his hair, see; the boy just had no style – only blind ambition not to be another also-ran. It was never going to happen.”

David: “I think Gordon got it half right. You have to hold your heads up high, but you’d still have that hair problem – beards even. I think UEFA might need to look at this – maybe some kind of reverse Movember…”

Chris: “I think they may need to look at the whole facial area, to be honest. I was absolutely crushed after that Republic game; even started to think that we were never going to get to a World Cup. And you know what the outcome was?”

Frank: “Reality therapy?”

Sam: “A stonking great drinks do?

David: “You haven’t lost your reserved parking space?”

Chris: “Pimples. There will be spots next; you mark my words.”

Frank: “London calling to the zombies of death. Quit holding out and draw another cheque.”

About the Author

Mark Rasdall
I am a writer and football historian. My background is in information architecture and online search and all of this has come together in The Football Ground at