One of the best xmas presents I’ve ever got – a zine story about the grim world of 1990s football stars following retirement, involving minicabs, custard, heroin and very very foul-play. Reproduced with kindness here:
Heat the milk
Crash! Wizz! Bang!
Andy Cole spat out his Kenco in perturbed horror “What the bleeding Nora was that?”
It was 10.17am when a deluge of custard entered Andy Cole’s living room via the granite fireplace where he lived with his Dad Peter Beardsley. Peter, or Pete, as he was known to his kith and kin was an affable chap with a penchant for online gambling, meat flavoured crisps and Newcastle Brown Ale.
Andy yelped up the stairs to his Dad’s room, “Dad! Dad! Come and have a look at the state of the front room” said Andy, appalled and astounded as the sea of custard crept up the walls, destroying Andy’s prized signed photo of Syd Barrett in its path.
“Oh dear.” said Peter, in voice suggesting he may have been in a situation like this before. “Looks like someone’s in a bit of a pickle aren’t we eh? Not a problem, Andy. I know an Irish lad in Downham who’ll get this milk ‘n egg based mess cleared up.” said Peter in a reassuring tone.
Without a moments pause he phoned up his pal Niall Quinn. Quinn was now a retired cab driver who lived in a six bedroom house he’d bought with money he had laundered in the 80’s, despite being a career criminal, his close knit Irish upbringing meant he was always happy to help a friend in need.
“Not todaiy loike Pete! I’m taking Belinda to Shagaluf for the week, y’know how I would Pete?” Niall explained in his thick Dublin accent.
“Not to worry Niall, you enjoy yourself. . .” said a Peter in an understanding yet upset tone.
“Y’calling me liar ya little bollix?” shouted Niall as he slammed down his phone.
Peter broke down to his knees, with his head in one hand, he began to bawl and howl like a starving badger. Peter was a broken man.
Whisk Eggs and add to the milk
Andy was to leave for football practice that evening with the intention of salvaging what he could from the yellow mess that was his flat when he got home. That night after football practice he visited his friend and colleague Tim Flowers at his Kilburn flat.
Tim was of tall height and could often be seen handing the Eucharist to his fellow team mates to encourage spirituality in the group, he was a devout protestant and a very austere man who spoke with a soft Devonshire lilt. Tim was in an unusually jovial mood that evening, the pair quaffed merrily on White Strike (7.2% Abv) whilst listening to ‘Hall and Oates’ and the latest ‘Blue Oyster Cult’ record.
“I must say Tim…” slurred Andy. “You strike me as being in a chipper mood this evening…”
“Yeah, you’re right there Andy. Yes I am….” said Tim agreeably as he topped up his Star Wars pint glass with more White Strike. “I’m going in for my photo for the Merlin Premiership sticker album…”“Lovely news Tim, lovely. Yeah, I often have fond memories of being a shiny. . .” said Andy in a sad nostalgic tone.
Tim’s face lit up, he widened his nostrils, raised his eyebrows and exclaimed “Well Andy… They’re making ME a shiny this year!”
Andy looked down at his Green loafers, revolted at the news. A sense of obsoleteness came over Andy. He was now sensing his career was going the same way as his best chum Neville Southall.
Neville was was a large moustached man with a rather dirty sordid past. He had been in and out of psychiatric wards from a very young age and was now living alone in a dank, empty flat in Hornsey where he had a shiny story of his own to share.
Neville was driving around that night incredibly high, something he would often do after smoking heroin with his nephews Gary and Phil Neville, usually at their mum’s three bedroom flat in Stockwell.
Des ‘Da Dealer’ Lynham got into Neville’s car, a strong smell of Roysters escaped as he opened the door. Neville’s eyes were pinholes as ‘Da Dealer’ handed him his fill of heroin. “Cheers Des, you’re a good bloke you know that…” said Neville, glad with the portion of heroin passed over.
“Same time tomorrow then Nev…” laughed Des as as he left Neville’s Vauxhall Corsa.
Andy left Tim’s to get to Chicken Cottage before it closed , he swayed from feelings of suicidal pain to white hot anger at his dismay of Tim Flowers being chosen to be a shiny in the upcoming Merlin Premiership sticker book.
