Changing rooms the size of a matchbox. On trips to dodgier areas the changing rooms are
normally covered in graffiti, with welcoming messages such "Welcome to Beirut". In
particularly rough areas you may also notice that the houses next to the pitch have there
windows painted so it looks like they have curtains. Dont be fooled.
The lazy pre-match kick about which always involves someone banging in a cross and everyone
else in the middle just stood around talking, sometimes doing those outstretched-leg-behind
manoeuvres whilst the ball goes harmlessly behind them all.
Dog turds on the pitch. Get there 30 minutes before kick-off to watch the home manager
trying to shift it whilst his 7 year old son watches in horror. Roughly 10 minutes into the
match you should expect the away team's right back to find an area of the pitch still
festooned with some old nuggets and a couple of fresh lumps.
Just one solitary linesman. This is normally because the home side just can't be bothered
to sort it out (despite having at least 4 subs) and because the away side only have the
bare 11. The single linesman is also guaranteed to be more biased than the most biased
thing ever in the history of being biased.
The last-minute emergency replacement who hasn't played for about 9 years. He no longer has
his own boots so he has to borrow a pair that are at least 3 sizes too small for him and
therefore plays the match in complete and utter agony for 60 minutes before hobbling off
with a knackered knee.
An abusive section of crowd, some of the whom will be swigging from cans of Mansfield beer,
despite it being 10.15 in the morning.
The left back who was out on the beers the night before, being sick on the sidelines
about 20 minutes into the game.
Dodgy kits and dodgy sponsorships... although recent years has seen a marked improvement in
this area, you'll still come across a couple of teams in mis-matched 80's styled kits with a
faded 'Bills Autos' emblazoned across the top, or 'B lls A tos' in some cases.
The opposition's massive, hopeless, one-punt centre half. Often captain.
Another centre-half - this one about 3 stones overweight, bald, big-mouthed, knee support,
and wearing a kit about 5 times too small for him. Despite looking like Phil Collins in a
football kit this centre-half turns out to be the best player on the park and will probably
only retire when his pension starts.
The disastrous offside trap - disastrous because only the bald, big-mouthed centre-half
knows how to play it effectively, leaving the left and right backs
looking like clowns.
At least one of the players having a half-time fag. 90% of the time this player will be the
The decent Saturday amateur player, head and shoulders above the rest but turning out for his
mates. Normally takes the p*ss out of the hopeless one-punt centre half.
The 'Sunday Morning Show-off', sporting white, red, or even gold boots,
who might as well wear a big sign around his neck with "PLEASE KICK ME!" in enormous letters.
Not to be confused with the 'decent Saturday amateur player', who doesn't need the
boots to show he's a top player.
The official referee - on most occasions he'll be either (a) a 5 foot 2, bald, chain-smoking
65 year old, or (b) a tall, gawky youth in a really shiney kit, who appears to be doing his
The unofficial referee - when the official one doesn't turn up then one of the managers
ends up doing it, resulting in lots of unnoticed fouls, offsides and karate kicks.
The total psychopath... whatever you do make sure you don't tackle him, look at him or even
think about taking him on, its just not worth it. Normally referred to as 'Tank', 'Killer',
The magic sponge and bucket. This legendary combination is the only means of first aid
available, no matter what the injury. Ankle broken ? "Bring on the magic sponge!". Usually
comes together at some stage in the game and inevitably the bucket is always empty.
Every player, even the quietest, turning into Sweary Mary. Expect some players to get so
worked up that their swear words get mixed together - like "Twastard".
The club treasurer in the changing rooms after the game trying in vain to get the match
subs off the players, and getting the usual response of "Soz, I've left my cash in the car"
or "I'll pay you in the pub, chief". Said player never coughs up, and by the end of the
season has racked up debts of 50 quid.