When you’re a lifelong Manchester City fan and you’re ‘feeling blue’ you either need a pep talk – or better still – a Chappy chat.
With Pep Guardiola presiding over the club’s thrilling Champions League comeback win over Monaco – it was left to City’s Master of Mirth & Merriment, Les Chapman, to bring even more joy to true blue, Philip Entwistle.
Philip, a Maine Road and Etihad season ticket holder for four decades, is fighting what will ultimately be a losing battle against lung cancer.
The 63-year old City fan attended what looks likely to be his last City game earlier this month, as his health continues to falter.
Gabriel Jesus’ late late winner against Swansea was a fitting finale to Phil’s attendance at matches, as he bade farewell from his seat in the Colin Bell Stand.
But if Phil could no longer get to watch City ‘live’, City could sure as hell get to Phil…in the shape of the club's ex-kitman, the ever popular cheeky ‘Chappy’.
Les popped over for a ‘quick cuppa and a natter’ at Phil’s home in Nelson, Lancs.
So much for the 'quick' tea and biscuits…four hours later Chappy was still regaling Phil with a treasure trove of tales and anecdotes about City, and his 50 years in football.
Chappy’s career included more than 700 first team games for Oldham Athletic, Huddersfield Town, Stockport County, Bradford City, Rochdale, Preston North End and the San Jose Earthquakes, plus managerial stints at Stockport and PNE.
Phil said: “It was a great afternoon. I can’t thank Les enough for his kindness and for keeping me wonderfully entertained.
“The time just flew by and I couldn’t believe we’d been chatting for more than four hours. Obviously we talked loads about City, but Les also had so many stories about his playing days and time in management – what a great guy.”
Les, topped off the visit by presenting Phil with one of Kevin De Bruyne’s match shirts - a special piece of City memorabilia to be treasured in the Entwistle family - and eventually given to Phil’s City-supporting daughter, Victoria.
Chappy, now a member of City's media team, said: “It was an absolute pleasure to meet Phil, he’s a lovely man whose passion for City shines through.
“I could happily have stayed all day, so much so that we’re planning on doing it all over again in the very near future.”
By David Walker