Fired up on White Cider and chicken ‘n’ chips he made a call to Neville.
“Andy! Jesus wept! Put the knife down you silly sausage!” shouted Neville fiercely. “We’ve all had our custard disasters, I know I have, and as for Tim being a shiny, be happy for him. Remember that howler he let in against Liverpool, besides he probably only got it ‘cos of his position in the Church” Neville continued….
“Listen, I’ll pick you up from Kilburn Park Tube and I’ve got a shiny of my own to show”.
Add Sugar, Salt and Vanilla
Peter was now knee deep in an ocean of custard, his poor attempt at clearing the custard by eating all of it was showing no signs of working, he knew from the pit of his stomach that a horrific death was around the corner.
“Yeah, I’d be up for going for Sushi”, Andy said, now cheered up after smoking line after line of Heroin in Neville’s beaten Vauxhall Corsa.
“Fantastic! I know a nice little 24 hour gaff just off the Holloway Road” explained Neville. “let’s get this custard malarkey sorted. I’ll give you a hand, don’t worry, then we can for a nice bit of sushi, eh?”
Andy sank back into the front passenger seat as Neville turned up the car radio, Rinse FM screamed like a banshee from the speakers. The pair headed through the dirty, unloved street of North London to Andy’s custard occupied flat in Shadwell, arriving at ten past midnight.
“Come on, up ya get!” Neville nudged Andy to wake him, with it being a school night Andy was not use to being up past 10pm, that and the copious amounts of Heroin he had been happily smoking from the shiny foil Neville had provided.
“Dozy Dora…. I’ll sort this out then” muttered Neville to himself. He zipped open Andy’s tweed satchel and after a brief rummage he came across a set of Andy’s set House keys which were adorned with a keyring of Malcolm X.
He entered the flat, which had a faint sugary smell of calpol and urea.
A large Glaswegian ferret came racing downstairs.
“Wot yooz focking daein’ ‘ere pal?”. This was the landlord. He was known in the local area as a bit of a Shaman, a spiritual mystic, people would often comment on his psychic abilities, even being able to predict the order of the bingo numbers at the his Bingo hall in Streatham.
“Listen wee man…I got something to tell ye…I think…look…” the landlord voice trembled.
“There’s been a mudda!”
Stir into Egg and Milk mixture
Neville prized open the living room door using his Swiss Army knife he was given by Michael Duberry on his 35th birthday. The knife was engraved:
NEVILLE YOU GIT – HAPPY B-DAY! MIKEY!
The knife was brown, rusty and had seen better days, much like Andy Cole. He poked his head around the living room door and took a look inside.
“Shit the bed!”, Neville choked and recoiled in horror, Peter Beardsley was face down in piss, shit and Birds Eye custard, custard covered everything, a sinister gloop covered the walls, it had killed Peter, and even more disturbing it had broken their Alba 42” HD Ready TV which took pride of place above the granite fireplace. The flat was a write-off. A tear climbed out from Neville’s right eye, his sunken yellow sockets twitched as he began to sob away in grief.
The large ferret shook his fist at the sky in a furious violent rage “ You focking wee cont! Why Peter Beardsley? Why not Vinnie Jones or sum other wee prick? Why Pete?”
“Calm down! Leave God out of this for Christ sake! Pete was a good man, a very good man, we all know that. Anyway, who the bloody hell are you?” said Neville now sitting at the foot of the stairs with the Landlord.
“Am Mr. McCoist, call me Ally.” Said the rodent in a reconciled tone. “Listen I’ll get Pete cleared up and you go ‘n let Andy know, sound better from yooz. Please…be gentle on the wee lad, you know how fragile he is. Especially around the football sticker season…”
Neville arrived at the car, opened the door, wiping his eyes with his Stone Island fleece and turned the radio on to wake Andy.
Repeat until smooth
“Hold tight da fone line krew! Big up da man like Matt Le Tissier…Shout out to Nigel Winterburn, Ray Parlour n the Highbury Mandem…High for life get me!”
He put his hand on Andy’s shoulder, quickly turned the volume down, setting the Radio from RinseFM to BBC Radio 3, he thought if he was to let him know his Dad, Peter Beardsley, 49, from Hexham, had died in custard, he should at least play a suitable soundtrack.
