A quite possibly harrowing development involving a car number plate

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Bert writes:

It’s been months now since The Revered One departed this plane of existence and ascended to the Sky (Sports studio). Such elevation cannot but affect a man, but I must say I had thought that Robert the Great would be immune, that he would be able to maintain his humbility and humilness. After all, that’s why he is worshipped across the land.

So it was with considerable shock and disappointment that I came across this car parked just outside Wembley last Saturday. Surely not, I thought. Surely this is some sort of joke. But there it was, parked right in front of me, challenging my denials with its stubborn existence.

Rob Key's car

There are other possibilities, of course. Maybe this was some other Key, Derek Key for instance, a sales executive from Tring. Maybe this was un homage from a committed Keyist. Maybe this was just a random set of letters and numbers that only coincidentally represents the lad Rob. But the likelihood of any of these being true is extremely small. It was just my shipwrecked imagination desperately clinging to some driftwood of hope that came up with these nonsenses.

No, I fear we must accept the truth, that Rob Key is the kind of person who has a Range Rover with a personalised registration on which he describes himself as Boss. In other words, a wanker.


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


Why risk it when it's so easy to sign up?


    1. Wing mirrors look to be protruding. Does that count as a breach of the line according to the Laws of Parking?

      1. Let’s ask Michael Clarke.

        “I think that’s how we park our best. I think that’s a big part of the Australian way.

        But I think you also need to, like I say, keep in mind that there’s a line and we can’t protrude over that.”

        In summary, maybe?

      2. Two random cases:

        “Minimal overhang beyond the markings

        The appellant, issued with a PCN for being parked outside a parking bay, appealed on the ground that the contravention had not taken place. The council contested the appeal, claiming that the PCN had been correctly issued and submitting photographs of the vehicle taken at the time.

        The Adjudicator found that, while in principle any amount of a vehicle overhanging a bay would justify the issue of a PCN, it was subject to the de minimis rule, which states that in minimal cases, the law is not interested. In this case, he ruled that, from the council’s photographs, the overhang was insufficient to amount to a contravention.

        The appeal was allowed.”


        “Boot and rear wheels over the yellow lines (BP 197)

        The appellant, issued with a PCN for parking on a double yellow line, appealed on the ground that the contravention had not taken place. They argued that they had not parked “on” the double yellow line, because the greater part of the vehicle had been lawfully parked and only the rear wheels and boot had been overhanging the lines. The Adjudicator ruled that the law did not require the whole or the larger part of a vehicle to be on and over the double yellow lines before the vehicle could be said to be “waiting on” them and that it was sufficient for establishing a contravention if a significant part of a vehicle was on or over the lines. Leaving open the question of whether an overhanging boot or bonnet would be significant or sufficient, he said that he had no doubt that, if a vehicle’s front or rear wheels were on and over the double yellow lines, then that vehicle was waiting on the lines.

        The appeal was dismissed.”

        Does our Rob have a problem with an overhanging boot or bonnet here?

      3. Officially he’s OK, as some part of the front tyre is noticeably behind the line. In fact, this is clearly a careful, accurate and considerate piece of parking, as one should expect from a former England batsman who averages 31 in tests.

        This is warming news, as when one loses one’s soul it is normally parking etiquette that goes first. Perhaps some vestige of the man he used to be remains deep inside, fighting to get to the surface. Small comfort, I know, but these are difficult days.

  1. Great work, everyone. Real pedants’ pedant stuff.

    Booked my ticket for the Lord’s final today, despite stern words from her indoors regarding family finances.

    Does anyone know how much they’re paying for kidneys these days?

  2. Has anyone considered the possibility that said 4×4 could belong to the manager of the local Timpson (the ‘Key Boss’)?

    Incidentally, staff at Timpson used to get their birthday off work automatically, which is, on Merseyside, considered “boss”.

      1. I’ll be honest, I had to Google that (although I am of course familiar with the character).

      2. You were just wrong-footed because Vinz Clortho almost certainly doesn’t drive a car.


  3. This is a very disappointing turn of events.

    Many of us thought that Rob Key was above that sort of thing, but apparently not.

    What were you doing in Wembley, Bert?

    Isn’t there a Cricket Badger “cricketer almost spotted” in this story, KC?

    1. Challenge Cup Final.

      I didn’t see any cricketers, but I did see Ray French. If I’d been a bit braver, I’d have chastised him for his careless use of words. Watching an international match on TV once, I’d been telling some friends that I went to school with Mike Forshaw when Ray said, “Great run there from the veteran Forshaw”.

      I was 32.

    1. Didn’t take long for you to reach the ‘jaded’ phase of your cricket writing career.

    2. I know this might sound ridiculous, but I really do think that the England ODI team renaissance is different this time.

      Put aside the 444-3, that of course is an outlier on a flatty against a weak and bruised side, but this England ODI squad is more exciting and brimming with talent than any I can remember.

      Of course there is time for it to go tits-up ahead of WC2019 and no side has a divine right to win any tournament, but the progress and focus is far more convincing this time.

      1. Things are perfectly on schedule for a round of injuries/retirements just ahead of the next World Cup, leading to another humiliation when England lose to surprise qualifiers Hong Kong, followed by another renaissance just in time for hopes to be raised ahead of the following World Cup, etc etc.

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