Everton beat Millwall one-nil last night. This takes them into the next round of the FA Cup – they give it a different name every time it gets a new sponsor, but to me it remains the FA Cup. Everton's dubious reward is that they get to play Chelsea in the next round. Our record against Chelsea – the best team in the world, whose substitute bench would beat most other teams in the world – is abysmal. The picture is of Chelsea scoring against Everton last Feb – although, as you can see, we did have a headless goalkeeper. (There’s a prize if you can find me.) But if we do beat them in the Cup, our manager, David Moyes, will probably become Saint David.
I don’t think I’d like to be sanctified. Saints don’t have a lot of fun – at least not in this world. Did you ever see a fat saint?
They’re very hot on saints in Catholic countries. There are more ‘Saints Day’ cards sent in mainland Europe than birthday cards. In France, part of the TV weather forecast every day – some say the only bit you can rely on – is where they tell you the name of the next day’s saint. Tomorrow, for instance, it will be the feast of St, Sebastian – the feasting being for those kids whose name is Sebastian, not for the poor old saint. He certainly did not have a feast. He was buried in the walls of Rome because he wouldn’t renounce Christianity, then when he escaped he was shot through with arrows, and after he survived that (no wonder they made him patron saint of the sick) the Romans – presumably saying the Roman equivalent of ‘Get out of this one, Supersaint’ - finally beat him to death and dumped him in the main sewer. Immured, skewered and sewered: you could say he was chronically martyrdom-prone.
It’s harder to become a saint these days. First, there are fewer Christians around to become martyrs, and secondly because they’ve run out of days. The only way I could achieve sainthood is if they de-sanctify a few – and this requires approvals from On High - or if Everton win the FA Cup. So I guess I’ll have to remain just Ted.