This year, Home Defence UK celebrates its tenth anniversary. It’s been a decade of ups and downs, Jeff, but at 
the end of the day, it’s always been about eleven men versus eleven men, and whichever team scores the most 
goals wins out. It’s also been an eventful decade for our intrepid football reporter Grant Mortar, and here, in the 
manner of one of those nostalgia programmes which, quite literally, litters the airwaves, this article takes a look 
back at the five key events - or ‘trends’ for those Twitterari amongst you - for both football and Grant which, in a few years time, will have us rolling
around like celebrity pigs in the nostalgia shit-pie.

1. Awl White? Nah then, over the past decade, everyone in the world has become incrementally more famous thanks to Facebook, Twitter, Youtube,
genetically modified reality TV, and all that jazz. Ten years ago, the sheer cumulative weight of all the fame in the world was enough to make sea
levels everywhere rise. Serious. A land mass the size of Wales – and why is it always fahkin Wales used as a measurement? – disappeared from
Arctic and Antarctic regions. 

                                Nowadays, the (northern) crisps and fizzy pop diet of fame has made us all so behemothian-heavy that the entire polar region, north and south 
                                of the globe has been sunk without a trace. It’s a small price to pay though, me old China, because the great thing is, football; wonderful, 
                                Goddish football, has become more famous than religion. Football is now, quite literally, way up there, up them apples and pears. It’s the air 
                                we breathe. Frankly, it’s more than Mr. Shankly’s matter of life and death now. Football is life. And death. And everything in between. Football
                                helps us make sense of this wonderful, turbulent world. 

Hence it’s no wonder our ‘ballers get paid more than, say, nurses. The old ball and chain was / is a Florence Nightingale type. I reckon she took me
on in an attempt to fahkin ‘save me’, or somesuch nonsense. And we got on tidy until I brought up this argument with her after she’d just partaken in
a seventy-two hour shift – the muppet. Needless to say, neither of us would back down and now I have divorce-papers in my back-burner, ready to
sign. Precious cow wants the fahkin house though, so I’m not backing down.

2. The fact is football's everywhere, whispering like a prayer on leaves of grass, and on the front and back pages of 
newspapers, and at the top of the tree when it comes to water cooler-based sports-related gossip, which is great and all 
that. But there are, amazingly, some drawbacks. One of these cons comes wrapped in a dock-off pro, which can make 
things quite confusing, but bear with me here duck. 

You can watch football, quite literally, anywhere, and at any time. I, Grant Mortar esq., have witnessed my team, Chelsea (whom I affectionately 
call Chels) on the idiot box in many farflung, Godforgotten toilets and broom cupboards of the world: Scotland, Hong Kong, The Gambia, Sri Lon, 
India, at least 7 Greek Islands, Kenya, Dominican Republic, Romania and Narnia. 

It used to be, if I was abroadski on me hols or on business, I had to rustle up some moulah to buy a phone card and call the trouble and strife
to get the scores off-of Ceefax. Or else wait a couple days for the English papers what get delivered off-of the next flight. But then came the
blanket, wall-to-wall coverage of footer and everything changed. And this is where it all went tits-up. 

One of the best things about going on me hols used to be when I got a Joe Baxi from the airport to whatever hotel I 
was setting up base in. I’d always engage said driver in his knowledge of The Knowledge – namely, his ability to 
recite the line-ups and fixture lists of First Division togger sides. Nah sometimes said driver might know the names 
of a few teams – Manchester United (“Best, Law, Charlton, yeah?”), or Liverpool, or The Arse. One in a hundred might have heard of the Chels. 
But none of them would be up on their Kerry Dixons or their Micky Hazards or their David Speedies. Now I’m there and the driver’s got a 
fahkin Chels pennant hanging off-of his rear-view mirror and he’s wearing a knock-off Eden Hazard replica. 

Go into a bar now to watch the game in one of these third world toilets, and its likely the fahkin barman will be as 
up on the Chels as you are, having watched the Blues week-in, week-out. No longer can you pride yourself on knowing more than these foreign
glory-hunters. Now you gotta play dirty, and start talking up youth team players or making up gossip about Abramovich pulling out and
spunking his load over some Russian side instead. Or else stuff about training ground bust ups or gun-related incidents involving Ashley Cole.
Or else you produce your fahkin League Match Ticket Book (LMTB) and wave the bastard in their faces and ask them: now who’s the biggest
Chels fan, eh?

