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Lee Johnson meets the Fat Controller

30 November 2021

Lee Johnson tells us how a playful kickabout nearly got him into trouble with Darlington station's Fat Controller.

Litter has the Fat Controller in a twizzle

BOTB's memories of an obnoxious South Yorkshire policeman triggered one of my own, of an obnoxious Darlington station master.

It was (according to the record-books) 12 November 1988 and I was on the way home after a depressing 2-1 defeat at Hartlepool. My friend John and I were "harmlessly" alleviating our sadness by kicking a discarded piece of litter to each other on the station platform, when the fore-mentioned station master angrily approached. His manner brought out a severe case of the 'Bolshies' in me which culminated in him offering to take me "round the back, to settle this man to man", after I'd pointed out that his accusation that the litter was ours "by association" would not stand up in court.

It turned out, ironically enough, via information from a sage-like local policeman, that the station-master was at the end of his tether after dealing with hordes of QPR fans travelling to Newcastle that day. The moral of this sad story might be, that when encountering obnoxiousness, try to remember that we're all quite capable of a little obnoxiousness from time to time. Or, perhaps, no matter how downhearted you feel, never kick litter on the platform of Darlo station.

from Lee Johnson

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