Give Me A Beeeeee
Having bored and scared everyone rigid by spelling out the financial state of Division Two in my last column, I have decided to write something lighter in the hope that people might at least read all the way to the bottom.
I considered many topics – the state of our club, the lack of new faces, the worrying trend of red cards which will deprive us of key players over the next month, two defeats on the trot. However, one thing has been plaguing my mind for some time now, so forgive me if I get it off my chest.
I have many ambitions in life. I want to do a parachute jump. I’d like to start a family. I have always wanted to be a newspaper reporter. I want to run a marathon. I would like to have a book published. I quite fancy being Prime Minister one day.
I have confidence that I will one day achieve many of the goals in my life (apart from the one involving two Swedish nurses, the lead singer of The Bangles and a jar of honey). However there is one ambition which eludes me.
I have always wanted to start a chant at an away match.
Sure, I have sat in the midst of the masses at Bury, Stoke, Cardiff, Wigan etc and boisterously joined in the taunts and chants at our ignorant rivals. I have jeered Ian Holloway and Garry Thompson as loudly as the next man. The odd gesture has escaped my hand in the direction of the home bench at the Memorial Ground. I have ducked the bricks at Ninian Park along with the best of you and even perfected the art of trailing off towards the end to avoid being that embarrassed last person left singing “Drink Up Thy Zider” on his own. Hell, when the going has got tough I’ve even thrown caution to the wind and joined in the chorus of “Come On Yoooo Reds” from my seat in Block E of the Dolman Stand knowing the heightened decibel level might give the old folks sitting near me a seizure. In fact I’ve travelled to away games across the country for a quarter of a century and flown half way around the globe to see my beloved Bristol City play and enjoy that comforting feeling of belonging which comes from being part of a crowd.
But I’ve never actually had the balls to go out on a limb and start a chant on my own.
I guess it’s my slightly lower middle class upbringing. The fear of failure and rejection. The fear and humiliation of striking up a “Give me a Beeeeee” and hearing silence in return. Of looking round and seeing people laughing at me. Maybe it’s just the fact that I’ve not sunk half a barrel of cider before kick-off and am therefore too self-conscious. I guess a psychologist would have a field day. Surely I can’t be alone. Surely someone else out there lacking the requisite bottle must, like me, feel an urge to scream “Come on you reds” or “Everywhere we go” in a brief moment of silence at Wrexham or Rotherham, in the hope of getting that thrill from hearing thousands of City hardcases take up the chant.
I may not walk into Number 10 Downing Street and form my own Cabinet. I may never jump out of a plane at 12,000ft with a bit of nylon strapped to my back.
But one day, I swear, I will throw caution to the wind, put my ego on the line and try to start a chant. I guess those of you who sit in the centre of the middle block behind the goal in an away game singing away with eight pints in your belly and lobbing the football around before kick-off while surrounded by your mates will be laughing your heads off at the thought that I’m too bloody worried to strike up a tune. To tell the truth, I’m pretty embarrassed about it myself. In fact I’m only writing it because I thought it might be therapy to get it out in the open after 25 years.
So if you happen to be in the away end at Luton, Wycombe or Blackpool and see a short, slightly self-conscious looking man with a goatee beard, jeans and a dodgy yellow walking jacket suddenly roar “Give me a Beeeeee” out of the blue, have a heart and answer the cry.
It might seem like a bit of a pain. You might even
be the only person kind enough to join in. But you’ll be
helping me achieve my dream. Sad, but true.