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Views from the Toilet's Adjacent #2

Views from the Toilet's Adjacent #2

Sadly a great servant to the club was taken from us just before Christmas. Many of you will have stood next to this Dulwich stalwart on the terraces, rallying The Rabble and lifting the spirits of fans and players alike.

But alas and alack, Champion Hill now stands bereft of a well-loved venerated presence. As Hamlet himself opined “all that lives must die, passing through nature to eternity.” And that lad knew his onions on matters mortal.   

I’d proposed a minute’s applause before today’s match as a mark of respect. But I’m afraid this hasn’t attracted the level of support from the Board I’d hoped would be forthcoming. In which case let me use the opportunity of writing this influential column to pen a panegyric about Bob’s flag. As some of you will know this most esteemed of ensigns was stolen by some dismal perp, along with Bob’s car, in treacherous Bermondsey late last year. Though cheap of construction and elementary in design, Bob’s banderole has been an important feature of Dulwich Hamlet life for many years now, steadfastly seeing us through numerous play-off finals, a promotion, and our recent reintegration into the Isthmian.

Flapped maniacally behind the goal at key set ball moments and when we nearly or indeed actually scored, the flag was truly the club’s twelfth man, establishing a place in all our hearts. I am proud to say I have handled Bob’s pride and joy on occasion, giving it the odd cheeky shake at his invitation. He also let me wave his flag sometimes too. So my thoughts and prayers go out to Bob the Flagless, whose loss we can but imagine.

Good news though is that Bob is planning to get another.  A better one we hope, because the old flag was a bit moth-eaten and had certainly seen better days. I’m hoping for something crafted of purest Mulberry silk, sutured in a Parisian atelier, and borne aloft on a long cane of burnished malacca. But that depends on whether we can persuade the Supporters’ Trust or some money-bags Board member to pony up.

Today in grief we shift our attention to Haringey Borough, who of course did for us in the FA Cup back in September. Their season since has been like a bus journey up the A10: largely static, albeit with the occasional lurch forward. Seems like they’ve found a bit of third gear recently though, so we can expect them to punch our ticket at some stage this afternoon before changing drivers at Stamford Hill.

The Borough’s fans turned up in impressive numbers last time they were among us at and sang their tweaked rendition of a Tom Robinson classic with gusto. Top terrace tune that I thought. I was particularly taken by their creative use of melisma to bridge the missing syllable caused by the substitution of Har-in-gey for Glad-to-be-gay. Whitney Houston herself would have baulked at that. Up and at ‘em and up The Hamlet.

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Champion Hill Stadium,
Edgar Kail Way,
East Dulwich,
London.
SE22 8BD.

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