So we’ve reached that silly save season time again when most of us in the FM community go rogue having either completed or lost interest in our main save(s). So not wanting to be left out, ladies and gentlemen I present to you a tasty little Ron Atkinson Welsh seaside aside save, that I have decided to call ‘ The Rondudno way’.
Our story begins in Rhos-on Sea in North Wales, and more specifically in the conservatory of Ron’s modest 8 bedroom bungalow overlooking the golf course on the quiet rural road that runs to the neighbouring seaside town of Llandudno, lying in the shadow of a majestic piece of rock called the Great Orme.
After leaving his DoF post at Kettering Town in 2007, Ron has been very firmly in the football wilderness and despite an attempt at sideways celeb-for-hire fame on Celebrity Big Brother in 2013 when he made an inappropriate reference to an Irish contestant (all true, I kid you not), it is fair to say that Ron has now accepted the reality of a peaceful retirement punctuated by the odd game of golf, a 19th hole Drambuie and the odd cream tea with the missus in the shade of Conwy Castle.
On the day we meet Ron, it is 11am on a Saturday morning and he is pottering around the bungalow in his dressing gown and slippers and doing nothing apart from generally getting under his wife’s feet. The golf course is closed due to recent flooding (this happens a lot) and before she commits murder his wife orders him to go out and ‘find something better to do instead of getting in my bloody way’.
Feeling downtrodden but without otherwise a care in the world, Ron capitulates and decides to go into Llandudno for a coffee and to pick up a copy of the Racing Post because, in his words ‘I shouldn’t have to fucking ‘log on’ every time I want a flutter’.
On the way there, while approaching the town from the Colwyn rd (a beautiful sweeping A-road descending from a small mountain with the fields on one side and the sea on the other) he slams on the brakes as a mud-ridden football flies into his path, bouncing off the bonnet of his pristine red Jag and onto the rounded pebbles of the beach. Startled but unable to resist the lure of picking up a ball again, he gets out of the car to see a ginger-haired young lad leap the wooden railings, retrieve the ball and turn to hoik it 60 yards back into the field towards another group of players assembled on the soaking wet field. The 18-something lad turns to the bonnet, spits on his sleeve, generally just spreads the muddy print around and leaves without a word, leaving Ron stood there aghast – he couldn’t give a shit about the car but why did the little bastard not recognise him?
“Oi!” he shouts, at which point the lad turns round.
“Yes, mate? Oh, sorry, just training like – got a game this aft.” he replies, jumping back over the fence.
“Do you not know who I am?” Declares Ron, indignantly.
The lad pauses “Hmmmm no, sorry mate, but do you know who we are?” he shouts back, pointing at his teammates as his jogs back to them.
Ron looks at the disheveled crowd of players of what can only be described as ‘mixed-age’, some of whom are wearing white striped football tops.
“No lad, why don’t you educate me?” Ron shouts back, struggling to be heard in the sea breeze.
Turning and pausing, the lad smiles for a second before replying.
“We’re Llandudno!” He cries, at which point the crowd of players start jumping around and singing a song which sounds something like “we are the Llandudno boys!”
“Oh, okay.” Ron says before getting back into the car, still upset at his apparent anonymity.
The next two hours seem to pass in an instant as Ron walks around Llandudno in a haze before calling into a newsagents, walking straight past the Racing Post on the newsstand and up to the shopkeeper.
“Hello Sir, the Racing Post again?” The shopkeeper asks.
“Not today,” Ron replies, “You know this football club, Lllandudno?” He asks.
“Well, yes sir, of course.” The shopkeeper replies.
“Can you tell me where they play and who their Chairman is?” Ron asks. 🙂
And the rest, as they say, is history (or it will be when I’ve fired up the save).
Watch this space for #2 of The Rondudno Way, coming to a twitterbox near you soon 🙂