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Roy of the Rovers Total Football

Part 16

***
On the eastern beach of the Spanish city of Lacona, Rocky Race seamlessly
blended in with the numerous English tourists that were enjoying the sun and
warm temperatures. Wearing his own 2002 England football shirt and sipping

beer under a parasol, he looked every part the typical holidaymaker. Nervously
his eyes flicked from the promenade to his drink, to the beach, along the coast
and back and forth. He was waiting for his twin sister, Mel who he had managed
to contact from via an internet caf, but his main concern was a possible
appearance by nemesis Trevor Brinsden. He was sure that Brinsden had the
ability and motivation to have bugged his sisters telephone and emails. Where
are you Trevor? he asked himself, drawing a strange look from a small girl
ordering an ice lolly, I can feel you, youre near!
Youve always been a weirdo, Rocky! It was Mel. Startled, but relieved, Rocky
wrapped his sweaty arms around her, Lets go now, wheres the cab? As
agreed Mel had arrived in a taxi straight from the airport, the driver whisked
them off at a reckless speed to a boutique rural hotel in the mountains that
overlooked the city.
This is more like it, sis! Rocky squeaked as the taxi crawled slowly through the
electronic gates and along the pine-lined driveway. The reformed manor house
spoke Costa del Crime luxury, impenetrable to the potential henchmen of Trevor
Brinsden. Powerful English gangsters, Russian politicians and Colombian drug
barons mixed in perfect isolation. Rocky felt safe and reassured as Mel handed
him his passport and wallet. He watched as a porter removed two suitcases from
the boot of the car. Thanks so much, Mel! How long are we booked in for?
Just a couple of days, I thought youd want to rest a bit and then we can get
back to Melchester. Ive chartered a private jet to take us to RAF Weston, the
press wont be there to meet us. Then we can do something about getting
Jeanette and the girls over. Theyre fine, Ive told them weve been in contact,
shes not impressed though, itll take some explaining this disappearance.
Rocky knew the events of his kidnapping seemed far-fetched, but if his wife still
loved him she would believe him and they could begin to reconcile. The stories
Brinsden had embellished and leaked to the Daily Gazette were so believable,
but now Jeanette knew just how dangerous and manipulative Trevor could be
surely she would trust Rocky again.
Showered and dressed smartly in polo, chino shorts and loafers, Rocky joined his
sister in the bar. They took table on the terrace overlooking the pool. Rocky
looked around, while the views across the valley and out to the bay were
spectacular, there was no vantage point for any would be voyeurs or paparazzi.
Thick bourgenvilla grew along the top of a tall whitewashed perimeter wall.
Closed circuit television cameras on poles overlooked the driveway and fire exits.
The house itself had been sympathetically restored and maintained an
Andalucian feel that was at odds with the majority of the guests.
Attractive blondes buzzed between hairy chested South Americans and muscular
Eastern Europeans, it was a familiar scene from Rockys past and he felt
uncomfortable. Mel, you know those girls are working? Theyre all escorts, over
a thousand euros just for company! Rocky realised what he had just said was
somewhat incriminating, but he trusted his sister more than any other, What if
there are undercover reporters in here. If another story comes out about me and
escorts, Jeanette will never take me back! It would only take a few quid to
convince one of them to say Id been with them.
A powerful hand thumped Rockys back, Dont you worry about that, bruv! We
dont let scum in here, no reporters, no Old Bill. Id string em up if I even

suspected it! Rocky was puzzled, who was this mouthy Cockney? Rocky Race,
you dont know me, but I know who you are. I love me football, Eastgate fan,
though I am, not much time for Melchester Rovers or Melboro! Im Paul, Paul
Flaxen, its an absolute pleasure! Flaxen waved at the barman, This mans
drinks go on my tab, Juan! Dont let him spend a cent, hes a legend!
Rocky was squirming, he had heard of the Flaxens, anyone who frequented
London casinos was aware of the familys reputation for crime and violence.
Dont worry, Rocky! This place is sacred, nothing ever leaves here! Look
around! The bar was sparsely populated, but everyone was at ease, That
geezer in the corner, hes Russian mafia. They reckon he got that spy killed in
London, a poison umbrella, stabbed the bloke in the leg. Some sort of nuclear
waste on the tip, it ate the blokes organs! Nasty bugger he is!
The big Russian nodded knowingly at Paul Flaxen and tilted his sunglasses, You
OK, Paulie? Stop your stories, or you are next! He said jokingly as others joined
in an almost canned laughter. Rocky scanned the room more carefully, there
were some very dodgy looking men scattered among the stunning working girls.
Like the Russian thug, many had wives or mistresses with them, it was the small
groups of men who took the interest of the professional escorts. Ten years ago
Rocky would have been in his element and treated at least two of the young
ladies to a good time, but now he had only one aim, to get his wife back and
being in this environment was counterproductive to that outcome.
Mel, when can we eat? Im starving, I just want to get a feed in and then off to
bed. This place is giving me the creeps, he whispered. Mel took a big gulp of her
gin and tonic and got up, We can get room service in the suite, lets go.
As the twins tucked into a simple but perfectly prepared meal, Mel gave Rocky
the exciting news from Walford Rovers, Wow! Thats great, Dec will learn so
much from Dad, just like I did at the Bullets. I just wish I had the bottle to ask his
advice earlier in my career, back when I was a player. It couldve saved me a lot
of pain, literally, with my injuries; I shouldve recognised just how much
knowledge Dad has.
Mel turned the television set on, You can watch Walford, Im having an early
night. Having a brother like you has always been stressful!
Nah! Come on sis! Walford are the family club now. Decs boss, Dad assistant,
even your Roy supports them now! Sit up and watch with me, well have some
cava and dessert. How about it?
Oh, OK then! Ive even been to Walford twice this season, that stadiums a slum.
But, Diana is so happy in London, her shops even doing alright. I couldnt believe
it; she even had customers last time I visited. But youre right; my Roy does love
Walford now, thanks to Uncle Declan.
Mel had long lost her love for the beautiful game, Its such a shame he never
got to see you play, for Rovers, at Mel Park. I cant get him out of his Walford
hoops now, he really idolises Declan. Who wouldnt? Hes a cracking bloke, Diana
struck lucky with him, when you think of the blokes I got mixed up with; pfft!
Football is full of gits and I found a few of them!

