Amidst The Prawn Sandwich Brigade

Many frown upon the ‘prawn sandwich brigade’, especially Roy Keane, who once criticised fans for indulging in beer and prawn sandwiches instead of supporting the team. Commentators are the first to criticise the members of ‘Club Wembley’ who are usually the first ones in and the last ones out at half time, again, indulging in the food and drink that is offered to them. I had never seen what the big deal was about, but after writing to John Mair, a lecturer at Coventry University, he managed to get me an opportunity to give it a try.

The ticket was for 22 February, a Tuesday night game against Swansea City, a team pushing for promotion, either via the two automatic spots or the play-offs. This was my first trip to the Ricoh Arena and I was looking forward to my prawn sandwiches.

Though they weren’t the main event for me, it was indeed the opportunity to sit alongside Bobby Gould, former professional footballer and manager, Roger Monkman, former Coventry Telegraph journalist and Darren Parkin, the current editor of the Coventry Telegraph. Upon entering the box, there was food laid down straight away. No prawn sandwiches unfortunately, but a three-course meal consisting of chicken Caesar salad, lamb shank and a fruit crumble desert. This was all very nice, and much better than the food available at Kiosks up and down the country. Writes Callum Maclean…

Sitting in between a lovely gentleman from Warwick University and Roger Monkman, I found myself in a strange position. It’s hard to explain, but as a student, sitting in a box with a professional footballer and manager and former and current journalists, is something I never thought I’d do.

I spent the majority of the evening chatting to Roger Monkman about various things such as university, work and obviously, the football. After we had our meal, it was then time for the game. For the most part, the game wasn’t all that inspiring, and a goal by Swansea substitute Stephen Dobbie in the 76th minute being the difference, though Coventry probably felt hard-done-by after playing really good football up until the goal.

Bobby Gould, who played for and managed Coventry, could be heard throughout the game making comments. When he said something was going to happen, it did, pretty much every time. He still had the manager’s spirit about him, ordering players around. It is no surprise that he has come forward willing to manage Coventry again – It’s obvious he wants the club to succeed, and he definitely still has the passion for it.

Since hearing Gould’s comments, I think any hope that I had of becoming a manager have since disappeared, as I don’t have any way of matching his knowledge of the game as it’s happening.

The evening was very enjoyable – I got to speak to people in the industry, got to watch live football and got an eye-opener as to why I’ll never be a football manager, as well as getting the all-important autograph of Bobby Gould himself. I would definitely be part of the ‘prawn sandwich brigade’ again.


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