Every pair of eyes turned to look at Cheryl.  Joe took his specs off and cleaned the lenses on his green knitted waistcoat and placed them back on his nose sharpish.  Young Alan turned an unflattering shade of puce but none of the committee could look away.

Cheryl smirked rather than smiled at her ‘audience’.

“Evening chaps,” she said in the voice that she believed to be sultry and beguiling but still bore her Northern roots.

She wore thigh length pink suede boots, an extremely short pair of blue hot-pants and a tight lacy blouse.  She strode into the room.  “Which one of you gents is gonna get a girl a drink then?” she asked.  Several of the ‘gents’ rose from the table and made their way to the bar.  Cheryl made eye contact with Alan, possibly the most timid man in the room.  “Get us a rum and coke, will you darlin’,” she said.

Alan did not hesitate.

The men shuffled round to make space for Cheryl and she settled her hot-pants into a vacant chair.  No-one mentioned that she was late.  No-one dared.  Cheryl was the niece of the pub landlord, Gerry Ford.  Newly returned to the area, she was the self-appointed secretary of Pooltown FC and something of a delightful novelty to the assembled company although Joe had remarked on her somewhat tardy and inappropriate behaviour.  However, the general consensus of opinion was that it would be foolish to upset Gerry’s niece.  Well that was their excuse anyway!

Cheryl took out her notepad and pen.  She had originally proposed her position by stating that she was an ‘experienced personal secretary’ and took great delight in filling pages of her notebook with mysterious squiggles, dots and dashes which she described as ‘Pitman’s shorthand what all the best secretaries do ‘innit’.  Her typed notes, however, sometimes bore little resemblance to the actual committee proceedings but few were brave enough to make too much fuss about that.

In truth Cheryl’s real reason for her interest in the club was the centre-forward, Jake Riley.

He was a fine strapping lad with ferocious good looks and a real talent for the game which was only matched by his success in attracting the attention of the female population of Pooltown.

For some reason, though, he had so far shown no interest in Cheryl.

Unbeknownst to Jake, however, she was not a lass to be beaten.

Cheryl gulped down her drink and stared into a sea of silent faces.  To be continued tomorrow ……..


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