Vieni a provarci se ti credi abbastanza duro!! (Part 2)

No readers, I haven’t met up with our old friend Danielle Daia to prove my manliness with a spot of pre-season football fisticuffs. I have in fact been spending my weekend with Spangles in the really rather delightfully middle class Tuscan tourist trap town of Siena, a bizarre place in all senses of the word. I gather most of you would have heard of the Palio, the bi-annual horse race around Piazza Del Campo, the main square in the heart of the city. Some of you might even know about the 17 contrade of the city and how important these are to the people that live in them (very, very important indeed), but that’s not why I’m writing to you today. I managed to find something much more interesting than most people do on their visit to the tiny medieval city, another monument to the Italian love affair with English football.

Oh yes, Top Lads – Terrace Style.  I don’t think I would have believed it myself had I not seen it with my own eyes. We walked past it while it was closed one night and I demanded that we went back to check this place out. Seeing copies of Congratulations: You Have Just Met the ICF translated into Italian alongside West Ham scraves as I goggle-eyed through the window gave me made me fall in love with the place immediately (Here’s their appalling MySpace site by the way, hopefully you’ll also be greeted by the banner ad ‘Incronti 100% Gay’). This is going to be absolutely superb I thought – just imagine the hooligan fetishist hilarity that could be had in here. ‘I can’t wait to read your blog post about this’, said Spangles. ‘The moment he realises you’re a Chelsea fan the man who runs this shop going to be all over you.’

So the next day we take a stroll inside the shop. The man behind the counter had a pair of ludicrous mutton chop sideburns and a belly that would rival that of the very best retired hooligans, with a I-don’t-give-a-fuck stare that he copied from BIll Gardner. Poking around it was obvious that this was some serious fetishism going on. Ben Sherman shirts, The Who t-shirts, books about casual culture (thinly-veiled excuses for talking about it all going off etc etc), Stone Island jackets, the works. There were ultras pictures slapped all over the walls, alongside those tacky calling cards that English firms apparently love so much. The conflating of Mod and Casual was pretty predictable as well, as though The Who had anything to do with the MIllwall meat heads who claim they ‘fear no foe’. So on with the culture-clash hilarity, right? Well no. Nothing happened. At all. He didn’t want to talk to us no matter how long we spent in there looking at things we were never going to buy, so we left. Sorry.

However we did take this callng card;



2 Responses

  1. Geez; 40% off and you couldn’t even manage to pick up a Burberry cap. That’s finishing worthy of Robbie Keane.

    Though I’m sure he’ll track you down now that you’ve linked to his MySpace. Just be sure to reply from a email address.

  2. Well if you hear of my grisly demise then made sure the cops look for a man from Siena who looks like an English farmer.

    Or just direct them to the shop.

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