Come back Jimmy Dunne

Thursday 14 March 2002

You all no doubt desperately missed my stunning insights last week but rest assured I fully intend to bleat, carp and harangue for a good while yet. Reports suggesting that I had met with some terrible disaster proved mere wishful thinking. The truth is I suffered a brief bout of a rare and wretched illness known as 'Whinger's Syndrome.' Mercifully I am now restored to good health no thanks to so-called friends and family who treated the whole episode as an excuse for a party.

Much feared among the moaning community, 'Whinger's Syndrome' strikes when the whinger gets too excited at the bellyaching potential of any given situation. My attack was brought on by those fantastic four league defeats in a row ensuring almost certain relegation coupled with our progress in the FA Cup. Suddenly the 'dream double' appeared a reality. Could we really achieve relegation and a Cup Final defeat in the same season? It was obviously too much for me to take.

The illness paralyses the whole 'moaning system' and reduces the whinger to a bed-bound gibbering wreck unable to appear in public. Now I know how Ian McGuckin must have felt. My only two previous outbreaks occurred when other major Fulham catastrophes were imminent i.e. relegation to the basement division in 1994 and the introduction of the fluorescent green away kit a few seasons ago.

I am now back in full training for what promises to be a very 'whinge heavy' end to the season. I managed good half hour rants to the newsagent, the doctor and the ten-year old and still had plenty in the locker. The illness can seriously affect the voice and I was surprised to find there was no apparent vocal reaction - just like the Putney End. Now I'm nearing top form the games can't come quick enough again.

Everton up next and they seem in utter disarray. I have to admit to a twinge of envy when I think of their fans watching a team fall apart in front of their very eyes. Reminds me of the happy times at The Cottage when total extinction was always such a very real and comforting threat. A loss for the Toffeemen would no doubt deepen the Goodison gloom but sorry any whinging scousers out there, I'm pinning my hopes on Fulham caving in and keeping alive my 'dream double.'

I haven't spent all this time, money and effort over the years to see this club flourish and succeed in an increasingly difficult and competitive League. I look not for fly-by-night Premiership, Cup and European glory but good, old-fashioned despair followed by savage and unremitting griping. This is the Fulham way. Why do so few of you share my vision? What is this unnatural obsession with endeavour, joy and success? We're not Barcelona. We're not Real Madrid. We are Fulham.

Having fluked our way through to the semi-finals of the FA Cup it would be just reward for a devoted whining git such as myself to watch Fulham trounce Chelsea and then get torn apart in the Final. Imagine the mileage a mealy mouthed moaner like me could get out of that. Marvellous.
Happy moaning


TERRY SPRATT