Ever anxious to boost falling attendances, Boston United officials have announced that the matchball for tonight’s clash with Chester City at York Street will be delivered by the RAF five minutes before kick off.
The Pilgrims were given the idea after a Sea King helicopter swooped to deliver the ball on Saturday before the 4-2 defeat at Carlisle. The Sea King, from Flight 202 squadron at RAF Boulmer, made a spectacular landing in front of the large crowd and the ball was hand-delivered to the match officials by a crew member.
Boston management quickly realised the stunt might be just what they needed ahead of the midweek game against lowly Chester, a game anticipated to attract fewer than 2000 supporters.
However, with no helicopters available from nearby RAF Coningsby, tonight’s match ball will be delivered by a 2,000lb Paveway III laser-guided warhead dropped from a circling Eurofighter Typhoon jet.
With that in mind, United will be evacuating York Street before kick-off with fans asked to head for a temporary bunker set up at Boston Grammar School.
General Manager John Blackwell told impsTALK: “At about half-seven we’ll sound the air-raid siren, and at that point I would urge all fans to descend in a state of blind panic and run… run for their bloody lives.”
Fans will be ushered away from the ground towards the concrete bunker, leaving tonight’s match official Eddie Ilderton standing alone on the centre-spot awaiting the match ball.
The RAF has promised to keep collateral damage and civilian deaths to a minimum and said they were hopeful that retail outlet Matalan may be able to re-open by Spring 2007