While wandering around the Metrocentre for no particular reason on my day off, it’s time for a sit down and a cup of tea.  As I get to the front of the queue I see a silver haired bloke join the back of it.

I nudge Mrs Horse, “There’s Alan Pardew!!”.  She looks but isn’t convinced and even when he sits down two seats away from us she has me doubting myself as he’s incognito (not in a tracksuit) wearing some Michael Caine style goggles.  I bet her a quid it’s him to prove my point before I consider just saying hello anyway, to some bloke who’s probably called Dave from Denton Burn.

A waitress comes over and asks for an autograph (not mine you understand), gets her photo taken and gives him a kiss, so when she’s finished I lean over and sa,y “Hi Alan, sorry, I’m not going to bother you too much, I won’t give you a kiss but can I just shake your hand mate, you’re doing a canny job”.

I leave it there as he’s probably just looking for a bit of peace and won’t appreciate my views on Jonas, or being asked to do his best to keep the score down in the next two games.  I know my place and sit back down.  He smiles, wishes me good luck and returns to reading the footy section of the paper.

So as you do, I then text my family and friends:- ‘In Nero’s at Metrocentre and just shook Alan Pardew’s hand!!’

Alan was texting a bit too, probably something along the lines of ‘…shaved head mentalist…’, or maybe telling their lass what time he’ll be home for tea.

Anyway, here’s a selection of the replies I got:-

Mam – ‘Wow x’

Sister #1:- ‘Having a ban from the ground overturned 2 shaking the manager’s hand, things r getting better x’

Nigel:-  ‘What’s his crack? Did he recognise you as a member of the independent press?’

Chris: ‘You say owt 2 him?  U not wish it was Ashley instead?’

Hobbsy:- ‘Nice, not quite the KK moment tho!’

Garry:- ‘Did you tell him that his employer’s a t***’

Patchy:- ‘I’m jealous! Tell him I’m in Manchester at the weekend if he’s short’

I’m sure given similar circumstances others would have asked him something more interesting.  However, sometimes when you’re caught in the headlights any old drivel comes out.

What did you say when you met your black & white heroes or zeros?