I have been accused of being a bit of a professional northern, wearing my up north cloak when it suits, then reverting to urbane London-lifer/Italian medallion man the rest of the time. Well isn’t that what we all do if truth be told ie fit in as seemlessly as possible into your surroundings? It’s not like I bang on about how wonderful life is in Barnsley like Michael Parkinson or talk faux scouse like Cilla Black whilst both have spent the last 40 years living in leafy Surrey. I’m the first person to sing the praises of a place but also to point out its idiosyncracies and downsides. Look at my last posting if you want proof!
But I was genuinely raht delighted to see Lancashire win their first County Championship title outright in 77 years with an 8 wicket win against Somerset last weekend. What made it doubley delightful was knowing that the title was achieved without superstars with a team mostly drawn from local blokes, albeit with a yorkie captain in Glen Chapple. I watched Lancashire as a kid when they played a lot at Blackpool. Players like Clive Richards, Brian Statham and Farouk Engineer were the stars then and although they were recognised as the kings of the one day game, the Championship title always eluded them. The same was true in later years with the likes of Muralitharan and even Freddy Flintoff in the side. But with a bunch of honest well-coached troupers they’ve triumphed, which shows the value of team spirit and great leadership. And don’t they look pleased above eh? Maybe it’s because they’ve also found out that the old enemy Yorkshire got relegated at the same time. Isn’t life amusingly ironic at times?
Now before I get accused of county triumphalism can I also draw your attention to an ad which makes me bloody cringe at its cheesey northernness. This must make the whole nation think that Lancashire is full of halfwits. It features Bolton’s very own Vernon Kay and his actual mum Gladys who is introducing him to the delights of Flora Cuisine’s healthy cooking oil which apparently contains 45% less saturated fat than olive oil. It’s not the product I have an issue with; it’s the ad’s setting – a married man with kids still popping round to his mam’s for tea coupled with the embarrassing baby talk. ‘Hi beauts’ she greets him with. Who calls their 30 odd year old son that? But it’s the punchline which sticks in my craw as Gladys reminds him that she’s just ‘looking after yer lickle ticker’. How can he possibly walk the streets and not hold his head in shame? I can’t watch this without gagging. 1 out of 10 is too generous…..
You big jessie.