By Chris Wright
Serial charm-offender Papiss Cisse went for a £6 haircut at a barbers on Sunderland Road in Gateshead on Tuesday afternoon and soon found himself being swarmed by a throng of 200 (it says here) Geordies.
The owner of The Barber Shop in Gateshead, Iyad Attallah, described the scenes:
‘There were five people waiting for a haircut when he came in and sat down. He waited in the queue like everybody else and even let a 14-year-old boy go before him.
“Ten minutes after he arrived, there were 200 people outside the shop. It was crazy. I asked if he wanted me to close the shutters but he said ‘No, I am real, I am happy like this.'”
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew even touched on the issue in his mid-week press conference, a single tear rolling down his cheek as he said:
“That sounds like the Northeast – I’ve never had that myself, I maybe get one or two fans when I get my hair cut, but Papiss has grown into a bit of a cult figure here, with what he’s done and the way he’s conducted himself.
“He’s a lovely guy. The Northeast is a friendly place and they’ve welcomed him with open arms SO WHY WON’T THEY LOVE ME?!!??“
At which point Pards burst into tears and fled from the room. He was later found huddled on the floor in a cubicle in the gents, sobbing uncontrollably and refusing to unclasp his arms from around the bottom of the toilet.*
Apparently one of the Newcastle fans even swiped a lock of Cisse’s hair from the floor of the barbers as a memento though, considering his hair was shaved even before Mr Attallah got to work, we’re not entirely sure you could grab anything close to ‘a lock.’
What you’ve probably actually snaffled there my friend, is a few wisps of hair from the head of Tony; the Geordie lorry driver with a flaky scalp who came in for a ‘short back and sides’ earlier that morning.
But that’s just us being pernickity.
(*yet to be verified)