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Luke Knoblitz - English football's first alien superstar by Paul Rance

It's the 2040s and Luton had finally become a city. Luton Town, consequently, became known as Luton City, and the new city and its football club were about to get a visit from a alien superhero whose name would become the stuff of Lutonian legend. His name, Luke Knoblitz.

"When the much anticipated Juskwick Comet was obviously going to strike Earth people became fearful. They didn't know, though, who was utilizing the Comet for his own ends...

"In the Warden Hills area of Luton, strange things had always gone on. It had been a place used for public executions, and the Beaker people had buried their dead there. As it began to fragment, a large piece of the Juskwick Comet hammered into the smaller of the two Warden Hills - Galley Hill. Inside the fragment was a capsule containing Luke Knoblitz. It was an extreme way of going about it, but Luke had always wanted to become a football star on Earth, and he loved the Hatters in particular."

Luke Knoblitz - English football's first alien superstar

The Characters

Luke Knoblitz - football star, cricket star, pop star.

Jason Shattlodes - cliche-riddled boss of Luton City.

Alison Curvaceous - possessing a terrifying temper, Alison was Luton City's first female manager.

Mandy Cupcuddles - Alison's gentle assistant.

Raul Siesta - a Spaniard, whose tenure as Luton manager was marked by dreary football.

Morgan Bladard - Luton's alcoholic manager.

Nicky Topper - legendary Luton chairman.

Jimmy Suitcase - scared of Luke - and with good reason.

Jan Zsyzsziszowsky - Luton and Poland midfielder, and European football's biggest nutcase.

The White Rose Bunny Boilers - the infamous all-female Leeds hooligan gang.

Benditinneto - outstanding Brazilian talent, but he wouldn't always understand Shattlodes' instructions.

Ben Elton Newton-John - Watford chairman who wanted to merge Luton and Watford, and whose biggest love was winding up Luton fans.

Billy Bubblehands - Chelsea and England 'keeping legend, and almost unbeatable.

Jose Pipez - Nasty Mexican midfielder, and the only player in the world half as good as Luke - who Pipez hated.

Terry Pynne - star of Luton's World Club Championship win in 2046/47.

Wayne Muddled - Geordie England boss who faced accusations of treason after an early England World Cup exit.

***** - Missed a decisive penalty for England. His name was never to be mentioned in public again.


Luke Knoblitz - English football's first alien superstar Extracts

"Luke Knoblitz remains, to date, Luton City's only World Player of the Year. Between 2042 and 2050 he bestrode the European game like the proverbial colossus. Knoblitz was Luton's greatest striker in the club's history. In the 2046/47 season, he scored 63 League goals, and was controversially denied a 64th by a goal-line technology glitch. Knoblitz was never a greedy player, but the loss of that goal irks him to this day."

***

"Luke's luminous green and yellow skin had made the Canaries a natural choice for Luke, but, despite impressing in trials and a handful of first team games, Norwich City players became confused when seeing that his face matched his shirt."

***

"Sometimes in games Luke would showboat, and meet his own crosses with a typically powerful headed finish."

***

"For the next few matches nothing was seen of Luke. He immersed himself in Luton's swinging scene in Sundon Park and Stopsley, and threatened to go off the rails. City manager at the time, Morgan Bladard, read Luke the riot act.

"Due to an injury crisis, Luke was plunged into a home fixture against Cardiff Bluebirds early in 2043. Knoblitz was sensational, and scored a hat-trick in a 4-1 win. Morgan Bladard didn't really comment on Luke's performance after the game, as he had watched the game through his usual drunken haze. On Monday, Bladard told Luke he'd never seen a hat-trick of such quality. Bladard would always, and rather craftily, ask for the opinions of his assistants as to how his players performed. Anyway, Luke was never to look back."

***

"Alison Curvaceous was the first woman to manage a professional men's side in England. She'd taken Lincoln Imps to 7th in the Ann Summers Championship in 2034/35, and big clubs began to hover. Curvaceous was as astute as the great England manager Dame Hope Powell, but was not quite so chilled.