One note: do not put the LMTB into the pocket of your Bermudas and then forget all about the bastard, only to remember it the day after when
trying to get rid of a cloudy head by divebombing the pool. 

3. Tear-ups. You might think good old tear-ups are a thing of the past, what with the sanitised atmosphere and gentrification of modern 
stadia, the humongous overpricing of tickets and the proliferation of five-oh at every street corner, even outside the grounds. For a while 
there, my head went all west and I started following various non-league footer sides in the hope of finding some good old-fashioned 
fisticuffs on a Saturday afternoon (you might remember that series from these very pages). Unfortunately, there’s not many places to 
hide in a ground that holds only twenty ‘fans’ and, as such, a stupid, poxy banning-order followed. So I got back on the top-notch togger 
bandwagon again, dipping me toe in the water at first with League Cup matches before braving the Prem games.

And I soon came to understand that my initial misgivings were entirely out of joint, like a nose smashed into a Steve Bruce zigzag by my fighting chum; Ratface Ratchet. Because the Carling Cup - or is it the Milk Cup, or the Rumbelows Cup? – might as well as go by another name: The Hoolie Cup. In The Hoolie Cup, I’ve seen tuck-shop
dambustings at Oakwell, Barnsley, smashing on-pitch ruff-stuff at West Haaaaaaaaaaaam, acts of spontaneous combustion at
Millwall, lickings at Leeds, and much, much more.

I’ve got a whole new lease of life from all that scrapping. Honest, Guv, I have. So much so, the bankruptcy of my winder-cleaning business really means fahk-awl to me, and neither does my impending divorce, or the fact some fahkin no-mark named AJ Kirby has been selling tales of my hoolie antics on the sly. 

4. In a wider cultural context, the past decade has been defined by three things. Recession (and depression), the black hole that is Twitter, 
and the rise and rise of genetically modified ‘reality’ TV. It seems that in these days, when all you can hear is pissing and moaning on the 
tube, what folk are after is a good old rags-to-riches narrative to keep them warm at night. Hence all the shows what are on the idiot box 
in which we get all these no-marks making prats of theyselves, then telling some sob story and then everyone likes ‘em for a bit. Football’s 
the ultimate narrative, and David Beckham was the ultimate genetically modified ‘reality’ TV star, going from 
zero - getting all them muppet West Haaaaaaaaaaaam fans to hang an effigy of him off-of the sign on their 
pub - to hero - scoring a Goldenballs goal against the Bubble and Squeaks. I don’t know if this was within the 
past ten years or not, but in ‘Becks’ creating a brand around himself and his fahkin Skeletor-wife, he created the blueprint for everyone else to
follow. And so, over the past decade, we’ve seen football-as-narrative becoming the way to think about the beautiful game. You can sod your
Jonathan Wilsons and all that malarkey about formations, or your Barcelonas and all that tiki-taki crap. What’s important is the narrative; the
building of stories for what the daft allandsundry can understand, getting away from their own miserable existences like 
what with. 

Some literary theorist claimed there were only seven basic plot structures in books and that. In football, there are a similar number. Players get 
pigeonholed into set roles. Clubs too. And commonpotaters. Hence you get your villains; your John Terrys, your Andy Grays and your Richard 
Keyses, your Luis Suarezes, your Joey Bartons, and, admittedly, some of these fellers don’t help theyselves - and you get your flawed heroes; 
your SuperMario Balotellis, your Wayne Rooneys - your underdogs; FC United of Manchester, AFC Wimbledon - your rags to riches; Manchester 
City - your mysterious, and attractive newcomers; Jose, oh Jose! - your King Lears; Roman, oh Roman! What have the Romans ever done for 
Chels? And finally, your Romeo and Juliet love stories. I can’t think of any of those off-hand. And the best thing about all of it is that next week, 
the new story, is better, brangspankinger, world-defininger than the last one. Thus Balotelli struggling to get into a bib is the best thing ever one 
week and then the next, his fisticuffs with stepdad Roberto Mankini on the training pitch is THE story of the decade. Thus each Sky Sports 
Super Sunday is biggerer and betterer than the last. And so on. 

