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Older seasons

Evans back to work as children struggle to cope with the truth

Clutching a tear stained photo of his fallen hero Steve Evans, ten year old little Bobby Shattocks, wailing and crying with grief, cut a forlorn figure outside the home of Boston United today.

After one-time terrace legend Steve Evans admitted a serious tax fraud charge in London yesterday, the image of the smart schoolboy sobbing uncontrollably into his leather satchel struck a chord with residents of Staffsmart Street quick to point out the real victims of Evans’ misdemeanours: the children.

“Look at the little lad,” important Boston fan Bob Mugfret-Fishhead told reporters gathered at the ground this afternoon. “It breaks my heart to see the young fellow crying like that. Me, I'm old enough to be used to the ills of this world. But the innocent little ones, it’s they who shoulder the real burden of sin. Who's thinking of the kids?”

Little Bobby Shattocks had skipped school to hold his tragic vigil outside the doors of the silent stadium, an emotion fuelled pilgrimage to the place where he used to chant Evans’ name with such pride. The photo he held close to him was of Steve Evans triumphantly mocking Garry Hill at Hayes in 2002.

Evans the hero. Evans the legend. Evans the messiah.

“Say it ain’t so mister,” Bobby whimpered as club chairman Crazee Jimmy Rodwell arrived for work this morning. “Tell me mister, he didn’t really do it, did he? Mr Evans I mean. Mr Evans didn’t lie. He didn’t, did he? Mr Evans ain’t a bad man, is he mister?”

Grim faced, Crazee Jimmy paused for a moment, almost as though he wanted to console the child. But he ignored the infant’s anguished sobs, and walked away. Little Bobby sunk to his knees on the stone-flecked ground of the car park, drawing his picture, his sole reminder of the good times, closer. He wept some more.

“Aye, it’s always the children that suffer,” said Bob Gufftrucker, the burly knee-capper employed by HM Revenue and Customs to nail anyone that dares cross their path.

Bob stared at the wailing child, shaking his head. “The number of times I’ve had to endure some doe-eyed toddler tugging at my crowbar asking if daddy is a criminal. I normally tell them ‘Yes little one, Daddy is a criminal, he’s going away for a very, very long time and will probably return a violent drug addict’. In my experience, it’s best to be blunt with the kids. Protecting them from the harsh truth does more harm than good.”

Mugfret-Fishhead leant on his gate as the crowd, unable to get any comment from Crazee Jimmy, drifted away to the Coach and Horses, leaving little Bobby Shattocks alone again.

Little Bobby

Mr Shattocks

Wipe that smile off your face - Guilty Evans back to work as though nothing has happened

“I wish I could go up to the lad and say to him everything is going to be ok, that there’s more chance of Cape Canoville playing an incisive through ball than of Steve Evans getting the sack and that the cheating criminal will almost certainly be in the dugout on Saturday,” Mugfret-Fishhead said.

“Now, to me it just demonstrates that we’re a club full of corrupt gangsters, but it might cheer little Bobby up. I wish I could tell him, give him a hug, but I’d probably get lynched for being a paedophile, so I’ll just have to let him suffer.”

Little Bobby’s sad vigil lasted until four o’clock this afternoon, when an intoxicated Mr Jack Shattocks, a gruff coal miner from Louth, arrived to collect his son. Holding a blood-stained Davy Lamp he ushered his son away, muttering to the few remaining journalists: “If any of you gayboys touched my son I’ll kill you.”

"But Daddy, if Mr Evans lied about this, maybe he lied about other things too?” little Bobby could be heard saying as his father dragged him away. “Why did he have to do that Daddy? Daddy? Where's Mummy, Daddy? Why is the patio in the middle of the garden, Daddy?”

Silence returned to Staffsmart Street. Silence, save for the snores of an unconscious tramp cum journalist slumped over a rubbish bin, and the laughter emanating from the Boston United club offices.

“The suckers are falling for it again,” someone says, his crazee words carried on the wind. “See you on Saturday Steve.”

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