Tuesday, March 31, 2009

We continue our series on the disappearing world of things you don't see at the football anymore:

#2 - THE TRANNY MAN:

Another casualty of the technological advancement that has now taken over the game.

Every club had at least one. Usually every section had at least one. Some found him annoying, but to many he was a vital part of the game. The Tranny Man provided a free service to his fellow fans.

Now for the young uns reading this, this Tranny Man wasn’t a cross dresser (apart from at Starks Park and the free services offered there are better not gone into), no he was the proud owner of a transistor radio and it was more often than not glued to his ear for all to hear or a pair of old style foam headphones were stuck on his head with regular score updates forthcoming. It was like having your very own talking vidiprinter standing next to you.

Forget your ipods, it was a time of MW and LW frequencies. A time when you had no other way of finding out what was happening. The Tranny Man had power and at those vital promotion and relegation times his fellow fans hung on his every word. When the scores were announced or put up on the scoreboard at half time, you could see the pride on his face that he had already let everyone know them long before.

As the years have moved on, so has technology and the Tranny Man is pretty much a thing of the past. In an age where you can sign up to get scores, goal highlights and Jeff Stelling telling you how the other games are going in real time direct to your mobile, you don’t need some old guy with a pair of headphones on blurting out that Brechin have taken the lead somewhere.

I have been known to be a Tranny Man myself in the past. Last time I can remember was the last day of the 1998/99 season where we needed a win against Clyde and the results elsewhere to go our way to stay in the Second Division. I still have horrific memories of turning off the radio and removing the headphones from my ears long before our game was anywhere near finished, resigned to the fact that the news I’d just heard meant that the Third Division beckoned.

For other Fife fans in the 90’s the famous crisp muncher from Dunfermline (who shall remain nameless!) was our regular Tranny Man and he’s disappeared from our world completely! Maybe they’ve all formed a Club somewhere and every Saturday they take turnabout updating each other about what’s happening at Glebe Park.

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