The best story of the lot though? South Yorkshire Police getting their comeuppance. I’ve had me own run-ins with the SYP, when I was on
the non-league football hoolie trail, watching the football trophy game between East London Chelsea West Ham and Worksop. But the
barefaced lies they told, the brass-neck horror of the crimes they perpetrated, along with their chums at the FA, playing that game at
Hillsborough which hadn’t even passed the fit and proper grounds test, doing the blood-alcohol tests on the dead, redacting police witness
statements… I might talk-up football hooliganism, but this was the biggest act of hooliganism ever perpetrated in conjunction with our
beautiful game. 

They’ve been mugged-off now, and not before time.

5. I’m fahkin sorry to have to say it, but the language in which we talk about football has changed. Nowadays it’s as though you 
have to take a crash course in Speaking Football as a Foreign Language before you can even wrap your thinking-gear around what 
they’re banging on about. Sad. Very sad. But where has this change come from? Well me old China, it’s been influenced by a 
number of things. The proliferation of diving cheats and good-diet, tense-perfect foreigners, Batman-antihero riddlespeaking 
Frenchmen, Cameronesque public schoolboys like Theodore Walcott-Gooner Esquire (NB: HDUK is entirely unsure as to 
whether The Arsenal’s no. 14 is actually a PSB), Twitter and Textspeak. 

Used to be Sky, or whoever, would interview some tight-shorts-wearing, bloodied-headed, thicker-than-two-short-planks clodhopping 
centre half after some nil-all boredraw on some mudheap pitch and he’d trouble the English language with something like: ‘We wuz 
robbed we were-are. It was-is never a sendings-off. The boy goes-went in for it and he’s flicked-flocked it over the feller’s head and
blootered the ball goalwards, only for his following foot to crippled the other feller.’ 

                                                    Understand that this example is in the written form. If you’d actually heard said clodhopper speak, you couldn’t have moved 
                                                    for ​eeerrrrrmmmss or uuuurrrrrrgghhhhhs. Nowadays it’s all changed. Players don’t scattergun their speech with such
                                                    eeerrrrrmmmss or uuuurrrrrrgghhhhhs. Now, it’s the more Francophone aaaaaaaaarrrrggghh, perhaps even spiced with a well to 
                                                    boot, so it sounds like well-aaaaaaaaarrrrggghh, which, coincidentally, is how I pronounce Wellard, the dog in Eastenders once 
                                                    upon a time. I lay the blame for this at the door of la Arsene Wenger, or even with that shagger, Sven Goran Erikson. Now the
                                                    players bandwagon onto it like rats up a footballer WAG’s fanny. And so you get your Joey Bartons and the like, suddenly 
                                                    coming over all Camus, and instead of saying ‘we take each game as it comes, Jeff’, they’re all ‘But, forsooth, it’s to the next 
                                                    game wherefore our thoughts flutter like butterflies, sending earthquakes chasing throughout the globe anon.’ 

                                                    And now you get players, and commonpotaters talking up ‘moments’, like these are Quality Street ‘magic moments’, like the
                                                    ‘moments’ are sweets to suck on. You get ‘em mixing things up, saying: ‘The team is in a good moment right now.’ When 
                                                    actually they mean ‘form’ or common-or-garden ‘we’re on a good run, Jeff.’ It all gets very confusing.

                                                    Cheers me dears. This is Grant Mortar signing off. I’m off for a right ruck with West Haaaaaaaaaaaam dahn the old Boleyn Ground.
Home Defence UK
A Symptom of a Greater Malaise
with Grant Mortar
Ten Years In Football
A Celebration to Mark 2013, by Grant Mortar

Fracas LCFC ChampionsSoccer DronesFIFAAndy Murray RevisitedGame of ThronesMatch ReportScotch FitbaFracas XIX
10 Years of FootySir Carlos & MerlinCommentAndy MurrayFracas XVIIIFooty Funnies 3Footy Funnies 2Streaking
Transfer WindowFracas XVIIFooty FunniesFracas XVIFracas XVDeadline NewsFracas XIVWorld Cup
Fracas XIIIRace For The TitleFracas XIIDogsFracas XIFracas XFracas IXFracas VIII
Fracas VIIFracas VIFracas VFracas IVFracas IIIFracas IIFracas I