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Camden New Journal - by RICHARD OSLEY and JAMIE WELHAM
Published: 24 March 2008
Tyrannical Wrex are finally extinct

IT’S irrational. It’s childish. It’s a tragic indictment of how big football clubs crush little ones.
But I can’t help it.
When I heard that Wrexham had been relegated from the football league on Tuesday night, I smiled manically.
Yet as wrong as that reaction was, it’s all part of the rehabilitation.
When lowly Wrexham shocked Arsenal in the FA Cup win in 1992, it was a schoolboy’s nightmare.
Everyone in class the next day, whether they were interested in football or not, was ready with a jibe: everyone from my so-called friends to the smoking sixth form bullies to the Welsh maths teacher who lied when he said his subject could be fun if we only paid attention.
Even the chubster kid who didn’t bother with the bleep test in PE suddenly found the nerve to lecture me.
Looking back, if hadn’t been for that harrowing day, I could have been somebody. I wouldn’t have lost my confidence. I wouldn’t have had to wear braces. I could have kissed the girls with the Pink Lady jackets. I would have gone to Oxbridge. I wouldn’t feel I had to prove myself with a cheap column of mindless football banter. I would own a big house in Hampstead. With a swimming pool. And a big car. And Natalie Imbruglia would be my wife.
It wasn’t to be – and all because of Wrexham.
So. Ha. Look at them now. Relegated. I knew I’d win in the end.

READING is hardly never-never land, and for most Londoners it’s probably a byword for pants town – a Bermuda triangle of sprawling retail parks, estuarine accents and the M4 corridor.

I blame it on Oscar Wilde. Since he penned his Ballad of Reading Gaol, the town has always been up against it.
So the Thames Valley isn’t Beverley Hills, but it does have something going for it – the mighty biscuitmen, the blue and white army, Reading FC – the most unassuming football team in the land.
So unassuming, in fact, our manager could pass as a National Express coach driver, our ginger beacon of a centre-forward would not look out of place in a baseball cap saying “fries with that?” and Pannini haven’t even made a sticker of Graham Murty (although Duplo are reported to be looking for models).
A good thing perhaps, but you don’t need to look at the table too long to realise honest teams get nowhere. The diagnosis is second season syndrome and the remedy is Leroy Lita. Where’s he been, you might ask? Filming the sequel to Coneheads? Launching his own celebrity scent? No. He’s been banging in the goals for promotion chasing Charlton when he should have been banging in goals for us.
So a schooling from Arsenal last week and suddenly he’s the prodigal son, returning to the promised land for three games. The brief is eternal salvation from Burnley, Barnsley and Blackpool. Come on you Royals.

* Jamie Welham is the only Reading fan in the New Journal

• The New Journal is inviting readers to tackle Osley in The People’s Perch. Send your column and a photo to The Crow, 40 Camden Road, NW1 9DR or by email

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