Neasden F.C.

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Neasden F.C. are a fictional, spoof football team, the subject of a long-running joke in the British satirical magazine, Private Eye. They were invented by writer Barry Fantoni to satirize the clichés and hyperbole of football journalism and first appeared in the mid 1960s. Once a regular item in the magazine, it now appears only at times of significant public interest in footballing matters.

Neasden's long-running series of defeats, in which they typically fail to score while conceding goals in double figures, have led to many crises for their manager, the "ashen-faced" Ron Knee for ever "aged 59", who has often been assaulted by the team's only supporters, the husband-and-wife Sid and Doris Bonkers. Perhaps their most famous player is the one-legged goalie, Wally Foot. Their leading scorer was Baldy Pevsner notorious for scoring own goals, and frequently gracing his team's own scoreline with "1 boot". The side are sometimes helped by goals scored by the referee Sid Himmler. The club is owned by Brigadier Buffy Cohen, the local dry cleaning magnate.

Many of the reports of their activities are written by E.I. Addio (a reference to an actual football chant), who is referred to "our man in the stand", "our man in the shower" or a similar description.

The club are based at the Neasden Bridge Stadium, in Neasden, London, and their slogan is "We're on the way to Wembley...You have to go through Neasden to get there". Neasden's arch-rivals in the North Circular Relegation League are Dollis Hill. The wonderfully doom-laden concept of a relegation league may be a metaphor representing the British love of gallant losers, as is Neasden F.C. itself.

Outside of Private Eye the club's name is occasionally invoked as a metaphor for noble amateur endeavour as in Coverage of Wikipedia in the popular press veers between two extremes. It’s either the admirable heroics of plucky amateurs - it’s Neasden FC winning the FA Cup - or it’s the latest net threat to civilization. [1]

Within the pages of Private Eye, Neasden is also sometimes home to a fictional university, the University of Neasden. Formerly the IKEA North Circular Polytechnic, the University of Neasden is reported to specialize in "modern" academic fields, such as Diana Studies, Creative Writing, and Flower Arranging. Its proximity to the North Circular makes the University of Neasden a convenient location for students wishing to attend Neasden F.C. home games.

Each edition of the Colemanballs books features a table of the most frequently-quoted persons for the volume, compiled by the 'Neasden Institute of Statistics'.

External links

Richard Ingrams · Willie Rushton · Christopher Booker · Paul Foot · Ian Hislop · Francis Wheen · Peter Cook

Full article ▸

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