The other side of the story

With security personnel in most of the grounds making it tough for one and all, Ted Corbetthands over his diary to George Brains, head of the Obstruction Squad, to give his side of the story.

July 9: We all have our troubles with security guys and this week I hand my diary over to George Brains, head of the Obstruction Squad, to put his side of the story.

July 10: When we get our instructions it is clear the bosses only want top people to watch their matches. I mean it is obvious that it does not matter how many passes they have — if they don’t live up to my definition of a gentleman or a lady they don’t get in. I mean take Glasgow a few weeks ago. Bit of a charity game, lots of persons of high rank trying to raise money, but you cannot be too careful the day after some doctor — never liked doctors, nasty stethoscopes round their necks, always prodding you in the stomach and saying ‘do you live a healthy lifestyle?’ — blows the airport to pieces. Anyway I am standing at the main gate when along come this toff and his missus — nice lady, very polite and nicely dressed — and I say “Passes please.” He says: “I don’t think I need a pass, do I?” “On my gate,” I say in my best ‘you ain’t pulling no wool over my eyes, matey’, “everybody needs a pass.” The lady gives me a sweet smile and she says, “Perhaps this gentleman doesn’t recognise you, Charles, do tell him why you’re here.” “Well, my man,” he says, which gets right down my gullet for a start, “you should realise I am Prince Charles and this is the Duchess of Cornwall and we are here to see this cricket thingy and pick up the charity money.” I laugh. “If you are a prince, where’s your crown?” I ask, “I have been duped by professionals so there is no chance of a little amateur like you squeezing past me. Show me a pass, or make a quick exit. It’s your choice.” The lady smiles again and she says: “Surely you recognise my husband. You must have seen him on the telly.” I can see she takes quite a shine to me so I say: “Never clapped eyes on him in my life. Has he got a pass or not?” Anyway at that moment along come several suits, and some heavyweight coppers and one of them, with an accent you can sharpen a knife on, says: “Ah, Charles, do come in. I hope this gentleman” — that’s me — “is being helpful.” “Yes, of course,” says Charles and his wife gives me a big smile again and slips me a tenner and says: “Thank you so much for your help.” But someone, and I suspect it is the Prince lad, gives me a big kick on the shins.

July 11: Next morning two fellas come up to me bold as brass and start telling me the tale. “As I am sure you know we are television commentators and we forget our passes and . . .” but I say “no passes no entry.̶ 1; The old lad in the big hat and the loud voice tells me I’m stupid and asks my name and then says ”There’s more brains in a pork pie” so when they phone up for new passes I tell them their photos don’t fit. The big black fella kicks me on the shins and his mate says: “You’ve no technique in your kicking” and shows him how it should be done. This job is getting really painful.

July 12: I line up a knighthood for myself today. They let the crowd go on to the field during lunch — always a mistake to give people too much choice in my opinion — and I am especially careful to see there is nothing unto ward. I catch one guy using his mobile phone out in the middle and I tell him: “You’ll have to stop that, sir, very strictly forbidden.” He goes: “No, my man, I’m BBC and I’m broadcasting.” I grab him by the arm and frog march him out of the ground. “BBC!” I say. “You just here to upset the Queen and I’m not having it.” I drop a note to the Palace and I reckon I will be on to an honour the next time Her Majesty stops locking up those television types in the Tower.

July 13: They call it Dress Up Friday and it is a right handful I can tell you. Robin Hood, nuns, monks, girls pretending to be lads and lads dressing as ladies and a whole pile of rum coves, they’re all trying to get in. “ Passes please,” I shout but they just rush past kicking me on the shins. I would not mind but at least two of them are got up like Prince Charles and his lady. I mean I can’t win, can I?

July 14: Just when I think nothing can get any worse I stop two beefy types who get off a big blue bus and try to stroll past me cool as you like. “Show me your passes,” I shout. They come straight back with: “We̵ 7;re players — we don’t have passes.” Well, there is a lot of shouting and bawling and finally they get back on the bus and tell the driver to take them home. This bit of blackmail sets off a huge panic and they have to be begged to play, and given a few more pounds, if you please. I hear one of them say: “You can have a match without, television, press or crowd but you’ll struggle to put on a show without players,” and I guess he has a point. Then they line up and all kick me on the shins.

July 15: Well, you will see I have a good week and in the end the boss comes up to me and says: “Is it right, that you stop a radio man and half the crowd and all the players coming into the ground?” I can’t tell a li e so I say: “Yes, and Prince Charles and his missus and a couple of commentators and . . . “ but he takes no notice. Instead he hands me a blank contract and says: “You obviously have what it takes, son, just fill in what wages you want and sign it at the bottom. You have a big career ahead so long as you remember that no-one has the right to come into any ground. Good luck.” Then he kicks me on the shins and off he goes, leaving me to think who I can stop next. I am going to aim high. How about Viv Richards, Michael Vaughan and David Morgan, the new chairman of ICC. All on the same day. That’s got to be worth a medal, hasn’t it?