Lucky Man

The Verve song of my headline’s name just came up on iTunes on my Hull-bound train – and apart from being just a beautiful song, it’s also apposite for my mood this morning, inspiring me to start typing…

The dirty old river/town of Thursday metamorphosed into a briskly sunny Friday, and the Embankment where I had run and taken grey-day pictures just 24 hours earlier was crowded with whale-watchers as poor old Billy The Bottle-Nose swam up the Thames and couldn’t find his way home again. I’d likely have joined the crowds if I’d had time, but there were other fish to fry, chips to chomp on, friends to see, football matches to attend. It was a fantastic day in every sense, and might have been a Perfect 10 if Crystal Palace hadn’t let in that equalizer to Reading while still celebrating their lead, but how can I begrudge Steve Coppell a point at Palace? In fact, it seemed totally apt that my first ever visit to the Steve Coppell Lounge at Selhurst Park happened to be the day our finest ever manager returned as table-toppers on the back of a magnificent 5-month unbeaten run. In my ideal world, Steve Coppell would be England manager rather than that dubiously dour Swede whose shoulder I rubbed up against at half time. In a more feasible ideal world, Coppell’s Reading, Iain Dowie’s Palace and Peter Taylor’s Hull City would all get promoted this year. And who knows? We may be able to settle for two out of three.

Andy Johnson gets ready to score from the penalty spot. Unfortunately, Reading are already getting ready to equalise.

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October 2021