15. Dec, 2021

Those who will not be forgiven...

The unforgivables.

The interaction on the Twitter site in 95% plus very good fun. Even if I don’t agree with every word that other City fans say and vice versa most of them do it with good grace and that famous self-depreciating humour that thrives in East Yorkshire. Sure you get the odd idiot, but even some of those are unintentionally so funny I end up giving them a pass. This was the case a few days back when my intelligent, good looking, wonderful readers * had a discussion about those players and clubs that we shall never forgive.

What I realised during this conversation was that actually there’s more than I thought and that we really are a bunch of grudge holders, even if I started the ball rolling myself by feeling absolutely no sympathy for non-league Chesterfield (my word it’s fun saying that) who didn’t get selected for FA Cup TV coverage. Why? Well along with many others… I’m keeping them on the grudge list that I’m about to share… now, where’s my Voodoo Doll?

*A shameless attempt to get on your better side…

The club

Chesterfield FC

The team of 2000/01 were remarkable in their refusal to give up and roll over. Lockouts, no pay, no owners? No problem. They were perhaps one of the strongest sets of characters to ever play for the club, even if they weren’t exactly tika taka, we loved the likes of Theo, Big Kev ©, Rodney Rowe and Mark Greaves all the same. We pulled ourselves up from mid-table mediocrity to the play-offs despite all of this and when the news started breaking that top of the table Chesterfield were up to their neck in dodgy brown envelopes and a complete disregard for the rules it started to look like we might just nick the top three. We beat them 3-1 in the run in despite a Ryan Williams masterclass and on the eve of our trip to Southend every City fan hung on to hear the punishment “Cheaterfield” would face. In classic FA style they took enough points from them to deny them the title, but enough to go up and we wouldn’t quite make it. As the city fans descended on Roots Hall that night there was mass deflation, the game was for nowt, bar perhaps a nice chippy beforehand. Cheats won and our friends at the football association had found a new and unusual way to rob us yet again. I’ve never forgiven Chesterfield for this and even when we were divisions apart I always enjoy hearing of their failure. What a petty man I am!

Notable mentions

Burnley for playing to lose by less than three from kick off in 1984, those terrible wooden seats, Brian Laws and clearly bribing the ref in the FA Cup game in 2010. Bin-ley.

Grimsby Town re-reading the sheer glee their fans felt in their tweets when we were relegated two seasons ago only made their non-league future more utterly delightful, a horrible club in a horrible town, next to another horrible town.

The pantomime villain

Paddy Kenny

Like most pantomime villains we’d probably like them if they were ours. (see McGregor A and Meyler D) but even by those standards Kenny hit some pretty low lows in our mid 2000’s clash at Bramhall Lane, a tightly contested game should have swung permanently the Tigers way when the Millie Tant look-a-like (google it, I think you’ll find I’m right) rushed out and clattered Darryl Duffy (thanks for the edit James Lockwood) for a nailed on red card, what followed was utter farce as he feigned a near death experience to somehow get taken off rather than sent off and inexplicably the ref was fooled. This was compounded by an injury time winner by the Blades and I like many City fans have never forgiven him or all-round tosspot and eyebrow challenged tit Neil Warnock. They can all get in the bin. In his defence Paddy Kenny often looked like he lived in a bin anyway.

Notable mentions

Adel Taraabt

The perpetually diving drama queen that in the biggest diva showing since Mariah Carey last went on tour demanded to be subbed off at the KC due to the fact the nasty city lads wouldn’t let him do his Woolworths Ronaldo impression and the fans dared to enjoy this.  What an embarrassment.

Danny Guthrie

Not much happened pre-Christmas of 2008-09 that wasn’t ace, this was one of those rare moments. With City winning at Newcastle early in the season and Craig Fagan running the ball to the corner flag to secure the victory Guthrie runs after him and volleyed his upper thigh with a viciousness that still makes your blood run cold to this day. It broke his leg and Guthrie got red, however the ban would never be enough. I’d have banned him until Fages came back… and imprisoned him in Siberia, with no food or water. Much fairer.


Brian Laws

There’s lots to pick from here but Brian Laws is in a class of his own. An ego the size of a large South American Country, the self-awareness of Donald Trump and the personality of a fresh dog turd, Brian seemingly only managed horrid clubs that we hate (Scunny, Gigantic Wednesday, Burnley). Once when Scunthorpe were relegated he bemoaned having to play “the likes of Hull” again (thanks for the inspiration Bri) despite the fact he ran a club that were only marginally bigger than North Ferriby. He also said David Brightwell’s rocket winner in a 1-0 loss to us was “naff”. Brilliant Brian… we’ll try to score a goal you approve of next time, in the meantime…. Get in the bin.

Notable mentions

Neil Warnock

Sure, he’s quotable, and from what players say he was nice to play for. It doesn’t change the fact his behaviour on the sideline is the equivalent to giving a fifteen-year-old high on meth the running of the country, or his horrendous post-match interviews. The fact that the crap city run at home at the second level (circa 2019-21) still featured two home wins over Warnock teams makes me feel warm at night. Glorious.

Steve Cotterill

Basically, a mix of Brian Laws and Neil Warnock but with a west country accent. In over his head at Shrewsbury, as he would be if he was manager of a local Subway restaurant.

The undercover agent

Richard Appleby

Again so many choices of players or staff that have done more damage than good at the club throughout the years. But I’m not sure anyone was quite as steadfast as the perma-injured Appleby in nicking money for absolutely nothing. He arrived as the marquee player under Scousedane Molby and managed 6 games in 3 seasons. His back was apparently the problem although this was disputed by the greatest Hull manager of the era Peter Taylor, whose word is good enough for me and although he never actually said the words “Richard Appleby is a thief Hull City fans but he doesn’t have a swag bag and a stripy shirt” he may as well have done. Hopefully his back is currently in a huge spasm and he’s crying watching our DVD of the back to back promotions he dodged. A man can dream.

Notable mentions

Jimmy Bullard

“Oh isn’t he funny?!” says your non-city supporting mate as he watches Soccer AM or some other gubbins. “You don’t find him quite so funny when he robbed hundreds of thousands of pounds from your club whilst being off his head on his paper knees round town for two years” you answer in exasperation.

Liam Cooper

 Liam Cooper didn’t grow up a Leeds fan. Liam Cooper isn’t very bright and doesn’t seem to understand that if he says he did, there’s all kinds of pictures of him at Boothferry Park supporting the club he says he didn’t. He’s also not Scottish. Permission to change his name to Liar Cooper? Thanks.

The transfer/contract weasel

Leo Fortune West

Was due to sign for City in the era of the great escape but never turned up. I’ve therefore held a grudge against him ever since and I hope the white chocolate sprinkles in his ice cream turns out to be cat litter.

DJ Campbell

Exactly the same but years later. Got accused of match fixing. Meh. I hope you share Leo Fortune West’s ice cream.

Nigel Pearson

Struggling for another player here (City experts you know what to do) so I’ll sling boring Nigel in. Despite dispatching several players via the naughty step when he arrived and being less fun than a human sloth in interviews, Nigel finished a City game at the KC on a Saturday, did his wrap up, told none of his players he was off, and drove to Leicester to weasel back to his old club. I knew an ex-player’s Dad who was highly rated by old Nige and when he came back sniffing a few months later said player told the club to tell Pearson he’d “sign for anyone on earth bar him”. Still makes me love that player to this very day. Even if he does play for Stoke. Get in the bin boring Nige.

Ok, I want your unforgivables now.

Thanks for reading as ever.

Happy Christmas!