His radio “career” in a tailspin of ever-increasing ordinariness, his Meisterwerk book, laddishly titled “Is He All That?” (click here to read the rave reviews) selling like ice cubes at the North Pole, Adrian Durham – self-styled “World’s only celebrity Peterborough United fan” – has lurched unwisely into print again today, in well-known tabloid snotrag the Daily Heil, for whom he contributes a pisspoor weekly column, desperately trying to weave some credibility about his transparently inane ravings. It’s car-crash “journalism”, the kind of reading that can make your eyes bleed and your teeth curl. You wonder if Durham’s middle name might perhaps be “Excruciating” and you speculate as to what, exactly, is going on under that ginger moss covering his skull. “Not a lot” would sum it up. A glance at the interior of poor Adrian’s bonce would doubtless reveal that the wheel is running, but that tragically the hamster is dead.
Today’s effort saw him revisiting his favourite prejudices as he flailed about, hopelessly trying to plug a book that is turning out to be as well received as Custer was at the Little Big Horn. Adrian supports Peterborough United (Peterborough United are thought to be considering an official denial of this) – yet unaccountably, most of the targets for any venting of his bile-engorged spleen tend to move in circles far, far above the mundane milieu of the London Road outfit. He has a go at Arsenal, he has a go at Man U. He “thinks” – for want of a more appropriate word to describe his mental activity – that Italy’s four World Cup triumphs were undeserved, that Arsenal’s “Invincibles” were over-rated and that the 1966 World Cup Final was “a rubbish game”. All views, you may have noticed, that would be calculated to get irate punters calling in to his TalkSPORT “Drivetime” show to disagree with him – which is that lamentable station’s chief tactic for stimulating some sort of interest in their drivel-based output. Rumour has it that TalkSPORT’s motto is “Spout bollocks and count the cash” – and they certainly do seek to profit from the fact that there’s a lot of easily-annoyed mugs out there.
After having his little dig at Man U – always a good way to get some controversy going, as I’ve found myself – Durham turns his attention to Leeds United. “In my book “Is He All That?” one of the most enjoyable chapters to write was called: Don Revie’s Dirty Leeds United”, he gobbles smugly. Then, after the fashion of such talentless hacks, he lamely recycles all the old myths – assassins, filthy, studs, elbows and punches. It’s all been said a thousand times before, and infinitely better than Mr Durham could manage in his wildest dreams. But hey, he enjoyed writing it, which is something. Reading it, to judge from the Amazon reviews, must be as enjoyable as a sharp attack of diahorrea in a space suit. So what is Durham’s problem with Leeds United, that he should drone on and on, ad nauseam, about the fact that he so enjoys hating them? Leeds are, in fact, a club that is almost universally hated. There’s nothing new here, nothing to see; it’s just a convenient and overcrowded bandwagon for the lazy and the inadequate. Hating Leeds is a boring cliché, the only compensating positive is that it has become a badge of honour for the club’s supporters. Couldn’t Durham have aimed to be a little more original?
It really is quite odd, this claimed level of antipathy from such a nonentity as Mr Durham, supporter of such a pallid club as Peterborough. There have only ever been six league meetings between the two clubs, Leeds winning four with one win to Peterborough and one draw. In the Cups, Peterborough caused a shock (though not much of one with the dire Leeds side of that season) in 1986, knocking the clueless Whites out 1-0. Twelve years earlier, Don Revie’s United had cuffed the little upstarts 4-1 on their own ground. In the League Cup, there have been two meetings, both victories for Leeds in 1988, by 2-1 and 3-1 for a 5-2 aggregate. It’s not a long mutual history that the two clubs share, understandably so, given their vastly different pedigrees. The head-to-head record is lop-sidedly in favour of Leeds – but does this really account for Adrian’s much-trumpeted attitude? It seems unlikely, leaving us to conclude that he is after all merely using the populist vehicle of hating Leeds – and particularly the Revie “Super Leeds” vintage – to inflate his own deeply mediocre career and take him to heights that his pitiful lack of talent would otherwise deny him.
It’s all grist to the mill of those Leeds United fans who tend to glance sidelong at the latest nobody to profess hatred, and then give us a brief refrain of “We’re not famous anymore”, which is the Beeston take on post-modernist irony, if you like. Usually, such minor irritants as Durham can be dismissed as one might swat a fly – it’s not as if he has a lot going for him as a person, after all. Leaving aside his gingerness, which no self-respecting Leeds fan would have a go at – after all, we owe massive respect to the likes of Billy Bremner, Gordon Strachan and, erm, David Hopkin from our illustrious history – there’s just so much to ridicule about this puffed-up little gob on a stick. Look again at those book reviews on Amazon – vicious, harrowing stuff. But the downside of all this is that Durham has, by fair means or foul, obtained for himself a platform of sorts – and he seems to want to use it to pump vitriol at our beloved Leeds United. Still, I suppose even the hard-of-thinking have to fill their time somehow.
As far as I’m concerned, if the dismal Mr Durham feels that his personal goals are best attained by droning on about football, Leeds United and other matters wherein he can demonstrate his zero level of knowledge and expertise – then so be it. I’ve had my say on the man and his shoddy “work”, and I think I’ve been more than fair to him. And the funny thing is, I always find it comforting, satisfying and instructive to look at those, like the useless Adrian, best-known for being Leeds United haters – Tony Gale, Man U fans, Ken Bates, Brian Mawhinney, Paul Scally, poor little Dave Jones etc etc – and reflect on, well…..what prats they are. What pitiful, wretched excuses for human beings. There surely has to be a message in there somewhere.