TERROR THE TIGER
I’m the famous Terror the Tiger and I live under the stands at Imperial Fields, the home of the mighty Tooting & Mitcham United FC. What most people don’t know is that I was a Tigerian International before I came down to Tooting. My shirt has 75 on the back, that’s how many goals I scored in my last season. I’ve played against Suarez but he never tried to bite me, I would have taken his arm off.
I’m training really hard and hope to break into the first team squad and I reckon I’m quicker than Danny Basset and sharper than Hady! I might even have a go at keeper, we’ll see.
My favourite place to sleep is in the kit room under the main stand and sometimes I’ll watch morning tv when I’m eating my Frosties. Somebody told me that one of the Tooting lads was once on Holby City, so I sat and watched a couple of reruns. There was someone I vaguely recognised although he was talking to a snake. I think it was Dave Irons (the bloke, not the snake) when he was a bit younger and better looking. He did sound a bit different though, lovely Scottish accent.
Sometimes Sol and Darryl bring me chips from The Shak, that’s the best kind of food for a vegetarian Tiger. Sometimes Cornelius, Ashley and Warren come in for a chat but it’s always nicer when Jackie, Caroline and Emily pop down with tea and cake. It’s cosy and warm in the kit room especially when the tumble drier is running and if I can’t get to sleep, I count socks until I nod off. I thought it was haunted once but it was just Charlie wandering around muttering “ten grand, ten grand”.
It’s all been rather weird at the moment not having people around the stadium and a lot of folk are having a really rough time. I miss chatting with the Big Dogs, Ashley and Cornelius, but I know that T&MUFC have been doing a lot to help out within the local community. I like to help too, but it’s really difficult finding a mask to fit and my claws go straight through latex gloves!
I’ve been keeping busy and have spent a lot of time minding my tone, wandering round the empty terraces, practising my “Grrrrr” on stray pigeons and shouting at the Chaffer Grubs. Everyone thinks that it’s Rick the Pitch that eventually got rid of the bugs but here’s a little secret - I snuck Hackbridge Harry into the ground one evening as I’d spotted him wandering down the Wandle trail with a can of special brew in his hand. He spent all night sitting on his own in the goalmouth at the Bishopsford Road End, singing!!!! and playing his harmonica. By morning the grubs had all vanished. Amazing stuff and, talking of the pitch, it looks wonderful. Rick is a genius!
Late at night I count the shirts and socks, talk to the mice and ponder the deeper questions of life. Talking of which, why do players cut the feet off their socks? Perhaps by doing that you get twice as many.
On Saturday I thought I’d try a bit of football and tried watching the Bundesliga. I turned off after 5 minutes. I’d rather pay to watch James Shaw's pre-match warm-up routine, much more entertaining and far noisier.
I spent some time recently using my special tracking skills and helping out the guys at Predator Pest Solutions. My friend, Jenny the Giraffe who lives down in Sutton, helped out too. We’ve been tracking down wild animals in South London and helping them find a nicer place to stay. We’ve done pretty well and I think I can say that, at the moment, there are no Elephants, Wildebeest, Rhinos or Hippos to be found walking the streets of Merton. I know that Tigers and Giraffes don’t usually get along but Jenny and I do have one common interest, a love of chocolate digestive biscuits.
Social distancing with Jenny can be a little difficult at times as her head is a long way from her feet and I don’t know which part to stay two metres away from. We tried Zooming the other day and Haydon the Wimbledon Womble joined in. They say it’s good to stay in touch but this didn’t really work. My claws aren’t good on a keyboard, Jenny’s head was nowhere in sight and Haydon wandered off with Madam Cholet to fill bins on the Plough Lane building site.
It was really nice to see that one of our younger supporters is going to be a mascot when we start playing again. Some of his friends saved up their pocket money, clubbed together and bought him a Crowdfunder mascot package. I’ll bet little Joel Ormsby is getting really excited, it will be just like Christmas all over again for him. I’m going to ask the whole stadium to chant “Joel, Joel” when he walks out and I think Darryl Coleman or Sol will be holding his hand in case he gets a little worried by the noise. I’ve heard that he often stands outside The Ramble Inn with a bottle of lemonade and a packet of crisps, nose pressed against a window watching the older boys and The Irish Lot drink Guinness. Hopefully, when he gets a bit bigger and the The Ramble has reopened, they’ll let him in!
Anyhow, it’s back to the terracing for me and probably time to make another cup of tea, dig out the last vegetarian sausage roll from the freezer and join some friends in another #TimsTwitterListeningParty.
Keep washing your paws people, don’t forget to keep your social distance and hope to see you all back at the Fields of Fire in the not-too-distant future.”
I hope to see you all soon.
South London is Black and White.