After the rip-roaring success of my exclusive interview with our new attacking forward, Mr. MacMillan, a couple of weeks ago, Arsenal’s famous Welsh press officer Dai Laffyn contacted me this week with another offer. Would I like to interview our new striker Peter O’Bannon, signed with such Arsenalistic drawn-out drama from Prussian Dortmund at his country estate ‘Little Tipperary’, just outside London Colney?
You wager I would. So I called for my chauffeur Osborne to bring the 1933 Humber16-60 saloon round to the front of the house and we off we toddled.
Mr. O’Bannon has owned the estate since 2010 following the sale of his father, Kneecaps O’Bannon’s scrap metal dealership, and he has spent a number of years and many hundreds of thousands of pounds recreating the Tipperary of his childhood.
We reach the gates and Osborne depresses the silver button in order to speak to a butler or first footman. The first electronic notes of It’s a Long Way to Tipperary strike up, the gate buzzes into life and we enter Little Tipperary. Standing on the front steps of the grand mansion is O’Bannon himself, Arsenal’s new striking superstar.
He invites me in and we take our seats in a large hall, with raging fire, portraits of O’Bannons through the ages around us.
Thank you kindly for inviting me here.
It’s no bother, I’m honoured. Yours are the only pictures that seem to capture my personality, like. Pure fried!
Your surname is O’Bannon. A very well-to-do-clan?
Our ancestral seat is Leap Castle in Offaly. In Irish, the name of the castle is “Leim ui Bhanain,” or “Leap of the O’Bannons.” Which is poetic, considering I am one leaping hellhound of a striker.
So you’ve held this estate long before your move to Arsenal.
Aye, I can’t actually move back to Tipperary for complicated legal reasons so I thought I’d recreate a little bit of it here, And when your man Gaye-Seedless and the little fella who keeps forgetting his own name, Dick somebody, fella who keeps shouting “WE’LL PAY YE NO MORE THAN ONE THOUSAND ENGLISH POUNDS” came over and made the reporters take a picture of them near me big silver car, and explained that the training ground is only a couple of miles from here I thought ah, feck it, why not then. Let’s do it for the craic, for the sneer, as they say back home.
So your previous club, Prussian Dortmund, they seemed to imply that you’d behaved rather badly. Can Arsenal fans expect something similar?
Ha ha ha ha ha. No, I’m sure everything will be fine at Arsenal. I’ve changed me ways. I wouldn’t do anything crazy like I did at Dortmund. Like, I don’t know, shoot some dogs. Dogs belonging to an ex Arsenal player. A real rope of an Arsenal player, never passed the ball to his own players, just to the opposition. Do you want to buy any dog food by the way? I don’t mean tins of dog food, I mean food that is specifically made of two very trusting labradors.
So you won’t get caught speeding here in England.
No, of course I won’t. I learnt me lesson after the last time. You can get cloned number plates quite cheaply now so there’s no chance of getting caught again. Plus, even if I did, I’ve got plenty of mates who would take the ticket for me, so I’ll be fine.
And the time you flew ten pals out to Milan then were late to training the next day?
Like I said, I’ve learned me lesson. I’ve got a big bag of disguises, you know, beards, glasses, nuns’ outfits, masks and whatnot, so there’s no chance of being recognised when I do that again.
You’re well known for being late. Managers hate that.
A step ahead of you there, big man, and I have arranged for all the clocks at London Colney to be kept back half an hour so… Problem solved! I’m a new man.
And the time you were a Dembele shirt when Dortmund were playing Hertha, after that player forced a move to Barcelona?
Hey, what can I say, I’m a fan. Sue me! Everything will be fine with me at Arsenal, there’s definitely no looming crisis coming toward the end of my contract.
So what attracted you to Arsenal?
I’ll be honest with you, tash boy, it was the money. They’ve offered me more money than I know what to do with. Have you got any ideas? I’m thinking of a really big fishtank, with killer whales in it, or a lake full of mermaids. I would love to keep mermaids. Which end is best though? I like the top half of a woman and the bottom of a fish, ideally, but how do you know what you’ll get. Do you own any?
Do I own any mermaids? I do not.
I’ll get you one. Got a fella looking for some for me now. That Head of Recruitment fella, Steven Mislington, he said as a sweetener, he’d get hold of some mermaids for me lake.
I see. Well, I wish you the best of luck. Are you sure there were no other reasons? Like playing for one of the most historically significant clubs in Europe, for one of the greatest managers, alongside such talents as Henry MacMillan, Melvin Orwell and Alexander Lakeshead?
Oh yeah, all of that too. All them fellas.
Nice to see your special move this weekend last?
Oh, the old ruglifter, yes. I was I was definitely offside by the way which was even more hilarious. It was inspired by Old Granny O’Bannon, who used to lift the corner of the rug with her toe if she suspected there was a little mouse under there. I’ve got another one too, it’s called The Really Fast Run. Because I can run really fast.
You certainly can. I wish you the very best of luck!
You too, me moustachioed friend. Right. I’m so hungry. I could eat the twelve apostles! Where’s that bag of dog food?