Thursday, May 28, 2009

John Portsmouth Football Club Westwood

This man is an antiquarian bookseller.



No really, he is. His name is John Portsmouth Football Club Westwood. He changed his name by deed poll in 1989*.

John Portsmouth Football Club Westwood goes to every Portsmouth game, home and away. He rings a bell, whacks a drum and plays a tuneless trumpet for the duration of the game, no matter what is happening on the pitch. He is the most probably the most recognisable football fan in Britain and he’s often on television.

In real life, John Portsmouth Football Club Westwood looks younger and thinner than he does on television. I know this because last Sunday my father, my uncle and I sat in the JJB stadium, Wigan, amongst the travelling Portsmouth fans. We had been given free tickets to the final game of the season because we went to a wedding at the stadium the day before.

I don’t support Portsmouth but I ‘look out for them’ because I was born in the city. I was taken to a few games at Fratton Park in the 1980s, when the team contained players such as Neil Webb and Vince Hilaire. I can’t remember any of the other players, but John Portsmouth Football Club Westwood can because he knows everything about Portsmouth Football Club. He has written a book called The True Pompey Fan's Miscellany.

The game was a meaningless one in the sense that both teams were safe from relegation and could gain nothing much by winning. The Pompey fans - there were thousands of them – made a 600-mile round trip to watch a meaningless football match. They sang throughout. John Portsmouth Football Club Westwood led the singing, rang his bell, banged his drum and played his tuneless trumpet. There is no such thing as a meaningless Portsmouth match to John.

Portsmouth played some reserve players because it was a meaningless game. Most of the Portsmouth fans who made the 600-mile round trip to watch reserve players play a meaningless football match wear replica tops. John Portsmouth Football Club Westwood wears a novelty Pompey top hat, a blue and white dreadlock wig, a blue-check vest, shorts and a pair of tattered blue-check clown shoes. Portsmouth played badly and lost 1-0.

Many of the Portsmouth fans who made a 600-mile round trip to watch a meaningless football match in which their team played badly and lost 1-0 have Portsmouth tattoos. John Portsmouth Football Club Westwood has 60 Portsmouth tattoos on his body. He wears a blue check vest and shorts so you can see some of them.

John Portsmouth Football Club Westwood hasn’t missed a Portsmouth game, home or away, since 1980. He has a Wikipedia entry and an obscene definition in the Urban Dictionary. He has appeared on the BBC’s Video Nation series and on the cover of a book by American writer Chuck Culpepper.

John Portsmouth Football Club Westwood has 60 Portsmouth tattoos on his body and the club crest shaved on to his head. He changed his name by deed poll in 1989. Portsmouth played badly and lost 1-0 in a meaningless game. John Portsmouth Football Club Westwood rang his bell. He has "PFC" engraved on his teeth.

John Portsmouth Football Club Westwood has strange sad eyes and has been thrown out of several grounds for being drunk and disorderly. Many people want to have their photograph taken with him because he rings a bell, wears a novelty Pompey top hat and is often on television. John Portsmouth Football Club Westwood is an antiquarian bookseller and he has 60 Portsmouth tattoos on his body, the club crest shaved on to his head and "PFC" engraved on his teeth and he rings a bell.

John Portsmouth Football Club Westwood wants to eat Portsmouth Football Club and to be eaten by it. John Portsmouth Football Club Westwood is called Portsmouth Football Club and his body is Portsmouth Football Club and he rings a bell. John Portsmouth Football Club Westwood is running out of places to go and he has strange sad eyes. John Portsmouth Football Club Westwood.
John Portsmouth
Football Club Westwood
John Portsmouth
FootballClubWestwood
John
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Westwood.

14 comments:

Brit said...

*Yeah, he was christened John Portsmouth Football Club Eastwood. Ba-boom tish.

elberry said...

Fantastically unsettling. i love the way you suggest obsessive, centripetal mania by repeating his name increasingly often, till it's all there is, but it as it were comes free of its grammar, and becomes idiolectic. - which is how i regard football in general.

worm said...

I could almost feel the mad flecks of spittle leaping from the text as the madness set in, great stuff

The Old Batsman said...

Excellent! Imagine being an averagely committed foreign player just wanting to bank your few grand a week as quietly as possible and go home, looking up into the stand and seeing... that...

monix said...

Is the last paragraph to be chanted in the rhythm of Pompey Chimes?

malty said...

The dulcet tones of Ossie belting out Paranoia (the greatest rock music ever)* are at this very moment ringing in my ears as I sit in the room surrounded by 400 black and white photo's of Ava Gardiner and playing my euphonium and triangle.

In the heart of Northumberland lies Mitford parish church, some years ago the vicar, the rev Jack Armstrong, would, every Sunday, lead his congregation in especially written prayers, for Newcastle united, now that's obsession, over and above etc.

* Apart that is from Flogging Molly's Black Friday Rule.

Never mind Brit, you couldn't possibly feel as gutted upon your return from Wigan as the band of dejected ever hopefuls returning from Rome. Plans aft gang awry and all that.

Gaw said...

A disturbing evocation of football madness. But I wonder whether football channelled his madness or triggered it?

On the other hand, there are a lot of nutters in the antiquarian book trade.

David said...

Now, that's art.

Gaw said...

I read this just after watching that quite good programme on Beowulf last night. I now can't get out of my head visions of John Portsmouth Football Club Westwood chowing down in the mead hall.

Also Brit, I'd be interested to hear you declaim this, bard-like.

Brit said...

In a monotone to the rhythm of Auden's The Night Mail, Gaw.

Sorry if the post has disturbed you, I seem to have inadvertently invented a new genre: horrorblogging.

Stephen said...

He'll look daft when he's 80, no, hang on,he looks daft now.

Peter Burnet said...

Take heart, lads. This just shows once again that nobody does decline with the flair of the English. Time after time you leave us North Americans feeling inadequate in our sterile predictability. My goodness, in one week you have an M.P. caught using public funds to dredge the moat of his castle and now you tell us your number one crazy football lout is an antiquarian bookseller!! Boggles the mind, it does.

Brit said...

Yep, Peter. While researching JPFC Westwood I found a quote where the man with 60 tattoos, PFC engraved on his teeth, an unbroken record of seeing every game for 3 decades etc etc, says:

"Books are my life."

So when are you coming over the Pond to witness the eccentric decline first hand? Skipper and David make near-monthly visits.

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