Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Sutton United blog: Stella Mwangi, Karim El-Salahi and Sergio Ramos

The last few weeks have proved all too much for my computer to take, it's thrown a right old wobbly that any weeble would have been proud of and I've only just got it back from the menders.

It's hardly surprising really, it's been a busy time, what with the Royal Wedding, all that business with Osama Bin Laden, Azerbaijan winning the Eurovision Song Contest and Sutton taking the Ryman Premier League title.

Ok, I admit, I maybe a bit late with that last bombshell. However, just as I was about to revel in the glory of my team winning the championship, my computer said 'no' and just refused to work. You swine (I am shaking my fist at it now).

The other day I turned my TV on and it just so happened to be on BBC3 which was showing the first semi-final of Eurovision. Stella Mwangi took to the stage to sing her entry for Norway entitled Haba Haba.

If the name of the song is awful, then her singing on the big night wasn't much better. I haven't heard a voice as rough as that since Sutton's back-up goalkeeper Wayne Shaw belted out a heartfelt derogatory song aimed at the club's number one netminder Kevin Scriven after our final home game of the season against Carshalton.

However, while Shaw managed to command his adoring audience with ease, Mwangi was left biting her nails after a below par performance. Before she knew where she was, the Albanians took to the stage for their moment in the spotlight, and, by the time the show finished, she was packing her bags back to Oslo.

Ah, the spotlight. It's where everyone connected with Sutton United has been basking over the last few weeks, and rightly so. The class of 2010/11 has done us proud.

Song conest: Who is going to win, Stella Mwangi or Wayne Shaw?
You decided, call 0898 12345678910.

I walked to Gander Green Lane ahead of our showdown with Carshalton on April 25 eagerly anticipating seeing the Isthmian League shield being held aloft by Sutton captain Karim El-Salahi in front of a big crowd.

The last time Sutton won the league was in 1999, and being a berk, I had already booked a holiday, so missed all the celebrations which included a 5-0 annihilation of Aldershot.

That means the last Sutton skipper I saw lifting the shield was John Rains after the Us had beaten Kingstonian on a Thursday night back in 1986. But, despite making my way to the front of the main stand at the final whistle against Carshalton - a prime location to watch the celebrations unfold - I still haven't seen a Sutton skipper hold that flippin' shield aloft since Rainsy.

My view was blocked by none other than 'the voice of Sutton United', matchday announcer and Press Officer, Tony Dolbear.

I may not have had a good view of the shield but I couldn't grumble with the vantage point I had of Tony's white shirt and grey slacks. His tidy appearance was a timely reminder that I needed to get down to Matalan and buy some new work clobber.

Tony has worked tirelessly for the club in a variety of roles over the years, and was acting as MC for the great occasion. However, if I go another 25 years without seeing a Sutton captain lift league championship-winning silverware then it'll be 2036 and I'll either be on holiday or senile. The smart money is on the latter.

Watch highlights of the Sutton v Carshalton game here.

I was hoping the boys might get on an open-top bus and parade down the High Street. But when you consider that half the team lives in Hampshire and that the High Street has such charming delights as The 99p Store, Poundland, Agora Amusements, Spinna Winna and Dallas Chicken and Ribs, it's hardly surprising that the idea is a non-starter.

Even one of the borough's most historic sites, Britain's first drive-thru Burger King, is now boarded up. Our lads don't need to drive past these sort of places, showing the shield off to bemused fag-puffing, Premiership-supporting chavs of all ages and sizes.

This is Sutton: The first drive-thru Burger King in the country once once the envy of every town across the land, even Croydon. I think it was opened by Neil MacFarlane MP.

As we all know, celebratory open-top bus tours and, even just winning trophies in general, can be fraught with peril.

Real Madrid lead the way. The wheels on the bus went round and round and over the Copa Del Rey after Sergio Ramos dropped the prized piece of silverware during the club's open-top bus tour after their 1-0 over Barcelona a few weeks ago.

It appears that damaging trophies is all the rage at the moment. Even Darlington got in on the act. Their goalkeeper Sam Russell turned into Sam Butterfingers after he dropped the FA Trophy during the celebrations following the Quakers' last-gasp extra-time victory over Mansfield Town in the final.

I think our guys did the right thing by giving the bus tour thing a miss.

Thankfully, the Surrey Senior Cup is in safe hands after Corinthian Casuals not only defeated Leatherhead 2-0 at Gander Green Lane but made it through the celebrations with the Cup intact. There again, you wouldn't have expected anything less from a bunch of Victorian gentlemen with long moustaches who's wild celebrations consisted entirely of firm handshakes all round.

Any rate, best be off. Sadly, I cant get Stella Mwangi's Haba Haba out of my head. If only Wayne Shaw had put that song about Kevin Scriven on YouTube...


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