Brian Williams – journalist, author, West Ham fan – looks at twenty things you want when you buy a new scarf. His new book, Nearly Reach The Sky – A Farewell To Upton Park, was published this month. You can buy it from Bite Back Publishing, as well as Amazon, and is available in both paperback and e-book versions.
/ Change from a tenner
/ Your team to win the first time you wear it – thus officially making it your “lucky scarf”
/ It doesn’t make you look like it’s the first time you’ve been to a game
/ It’s not one of those ridiculous half-and-half jobs that’s got the other team’s name on it
/ It’s hasn’t got your team’s name on it either, because that will make you look a right numpty if you hold it upside down when the singing starts
/ It’s hasn’t got your team’s name on it, because that will make you look a right numpty full stop
/ It will stand a hot wash after you’ve dropped ketchup and mustard on it
/ It’s absorbent enough to soak up the beer stain on your replica shirt caused by the idiot standing next to you who jogged your elbow in the half-time crush at the bar
/ The tasselly bits don’t repeatedly get caught in the zip of your jeans when you relieve yourself of what beer you managed to salvage
/ It doesn’t cause anything else to get caught in the zip of your jeans
/ It doesn’t look like it was a designed in an age when supporters had rattles
/ It’s not so stylish that the woman in your life decides it’s a must-have item and commandeers it as a fashion accessory
/ It can actually keep you warm as you wait for a non-existent train on one of the three days in every year that the southern half of Britain grinds to a halt under half an inch of snow.
/ You can wrap it round the lower half of your face and still breath properly (on bitterly cold days rather than when committing an armed robbery)
/ You can slide it up round your ears and deaden some of the noise from the prat sitting behind you who reckons we will still won’t score if we play to midnight – and thinks he’s being original
/ It is sufficiently aerodynamic to fly properly when you dangle it out of the car window on journeys to big games
/ It’s strong enough to act as a replacement fan belt when the car packs up on the way home from a big game
/ It is soft enough to make a workable pillow on the journey back from away games when you’ve had to use the train because your car is still in the garage
/ It is soft enough to make a workable cushion when you have to leave the train and, for the final 15 miles, use a replacement bus that last saw service in 1966.
/ It’s not quite long enough to form a suicidal noose when Manchester United equalise in time added on after you’ve battered them for the entire game
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