This is a busy time of year for Lewes FC Club Shop manager Barry “Bazza” Haffenden as he seeks to sell Rooks regalia as ideal Christmas gifts.
To boost sales he likes to generate as much publicity as possible to make fans aware of all the different stocking fillers available to them. Imagine Barry’s surprise then when last Sunday he went along to the Brighton Dome to enjoy a show by Alan Davies, only to find the funnyman – famous for his appearances on BBC’s QI – not only knew Barry was in the audience, but also invited him to reveal to all and sundry the contents of his shop.
Barry takes up the story: “I was simply enjoying the show along with everyone else in the Dome. I love his dry wit and humour.
“Then as the second half got underway Alan conversed with several people in the crowd and one young lady volunteered the information that she was studying drama at college in Lewes.
“Alan immediately picked up on the Lewes connection.
“He said that he knew there was someone else from Lewes who was out there in the audience. He added that the person’s name was Barry and said that he worked in the Club Shop for Lewes Football Club. In deadpan voice he added, ‘Barry’s nickname is Club Shop Barry’.
“I was really taken aback to hear myself being mentioned. I waved to indicate where I was seated and Alan then asked me how I was and what kind of things did I sell in the shop?
“Not one to miss a sales spiel opportunity, I launched into a list of stuff: replica shirts, mugs, our superb new Rooks calendar, etc. Anyway, he’s obviously not going to let me take over his show; after a few moments or so he interrupts me and says that he also knows that as well as being a Lewes fan I follow the fortunes of Tottenham Hotspur.”
Diehard Arsenal fan Alan then curtly curtailed the conversation with the advice that Barry should promptly clear off (or words to that effect) as he couldn’t possibly talk to a sad, benighted Spurs follower anymore!
“I was left pretty much gobsmacked at being thrust into the limelight,” continues Barry.
“For me it was a most memorable part of a brilliant evening’s entertainment. It wasn’t until much later that I put two and two together to deduce where Alan got his ‘inside’ information from. At a recent Dripping Pan game I had mentioned to former Lewes Director (and Arsenal fan) Patrick Marber that I was going to see Alan Davies and his live show.
“Being a highly successful playwright and one-time stand-up comedian, Patrick himself is no stranger to showbusiness circles. It turned out that he knows Alan very well and made a phone call to tell him about me and my role at Lewes FC. Voila! A case of not what you know but who you know.”
As well as appearing occasionally on Have I Got News For You, Alan Davies became famous for playing Johnathan Creek in the BAFTA-award winning TV mystery series of the same name. He is also a permanent panelist on Stephen Fry’s popular quiz game, QI.
Barry and fellow volunteers will be manning a Rooks display in Lewes town centre precinct this Saturday and Sunday (10.30am-1pm). Copies of the new Lewes FC 2013 calendar will be on sale at £7.50 (£6.75 for Support & Save cardholders). They make an ideal Xmas gift and are also on sale via the online Club Shop at lewesfc.com