"British football's greatest manager, Alex Ferguson, had gained a reputation, when angry, for throwing teacups in his long tenure at Manchester United. But Curvaceous had a temper that made Sir Alex's seem tame by comparison. In fact, I can't even reveal how she would react to a poor performance in a family book... Screams from players would sometimes be heard from the locked dressing room after a bad performance, and even hardened hacks would be too terrified to interview Curvaceous when she was obviously irate."

***

"Average crowds had dipped below 60,000 at the Theatre of Golden Inspiration (Luton's new home), and disgruntled Hatters fans called for the head of Raul Siesta. The Spaniard had lived up to his name, as Luton played a brand of football that had so many people fall asleep that thousands would often still be in their seats at the end of games, oblivious of the final whistle."

***

"Bladard's drink problems were, sadly, to come to a head. In March 2043, he got confused by the mist in the opponents dressing room and mistook the communal bath for a urinal. Some of England's leading players were victims. Nicky Topper had no option but to relieve himself of the embarrassment Bladard was causing him - and the club."

***

"It became a bit of a blow for Luke when he had to lose his leg from below the thigh. It grew back again after 6 weeks, but his form was affected and he started to miss chances. The Luton faithful were soon on his back, thinking that Luke was getting too big for his size 19 boots. He was sometimes anonymous in games and seemed lacking in fitness. A popular Luton cry at the time was: "He's yellow and green, / And he's hardly seen."

***

"At the end of one game, a dreadful 0-0 Hovis FA Cup draw with Borehamwood, Knoblitz had a go back at his tormentors. What followed was one of the worse incidents in British football history. He jumped into the crowd and kicked a spectator. The whole stadium was stunned as that spectator turned out to be closet Hatters fan and Irish /Native American pop legend Tom O'Hawk.

"O'Hawk was the biggest name in pop history. His lifetime sales had outsold Elvis Presley by 3 to 1. The 65,000 crowd waited with bated breath as to what would happen next. Knoblitz burst into tears.

"A hastily arranged press conference saw a contrite Knoblitz make an emotional apology. O'Hawk forgave him, and the pair made a slushy album together called 'Love Comes Around'. It was awful, but it still sold 50 million copies worldwide. Knoblitz donated his royalties to the Supporters Injured by Footballers charity."

***

"Knoblitz soon gained British citizenship, and chose to play for England. He made his Five Lions debut (two lions had been recently added to hopefully change England's luck) in October 2044 in a 2-0 win against China at Wembley. Luke opened the scoring with a typical bullet header, and he made the second for the player who was later condemned as a traitor for missing a penalty in a World Cup tie. Consequently, that player can only be referred to as *****."

***

"In England's final group game, the Five Lions beat Nepal 15-3. Knoblitz scored twice, and laid on 10 of the other goals. Luke could be compassionate to crap opposition and would sometimes deliberately miss penalties when Luton or England had reached double figures in games. Against Nepal, Luke decided to let his team-mates be cruel against a Nepalese side that had fallen from its heady heights of being the 3rd best team in the reliable FIFA rankings."

***

"Luke became a TV star, after appearing on net TV programmes, and he was always good value. On 'Desperate Celebrities Cooking Anything to Get on TV', Luke nearly burnt the studio down before he had started cooking anything. He was also perturbed that he had been invited on in the first place, as the show (atrocity exhibition) included a washed up actress, a permanently drunk singer and a newsreader with Tourettes. Luke was new to the celebrity lifestyle, and his agent Freddie Munnygrabbur accepted pretty much anything.

"Luke's career was also blighted by controversy. Knoblitz was once selected for a Babestation League Cup game in Leeds, to regain match fitness after injury. On the way to the ground the Luton City coach was attacked by the infamous all-female Leeds hooligan gang, the White Rose Bunny Boilers. This pitiless gang all carried white roses. Their calling card was to corner some cowering male, pull down his trousers and plant their white rose - thorns and all.

