Help me I feel so bad. That's what the text message from Rich Allan said, as I pulled into the Texaco garage on the Maypole roundabout at around nine on a Sunday morning. My Lucozade stop was delayed by some vagrant who was aimlessly wandering the forecourt. Being locked firmly in docile Sunday morning mode I was in no mood for lairiness, but I couldn't resist another peek.
My first reaction was that Worzel Gummidge had really let himself go. Then I realised that the man in the black tracksuit stood in front of the bonnet of my car was Rich Allan himself. Burridge hadn't played on Saturday. Something about the other team not being able to get enough players together. Rich had filled the void with an enthusiastic visit to the pub. His previous night's whereabouts still evident by an ink stamp on his right hand that brandished the name Mono. His misery was now compounded by the ninety minutes that awaited him playing football for the Dolphin.
Rich and I are alone at Burridge in enjoying a game of football on a Sunday, although the ten in the morning kick-offs do have a habit of stretching that desire to breaking point at times. This morning we were due to share communal playing fields, but not the same team. He'd put his faith in recovery in a bottle of water. We both knew it was hopeless.
Click here for the Paul Andrews player profile.
Next week: Greg Baker.