Guest bloggers 'The Gilbert Alsop' take a look at the recent lack of atmosphere at the Banks's Stadium, whilst the Saddlers' travelling support are often the loudest at whichever ground they attend, the same can't be said of Fortress Bescot.
Guest bloggers 'The Gilbert Alsop' take a look at the recent lack of atmosphere at the Banks's Stadium, whilst the Saddlers' travelling support are often the loudest at whichever ground they attend, the same can't be said of Fortress Bescot.

If you have recently found yourself at a half-filled stadium, sat next to gangs of young men - fuelled by blue pop and orange chips - and experienced both awkward, semi-aggressive silences and half-hearted singing, then you were either at the last ever Beady Eye gig or the Bescot on a Saturday afternoon.

When standing was removed at the stadium the atmosphere went with it. And, this hasn’t gone unnoticed by the officials at Walsall. They have recently announced a survey (and at the same time, corrected the misspelt name of a famous Slade song) called ‘Come on Feel the Noise’. The results of this will be used to insure that every match day will now become a cracker.

But, what exactly can they do to improve the match day atmosphere? Here are a few suggestions:

The Best Song to Run Out to:
Get rid of that happy clappy ‘der,der,der,der,der’ song that we now come out to. We are not toddlers, idiots or evangelical Christians. We are adults. And we ain’t moving to that crap.

Everton, Watford and Tranmere all run out to themes from old TV shows. Although not necessary, it would be nice for the TV show to be a local one. Unfortunately, I can’t think of any. The nearest is ‘The Grimleys’. And, sadly, there theme tune was Bye, Bye, Baby by the Bay City Rollers, which, frankly, is shit.

What we should come out to is Walsall’s premier (indeed, only) film about the sex lives of the potato men in Walsall, called, appropriately: Sex Lives of the Potato Men. Sadly, it doesn’t have a theme tune but that won’t be a problem – we could just ask Dean Smith to improvise something whilst Richard O’Kelly turns his pink cap round the other way and operates the turntable.

Half-time Entertainment
Currently, we have a bloke with a microphone telling people taking part in the ‘crossbar challenge’ who have failed to hit the crossbar by half a mile, that it was a ‘good effort’. Personally, at the break, I like a wee and a chat - not at the same time though (golden rule: no eye contact at the urinal) - but that’s not enough for some people.

The best half-time entertainment I have ever seen was supplied by ‘Commando Swifty’. This was when a bunch of squaddies who abseiled in from the stadium roof were unexpectedly attacked and beaten by our lovable mascot, in what became known (by me anyway) as the ‘Massacre of Bescot’. Although enjoyable to the spectator, it was an appalling advert for the hand-to-wing combat skills of our armed forces.

We should do something similar to this, but with actual ex-players who hate each other. A fight to the death, if necessary. The first fight can be between Stan ‘The Man’ Collymore and Ray ‘No Nickname Necessary’ Train. Stan was an apprentice at Walsall and Ray was Stan’s coach at the time. It’s fair to say they didn’t get on as Stan wrote in his excellent autobiography 'Tackling my Demons': ‘One day [...] Ray keeled over and had a heart attack right in front of me. It felt like divine retribution [...] I had never been so happy in my entire fucking life [but] he didn’t die, little fuckers like him never die.’ Well, if this idea is introduced, Stan can finally make his wish come true. And, not on the training pitch either, but in front of a baying crowd.

Of course there may be problems with getting a licence for a fight to the death but the biggest difficulties we would face would be running out to the improvised theme tune of Sex Lives of the Potato Men. This is because it will highlight the club’s lack of appreciation of chips. I have actually lost track of whether or not we are selling chips in the kiosk now - much in the same way as to whether or not James Baxendale is a left winger, a right winger, or the spare man between the midfield and the front one. In fact, thinking of it, a vote between keeping Baxendale or chips will be good half-time entertainment for at least one game.

Note for Wolves fans: I have made the leap from talking about potatoes to chips, as chips originally come from potatoes, not from the freezer section of the corner shop.

Other Thoughts
Old men to replace the ball-boys.

A cinema-style ‘honeymoon’ chair next to the two dugouts, where couples can eat their smuggled in sandwiches or overpriced official Walsall FC popcorn.

The sponsors’ man of the match has to express his thanks to the voters through the medium of dance.

The Single Best Way of Improving the Atmosphere

And, that is bloody well that. As my 13 regular readers will know, I don’t normally write for Bescot Banter. I run Walsall FC’s fifth most popular unofficial website and you can find me there at:

Ta’ra for a bit.

By: The Gilbert Alsop.
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