"Luton players stayed on their bus when the BBs arrived - all except Luke Knoblitz. He ran off the bus, was cornered in a dimly lit Victorian alley, and the girls began to do their nefarious work. But far from being traumatised by the event, Luke said: "Do it again." A reporter for 'The Scuzbiz' newspaper overheard this, and the next day the paper's front page exclaimed: "Luke Knoblitz - Masochist Sex Fiend"."

***

"The Luton City team were a wild bunch when Luke was at the club. Polish midfielder, Jan Zsyzsziszowsky, was known for being the biggest nutcase in European football. American central wing-back Jimmy Suitcase wasn't far behind, either...

"Zsyzsziszowsky and Suitcase once famously headbutted Rochdale Rockets striker Rich Cule simultaneously during a Hovis FA Cup tie. Cule, who definitely lived up to his name, would often strut around the pitch with a haughty air, looking down at everyone he considered inferior - which was pretty much everyone. He'd been winding all the Luton players up during a game Rochdale were winning 5-1, when the Pole and American snapped. Think Zinedine Zidane in the 2006 World Cup final, but from two angles. Cule fell to the floor crying like a baby, but notoriously lenient referee Phil Easy just gave both Luton players a stern ticking off. Cule was carried off with broken ribs and a cracked vertabrae and Luton won 6-5."

***

"Luke's store in Luton's new Arndale Centre, 'Knoblitzen', had closed down by the end of 2046. Though Hatters fans loved Luke more than any player in the club's history, they didn't love him enough to be seen in his gear."

***

"Avuncular Luton City manager Jason Shattlodes, a deep-thinking Northern Irishman, was an inspirational figure - even to Luke. Shattlodes once gave this inspiring team talk with Luton 4-1 down at half-time to Portsmouth Parrots.

"The ball is round. You all have two legs. I have two legs. Okay? Humans have two legs, and you, Lukey boy, have two of them. Okay? Goals win matches. Goals win games. Winning games wins titles. Winning titles from games. Winning games means goals. Winning goals scores victories. Victories are points. Points win prizes. What do points win?" The thunderous response was: "PRIZES!" Luton won the game 5-4."

***

"Preparations for the European Super League final had been intense at the Theatre of Golden Inspiration. Jason Shattlodes had been reading as much philosophical text as he could to motivate his players, but on the day of the game he had forgotten everything. The excitement overpowered him, and, come the team talk, he could only keep it simple. But it obviously worked - eventually.

"50,000 Luton fans poured into Athens on a warm evening in late May, and Barca fans pretty much matched the Luton support in numbers. Younger Luton fans seemed confused by some of the T-shirts their great grandfathers were wearing, bearing names and nicknames they didn't know, such as Supermac, Nico and Wayne Turner."

***

"Some ancient Hatters fans were to tire of success however, and would yearn for away trips to Hyde and Braintree. They missed that sick feeling in the guts of going to Alfreton Town and fearing the worst. Now, wins against any club in the world was expected. Luton didn't even bother to attempt to defend their World Club Championship crown in 2048/49, as they felt that the opposition were too weak to give them a decent game."

***

"Gliding past 7 AC Milan defenders in 2045/46, Luke then flicked the ball up and scored with a volley from an angle so acute it surpassed Dutchman Marco van Basten's rather lame effort, by comparison, in the 1988 European Championship final."

***

"American actress Adele Jupps dated Luke in 2046, and an incident involving her was to become legendary. Hatters boss Jason Shattlodes would sometimes invite Luton players round to dinner at the end of a season, but Jason tended to get flustered around beautiful women. On one occasion he was serving some lentil casserole and accidentally poured most of it into the lap of Adele. Jason was mortified, but tried to pull down the skirt of the bemused actress, so as to: "Give it a good clean." The poor girl was devoid of underwear. Poor Jason. Whenever he saw green Mohawked Portuguese 'keeper Luis Ferrari Roche he would have flashbacks - to the night of the spilt lentil casserole... Luke and Adele split that night."

Soccer Playing Alien

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September 06, 2012

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