14. Dear Mozza… You Knob

Derelicts 22 Barns Green 5

The post bag has been pretty full over recent weeks, a heady combination of best wishes, bewilderment and death threats. So to keep you going through the bleak midwinter, here’s a selection.

First up, a frustrated lady from Woodhatch writes:

Dear Mozza,
My husband is a kind and loving man, but when we’re having our little conversations he never seems to catch my drift. Help!
Mrs Wilson,
The Juggler’s hardly caught a thing for us all season lady. Suffer like the rest of us.

Dear Mozza,
I have a pair of 1948 Gilbert Persimmon boots, possibly made out of Eskimo, sorry Inuit, hide. We were an Empire then. They were left to me by my kind uncle Eugene in his will with a note saying: “These are more expensive than Tap’s”.
Arnold Arse,
The Skiddy,
Feltcham on Mott.
Sling your hook Arnold, I’m a busy man.

Dear Mozza,
My husband is a burly player, yet Skip insists on playing him regularly as a “back”. Have you so many bulky forwards that you can afford for the head of my household to languish in your midfield?
Ginuinely Perplexed,
Mole Valley.
Where Skip chooses to play Reigate Mike is his business, Ginny.

Dear Moz,
I watched a whole Derelicts game recently and it gave me nightmares to see so many elderly gentlemen in such frightful stages of trauma and disrepair. Did Mavis The Matador play for you as a dare? If so, I fear he’s won the bet.
Valerie Cudgel,
Little Frotting,

Dear Mozza,
I think Wolfie can speak a bit of Chinese? Do you per chance have any evidence of this?
Norman Spanner,
Fetid Snot,
Happy to oblige Norm.


Dear Mozza,
I think being a Derelict is a fine thing to aspire to and doubtless a richly rewarding experience. One thing puzzles me, however Moz, and that is why Soss is not playing for you yet? Or indeed one or two others. Sir Lesmond? Newks? I think there may be others.
Cyril Colon,
Gas Street,
Good to see someone’s on the ball Cyril. A fiver’s on its way.

Dear Mozza,
Is it a trick of the light or are there in fact two people inside the loosehead prop’s No1 shirt?
Anne Baffled,
The Gallop,
Oh go back to sleep Anne.

Dear Mozza,
The lady of the house has warned me that my participation in the Derelicts this season will be “over her dead body” and I’m wondering whether this is a threat or an order?
Tyrrells Wood.
You might do well to remind her, old chum, of the curious tale of  Lenworth ‘Bolthead’ Bromage who found himself called upon to bury three good lady wives. Quite a sad thing, especially when you realise two of them were only napping.

Dear Mozza,
I think your match reports are clique-y and ridiculous.
Gordon Whopper,
Lard Lane,
That’s very kind of you Gordon.

Dear Mozza,
All very entertaining Moz, but can you interpret your reports for me. I confess I’m a little clueless.
Gillian Mannequin,
Chod Corner,
Have you ever thought about taking up refereeing Gillian?

Dear Moz,
I stood on the touchline and wept salty tears of joy to see so many elderly men enjoying themselves. I wondered whether many of you are on medication? And if so, is it prescription only?
Eric Challenged,
Todgers Rest,
Box Hill.
I can only speak for myself of course Eric, but many of us swear by a combination of ginseng, beta blockers and a strange spray we bought a job lot of on tour last year in Italy. Skip, I know, is a big fan of Oil Of Ulay, Rodders takes regular doses of WD40 and Oddjob finds a good rub down with linseed oil does the trick. Any help?

Moisturiser, herbal detox, laxatives… The Derelicts take health issues seriously

Aaaaanyway. The ginseng was really working on Saturday as we welcomed back our good friends from Barns Green 2nds for a thoroughly rigorous post-festive work out in the mud and rain, giving first outings this season to the sick brigade – Kinger in the second row and Cliffy at centre, a slim-line Thorners in the pack, not to mention the welcome sight of bad-tempered Brian, a true vet in every sense, coming on at full back.

We were a merry throng as we warmed up in the glow of the dressing room, avoiding until the last moments the inevitable dousing that awaited. On the way to Fortress Pitch 3 with its distinctive slope, Pomf pondered hopefully: “Do you reckon this year’s going to be any better than last?”

And it seemed possible. The wet conditions very swiftly proved to our liking as we made our way about with some purpose and high hopes. And then, as seems so often the case this season, a cheeky high ball into the right corner got caught in the wind and dropped over the shoulder of the unfortunate Andrew The Whippet, who suddenly seemed to be vying for The Juggler’s crown as the pill squirted over the line. B*ll*cks!

The oppo, boosted by a few of their 1st XV, proved a stronger side than we met a few weeks back. And they couldn’t believe their luck as they touched down for an unconverted score. “Oh dear, I think we have our answer,” said Pomf.

But he need not have worried. The oppo’s pack were ground down by the Red & White pack led by the noble savagery of Oddjob. And we made good use of ball for a change through Cliffy, Lord Greed and Secret Agent Percy. And before long we created an overlap of sorts and the ball went – undropped – through several pairs of hands to Lord Greed who dived over for a birthday try. To cap a great comeback Gazza then thumped over a touchline conversion.

The oppo were then forced back towards their own line and brought on a fresh pair of props for a 5-metre scrum only to be shunted backwards in a devastating fashion, leaving the ball to be fed wide to The Juggler who selflessly offloaded to Secret Agent Percy for the simplest of scores.

So 12-5 at the interval became 17-5 when Rodders touched down at the base from another pushover by the pack. And then Bad-Tempered Brian, the grumpy vet, was on hand. The oppo pushed the ball wide, fumbled on the halfway line and could only watch as our man with the castration shears dribbled the ball over the line for 22-5.

Better still, The Whippet made amends with some deft hands, matinee idol Raymondo enjoyed a gallop or two and the pack entertained themselves wonderfully in the soft mud. None more than Buzz who enjoyed the rare experience for a man of his, er, structure, being hoisted aloft in the line-out. He’s hoping his testicles will re-descend before the weekend and the visit of Sidcup next week.

Talking of testicles… this has just dropped through the letterbox from another irate WAG.

Dear Mozza
I understand that SWERVE was TAPPED up by MOZZA on Monday at the club. This was an illegal approach, as I am holding his registration by the GINGE and PERCY’S. As we have newly moved to REIGATE MIKE, I have lost COUNT of the numerous ODDJOBS that need to be done. He has no time to walk ANDREW THE WHIPPET to VET BRIAN and no time to JUGGLE calls from SKIP. So if you don’t want a SCUD up the RODDERS or a POMF off the CLIFF, leave my SWERVY alone
Mrs Swerve
Top marks for balls Lady, feel free to release Swerve’s whenever you’re ready!

Keep the letters coming

Squad: Mozza, Scud, Oddjob, Kingah, Skip, The Count, Reigate Mike, Pomf, Buzz, Ginge, Rodders, Gazza, Secret Agent Percy, Cliff, Lord Greed, Andew The Whippet, The Juggler, Vet Brian, Raymondo

(With thanks to the late great journalist Henry Macrory for letters inspiration)

NEXT: 15. Looking As Cheerful As Any Man Could…

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