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"Yo, Brethren ! It's Shreevesy here wiv the low-down on what's really kicking off away from the training pitches. It might be hard to believe this, but when I was earning the big money as Terry Yorath's right-hand man, no-one gave a flying cr*p what I did. Not any more though. Now it's mega news if Rooney is spotted at Greggs the Bakers, or Lamps is seen in Primark. Anyway, you spot 'em and I'll whack 'em on.
Send your top spots to me at: email@example.com
Good luck, and, in the words of my old mate Pleaty.. Cowabunga Dudes!"
Well, the festive season is over but it meant a good opportunity for all my eagle-eyed spies out there to spot some top footballing legends, both young and old, starting with a rare sighting of an old Chelsea legend...
Tony Don marvelled as Ron 'Chopper' Harris rode his brand, spanking new Chopper bike around the park near his Scottish holiday home in Kirkcudbright! The old Yorathmeister General, David Pleat, would have loved to have had sight of that.
Gillian Peterson spotted ex-Forest manager Billy Davies doing absolutely nothing of note as he waited for a taxi with his family at East Midlands Airport. Come on Howatosn, you can do better than that next time, get one of your kids to kneel down behind Davies and then get another to push him over. Whilst you film it. I'd love to see that.
Winston Arbuthnot sent us an in depth letter detailing how he watched agog as former England winger Mark Chamberlain despatched a plum pudding between carols at St Crispin's Church, Rugely. Steady on Winston, 1,500 words is pushing it! A telegram would have sufficed.
Former Southampton veteran Francis Benali was seen demanding his money back after an altercation with an elf at the now infamous New Forest Lapland experience. Toby Siddall who spotted the rumpus said the elf had clearly been drinking and there was something not quite right about his roll ups either.
Terry Towellin took his kids to see Santa at Debenhams in St Helens before Christmas. He wasn't 100%, but from the whiff of tapas on his breath to the way he grumbled about his kidneys, he suspects the secret Santa was none other than Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez.
Nigel Hartbrook saw Sunderland defender Nyron 'Nosser' Nosworthy dressed as the Joker at the clubs Christmas party in the Prudhoe Working Mens Club. Nothing unusual there I hear you all cry. Except that the theme for the fancy dress was Bats Men, not Bat Man! El-Hadj Diouf won 1st prize with his spookily accurate take on Mike Gatting.
It's not just St Nick who likes a nice chimney, Mike Young hid in one for a fortnight, Jermaine Pennant's to be precise, hoping to get a glimpse of Real Madrid's next Galactico hanging up his stocking by the fire. Little did he know that Jermaine likes to hang his at the foot of the bed. Better luck next time Mike.
Doug Foster nearly dropped his frozen turkey when he saw Dele Adebola looking at paint in a small handyman store in Lincoln.
Ryan Barnes saw terrible TV pundit Lee Dixon eating brussel sprouts on toast in a cafe next to the bus station at Chapel en le Frith. As Glenn Hoddle once said to me when I showed him my collection of old dead toads "Yuck !"
Karen Pickering was in Snowdonia hiking up the hills with trekking poles and camping gear when she spotted Michael Owen setting up camp for the night.
And finally folks, Burgess Meredith (no, not that one) spotted Roy Keane sneakily tearing open Christmas crackers at a fancy shop in Wilmslow. That's not part of the game Roy, the contents of a cracker are supposed to be a surprise. One of my ex-captain's, Peter Atherton, will be livid when I text him about that. And rightly so.
Well, the weather might have been rubbish this summer, but your footballing top spots have been nob on ! Let's kick things off with some bad news for an old Hillsborough legend...
Yes, former Sheffield Wednesday winger Terry Curran was seen, sadly, reduced to being a stooge for The Chuckle Brothers on their summer season at Scarborough. Our man, who wishes to remain anonymous, reported that Terry had told him he didn't want to see another custard pie for as long as he lived! As my ol pardner in crime David Pleat might have said, "How the mighty have fallen".
