Life, Leeds United, the Universe & Everything can exclusively reveal that Man Utd – the former football club now known throughout the observable cosmos as The Pride of Devon – are to show their appreciation of two massively important figures in their recent history, by erecting statues in their honour.
The legends concerned are Aussie media tycoon Rupert Murdoch – who single-handedly ended Man U’s 26 year title drought by buying the game for them in 1992 – and former referee Howard Webb, who still holds the all-time club record for career assists, beating even Ryan Giggs and Mike Riley into second and third positions. Mr Webb is now the technical director of the Professional Game Match Officials Board, where he will be able to continue in the service of Man U, ensuring that the “right” referees are selected for their fixtures.
A Theatre of Hollow Myths insider, speaking on a lobby basis to Life, Leeds United, the Universe & Everything, confirmed that the two statues have been commissioned in recognition of the club’s immense gratitude for the contribution of these two individuals towards their unprecedented and frankly suspicious level of success. The identity of our source cannot be revealed, but we are able to confirm that he has an elder brother, a centre-half for the best team around, who won a World Cup winner’s medal for England in 1966, and that he himself is now mainly occupied in the “unofficial match ticket supply chain”, going under the nom de guerre of “Ticketmaster“. His anonymity guaranteed, he was able to give us full details of the nature and locations of the planned statues.
The first surprise is that the statuary tributes will not be a feature of the Theatre of Hollow Myths itself. “We thought that might be overkill,” our source told us, flicking nervously at his comb-over, “After all, we already have a statue to Alex Ferguson, and various tastefully-sponsored reminders of the Munich Air Disaster. Alex himself was none too pleased about the possibility of “yet anither piece o’ mairble clutterin’ up ma groond”, so we’ve had to move to reassure him that the new statues will be located elsewhere. And, to be fair, they were likely to be just too big for the space available. The Murdoch statue in particular would have been the biggest erection in Manchester within living memory.”
So, we asked, Alex was happy – as long as the statues weren’t actually outside the ground, then? “I wouldn’t say happy, exactly,” our man admitted. “He doesn’t really do happy – but he has calmed down a lot since we told him we’re planning to name the whole stadium after him. He was quite pleased about that, I think.” Startled by a second big and exclusive piece of surprise information, we indicated that this was news to us, and doubtless would be to many armchair-bound gloryhunters throughout the world. “Yes, it’s been kept under wraps,” conceded “Ticketmaster“, “but we think it time to make a lasting tribute especially to S’ralex. The change of name from Old Trafford to Old Pillock will therefore be registered in time for the start of next season.”
Finally, then – where will the new statues be – ahem – erected? It turns out that this has been the subject of heated debate within the club, who are ever conscious of their need to
maximise merchandising income involve their loyal and faithful Sky TV subscribers throughout the country and beyond. “In the end, it came down to the two real hotbeds of support – so we’ve decided to apply the Wisdom of Solomon – and give one statue to Paignton and the other to Milton Keynes.” Sir Bobby Our source nodded, contentedly. “We feel that this is an equitable solution.”
Sir Bobby “Ticketmaster” Charlton is 103.