17 March 2014


Those of you who picked up the latest (hard copy) issue of the fanzine over the past three games will have noticed that Jonathan Obika was the butt of our cover joke. Well, just nine days after publication - and with the man himself having seen an actual copy of TSLR057 - the Tottenham striker has left Albion. We can exclusively reveal that the two events are related.

Having been a jolly unpopular loan signing, it was with some relief that we heard today's announcement of how Obika will return to fellow Division 2 club, Charlton Athletic. Charlton fans are now getting as excited about him in a very similar way as Albionites did back on 8 January. After over two months at Albion, Obika scored just the one goal, in the FA Cup match against Port Vale (some may say - and many have and will continue to do so - a club around about his skill level). In the latter part of his loan deal with us, TSLRites would be known to take bets on how long Obika - having been substituted on to a pitch - would take to touch the ball. In the home match against Hull, it was seven minutes, and he'd only come onto the hallowed Falmer turf some 11 minutes from the full time whistle.

The latest issue of TSLR came out ahead of the home match with Reading last Saturday, a few days after the topic of offensive chanting at football was covered by Channel 4's Dispatches. Being that one of the most offensive things we've seen this season was Obika on a football pitch - and as it appeared to be that all Albionites correctly asserted that he was a donkey - the cover was a no-brainer.

Following the Reading game at Falmer, some of us found ourselves in what used to be the 'East Stand Brassiere' or what they now call the 'Sports Bar' (or should that be bra?). For those who don't know, this 'Sports Bar' is situated right next to what the club calls the 'Player's Lounge'. As we supped on yet another pint of post match Harveys, our delight in spotting Obika emerging from the lounge was indescribable. As soon as someone spotted the Tottenham striker - and as we have done over the past six seasons with Albion players - we got him to pose with the latest issue.

The thing is, it's the first time that we have collared an actual Albion player to pose with a cover laughing at that exact player. Usually in the situation of a player-holding-TSLR-photo-opp, we'd let the player take the issue home but, on this occasion - and on the basis we didn't want to erode his already frail confidence levels whilst he was an Albion player - we snatched it back. As we grabbed the issue from Obika's strong grip, there was a telling look from the kid (and he is just a kid, even if he has been to the gym more than most of us adults). There was no doubt Obika had spotted his name on the cover, and there is no doubt that if a player features on the cover of a fanzine, then it's usually not in a complimentary way.

We felt a little bad afterwards when we thought about our role in helping to break the kid's confidence but we did feel better, however, after a few more beers. It turns out that when a player we abuse is a small, inanimate object on the distant pitch, it's far easier than when they're up close and in person. Especially when they easily have the ability to beat you up. Don't worry though, we feel great today. If in some small way we stopped Obika wanting to waste a place on the Albion substitute's bench, then we must have done something right, right? So does anyone have any cover ideas about Kemy for our final issue of the season?

1 comment:

Marv said...

Harsh! Unfortunately he was mostly brought on during "junk time", which for Albion this season seems to be the last 30 mins when no one else is willing to cross the 38th parallel.