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Not Big Sam: One day you’ll be the King of England, Sammy. The high-priest of English soccer

Heady days on America's West Coast hanging with Kurt Cobain and the Sexy Offenders

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Not many people know this, but I was the last person to speak to Kurt Cobain.

In the early 90’s, I had infiltrated a notorious biker gang from the north west of England called The Sexy Offenders. Working for intelligence forces, I was tasked with gathering information about their nefarious practices, including their long-suspected, and highly-lucrative strategy of ordering stuff from the Littlewoods catalogue, waiting until it arrived in the post, phoning them up and saying it HADN’T arrived, then getting them to send out a replacement. It was an ingenious scheme that saw the outfit raking in an estimated £12 million per year – a veritable fortune back then.

My objective was to destroy the gang from within, but by 1993 – before my career as a football visionary really took off – I had become utterly seduced by them; their code, their way of life, their endless reserves of fashion items, gadgets and homewear. I turned my back on the shady world of government espionage, and became a fully-fledged member of The Sexy Offenders.

Grunge Rock ‘n’ Roll

That summer I and a couple of my fellow gang members – Shady Monroe and Greg ‘Deep Fat Fryer’ Sutcliffe – travelled to the United States, where we spent a month traversing the gorgeous terrain of the Pacific Northwest.

We frolicked like good-looking lesbians at Multnomah Falls, watched in awe as Orcas feasted on fresh salmon in the mighty Puget Sound, and fell asleep under the stars along the windswept splendour of the Oregon Dunes. We also kicked an arrogant beaver to death. The semi-aquatic prick.

The most profound experience I had that summer, however, was being introduced to to a little thing you might have heard of. A little thing called Grunge Rock ‘n’ Roll.

Grunge Rock ‘n’ Roll was a sub-genre of regular Rock ’n’ Roll music that emerged in the state of Washington in the 1980’s. It was a ferocious, intoxicating mix of heavy metal, skiffle and jive, and by 1993 it had the entire planet gripped.

The leading proponents of Grunge Rock ’n’ Roll – sometimes shortened to GRnR – were among the most acclaimed and popular bands in the world. Acts like Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains and the Gin Blossoms played to sell-out stadiums around the globe. They were the kings of all they surveyed, and did it without betraying their principles.

A bit like Barry Fry.

Barry-Fry

The GRnR mantra was simple and universal; Grunge like no one is listening, Rock like nobody’s watching, and Roll like it’s heaven on earth.

While these bands, and others, carved their own unmistakable path into the musical history books, one group stood head and shoulders above the rest; Nirvana. The band’s sensational second album, Nevermind, soon become the soundtrack of our road trip. We rode into Seattle on a Friday afternoon, singing Lithium at the top of our lungs, as our bleach-blonde hair was tussled by the fresh ocean spray.

When we got to our lodgings, Greg had a surprise; not only where we going to see Nirvana play that night, but we were also going to meet them backstage.

Greg, it transpired, had an American cousin; a sweet, enthusiastic young man called Andre who, a few months earlier, had won a Kurt Cobain lookalike competition in a local music magazine. In doing so, Andre had won the hearts of the entire GRnR world – including that of the enigmatic Cobain himself. Andre and Kurt became tight. Tight enough to ensure The Sexy Offenders got backstage to meet the Seattle trio, after they put on the gig of a lifetime.

Kurt was everything I hoped he would be. Esoteric, introverted and intriguing. We talked long into the night on topics as diverse as politics, religion and if bigger guns were better for shooting bigger holes into things.

“Hey Big Sam,” he drawled, as he struggled to contain his diabetes with his seventh injection of the evening. “Do you want to see a painting I did of a crow foetus that’s, like, crawling out of the mouth of the so-called American Dream?

“Eh, do the Spin Doctors rock the hardest?!” I yelped with rhetorical topicality. “Goddamn right I do!”

“I made it with my own blood,” he added, unnervingly.

“Nice one!” I replied, nervously.

All in all, however, I found him to be a warm, enchanting young man, and the connection we made that night begat a provocative friendship that grew and evolved over the next 11 months.

 

Fast-forward to April 5, 1994. Big Sam is shaping the minds and bodies of the youth team at Preston North End, adding strings to a bow that will one day sling arrows of tactical devastation through even the most resistant of enemy armour. I was cutting up oranges when I heard the distant thrum of a phone call. “Hey Mr Allardyce,” shouted a secretary from a nearby room, “there’s someone on the phone for you. Some American called Kurt.”

“Sir Kurtrod of Cobainshire, I believe?” I chortled as I lifted the receiver.

“Smells like Teen Spirit?” he replied with mischievous glee. “Smells like your ma’s dirty knickers on my bedroom floor, more like! And with that, we were off.

You will lead and they will follow

We chatted for a good hour, the contents of which I shall never divulge. At the end of the call his rasping voice turned into the softest of whispers.

“One day you’ll be the King of England, Sammy,” he said. “The high-priest of English soccer. You’ll have to pay your dues with some soccer franchises that are, like, totally below you, but you’ll get there. I can foresee it. With your ideas and your punk ethics, you will lead and they will follow.”

I was speechless. A single salty tear dribbled slowly down my check. The very last thing he said to me was “I’m away downstairs now to end this f*cking horror.” I assumed he was talking about doing the housework or something. “Hahaha,” I replied. “Sucks to be you!” And with that he was gone.

It’s taken me 22 years, but finally I am the King of England. I stand over the broken bones of everyone that has ever doubted me, ready to invigorate the disabled legs of English football with the revitalising heat massage of managerial supremacy. I just wish my friend Kurt was here to see me do it.

And what happened to The Sexy Offenders, I hear you ask? They’re all dead too, now that I think of it. Not long after Kurt. Asbestos poisoning at the gang headquarters.

The future is here. The 90’s were shite.

*This is a work of fiction.  Not Big Sam is a parody account on Twitter and is not endorsed, authorised or affiliated to Sam Allardyce or any other person, group or company mentioned in the article.

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