Danny Bakers Internet Treehouse


Where are you, Sean?

I'm in Belfast.

OK, Sean, what do you want to tell us?

I've got a story about a dangerous game.

And you're ringing from where?

From Belfast - this'll be a very dangerous game then, will it? OK,what happened, Sean?

Well, it was last year, and we were playing in an under-16's league.


And we were playing a team from the Falls Road. It was a normal 11-a-side and all that, and we ended up...we had a bet at the start.They said we would have to walk up the Shankill Road in our Celtic kit.

<huge laugh from both Dans>

I'm on the floor! I'm literally down on the...

Say that again, Sean. They said what?

They said that if we lost, me, the captain, and the goalkeeper would have to walk up the Shankill Road in our Celtic kit.

OH MY GIDDY AUNT! Oh no, no, no...

I thought that's what he said! This is like that Bruce Willis film where he has to stand naked with the sandwich board in Harlem...

No it's not, Danny. This is much worse then that!

I think it might be! You...er...I know, but we can't say this enough. Your under-16 side...what would have happened if you'd won?

If we won? Well, we had told them what they had to do first.

You'd have to wrestle an alligator or something?

No, we told them they'd have to run naked around the park.

Piece of cake...

So, it's exposing the penis...or dying. I dunno...

For some people, of course, it's the same thing.

For John Wark, of course, that really is a fine line. Anyway, did the game actually take place?

It did. We had to go to it, so...

<Baker laughs nervously>

I feel jittery about this call, I want to walk away from it. Not because it's controversial, but because...this is like Speed.

This is before the cease-fire, don't forget.

This is Keanu Reeves here. So what happened?

Well, we really thought we were going to win, because...

OH NO! No, no, no!

Don't lose! You can't lose! Don't lose this one!

It's like Escape To Victory. You can't lose!

They had three really small players, so we thought 'This'll be simple.' Two of them were the strikers, and of course it's always the small ones that are tricky, so they scored easily past us, and we ended up losing. We were winning 2-1 at half time, and we lost 3-2.

I feel weak! I feel so weak!

So you've lost 3-2...

But the thing was, it was during the summer, during the marches, and so it was a pretty hot day, and we had to walk up on a Saturday...

You didn't do it?!

We had to.

Why did you have to? You know the policy of this programme - run away! Run away while you still can!

So you were in Celtic kit...

Yeah. Me and the keeper.

Up the Shankill Road, though...

The enormity of this call is dwarfing our little show here...

Why didn't you ring the BBC with this stuff?

Yeah, go on. And so?

Well, we'd got to. And we were at the bottom of the Shankill Road,and the entire other team, and our team, watched us walking up, but we had to wear the full kit, including the boots.

<more laughter>

So we were walking up...the goalkeeper was alright, because he had - you know the old black away kit?


I really don't think that makes a lot of difference.

Was he passing it off as Manchester United or Wimbledon or something?

I don't think in that area, you can pass it off as anything.

He was doing his best to cover up the sponsorship name on the top, but I had the home kit, so...

So you were wearing green and white hoops - I understand, recognised more then Coca-Cola world-wide as some kind of branding. And?

Well, we were walking up, and it was busy, but at the start there weren't too many young people about, so we weren't worried.

At the start!

I'm literally shaking! This makes all those stories about '...and I sat in the away end at Arsenal when I was a Tottenham fan' very small beer. And...you did it?

Well, we were going up, and as we got up we started getting to all these young people, and they must have just been playing or messing about in the town, and then we saw a wallpaper shop, and we thought that there weren't going to be many young people in there, so we went into the wallpaper shop and walked about for a couple of minutes,


Go on...

And then the boots were making all this noise, and everyone was turning round...

<even more laughter>

So, you're in the wallpaper shop, and you're clacking about in your boots. People are watching you - at what stage did you think you had to go somewhere else?

Hang on - I don't want to do this, but we've got to go for a break.


So we spent about ten minutes in the wallpaper shop, and then we had to leave.

Did you buy any wallpaper? S'pose not...

We were walking on down, and we've seen a sports shop. I had a couple of pounds, not much...

How long is the Shankill Road, by the way?


A million miles!

The retreat from Moscow? A doddle!

So, go on.

We didn't walk all the way, because at the top was a housing estate.

Puff! You bottled out. So go on...

On the way down we saw a sports shop, and we thought they might have some of those 99p white T-shirts, and we thought maybe we'd go in and get some. But as we turned in, we just saw a couple of teenagers standing at the back, so we turned out...

What's the aversion to young people, Sean?

Well, because they'll go for it. They will draw attention, I believe. They'll probably say Look, here is someone in the Shankill Road wearing a Celtic kit. OK, yeah?

So we just said 'Yeah, we'll have to keep walking on down'. And then, as we were walking down and it was getting more and more crowded as we were approaching the bigger shops, I swear I was getting really paranoid at this stage.

I wonder why, Sean?

That is not paranoia, that is reality. Yeah?

I've seen a man walking towards us, still a fair distance away, and he was wearing a leather jacket. Men wearing leather jackets in Northern Ireland - you just don't want to see them, and so we decided to cross the road, but I thought that someone would see me in the shirt and want to knock me down or something, so we just kept walking and got faster and faster and faster, and when we got to the end there was really no people left. I don't think too many really cared at the end, but...

Well, Sean...that is way, way up with...and, of course, the breathtaking courage and insanity of the thing...Of course, it was a nuts thing to do, but - man alive! That is extraordinary.

All those blokes listening to us in prison - puffs.

Exactly. Seriously, whoever's the guvnor, even he would say 'That fella, Sean...' Did you ever play this team again?

No, well, I left after that.

Ah. Well, I'm not surprised...

What with your legs being all broken and that?

I know. Wow...

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