Thursday, 4 June 2009

Message in a bottle

Burridge are still looking for a goalkeeper, but back in 2005 they were looking for anybody who didn't mind spending 90 minutes of their Saturday afternoon running around a field. I decided to step in and taped and stapled a blue A4 advert all over Southampton requesting players to apply to my email. I took refuge in the bunker waiting for what surely was going to be a very high number of responses, but nobody ever did reply. Not one single person. So I resorted to desperate measures and put the ad out onto the Internet.

Finally, Burridge got a reply.....

...."Greetings to you, Emerson. I am also commending you for a job well done. My name is Taiwo-Ogunleye, I am a young healthy young man of 16yrs old who hails from Nigeria. My purpose of sending this mail is to inform you that I have viewed your profile via the Internet and I am interested in joining your youth team.

I played for a local but unregistered club here in Nigeria. However the unavailability of my club to register has really dashed my chances of proving myself as a good player.

SIR, my family are aware of this proposal and they have given me a go-ahead, and infact they are ready to bear all the responsibility toward my progress in the football industries since thay have known me to have an ambition to be a good footballer. I will be very greatful if my proposal to help me join your youth team is favourable considered....."

I await a favourable reply from you sooner.

Thank you
yours faithfully

This was quickly followed by this......

Dear Emerson

..."I went through the website and I am impressed at what I saw which i see as a great and a club for the future, so i will like to send three of my players to your club for a trial and maybe then we can settle other terms. And their age categorically 16/17 year old male from Nigeria, in which they have played in several amateur league competition. So therefore i will be extremely grateful if my offer is being granted favourable consideration...."

your faithful
club secretary

.....3 players! I thought it was only right I replied...

Hello Bolaji,

Lovely to hear from you. Burridge is only a local amateur team in Southampton, we are not professional, we are not even semi professional. In fact I'm not even sure if we're semi semi, if you see what I mean. Anyway, We play in an organised league, but just for fun, although that comes into question at times.

I'm not sure if Easyjet do a last minute flight from Lagos to Southampton, but if you do have to blow all your money on airfare you can always save on accommodation by staying at my place. It's not the Ritz, but I like to call it home.

Send word,

Emerson Marks.

....I never did hear back from Bolaji, and sometimes, maybe when I'm having a nice sit down and a cup of tea, I wonder what he's up to. Wonder if he regrets not getting on that plane. After all, we could have done with those lads that season.


Gorilla Bananas said...

Very hospitable of you to have offered them accommodation in your home. That'll show all those people who think the English are a bunch of cunts.

Madame DeFarge said...

You could have had some undiscovered gems on your hands there. Couldn't you have had a whip round and paid for some hot pies and bovril for them?

savannah said...

it was the site, sugar! they were blinded by the light! xoxox :~D

(hey, i know, not my best, but i am despondent!)

Leah said...

That's amazing. Do you think they could come round and write my dissertation for me? It's not "football" but it's something!

Lulu LaBonne said...

Do you ever wonder if these Nigerian athletes had turned up they might have propelled Burridge into the First Division and you would've all ended up with hot girls and big houses in Essex?

Emerson Marks said...

Morning all,

Quite right, Gozza. Although I've brandished with the big C word many a time.

Defarge - there's not a great deal of petty cash flying around at Burridge.

Savannah - despondent? Had Burridge's goalkeeping crisis been keeping you up at night? Be strong, we will solve this problem.

Leah, p'haps you should put it out there: needed, someone clever to right my dissertation for me, Wil pay in kind with lots of books.

Lulu: You've hit on Burridge's mecca there. Fake tudor mansions on the outskirts of Romford and a missus with orange skin.

Scarlet-Blue said...

What did they look like nekkid?

Van Der Sar said...

Sure I got an e-mail from Taiwo-Ogunleye once as well.....although if memory serves I remember him to be the son of a wealthy Nigerian police chief who had $60m and.......

Emerson Marks said...

Scarlet - they didn't send any pics.

Van Der - you're leaving big shoes for us to fill.

Looking back (bringing back the blog)

I haven't posted here since 2012 – that’s five years of not blogging. The blog is/was about Burridge AFC, the football team I played f...