So then. My name is Jim Smallman. I’m a stand-up comedian who is originally from Leicester and now lives in North Wales. I perform all over the UK (and in fact, around the world) and because of that I can’t get to watch my beloved Leicester City every week anymore.
I had a season ticket for 20 years, and now my weekends are spent in different cities trying to fill in time between gigs. This doesn’t seem like the right thing to do, so from now on I’m going to watch football every weekend (and midweek where I can) and report back on it in my own daft little way here.
Football and humour mesh well. I’m lucky enough to be a regular on BBC Radio 5 Live’s Fighting Talk and I’m proud to be the only comedian performing material based on something a man shouted out at Chris O’Grady during a Partick Thistle vs Leicester City pre-season friendly. My reports are a mixture of quasi-journalism (I’m a former BBC local radio presenter) and daft observations and general silliness.
I’m in my second season of doing this now, and you can read a few snippets of the first season in the archives. You can also buy the whole season (plus a few extras) for less than £2 as an ebook for Kindle – by clicking here. If you buy that it helps me carry on doing what I do, so I’d be really grateful.
Anyway, back to this season. THERE ARE RULES TO WHAT I DO!
1: No Premier League games. First off, I’ve been to every stadium in the top flight anyway, but I want to experience football on every other level. There’s no lower limit, and I’ll be honest and say that I want to go and see a fiercely contested FA Vase game in the middle of nowhere if that’s where my travels have taken me.
2: No visiting the same place twice in a season. For example, I gig in Bristol a lot. So if I’m there four times during the season, I can’t go to Ashton Gate four times – especially when there are a load more places for me to visit nearby.
3: Whatever ground I visit, I must make the home team my own for the day and support them as enthusiastically as I possibly can. Even if it ends up being Coventry or Forest. Got to blend in, even if I’m technically still a neutral.
4: I must sit or stand in the “popular end” of whatever stadium I visit. No prawn sandwich brigade for me, nor taking freebies from clubs. I want to pay my money and go through the turnstile with proper fans.
5: This is the hardest one. I must not, even if I end up being in the same town as them at the same time, sneakily watch Leicester City. I don’t think that’ll help me learn anything about the so-called “Beautiful Game” – and there’s a fair chance that I’ll end up miserable before my gig in the evening. (Note: This rule has already been broken twice. I am very sorry)
Bearing in mind my rules, I’ll try to put up where I’m planning on being here, or you could check out where I’m performing in the future on my website and suggest your local club for me to visit. Seriously, I always like meeting football fans and I’d be ecstatic if you wanted to show me around your club. Just get in touch and we can work something out!
Thanks for visiting, spread the word and see you out and about somewhere.