1991 Il Presidente fined? Not guilty but so what

It was as we retreated from Dunkirk and a match against the traditional foe distinguished by Jim Moore’s impression of a not very good ice skater as he slipped and slid round the pitch.

On the coach the Chairman’s eyes lit up as a low browed, weasel faced, devious looking chap of sly cunning slipped him what looked like the Holy Grail. A Tour Programme inscribed in the name of Les Anson, Il Presidente himself, a man heretofore never fined despite now being a veteran of several tours.

The motley drunken crew on the bus were told to hush, the sleepers awakened and the card school stopped. The Chairman wasn’t going to let this occasion pass without making a meal of it. Like Chamberlain after Munich he waved the piece of paper in his hand heralding a portentous event. Les, bemused but pipe stuck firmly in mouth and puffing gently was forced to his feet. The Chairman pontificates about the unique nature of the occasion and how delighted he is at last to be able to fine Il Presidente and in view of the importance of the occasion the fine shall be 40 euros.

Les looks shocked and clouds of smoke emerge from one end of his pipe and a spluttering protest from the other. Is Il Presidente going to shame his high office by not accepting a legitimate, if harsh, fine? His hand goes to his jacket pocket. Phew! He is going to play the Englishman and pay up. But what is this that emerges? It isn’t his wallet (not that we would know what it looks like) but a Tour Programme. Furthermore it is inscribed in the name Les Anson. How can this be?

The low browed, weasel faced, devious looking chap of sly cunning is summoned and under pressure confesses to his crime. He has purloined a blank Programme that was supposed to be given to St Pol sur Mer, the team we have just played, and had an accomplice write Les Anson in the blank space.

The Chairman cannot back down and Il Presidente’s fine remains but in addition both the low browed, weasel faced, devious looking chap of sly cunning, his accomplice and the Chairman himself are fined 40 euros each making it probably the largest fine in Strollers history.