Rodney McAree is a legend. As the song goes, ‘He scored that goal in the Carlisle game’.
For the confused reader, I’m talking about football (soccer to yanks). And specifically Fulham FC, who Rodders helped on the road to promotion to the third tier of the League in 1997, which may have given them enough publicity to attract Mohammed Al Fayed. ‘Big Mo’ bought the club, saving them from years of near fatal financial and ownership problems. They now play in the Premiership and today managed to guarantee another season.
And Rodney? I’m sure he was a competent player, but I don’t recall him ever playing at a higher level than with Fulham. A few years ago he surfaced at Crawley Town, where he stayed for a while and was immortalised in the Crawley News as ‘Rodney McArce’. I bet he doesn’t have that cutting up on his wall. Still, it’s over 90% accurate, which is pretty good for the Crawley News.
Right, so having read all that, what does it have to do with me?
Well, I’m a Fulham supporter, and I was privileged to watch Rodney play, although not in the aforementioned game against Carlisle. I live in Crawley, pretty close to their stadium (yes, I said stadium). I was born in Crawley, and after escaping to Manchester for five years, I was drawn back like a struggling fish on a line. The magnetic pull of this town is so great I even managed to persuade my girlfriend to move here from Birmingham. And she hates Crawley.
Rodney will probably have little more part in this blog (although if I hear any more about him, I’ll be sure to slide it into a post). What will is Fulham, Crawley, and my other passions, politics and books.
[update: YouTube have a clip from the Carlisle-Fulham game in 1997 here - enjoy!]