Somewhere in a dimly-lit basement below Spurs ticket office, a tired looking Nigerian is crunching numbers. A door suddenly opens, revealing a burst of near-blinding light that causes the middle-aged man to recoil and shield his bloodshot eyes.
A Tottenham employee descends the flight of stone steps and extends a friendly, welcoming hand to Spurs’ new international striker.
“Hello Kanu! They told me you were down here.”
“Aaagh! Your grip, so strong, like five coiled snakes around my fingers.”
“Sorry mate. Welcome to Spurs. We hope you can follow where Louis Saha left off.”
“When I signed for the Chairman, I was told I would play a significant part in the new season. But here I am, adding up loyalty points. We had a gentleman’s agreement.”
“The deal suited all parties. Portsmouth were delighted with those Greggs vouchers. Can I have your autograph?”
“It is hard…..hard..to hold a pen these days. Can I sign with a rubber stamp?”
Kanu dips a rubber stamp into some blood red ink and marks the Spurs employee’s autograph book alongside his prized Andy Booth signature.
“It says ‘legal immigrant’.”
The experienced striker shrugs innocently and rolls a couple of dice.
“So how are the new loyalty points working out?”
“Still adding them up using the new formula. Number of years a season ticket holder…14…multiplied by the roll of two dice…11… equals….123 loyalty points.”
“I’m no Vorderman, but I think your maths is a bit off there."
“Numbers…..never my strong suit…except when it comes to wages. Then I am the African Rainman.”
“You okay for Saturday at the Sports Direct? You look a bit…tired.”
The Nigerian picks up three arthritis tablets and washes them down with a glass of cloudy water.
“I’m a strong man, heart of a lion. 47 ye…27 years old and (cough) ready for (splutters)…another new season. Bring on (cough) the Geordies. I can hold the ball up like away tickets in the post. Why (cough) is it so dusty down here?”
“We had to sack the old cleaner Vedran because he was so slow, I mean prehistoric. But we’ve got a new guy now. Luka! Luka! Get your arse down here.“