So there I was at the urinal, all buzzy on beer and wine and beer.
Some guy stood next to me and unzipped. I sneaked a look to make sure he wasn't pulling a George Michael. I saw the mullet, the highlights – man, oh man, it was only Darren Huckerby!
He smelled funny. Maybe that was just the toilets.
He wore this blue suit and one of those big thick 'I'm somebody' ties, in a big thick 'I'm somebody' knot. I stared at him and he stared at the porcelain - but he knew, I knew, he knew I was watching him.
"Hey! Are you Darren Huckerby?" I said. He half-nodded.
"C'mon," I said, "don't be embarrassed about it. You're pretty good sometimes. When you've got the ball, anyway. Which isn't often."
He smiled, kind of. "Thanks," he said.
"You really are Darren Huckerby, right?"
"That's right," he said.
"Wow!" I kept on staring. "Man, you were great against Bolton."
"Yeah?" he said to the tiles.
"Yeah," I said. "You know, you did the same shimmy and step over about fifty times, and then McKenzie shinned it into Row Q."
"That was Matt Svennson," he said.
"Whatever," I said. "Anyway, you played a good game."
"Thanks," he said.
"You were useless against Chelsea though," I said. "Absolutely terrible."
He didn't even blink.
"That game sucked. You all sucked. What was your problem? Weren't you even trying? Where was the pride? Where was the commitment?"
"No," he said. "It wasn't our best game."
"Yeah well," I said. "Forget it. Listen. I've got this great idea."
"Yeah." I twisted round to watch him wash his hands.
"I – um – I know this guy who's an amazing striker – I mean, he's not played for a year or two, but you should have seen him at Powerleague, he was an animal, like Roy Keane combined with Ronaldinho, but better looking and younger," I said.
"What if I arranged to get his number for you? Think Worthy would give him a trial? He's really good. He's exactly my height and weight and look at me, I'm bigger than you are, so that wouldn’t be a problem.
"He'd do it for about a grand a week, you know. At first, anyway. Obviously, it might mean you get dropped, but I don't suppose you can be too choosy at this point in your career."
"No, I guess not." He looked at me funny and smiled. "Call me at the football club and we’ll arrange something."
"Really?" I said.
He looked me up and down. "Really," he said, and he left.
I got back to the table.
"Jimmy," I said, "get this. Darren Huckerby just took a leak next to me! Man, he cannot take criticism."
Jimmy looked me up and down and stopped smiling. "Hey, Mickey," he said. "Listen."
Too late. I sat down and found out my trousers were soaked through.
Story laureate Sue Welfare writes: This story is beautifully crafted. There is really good use of dialogue to carry the story forward.