JukeFox Journey! No. 10 – Journey’s End With Alan Birchenall

Who better to have the final word on the fox jukebox than Mr Leicester City himself, matchday host, The Birch. Racking up an impressive 163 appearances between 1971 and 1977 Birch returned to Filbert Street as Club Ambassador after his playing career ended and his tireless charity work provided the final astonishing post script to the premier league winning season when his life was saved by one of the portable defibrillators that his campaigning had financed.

So in an ideal world Birchenall would be listening to music which perfectly sums up the Leicester City fairytale. Well you know what? This IS an ideal world. So it should come as no surprise to find Birch’s 71 summers soundtracked by the well-nigh faultless Temptations.

“‘I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day. When it’s cold outside I’ve got the month of May. I guess you’d say what could make me feel this way? My girl’. Perfect. Just perfect. Not a wasted word. Everyone talked about Dylan’s Nobel, but have you tried reading Tarantula? Are you telling me you understand Desolation Row? Me, I thought it was a cul-de-sac on the Braunstone estate. Nobody’s giving Smokey Robinson a Nobel prize though are they? Nah mate. Too simple. Everyone can understand it. Sunshine on a cloudy day? Anyone could write that couldn’t they? NO! We needed Smokey to write it ‘cos we couldn’t. It takes a genius to say something that simple and make it sound fresh and it takes a genius like David Ruffin to sing it convincingly. Like Leicester eh? Well drilled back four and a skinny frontman to bang the ball in the net.”

You know what Birch? You’ve got so much honey the bees envy you.

Postscript: Clearly I have, over the past season and a half, been playing a little fast and loose with the truth. So on the off chance that Leicester City’s highly paid legal team are trawling the net in search of libel I should like to make it quite clear that model professionals like Wes Morgan and Robert Huth do not spend their spare time quaffing cocktails. Nor for that matter is the blemishless Mark Albrighton as hopelessly addicted to Sunny Delight as I suggested. The story about Alan Birchenall’s defibrillator on the other hand is entirely true. As friends and family members alike will testify, I’m really not imaginative enough to make up something like that.



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