Keith Durham? Rocky was smirking, If he wasnt a footballer, hed have been a
gigolo. The blokes a player, always was, always will be. Dont blame yourself for
falling for his charms, you werent the first and you certainly werent the last!
That doesnt make me feel any better! Mel snapped back, At least he had
some charm, some of the others were just using me, I had the power, I shouldve
seen them coming! Anyway, its kick-off time!
***

Walford suffer 1st defeat in 9 league games

McKaffree suffers his first defeat as player-manager

Castleton eight points clear of relegation

The championship hopes of Walford Rovers were dented after they slumped to defeat
at Castleton and suffered their first Premier League loss in nine games.
Castleton took the lead when William Zoro slotted in a low Youl Bemba cross.
The home side then scored two goals in two minutes as Jason McQueen side-footed in
another Bemba cross and Julian Stewart curled in a low shot.

Phil Matthews scored a brilliant 40-yard effort after 83 minutes but it was no more than a
consolation strike.
Castleton were too strong, too quick and had too much desire for a Walford side woefully
lacking in all three departments.

Walford have surprised the football world with their form in the Premier League this season
but they struggled all over the pitch against a side whose form has turned around at just the
right time.
The defeat saw them drop to second, one point behind reigning champions Kelburn and just
two further points ahead of third placed Melchester Rovers.
Castleton had won just one of their last eight league and cup games at home but they
quickly took control to dash Walford's hopes of a win.
Visiting striker Chris Morris appealed for a foul when defender Danny Scott beat him to a
header and referee Leonard King's decision not to award the visitors a free-kick proved
crucial.
Dale Storme found Bemba on the left-wing and his cross to the far post was slotted in by
Zoro, who injured himself in the process after colliding with the woodwork.
Two quick goals then put the home side out of reach. Castleton's threat again came from
Bemba as his cross was tapped in by McQueen from point-blank range.

Walford barely had time to regroup before a recovered Zoro found right-back Stewart and he
curled in a shot.

Castleton's threat decreased with Jay Cuffy and Zoro having to go off injured in the second
half before Walford finally showed the kind of application which had been lacking for most of
the game.
Home keeper Will Williams had been a virtual spectator before Matthews sent a dipping 40yard shot into his top corner for an impressive goal.
Castleton manager Ian Kirby: "Weve finally found some form and are playing with the
width Ive been demanding all season. We are famous for wingers here and there was none
better than Youl Bemba and Willy Zoro today.
"I've been being the nasty teacher to them this week telling them to get in the box.
"I just thought we were very good. We were unlucky in the second half as we lost Jay Cuffy
and Zoro.
"I don't think I have ever seen a better goal than we have seen (from Mattews) at this place.
Ironically, it was from the opposition. That was a special goal."
Walford assistant manager Roy Race: "The first-half key moments really put us on the
back foot and the way we defended was really disappointing. It killed the game before we
could get into it.
"It wasn't about protection for the defence. What we needed to do was to track the runners.
"Sometimes it's over by the time you begin getting back in the game.
"In the first-half our play wasn't horrendous but we struggled in the key moments. All the
players have come off disappointed knowing we let ourselves down when it really mattered.
"We knew it was a difficult task to stay at the top. We are now relying on Kelburn to drop
which you don't want to do. But, Declan and I are learning all the time and we promise every
Walford fan that we wont give up on the title."

Storky Knight
NEXT The 2016/17 season reaches a satisfying conclusion!

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