Saturday, August 23, 2008
The Day Wade Stoat Ate My Chocolate
Saturday, November 6th 1999 — a day I’ll never forget.
I’d gone to see Curvaceous Stilton play Sporpington Whippet with some of the lads from The Ruptured Stallion.
The whole of Stilton Park was heaving, and as the wind kicked up and blew the raucous cheers of 65,000 beer-filled fans around the stadium (along with the smell of Mega-Burgerz), we knew we were in for a treat.
The Whippet had got off to a good start that season, and with half our midfield ill with a stomach bug picked up in a sleazy Spanish hotel the week before, we were looking to Stoat to score an early goal.
From our armoured barricade next to the toilet exit, me and the lads watched as wave after wave of Stilton attacks were beaten back by the resilient Sporpington defense. Midway through the first half it looked as if the balance of play was about to shift against us.
Then some useless right back brought Sly Rivilla down ten yards outside the opposition box and Wade Stoat stepped up to take the free kick.
He was barely twenty feet from us when Mike Oxbent rolled him the ball, and as I joined in with the chants of Stoaty Stoaty Stoaty-O, I knew I had to throw him a bar of chocolate for good luck. To this day, I have no idea what came over me, but you know how it is sometimes — you get a flash of inspiration you simply have to act upon. So I yacked a Mars bar in his direction.
‘Wade,’ I shouted, ‘here’s some chocolate for you, mate.’
It landed right next to his feet, and while the referee was sorting out some fisticuffs in the Sporpington wall, Stoat picked it up and bit a huge chunk off the end. Not kidding, he was so close to us, you could see the toffee go all stringy. And you know that advertising cliche about chocolate bars being satisfying? I’d never believed it till that moment. Yeah, they taste all right and that, but they’re hardly satisfying. Stoaty really appreciated it, though. I could tell. By the time he was halfway through it, his cheeks had gone all rosy and he was rubbing his stomach in a circular motion and licking his lips. Then he looked over to us and gave us the thumbs up.
‘Great chocolate, lads,’ he called. Just like that. Great chocolate, lads. That’s what he actually said. To us. About our —my — chocolate. Can you believe it?
Sadly, the free kick sailed past the left post, but I reckon that Mars bar changed the game for us because we went on to win 3-0.
When we got back to the pub after the match, me and the lads sat in the bar till closing time analysing every millisecond of that magical moment. What if it had been a Milky Way? What if it had hit him on the back of the head? What if he’d been allergic to chocolate?
Anything could have happened in those fateful few seconds — but fortunately for us, it didn’t.