Andy was sound still sound asleep, looking content and peaceful, unaware of his Dad’s heinous death.
Neville noticed the car was littered with used foil which had now started to turn brown, the used heroin gave off a smell like that of Walkers Smokey Bacon crisps. Not only that, a large amount of heroin had gone missing from his stash which he kept in an empty copy of ‘Jethro – Live in Lancashire ’92’ VHS box.
Mozart, or at least Neville thought it was Mozart, continued to knell from the souped up car speakers, establishing a calm, serene yet grandiose scene in the Vauxhall Corsa.
The Car was old. Quite old. It had been crudely covered in dark purple house paint in 1994 by Neville’s then wife Cheryl Baker after a messy divorce. It wasn’t the best car, but it was Neville’s car.
Andy’s head suddenly lowered, his chin rested on his chest.
“Oh fuck…FUCK! Andy! Come on Andy!”
Neville felt Andy’s right hand. It was as cold as a Solero. He lifted up Andy’s eyelids up, his yellow eyes were now rolled to the top of his skull, Neville began to piss himself like a Sheep in shock.
Andy was dead. The onset of rigor mortis crept in, he sharply moved his hand away from the glovebox, his fist was clenching a shiny of himself from the 94-95 season at Newcastle United. A season he cemented himself as a hero, scoring thirty six goals in forty games.
“…That was Mozart’s Requim in E minor………”
As the sound of Mozart finished, sadly so did the life of Andy Cole.
Pour Custard into small dishes
Neville Southall began to mercilessly gnaw away at Andy’s thigh in a futile attempt to get high and destroy all evidence of the Andy’s overdose taking place in his purple Vauxhall Corsa.
Southall had lost what was left of his mind.
“Armadillo!….. Armadillo!” he belted as he mauled the cold corpse of Andy Cole.
A faint siren began to well up, was this in Neville’s head? Was this a dream? A fantasy?
He continued to chow down the corpse, gobbling it up as it were a lovely Cheese ‘n Onion Pasty from Greggs.
Ally opened the door wearing a pair of cream moccasins and a brown duffel coat he’d stolen from Gary McAllister after a work do, he looked over the balcony at Neville’s car and shouted at the top of his voice.
“Ai yoo! You cheeky little prick! You’re focked wee man and I focking mean focked! Ah know it!”
Ally had a sinister streak in him too. He was the sort of ferret that would tear down anything that got in his path if it meant an easier ride, his violent upbringing in Govan, Glasgow at the hands of his father Billy Connolly meant he was capable of anything.
Sprinkle the top with Cinnamon or Nutmeg, if desired
NEE NAW NEE NAW!! NEE NAW NEE NAW!!
NEE NAW NEE NAW NEE NAW!!
NEE NAW NEE NAW!!
NEE NAW NEE NAW!!
NEE NAW NEE NAW!! etc
Neville was fucked. Truly fucked. Well and truly absolutely fucked. Fucked to the absolute. Which reminded him he had a bottle of Absolute Vodka (37.5% Abv) in his glove box… He opened it up and happily drank the contents, with most it going down his fleece and and over his piss covered polyester trousers.
Ally rang the rozzers for the first time in his life, a contingent of Police cars arrived on the scene sixteen minutes later.
The Vauxhall Corsa was surrounded like a pre-pubescent boy in the Vatican.
Neville Southall knew to the untrained eye this could look like a callous murder or even cannibalism, he thought. He looked at himself in the mirror. Neville was covered in Vodka, blood, piss and heroin, he looking like a native of Ally’s home town Govan in Glasgow. The fact he appeared like this and he had the half eaten corpse of Andy Cole sat next to him in the front passenger of his dilapidated car meant he may have to explain himself more thoroughly than normal.
Neville was dragged by his moustache out of the car window by five Cornish Policemen, one of them looking like an Asian ‘Nigel off EastEnders’, they raised their truncheons, smacking him like a ginger step child.
A confused next door neighbour opened the door upon hearing the racket.