Terence North has written to us with news that he saw one-time Norwich City goal gobbler, Kevin Drinkell, negotiate a 10% reduction on his takeaway curry on production of what looked like a fake student card. Staff at the Moglai restaurant in Lincoln were nonplussed but agreed to the deal when Drinkell handed them a signed photo of former City boss Ken Brown.
Doug Foster thought he was seeing things as he watched Gazza's mate 'Five Bellies' scraffling in the bins outside the Jarrow branch of Aldi. You weren't seeing things Doug - old F.B. is well known in footballing circles as a top scraffler.
Top Spots regular Ryan Barnes, stood on platform 4 of Blackpool North railway station, saw Sammy Lee and Sam Allardyce get off the 4.15 from Bolton in Cybermen suits, with another person with them dressed as Davros. "Was there a Doctor Who convention in town ?" Ryan adds in his email. You tell me Ryan. What do you think Shreevesy is, some kind of a walking nothern version of Time Out ?
Moustachioed Argentine World Cup winner, Leopoldo Luque, was spotted leaving a Warrington lap dancing club by eagle eyed pervert, Arnold Cleaver. But don't panic Mrs Luque. He's got a part time job at 'La Juggeria' as a pot washer!
Tony Don noticed Tony Mowbray driving his old Sierra around a roundabout. Nothing too strange there, except for when I tell you where he was - about from 5 miles from Melton Mowbray ! As my old captain Ian Hendon would have said "That's eerie Shrevesy".
Mike Young, back out on bail for the summer, somehow ended up hiding in the shower of Mark Lawrenson's ensuite and watched Lawro cleaning his teeth through the frosted glass. Lawro's a Colgate man apparently, just like Gary Mabbutt. Spooky !
Leaving these lovely shores and heading swiftly over to the Balearics, Anthony Arkle was amazed to see Germany legend Olaf Thon downing a yard of ale in Bob's Bar, Magaluf, owned by ex-Tiswas funnyman Bob Carolgees. I reckon Olaf will have had a hefty hangover after that one. Arkle also reckoned he saw the ghost of Valeri Lobanovsky shouting "Here comes the Lobster" to him after eating a dodgy fish stew. I'm not having that one, Arkle!
Staying abroad, and Mike Ingleby noticed Pele and Maradona having a fist fight outside an Irish pub in Los Angeles. He even sent me a photo. Which I've lost.
And finally folks, Carl Weathers (no, not that one), went into Clark's shoe shop to buy his daughter some new school shoes but came out with more than he bargained for - a signed box from Man Utd star Wayne Rooney. Young Rooney, temp'ing at the Alderley Edge branch as cover for his wife Colin, was busy selling bunion shoes to grumpy old women but still found time to sign a shoebox and have a chat about the terrible weather.
Whoop whoop! Shreevesy's back! It's been too long but I've been ever so busy what with writing my new cookbook (Thai, what else!) and doing a pilot for my new TV chat show with Jimmy Greaves. We can't think of a name for it though. If only there was some sort of connection between our names...
Anyhow, to hell with that, Top Spots is what keeps me off the streets. We've had a World Cup and the new season is fully underway. There, the intro's over.
Things aren't looking too bright for former West Ham favourite Geoff Pike. Lorne Greene (no, not that one, the other one) informs me that he saw him wearing one of those Golf Sale placards on Newbury High Street. And what really worried old Lorne is that there aren't any golf shops in Newbury!
Top spots regular Tony Don, out walking with brothers Monty and River, looked on agog as he spied veteran defender David Weir grappling a fish. In a weir! Ooooh the very thought.
Kevin Elphick overheard Tom Huddlestone bellowing "Mark my words, it'll catch on!" to a baffled looking town crier in Tewkesbury. About what, we will never know.
Plenty of great spots from my fans who went to the World Cup. Richard Bland saw Louis Van Gaal squabbling with a barman in a Durban piano bar. Apparently Louis demanded that the pianist played that old film soundtrack favourite Louis Louis. When he'd finished he wanted him to do it again! And then again! Oh Louis Louis, Ohhhh bebby. Youwayaway.
