on friday i was strolling along king's street ec4 when i spotted something
in the distance... a bright beacon.
hmmm... could it be ?
leaning on a post with both germans in his sky rockets
wearing what looked suspiciously like a chelsea away shirt from a couple of seasons ago.
i shouted at him "aren't you supposed to be working ?"
he turned around... it was non other than my old mate gooner jeff !
gooner jeff was just about to start on a very difficult job...
his mission was to safely extract this blue plaque from a wall that was soon
to be demolished. a very tricky job calling for somebody with the hands of an
artist, the strength of an ox, nerves of steel, a heart of gold and a knob of butter.
( i thank you )
after exchanging a few pleasantries with me, gooner jeff set to work...
top man jeff.
careful with that saw mate...
you don't want it flying out of your hands now do you ?
( that was the sort of helpful stuff i was saying )
after a little while making a hell of a racket with the saw, he turned his attention
to some more noisy tools
and started hammering at the poor wall with some big old chisels.
then it was the turn of the saw once more...
i kept talking to him as he worked, trying to put him off his stride,
you know, mentioning that i'd just heard 'fibreglass' and van persie
had left arsenal... you know the kind of thing.
but there was no putting him off. jeff was on a mission.
after a while the top was off and jeff started on phase two
which involved telling me how arsenal are going to win the premiership next season
and chipping away at the brickwork behind the plaque.
this was the moment i asked jeff if he'd be finished in the next 10 minutes
and he asked me if i was having a tin bath
fair play to jeff, it was a really tricky job. hard work but also delicate work.
obviously i tried to get in his way as much as possible and to give him advice
on the best way to remove the plaque safely... to tell him he was doing it wrong,
that kind of thing. textbook me to be honest.
well that's all he needed... as if having me poke my camera in his face
wasn't bad enough... some bloke from the council turned up with a camera.
oh... that's my camera case in the background by the way.
finally, after 9 hours solid graft, not even stopping for lunch or a coffee
gooner jeff carefully wrestled the plaque away from the wall... in one piece too !
outstanding work jeff... er, i'll give you £20 cash for it ?
"it's worth more than that me old china" said jeff
"how much do you want ?" i asked
"give me a bullseye and it's yours" he replied
of course, i'm joking ( he wouldn't take a penny under £100 for it )
so he gently placed it on the front seat of his van
squashing his sandwiches as he did it.
and there you have it, take one last look at this piece of history...
before jeff puts it on ebay when he gets it home !
top man jeff. after all that hard graft, and putting up with me, my cameras,
my useless comments / advice he still had the decency to tidy up after himself...
ladies and gentlemen i give you, key entourage member... gooner jeff.
( applause )