I seem to go to a lot of funerals. I went to Lance Percival’s funeral last week, on a bitterly cold afternoon, at Putney Vale Cemetery. But this won’t be a sad story, because Lance was a man who made me laugh.
We were friends for nearly forty years. In the 1970s we used to go to Chelsea football matches together, and we used to create joy from despair.
At the time Chelsea were at a very low ebb, struggling to survive in the second tier of English football and most of the games we attended were dire struggles for our team, and made for disheartening viewing. I particularly recall a dismal away draw at Oxford.
As we had a few bob between us at the time, we used to make sure that before every game we enjoyed a big lunch at the poshest restaurant we could find in whatever town we were visiting – and we travelled to some grim places in those years.