Middle class football fan prefers it without those dreadful crowds

A MAN who pretends to like football in order to impress other men has found his enjoyment of it unaffected by the ban on live crowds.

Stephen Malley introduces himself as an Aston Villa fan, despite the notable handicaps of living 150 miles from the stadium and not fully understanding the offside rule.

Malley said: “I don’t see the appeal of a packed ground on match day, the menu is always disappointing and you can never find an usher when the chap in front keeps standing up.

“Some say I’m less of a fan, just because I don’t enjoy the excessive noise and unsettling macho energy of the ground, and prefer to watch the game from the comfort of home.

“Or better still, simply Google the result on Monday morning in case anyone asks how ‘the lads’ got on at the weekend.

“Luckily we’re all in the same boat now. Lockdown really has been a great leveller for all us diehard soccer enthusiasts.”

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Nazi memorabilia, and other things that should turn up on the Antiques Roadshow

BORED of horse brasses, Wedgwood pottery and watercolours by unknown painters? Here are five items that would really test the valuation skills of the BBC’s antiques experts.

The Titanic iceberg

A massive refrigerated lorry would be needed to transport it to the Roadshow, but it would be worth it as people go wild for Titanic memorabilia. However, it might be tricky to authenticate and value, given that it could be any old chunk of ice and will quickly melt in the warm summer sun.

The skull of King Arthur

The average Antiques Roadshow viewer is likely to be elderly and conservative, meaning they’ll love myths of English exceptionalism, of which this made-up king is a prime example. Can’t be proved either way, and who doesn’t love a grisly skull at teatime? It’s win-win.

Pre-1900 pornography

In Victorian times, even the glimpse of an ankle was considered scandalous. In reality, apparently upstanding citizens were regularly enjoying a quick one off the wrist over sepia photographs of sex, even though the people involved were depressingly dour of face.

Nazi memorabilia

It’s probably illegal, but watching a harmless-looking old gent whipping out Hitler’s moustache trimmer would inject a genuine frisson of danger into this cuddly Sunday evening show. Fiona Bruce would no doubt defuse the situation with her usual cool aplomb.

The Lost Ark

What if the Ark from Indiana Jones existed and was naively opened up on Sunday night telly? Chatsworth House would be reduced to rubble, and the Roadshow’s tat-wielding visitors would be vaporised, creating Bafta-worthy viewing.