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Paul Barnes' Big Day - The Ers and Ums Revealed

Digging through the things that never quite made new frontiers, I came across this little piece. It maybe a little dated by now, but I hope you enjoy it. The story can, er, now, er, be, um, told. I got home from work one day in July 1993 and found one message on the answer phone. Word for word, or rather, er for erm, it went.

"Hello, this is, er, Paul Barnes speaking. Erm, Im ringing about the article you sent through. Um, I dont think I could take the, er, stick from the lads I would get. So, Id, er, rather you didnt put it in. Thanks a lot, bye".

Now hes gone, who really cares? This is the true, under the covers story from the new frontiers special correspondent. This is the true story of the wedding and honeymoon of Paul and Wendy Barnes.

The First Leg

A large, all ticket crowd was packed tightly into the quaint but picturesque little ground for the first leg. Before the kick off, Paul looked apprehensive, almost impatient as he waited for the start. His supporters were in good voice offering support, encouragement and good natured advice.

There was much speculation as what formation Wendy, the opposition, would adopt for the game. The game kicked off few minutes late as Wendy was delayed on her way to the ground, her team chauffeur delayed in the heavy traffic that was making its way to the big match. As she entered the ground, her traditional all white kit received gasps and all round approval. Many of her supporters thought that she was far too good for the opposition.

Despite a last minute team talk from her soon to be departed manager, Wendy looked nervous as the game started. Paul was unable to capitalise, he stumbled over his words when they appeared to be presented to him on a plate by the match official. Much of the first half was played out in a congested midfield. Chances were few and far between as both sides had too much to lose. The half ended with the crowd in good voice enjoying a good sing song.

The action warmed up in the second half as Paul's midfield provided him with a perfect pass, he took it and slid the ring onto Wendy's finger. One - nil. Straight from the re-start, Wendy equalised with an almost identical move. The last quarter saw temperatures rise as the referee lost control. One incident saw Paul appear to land a light blow on Wendy's cheek. As the teams left the field at the final whistle, they appeared to lock arms as they disappeared down the tunnel and out of sight amidst much jostling and back slapping.

Outside the ground, there was serious crowd trouble as many small objects were thrown at both teams. Photographic evidence should be able to pinpoint the troublemakers. Fortunately, no one appeared to be injured.

Due to the incidents on the pitch and rather raucous post match celebrations, it was decreed that the return leg should be played over 500 miles away behind closed doors. The sides chose an Iberian coastal resort. The new frontiers reporter is believed to be the only reporter to see what turned out to be a very physical second leg. Here is his exclusive report.

The Return Leg

One of Europe's finest stadia witnessed a devastating display from Paul who was wearing a fetching all pink strip. After the long journey, both teams enjoyed a rub down and all over massage before the game began.

Straight from the kick off, Paul went on an all out attack. After a short dribble, he tried to ram home his advantage but shot too soon.

Paul was quickly on the attack again. Wendy, wearing a lightweight black outfit, appeared powerless to resist Paul's attacks. Wendy's defences were wide open as Paul dominated proceedings in a much more physical encounter than the first leg. He was very much on top and looking for openings all over the pitch. After 5 minutes he climbed all over Wendy to score the decisive first goal from close range. A few minutes later, Paul sneaked up behind Wendy's defence to score again. He completed his hat trick with a weak shot after a long dribble, Wendy appealing vainly for handball as Paul appeared to use his hand before the decisive strike.

Wendy had a late consolation when Paul went down in the area, the referee turned down Paul's appeal and allowed Wendy to go onto score.

After the game, Paul said, "When I score a hat trick in England, they gave me the match ball. Here, I had to help myself to a small tablet of soap". Wendy said, "I didnt know what to expect, no one has done that to me before, I was powerless to defend. Paul had his hands all over me, he literally ripped the shirt off my back. I was so disappointed, it was all over so quickly. Before I had got use to the pace of the game, Paul had scored, I got no pleasure from conceding such a quick goal".

Anyone who wants to bid for the original answer phone tape can send offers in a sealed envelope to the usual address. Copies of the photos (from both legs) are available at 50 a set (plus brown paper bag). All proceeds to YCS.