When Thomo Met Shabba - A View From Sheffield

Thomo asks Shabba for his views on the Anglo-Galician Cup...

What were your first impressions of Pontevedra/Galicia? It smells of dead fish, and there are no black people. I always thought it had a distinct aroma of cabbage. It does but I thought I’d say dead fish as that’s more disgusting.

Right, you want to start by trying to upset our counterparts. Nice one. Staying on a “food” theme what has been your favourite culinary experience in Galicia? It wouldn’t be the dead half boiled fooking pig I was made to eat on Gallo’s 40th. I think I ate its cock at one point. Now I know the Spanish boys are used to eating cock but us English lads aren’t European enough to change our ways. To be honest I enjoy all the food we have when we are over there, the boys treat us like kings – Burger Kings!

Staying on the subject, can you remember the pre-match meal in O Piňo that they served to us before the first ever game? I do yeah I hate a whole pulpo and a tonne weight of chorizo before the game not to mention the gallon of Albarino to wash it down with. I lasted 5 minutes on the field and spent the next 20 throwing up in a ditch. I think I came on in the 2nd half and had a chance but I didn’t feature much that day, luckily we had enough players out there that year to win it.

(Cheekily) How does chorizo affect you by the way? Makes me shit through the eye of a needle, I love it though.

How we managed to win that game half-cut through drink and more than full on food I’ll never know. Drink…right then, what is your favourite bar in Pontevedra? It was Blow Jobs, any bar where you can pour your own beer is my kind of place. Plus, nowhere else have I been able to watch hardcore pornography at half-time of a televised football match. It’s a pity they had to close it down for having an illegal immigrant running it.

That’s obviously a dig at the Argie, however would he be your favourite Porcos barman? That’s a tough one. Argie’s a top guy all round and looks after us very well; Serge has the looks; Victor, for me sometimes it’s like looking in a mirror when he serves me; Arturo’s a top fella and has some nice groupies. I don’t think I can say who is my favourite.

Gay boy. I’d always say Victor because he plays rugby and is therefore more useful to me if I get into any trouble in Pontevedra. Talking about being in Pontevedra, have you ever met Maria Vasco de Gama whilst you’ve been over there? Not that I know of but aguardiente is powerful stuff. If you did meet her in a bar in Pontevedra what would your first words be to her? I’d ask her if she was Serge in drag. Seriously though if I met her, I think it would be a wonderful experience. She’s a national treasure just like Palma Cathedral or the Dunes of Maspalomas and I would hold her in the same esteem as I do the two Fernandos, Torres and Alonso.

You also appear to be following in her musical footsteps. I understand you are to be involved in the recording of Galicia is Green, why did that come about? Boroman does a lot for the whole Anglo-Galician experience so I thought it would be good to support him. I think though that he will regret asking me as I will perforate his eardrums with my dulcet tones.

So do you like the idea of singing or just being in the same room as other men? Fuck off.

Come on be truthful you love a man’s company, who is your usual room-mate whenyou travel to Galicia and do they allow you to get much sleep? I’ve been unlucky enough to share with Gallo, Gangsta and the last three occasions Thomo, and no, the bastardos keep me awake every time. Even had Batty sharing one night with us the last time we were in Pontevedra and he snores like a frigging hippo!

Talking about hippos, you’ve been to see Celta Vigo on two occasions and on both occasions Vigo have been awful, losing 0-3 each time. Do you think it’s time to go to watch another team? Or as a Blade does it make you feel happy seeing another team being hammered? Fuck off you blue and white scum. Actually I would like to Pontevedra one time we’re over there and naturally I would love to see Barça play.

OK you red and white pig, when we go over to Pontevedra the weather in Galicia has often been very similar to that of England – wet. Do you think the Stags should make acquaintances in a different part of Spain, say Benidorm or Torremolinos, where the sun shines, the beer is cheap, the ladies are dirty, the language is English and a full English breakfast with a cup of tea costs €2.50? Yeah I think Magaluf. They show Only Fools and Horses and have John Smiths on tap, and it’s all Spain at the end of the day.

Yeah, you have been known, along with my good self, to use the Spain-Galicia weapon to wind up the Porcos. Famously flying the Spanish flag, complete with torro, before the VI. However I see that you sometimes post on the Blog in Galician, why and do you speak Galician or Spanish when the Stags and Porcos collide? I’m fluent in Galician especially when I have Google Translate handy. I’m also fluent in mierda de torro (bullshit). I do try and speak a little Spanish when we go over but I seem to be forgetting more and more, especially as I drink more and more aguadiente. What were we talking about again?

I can’t remember. Anyway I reckon we should now get onto the Anglo-Galician Cup. Have you played in all of the AG-Cup matches? I’ve turned up to every one so far.

Yeah until the VIII you hadn’t really contributed to any of the games apart from the occasional knee high challenge. However in the VIII you did the unthinkable and got your name on the score sheet. How did you feel when I (Thomo) sent you clean through on goal and then when the ball flew passed Santi into the back of the net? One word - “Erect”. No really it was great to score. I don’t get up there being a topnotch centre half as I prefer staying at the back and kicking Martin. And you’re also a cheeky b**tard. Not contributed? I had a right game in the VI and in the VII, apart from the handball, I was great. At least I lasted more than 3 seconds and didn’t go off because I was on my period.

