On This Day


Wednesday, 24 May 2023

Realise you’re going to be imminently subbed with Rovers winning. Walk to the Riverside touchline. Look up into the sky. Need the referee to inform you what’s happening. Say: “What, me?” Start the tiring long trek to the other touchline. Shake hands of any nearby officials. Shake hands of opposition players. Shake hands with teammates. Stop to roll down one sock. Stroll five yards. Stop to roll down other sock. Continue journey. Do a full spin while clapping each side of the ground. Warmly embrace your replacement. Finally leave the field. 

However, in the 85th minute on Saturday 24th May 2009, the iconic “Tugay substitution walk” was different. After 294 appearances for the club and with Turkey flags and Tugay masks swamping the stadium, no amount of wasted time would have been enough for our Turkish Delight as he received a standing ovation from the 28,389 crowd. He could even have smoked one of his famous half-time cigarettes without having to hide in the changing room toilet. Farewell, Maestro! 

The above entry is taken from Issue 107 of 4,000 Holes, a special edition looking back on the 2000 to 2010 decade in 100 tales. Copies are still available for some summer reading! To purchase, please visit:


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