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Tuesday, 10 November 2009

72 hours after Staines defeat, Simpson lets bedraggled players out of dressing room

Shrewsbury Town players today staggered out of the Prostar Stadium and described their three-day dressing room ordeal following a 1-0 FA Cup shock at the hands of Staines Town.

The League Two side were eliminated after a performance that so enraged manager Paul Simpson that he gave his men a 72-hour dressing down before the players broke free and returned home to their worried loved ones.

The alarm was first raised by defender Harry Hooman's mother who became anxious when her son didn't arrive back in time for tea and the police later received a call from Paul Murray's wife after the injury-prone midfielder failed to show up for his book club on Saturday evening.

West Mercia police acted swiftly to trace the missing men back to the Prostar Stadium where they had last been seen desperately hoofing a ball into the opposition box on Saturday afternoon.

"We found the dressing room door locked and feared it was a hostage situation, but then we heard Mr Simpson berating his side's set-piece defending and realised he was still giving his post-match bollocking. So we informed the families and left them in peace," on-duty officer Graham Farnham recalls.

Simpson's players finally escaped just after midday on Tuesday when the furious tactician fell asleep and they were emotionally reunited with friends and family, who had kept a vigil outside the stadium gates.

"At first the gaffer (Paul Simpson) just went apeshit," captain Graham Coughlan explained tearfully.

"But after we had weathered the first 24 hours, things changed a little. Every few minutes the gaff (Paul Simpson) would call someone a 'twat' but he was clearly getting tired.

"He ordered us to stay where we were while he had a sleep. And when he woke up he continued where he left off and let rip at us again - if anything he was angrier.

"By the third day he was obviously running out of steam and spent three hours repeating Homie (Harry Hooman)'s name in a silly voice.

"Eventually he seemed to fall asleep again and we decided to do a runner - he was shouting 'Staines!' in his sleep but we just unlocked the door and legged it. I think it's fair to say we're pretty determined to beat Torquay this weekend."

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