Obviously that’s a dig at my unfortunate injury in the VII but I’m a better man than to raise to that comment. Instead let us reflect on your goal celebration; taking your red shirt off for me (Thomo) to charge at – like a matador and torro - was a (dis)honourable gesture towards our Galician adversaries. How did the idea of such a celebration enter your head and how funny do you think it looked? Well I thought I would do it in their honour of being them Spanish. It wasn’t until after the game I was told that they are Galician (said whilst smirking to himself). How funny was it? Hilarious, but I wonder what we are going to do next time. I think the goal celebration annoyed them more than the flag in the VI and the Spanish shirts in the VII. I can just see them saying English b**tards (Shabba is properly laughing now).

I fear for what your celebration would be should you score in Pontevedra. Dare Iask…? If I ever score in Ponte then I’ll run around the Praza de Leña wearing just my pants. Delightful.

Other than breaking your goal-scoring duck what has been your most memorable, amusing and disappointing moment of playing in the AG-Cup? The most memorable moment, despite you sitting across from me would have to be Thomo’s free-kick in the VI and the team spirit on that occasion to come from behind was amazing. The most amusing, I have two; the penalty decision in the VII and seeing Martin’s face when I said that I was over the line when I punched the ball; and the other wasFran playing in his black and red Dennis the Menace baseball boots the first time we played in Sheffield. The most disappointing was Thomo’s shin splints flaring up in the VII. Ha fucking ha.

Something that you have just alluded to is that in the VII you caused some controversy by saving a shot that was flying into the top corner and then by disputing the award of the penalty. From a spectators point of view you should have been proud of such a great save but you seemed adamant not to take the “glory” and insisted the shot was going wide. Looking back do you still believe it was going wide or do you snigger to yourself that you got away with one? It was never going in, my foot was over the by line when I punched the ball. The talk of it being a penalty was just another propaganda stunt by the porcos to make me look bad and to slur the stags name. Just ask Miller what he thought of the decision.

Talk in the bars later was that Miller had encouraged you to bend the truth. Is that correct? Well to be honest understanding “Rotherham” talk is harder than Galician so I’m not sure what he was saying to me.

Moving on to the VIII, wasn’t it you that recommended that the Porcos should stop in the Harley this year once you knew the Psalter couldn’t accommodate them?!? The Harley is rated as being 51st out of 57 hotels in Sheffield. How do you explain your recommendation? After putting us up in an old Spanish palace for Gallo’s 40th I thought that suitable vengeance should be sought, as such I thought that a hotel with music until 04.00 and blood/seaman stains on the sheets would be on a par with the conditions of El Parador. Worryingly I shared with you in El Parador, who’s was the blood and who’s was the seaman? Thinking about it you were missing for the Saturday night and Basso had a smile on his face on the Sunday morning. Ha fucking ha again.

You’re getting funnier with every bottle of San Miguel you drink. Right then, the weekend of the VIII seemed to be a great success what were your highlights? I loved every minute apart from the Chinese; what is that all about showing them our English heritage? Obviously I totally enjoyed the match and the gig night was great. I loved worked behind the bar had such a good laugh. Overall the weekend was great; a lot of people put a lot of hard work into it and it paid off. It was good to repay the hospitality they show us.

The Porcos Owls revelled in the Wednesday comeback and local television actually captured me celebrating the equaliser with Santi, Victor, Jorge, Marcos and Fontaiña. Did you enjoy the Sheffield Derby and what did you think the porcos pigs thought of the experience? I enjoyed the first half but that was about it and it was great walking to the Milestone amongst three thousand Wednesday fans whilst fearing for my life. Dirty piggy b**tards (that’s for you Jules). Come on Blades. Tit.

I think a draw was the best result, not the fairest as the Owls were by far the better team, as everyone was happy in the Milestone afterwards, apart from Gallo who went home to sulk. Do you agree that the scoreline of Derby should have reflected the score of the VIII and Wednesday should have won 4-2? I was happy with the draw just to keep everything nice at the Milestone and no, Wednesday shouldn’t have won 4-2 as you just fouled our keeper and played the long ball, now kindly f**k off. (I shake my head in disblief of Shabba’s deluded memory of the Derby).

Whilst we’re talking about Steel City Derbies what are your thoughts on La Folerpa De Aceiro? Predictions? It’s going to be a tough one but the Blades will edge it, Dirty Argie at the back and Martin up front no problems. I’m just wondering though, where were our invitations as their overseas players? I think they know that we would have been the best two players on the pitch so they didn’t invite us for fear of embarrassment.

Talking about us embarrassing them, what are you hopes for IX? Can’t be nothing else but a win for us; we’re coming home with it this time. I want all the Stags in bed at a reasonable hour and no drinking the night before. The Porcos had better arrange a chess tournament for the night before but then again, we’d whip their asses at that too. Do you think you might participate this time in the game as well? I’ll take some extra tampons for you just in case. Extra? So you’ll be taking some for yourself anyway…?!

Do you think the AG-Cup will survive into the next decade? Do you have aspirations for your son Noah to be part of a successful Stags team? If I’ve anything to do with it, we’ll be playing for a hell of a long time, I’m sure Noah will be able to take time off from playing for Sheffield United to go over and play in the AG cup when he’s older. I’ll be playing until my knees finally give in and you never know I might have learnt a few more Galician sentences by then as well.

What is your overall impression of Galicia? The AG-Cup? The Porcos? The Stags? What an absolute honour it’s been over the last four years to travel out there and for our amigos to come over here as well. They’ve treated us so well and also my family when we went out there last year. I’m so glad that you (Thomo) took us over, it’s a beautiful part of the country and the people we meet are wonderful. I’m looking forward to getting out there again for a few weeks in the future and travel around a bit to see more.

Thanks Shabba. Up the Stags and onwards to 6-3...