“Ya rasclart babylon police, leave lickle Neville alone ta bumbaclart!” Mr. Yorke, or simply ‘Dwight’ as he was called by friends was a chap from the Caribbean, Tobago to be exact, he was a very unassuming and fair man, and an avid Pog collector.
Ally was pregnant with anger and hate, still stood outside his door he hurled a house brick at Dwight, just avoiding him by an inch. “Yoo wee buffty!”. Dwight went back in, he’d seen what he’d done to his friend Teddy Sheringham a few weeks back, he knew what Ally was capable of.
“Lads. Come up! Come indoors” shouted Ally down to the small herd of Police below.
Six police men entered the flat. They were old fellas. Wearing flat caps with the Metropolitan Police Badge emblazoned on the front, one was even smoking a pipe, they looked like Last of the Summer Wine extras, short stumpy legs, pot bellies and vacant eyes. The police slowly dawdled up the stairs as Neville Southall was continually beaten on the bonnet of his car, the radio still on, this time playing Chopin’s ‘Nocturne In E Flat Major, Op.9 No.2 ‘.
Ally took the Police right up to the living room door, the Police detected a smell of custard, blood and shame.
The door opened, with it came a tide of Birds Eye Custard, Peter Beardsley was still face down, encased in his own mess.
Ally McCoist was not normal. Never had been, he was found as a kit floating on the river Nile where he was later adopted by Billy Connolly. He was a gifted yet violent ferret at school, teachers were always baffled at how he would get top grades at school yet barely attended, preferring to beat people up and sell Meth and Speed. He was cunning, cheeky and he was psychic.
“The evil little shite tried eating this poor bastad ‘n all… with custard – the sick fock!”
Mr. McCoist sat the police down and gave his statement. He explained how Neville Southall had tried eating Peter Beardsley but was unable due to his rigorous Northern build, even destroying his whole front room with custard to make the Geordie more palatable.
This was a false statement, more further from the truth than Peterborough is from Pluto.
Bake your Custard
The actuality was, as Andy sweetly sipped his Kenco and his father continually screamed at the Wright Stuff, they were both deaf to the demonic stomping hooves of Ally McCoist and his biological brother Dennis Irwin as they scaled the roof of the flat. Dennis was a small man with a red face, he had little to no friends and could usually be seen ambling home drunk with his pal Darren Anderton from ‘The Dog & Git’ late at night. Both armed with fish tanks full to the brim with Custard they’d manufactured in a local primary school, they poured the whole forty six gallons of hot sweet liquid down the chimney, engulfing the flat.
Ally was in considerable debt, his cab firm ‘McCoist MiniCabs’ was on the verge of bankruptcy and he was in cahoots with a Ghanaian loan shark, Tony ‘The Terror’ Yeboah. No one messed with ‘The Terror’, not even a large ferret like Ally McCoist, he was a man who you would not want to rattle.
The plan was simple. If he could get the flat destroyed without anyone knowing he’d done it, he would gather a large payout from his Insurance company, Norwich Union, and pay off his debts, especially the one owed to ‘The Terror’.
He had tuned into his psychic abilities days before and Ally knew that Neville and Andy would cross paths, and of the horrific scene that would follow. A perfect man to frame the whole dirty act on.
Cool before serving
Seven months had past, Ally was paid out £2,900 from Norwich Union and was given an extra £5,751 in loss of earnings for the time taken off work to rebuild the flat, quite a feat for a Cab company that had been running at a loss of £210 a week for the past nine months.
Neville Southall was taken to the Old Bailey, the judge so appalled by Southall’s abhorrent actions that he decided this was a special case. Southhall was the first man in sixty years to be executed. He remained locked up in HMS Belmarsh for a fortnight before his execution took place, and in this time he grew a beard in honour of Beardsley and lost six stone in weight. Neville now resembled an emaciated Brian Blessed.
The day eventually came. It was reported by the tabloids that no undertaker in England and Wales would handle the cremation Neville wanted, meaning his ashed were to be blasted into Space, thus ridding the planet of his evil.
Neville Southall was blindfolded by the executioner Phil Babb, and put into the electric chair that had been shipped over from the US especially for the occasion. He was administered the last rites by Tim Flowers, as the switch was pulled down by Babb, Neville screamed
“I didn’t want sushi anyway!”