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Older seasons >> 2006/2007 >> Little Bobby's Broken Dreams

‘We haven’t just been relegated to the Blue Square Premier and entered into a Company Voluntary Arrangement we can’t possibly afford to repay – have we daddy?’

For one young Boston United fan, the end today was comprehensive, swift and brutal.

At the final whistle at the Racecourse, and clutching his signed photo of Steve Evans’ boozy figure at Hayes in 2002, young Little Bobby Shattocks stood alone in solemn homage to his heroes - and the greatest manager in the history of world football.

As the Wrexham fans surged forward onto the pitch, celebrating their escape, the enormity of relegation was simply numbing to a wee boy whose only previous experience of bitter defeat was seeing his hero – the greatest manager in the history of world football - fail to squirm his way out of a criminal record for tax fraud in November.

The chants of the jubilant Wrexham fans. The beating of the drum. The singing. The music played over the tannoy. An overwhelming barrage of noise.

Little Bobby held aloft his picture of his hero. How had the greatest manager in the history of world football let him down? Perhaps he hadn’t. Perhaps this was a new chapter. A cunning plot. Steve wouldn’t let Bobby down. Not Little Bobby Shattocks.

Little Bobby in happier times

As the Wrexham fans melted away, and the Boston players trooped dejectedly onto the pitch to applaud their supporters, Bobby began to cry. Slowly at first, but then sobbing uncontrollably.

“Never mind sonny,” said one Wrexham steward, ruffling Bobby’s hair as tears stained his cheeks. “With any luck you’ll not be placed into liquidation in the summer. You might even avoid relegation to the Northern League. Maybe. Well, probably not. Have what’s left of my hot dog. That’ll cheer you up.”

Meanwhile, Bobby’s father, gruff Lincolnshire coalminer Jack Shattocks was trying to snare an underage Welsh female in a nearby bar, attempting to impress her with his Davy lamp and pick-axe.

“I’ve got a canary in my car,” he announced, wiping coal dust from his face and checking over his shoulder for undercover police officers. “And a pit pony you can ride. Come back to Boston with me. If I can’t have League football, I’ll take you instead.”

It was a long drive back to Boston. Bobby had never before driven a car, let alone when his father was in the back seat unconscious. “We’re not really relegated, are we daddy,” he asked, looking in the mirror as vomit seeped from his father’s nostrils.

“Mr Evans will save us, won’t he daddy? Won’t he? He’s got a plan, right daddy? He’s always got a plan. Mr Evans is the best manager in the history of world football. Isn’t he daddy?”

Little Bobby Shattocks got no answer.

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