‘Match’ – supplied by Matilda Jenkins

I read the astoundingly informative articles and reviews on your well presented and highly researched website but was severely dismayed to discover that you had somehow managed to miss out on the highly publicised and pivotal, (to his career), report on Mr. Groves in the July ’94 edition of ” Great Yarmouth Sights and Sounds of Football”.
Perry was given an entire centerfold spread dealing with his personal performance in the Framley Town Wanderers vs. Gerskekpoelstadt Bavarian Knights, high profile International friendly played on 19th June ’94.
Due to the international furor caused by accusations of match fixing aimed at top level Bavarian authorities earlier in the year it was thought wise to stage the match at an unbiased stadium where there would be the capacity for Bavarians and Framleans to flock to see the stars of their beloved teams. Hence the powers that be chose Sparksfield Park in Great Yarmouth.
For your convenience I have included my summary of the article as I know that should you wish to print this, many breaches of copywrite laws would be incurred if in it’s original unedited form.

Mrs. Matilda Jenkins, Wiltshire.

“Brits Bash Boshe Back, Bavarians Beaten By Brave Perry”
by Capt. Mark F. Owen, 22nd Wolf brigade 1939-1948

Before I begin my report on what has to be one of the most hotly fought battles since the Second World War, I must say that it is a privilege and an honour to be chosen to write about such a sweet, kind and generally astounding young man. I’ve now met him and was flabbergasted by his courtesy, manners and the amazing steps his hair has taken in the right direction since last in the public eye. Of course I’m speaking of the one, the only, Perry Groves.
Now, when I first heard that the Boshe were on their way over from Hunland I knew instantly that there was going to be a right royal thrashing dished out by the boys in Orange and Green, just like back in ’44. What I didn’t know was that it would turn out to be a seriously sizzling match, low on turnovers and high on skill.
Right from the outset Perry Groves emerged as the front man, leading all the way, always in position to attack the goal like no other player on the pitch, many of my colleagues put this down to him playing up front but I was able to see deeper than this facade, right into the psyche of Groves. After his unprecedented recovery from an unfortunate off-pitch injury, it seemed he may never make a full return to high level, true action football. Some said there was no way to recover from two broken legs and others claimed that even then he’d never regain his “Panzer Tank” pace, but Perry’s mind was focused and able to take inspiration from the men on the beaches of Normandy. Perry thought if they made it then so can I.
The first half saw Groves delving deep into enemy territory, probing runs and searing drives went unappreciated by the callous linesman who tried to blow the whistle on Perry’s hearty and uplifting game by calling offside on almost every play. Nevertheless Groves trudged on like a solitary soldier of the Resistance trapped in occupied Marseilles, always knowing capture and certain death lay waiting around every corner.
This scorching action was capped off by an astounding pre half-time finale, Groves makes a daring run into the box looking for a high lofted cross from teammate Pieter Round when the rotten, cheating Jerry goalkeeper slides at Groves ankles in a desperate attempt to stop Perry connecting with the devious cross. Groves goes down coughing and spluttering like he’s landed in the middle of a gas raid and is awarded the penalty. This is a blatant attempt by the Hun to disable team leader Groves for good, if Perry goes off they think that morale will drop and Framley will turn into a walkover. They hadn’t counted on Groves being British to the core. He gets up, and in a fiendishly clever mental game deliberately misses the penalty opportunity! Sheer genius! The half-time whistle goes and the Germans have had a lucky escape. Framley have only just begun their tortuous rise to the inevitable victory.
Back on the pitch and the second half continues with the same nailbiting, “Where’s the sniper hiding”, tension as the first half. Groves is now playing back in a more midfield position demonstrating his ability to make plays as well as finish them. Spectacularly innovative fluidity mingles with stunning set-pieces, much as an infiltrator mingles with the normal workers of a Hildesburg bomb factory, ready to sabotage at a moments notice. The build up is quite extraordinary to watch. Groves ticks away like a metronome or the fuse of an unexploded bomb, ready to release a devastating salvo of power shots, diving headers, pinpoint volleys or acrobatic bicycle kicks at any moment and yet he does none of these things. Perry bides his time toying with the enemy, he’ll strike with wanton ferocity but only he will decide when…..
Suddenly 84th minute and Von Stoffle kicks the ball off so that an injured Groves can be attended to, but wait, it’s a stupefyingly smart play by Perry who’s on his feet the instant the ball crosses touch. The crowd is roaring, the stadium resonates to the battle cry “Framley’s number one, Framley’s number one” as Groves steps to the half way line to take the throw-in. The atmosphere could be cut with a bayonet as the entire Framley team (bar Groves) group into the six yard box. The Bavarians obviously don’t see the play coming as they place their players around Perry about 20 yards out, Groves steps back and launches a wicked throw deep into the 18 yard box, the keeper comes out but fails to notice the extreme spin Groves has cleverly imparted to the ball and misses it completely! All that’s left for Framley to do is tap the ball home for the win! Final Whistle followed soon and the War was over, The scoreline says it all;

Framley Town Wanderers : 1
Gerskekpoelstadt Bavarian Knights : 0

The ever modest Groves had this to say after the match,

” It was a close one, I feel lucky that we won. Are you looking at my hair?”

So Groves returns to form, demolishing his critics in a Blitzkrieg of top notch football, from the original Tintin bad boy of football to Gentleman extrordinaire, for Groves, the future’s bright, the future’s orange.

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