Thomas Kampmann a foreigner, from overseas, near Germany, wants me to know that he saw Ashley Cole throwing darts at a picture of the Queen in the aftermath of England's defeat against Germany. I think that's a wind up Thomas, you Teutonic trickster. Sour grapes is it? Didn't like getting a taste of Matthew Upson's goal scoring prowess, eh?
Ashley would never do something like that. As demonstrated by my next spot from a Pavlos Joseph of Bromley. In a story yet to come out, Pavlos evaded stadium security after England's tremendous clean sheet against Algeria. After selling David Beckham a broken Casio watch for twenty quid he spotted Ashley in the dressing room, weeping real tears because of all the bad things in the world. As my old mentor in chief David Pleat would've said, if only he was here today, in my pantry - "That grieves me Shreevesy".
Finally, any number of you (one, Terry Parr) have informed me of strange goings ons at the Sun City golf course. Apparently, former ITV pundit Robbie Earle was spied being chased by a bevy of scantily clad Dutch beauties across the 7th hole fairway. Apparently Robbie had accidentally snagged all their mini skirts into on his golf buggy, ripping them all off and exposing the ladies bra and pants. The ladies gave chase and Robbie subsequently bashed the buggy into a tree before running off haphazardly, pausing only to slap an old, bald caddy repeatedly on the head.
Finally finally, Top Spots is now on Facebook! If you've noticed Sean O'Driscoll buying a smoothie or maybe even bumped into Abedi Pele evading a librarian, let me know. Unfortunately I can't remember the web address. Maybe next time!
First things first - I've got a top spot of my own this month - a couple of weeks ago during a charity golf trip to Scotland I spotted the spiritual Marvin Andrews at Kirkcaldy Links Market carrying an enormous Goose type thing. My God it looked heavy.
Terry Turpin, son of Randolph, sat next to Lee Dixon on the Dockland's Light Railway as he knitted what looked like a chunky cardigan. But he could have been wrong.
Billy Foster saw two footballing Ian's, Woan and Cranson, free-style rapping at the main entrance to the Potteries Shopping Centre in Stoke. Not content with just one top spot, Billy also spotted former Villa forward Gary Shaw playing Stone-Paper-Scissors with a pensioner near WHSmith in Lichfield. I wonder if that pensioner was my old nemesis Egil Olsen ? He used to love that game. And Lichfield.
Doug Foster stood behind Russell Osman as he coughed loudly in Wickes.
Ryan Barnes saw fine-wine connoisseur Graeme Le Saux swigging from a bottle of Lambrini as the 17:30 to Woking pulled out of Waterloo Station. My mate Micky Hazard would have paid good money to have seen that.
Anthony Davis saw Neil McNab arguing with a pigeon behind a quarry near Buxton.
Top Spots regular Tony Don spotted Kevin Ratcliffe pushing a rat... off a cliff !! As my old mucker Keith Burkinshaw, aka the Burkmeister General, would say - "spookier than a deserted fair ground in an episode of Scooby Doo".
Mike Young managed to evade Rio Ferdinand's dobermans, get into his house and hide in his boiler cupboard, where he saw Rio eat an 8 pack of CheeseStrings. You've been 'merced' Rio !!
Nick Tarry gazed on in admiration as ex-Arsenal defender Gus Caesar rotated crops in a field near Peterborough. Good work Tazman. And way to go Gus !
Rich Townsend heard foolish England goalkeeping coach Ray Clemence trying to order a Big Mac at a Burger King's, in Corby. I always thought Ray was an idiot. Ooh Shreevesy loves a nice Burger King, especially those Chicken McNuggets and Zinger Burgers.
And finally folks, Sylvester Riggle looked on in abject horror as Neil Warnock nearly choked to death on pastry outside Gregg's the Bakers in Padstow. All I can say to that is "A Gregg's, in Padstow ?" WTF ?!?