Football’s Greatest Songs, No.3: ‘All I Want For Christmas Is A Dukla Prague Away Kit’, by Half Man Half Biscuit


26th, October 2007

In 1986, cult Birkenhead punk-folk band Half Man Half Biscuit – one of John Peel’s favourite all-time groups – released their infamous debut single, ‘The Trumpton Riots’. On the B-side was the almost-as-infamous track, ‘All I want for Christmas is a Dukla Prague away kit’, a wonderful study of adolescent rivalry and table football. Here’s a vid of the group performing the song on the Old Grey Whistle Test, in 1986:

Lyrics after the click, you know, if you want to sing along…

‘There was one in the gang who had Scalextric
And because of that he thought he was better than you
Everyday after school you would go round there to play it
Hoping to compete for some kind of championship
But it always took about fifteen billion hours to set the track up
And even when you did the thing never seemed to work
It was a dodgy Transformer again and again
A dodgy Transformer again and again
It was a dodgy Transformer again and again
A dodgy Transformer that cost three pound ten
So he’d send his doting mother up the stairs with the stepladders
To get the Subbuteo out of the loft
He had all the accessories required for that big match atmosphere
The crowd and the dugout and the floodlights too
You’d always get palmed off with a headless centre forward
And a goalkeeper with no arms and a face like his
And he’d managed to get hold of a Dukla Prague away kit
’cause his uncle owned a sports shop and he’d kept it to one side
And after only five minutes you’d be down to ten men
’cause he’d sent off your right back for taking the base from under his left winger
And come to half time you were losing four-nil
Each and every goal a hotly disputed penalty
So you’d smash up the floodlights and the match was abandoned
And the dog would bark and you’d be banned from his house
And your travelling army of synthetic supporters
Would be taken away from you and thrown in the bin
Now he’s working in a job with a future
He hands me my giro every two weeks
And me I’m on the lookout for a proper Transformer…’
Pure poetry.

Posted in Top 10s & lists

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