by Andrew Boulton
The year is 2031. A man stands alone on the surface of Mars. In the deep red glow of this now-conquered planet his immaculate silver hair shimmers like a greased dolphin. He speaks into his space radio, saying the words that will cause the entire planet of Earth to collectively evacuate their bowels with a shuddering, sticky pride. ‘One small step for man. One giant f*cking Pardew for mankind.’
Sir Alan Pardew is no stranger to triumph. It is often said that if you pushed him into the sea, the sheer weight of trophies and medals about his person would drag him instantly to the bottom – rendering him a handsome meal for the whelks.
And to think, the most remarkable Englishman ever to have lived (he beat Winston Churchill and Ant McPartlin in a recent poll) was propelled into his extraordinary life by one fateful football match.
Amazingly, back in 2016 few people saw the glorious Pardew we all see today. In fact some people even thought he was, in the parlance of the day, ‘a bit of a tit’. Whereas the enlightened people of 2031 see brilliance and heroism, the dimwits from 2016 saw the kind of man who’d send your mum slow-motion videos of his testicles eerily swinging over a bowl of Coco Pops.
In fact, going into the now legendary 2016 FA Cup final against Manchester United there was a section of short-sighted observers who thought that the Pardew wheels had not only come off, but had bounced dramatically (and irrecoverably) into a massive burning skip.
Cup, Cup And Away
What happened next needs no explanation here. Every schoolboy in the country could repeat the tale of how Pardew’s Palace crushed Manchester United so heavily that Sir Bobby Charlton’s hair spontaneously re-grew. And there isn’t a public space in England that doesn’t hang that famous painting of Pardew being helicoptered triumphantly out of Wembley, his fabulously smooth buttocks pressed almost poetically against the windscreen.
From that point on Alan Pardew’s stock rose so sharply that lesser men would have instantly dissolved into a puddle of chronic nosebleeds.
The England job followed shortly after, helped a little by Roy Hodgson’s now infamous Euro 2016 campaign in which his starting XI comprised entirely from different injured parts of Jack Wilshire’s body.
What followed was the most glorious time in English football history. Who could forget the stunning 2018 World Cup victory in Russia, where Pardew spent the entire tournament with Vladimir Putin clamped in an inescapable headlock.
Four years later and Pardew had dominated the scorching hot Qatar World Cup as well, even though, recognising his team’s vast superiority, he would only allow his players to refresh themselves during games with hot Bovril.
To everyone’s amazement, Pardew then turned his back on sport – instead devoting his time to teaching underprivileged children how to part their hair in a jaunty way.
The subsequent years were like a silvery whirlwind. First he dabbled with art (a vast bronze sculpture of Pardew arm-wrestling with Jesus sits proudly in the National Gallery). Then it was music, working with The Kings of Leon to pen ‘Pardly, Madly, Deeply’ an indie rock musical based on his own life. And, of course, there were the women. In the last four years Pardew has been married no less than seven times, always to a different Pussycat Doll.
The Olivier Award was followed by the Knighthood. The Knighthood was followed by his own wildly successful fragrance, ‘Silver Nut’. And then came the historic moment when NASA waved all of their usual rules about extensive physical and psychological astronaut training to appoint Sir Alan Pardew as the commander of their first ever mission to Mars.
Yes, of course, there have been some lows too. There was the particularly ugly court case after Pardew opened his own chain of discount sportswear stores, called ‘Mike-Ashley-is-Fat-and-Stupid-and-Always-Smells-Like Monster-Munch-Direct’. And, even on Mars, some local types had scrawled unkind Martian words on a bedsheet.
But on the whole, the story of Alan Pardew is one of heroism, courage and a charm so ferocious it might as well be made from puppy dogs dipped in hot cheese.
And so we, the people of 2031, salute Alan Pardew. Pardew the football genius. Pardew the cosmic adventurer. Pardew the infiltrator of pants. Those idiots in 2016 didn’t know how lucky they were.