Sunday, 13 February 2011

AFC Wimbledon - The King of Clubs

If Terry Brown and his men came up trumps against an in-form York side then the ace in the hole might well have been Fleydon's latest offering "AFC Wimbledon - King of Clubs". The similarity of the figure to an earlier incarnation of Sam Hatton (sans headband) was another fortunate coincidence as his proved the only goal of a gripping game. When we approached Fleydon for some insights into his latest work we were surprised at his tranquil, almost other-worldly vacant stare and demeanour. He looked us straight in the eye. And this is what he said.

"Friends, the inspiration for this particular piece was the recent defeat to Woking. A young man was late for the game that day and  took his place on the terrace just as the whistle blew to begin the contest. To the consternation of his neighbours he pulled out a pack of cards and began to riffle through the deck. It wasn't long before he was approached by a volunteer steward who pulled him aside and enquired of his use of the deck during such an important game. She chided him for not reading the Official Programme and threatened to move him into the John Smith's to stand amidst the stale aroma of stale urine, so grievous was her slight. Now that young man never blanched nor turned away. He looked her in the eye, and in a soft voice said 

'Ma'm, I have just arrived and had no money left to purchase an Official Programme, but I have my faithful deck here and this tells me all I need to know. Let me explain and I think you'll see..."

He pulled out the deck of cards and spread them in front of her. Gazing deeply into her eyes he lifted up each card in turn.

"The Ace" he began "reminds me of Danny Kedwell, his goals and captaincy.

When I hold the Two it recalls the average number of legs each Wimbledon player possesses
The Three recalls to mind the trinity of Cash, Bass and Brown
When I am hungry the Four is the number of Kingsmeadow caterers in the last six years
The Five reminds me of the five regular matchday buys - the Official Programme, the WUP, Golden Goal, miscellanous raffle ticket and Terry's badge
The Six is the average number of cruciate ligaments snapped in a season
and following on the Seven are the players on Mike Rayners Injury notes
The Eight reminds me of  '88, the year of cup triumph and the number of pages of adverts in the programme
Nine are the number of Holy Saints on the Dons Trust board
The Ten is the number of overhit corners I can look forward to each match
The Jack is, of course, the Devil. Who, lest we forget, is also a Don.
When I see the Queen it reminds me of the Wombelles and their joy of all things pink
And finally above them all the King - AFC Wimbledon, the King of all Clubs."

He paused momentarily and his eyes glistened with emotion. Then he continued.

"You may recall that there are four suits and that remind me of Ryman League officials, which was also the number of biscuits each suit was allowed in a disciplinary meeting,
The total number of spots is 365, which is the number of attendees at the matchday carvery
There are 52 cards in total, which is, of course, Crawley's usual away support at Kingsmeadow
And finally I can see thirteen tricks, the number of step-overs in a Christian Jolley run.

So you see Ma'm, I have no need of a programme for I have all I need right here"

Well, as he had finished his tale both the steward and all the supporters in the Tempest were in tears. Woking and their duo of ex-Dons had just scored their third and The Cards were through to the next round. And I know that this is the truth for friends, I am that supporter and this flag is here to remind me of all those memories, should I ever lose my precious deck of cards"
Supporters bow their heads in prayer as the AFC Wimbledon 'Deck of Cards' is recited
We at the 'Art & Artist Review' do not consider ourselves to be overly cynical, but our long dealings with Fleydon have taught us the value of caution in taking his words at face value. On returning to the office extensive research turned up this little gem from 1959. Having watched it in its entirety It would seem that Fleydon's whole story was less a pack of cards than a pack of lies and his artistic integrity is little more than a busted flush. 

Still it is a nice flag that would grace any fridge magnet so we must conclude that it is not entirely without merit.

Wink Martindale - Deck of Cards (1959)