Nigel Thornton: Diary Of A Bad Dad

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I’ve got a tough decision and it’s about football and Baby T2. Do I subject the poor lad to a lifetime of misery and bring him up as a Leeds United fan?

Mrs T, surprisingly, is quite supportive although I suspect it’s only to enhance the comedy routine she rolls out whenever anyone asks why I support Leeds. She always butts in and, cue ropey Yorkshire accent, says: “Cos his f’ther and his f’ther’s f’ther did.’’ And with Baby T2 it will be because his f’ther’s f’ther’s f’ther did.

You’ll note I’ve not mentioned Toddler T which you might think is just another case of casual sexism. You’d be wrong she’s welcome to visit the theatre of nightmares (also known as Elland Road) any time she wants. But she shows little interest and even demands I turn the channel over if I’m watching football.

Admittedly she has learned the “Leeds, Leeds, Leeds’’ chant which she shouts at her Arsenal supporting granddad but then as she takes great pleasure in shouting “Gooner, Gooner, Gooner’’ at me perhaps she’s just a wind-up merchant.

Baby T2 though is destined to be a tough tackling yet elegant central midfielder with an eye for goal.

As you can see from the picture he has already mastered the “Leeds salute’’, but the question remains do I let him follow his own path or should I indoctrinate him into the darkside so he becomes a follower of Dirty Leeds?

He was of course, born in Peterborough and I’ve always been a firm believer that you should support your hometown team. But if Vinnie Jones can play for Wales and George Boyd for Scotland, I’m sure Baby T2’s heritage qualifies him for Leeds.

If he did choose to support Posh that would be okay, but if it was Man U or Chelski I’m not sure I could cope.

It would help, of course, if we could get back to the Premiership (I resisted the temptation to add “where we belong’’ but you know I was thinking it).

I have though a cunning plan to get my way. He doesn’t know it yet but he was named after a Leeds legend. It was a little insurance policy I took out should he show signs of supporting someone else. “Son,’’ I’ll say if he shows signs of wavering “try telling someone at Old Trafford you’re named after one of Don Revie’s men.’’


Everybody loves a market... or do they? Perhaps it’s more accurate to say everybody loves the idea of a market. Peterborourgh market has limped along for many years stuck out on a limb, looking and feeling unloved.

I’m an occasional visitor and I’m neither impressed nor unimpressed.

Location, location, location cry its advocates arguing a better spot would see it booming. I’m not so sure - in these days of supermarkets (even the name must be a dagger to the heart of market traders) is there the demand?

The golden age of wonderful produce piled high rubbing shoulders with a variety of stalls offering everything you need and lots of stuff you never knew you needed, probably never existed. It certainly doesn’t now.

The idea that the market could/should be moved to Cathedral Square on a permanent basis is a non-starter. The square is needed for too many events and in any case why create an open space and then fill it.

I would be in favour of the market opening there say one day a week - but would that work for traders? It would involve a lot of work for them and I’m not sure the rewards would justify the effort. And it might get in the way of all those vans and their drivers stopping for lunch.

Unless you, or a close family member, works at John Lewis it’s hard not to feel a pang of envy when their annual bonus is revealed. This year staff only (ho, ho) got a bonus equivalent to 11 per cent of their annual salary. Two years ago it was a whopping 17 percent. Thankfully, the staff we spoke to in Peterborough were still thrilled and grateful with this year’s pay-out. I’m not sure I could have handled somebody moaning about it.

After all nobody likes a sore winner.

There were some bewildering revelations in the list of alleged crimes committed by children under-10 in Cambridgeshire.

I don’t know the background to the case of the two-year-old reported for shoplifting, but on the face of it the complainant should be prosecuted for wasting police time.

Pop star Cheryl Fernandez-Versini has really moved the election debate on with her comments about taxation. The X-Factor judge said that now she is a mature woman paying a “f****** lot of tax” she feels a greater responsibility to be well-informed about politics and added Labour’s mansion tax would “f*** her over”.

Although the attractiveness of a young woman (albeit one with a potty mouth) is not a sound basis for a healthy fiscal policy, if I was the chancellor I’d be tempted to say to Cheryl: “Wey aye pet, you pay what you like.’’

Nurse Faye Gregson got herself in a spot of bother when she was caught in an embarrassing position with her boyfriend in the front seat of her Audi which she had parked at an angle on a zebra crossing. Faye, who it won’t surprise you to learn had been drinking, is an extreme example of a particular brand of modern life idiocy. You see Faye, bless her, had put her hazard warning lights on.

It drives me potty when I witness some hard of thinking twit park their car in a stupid place – usually to answer their phone – and thinks it’s all right because they’ve put their hazards on. The clue, you clowns, are in the words “hazard’’ and “warning’’.

A Peterborough city councillor took to Twitter to refer to me as “boob obsessed’’. I think it was meant as an insult. He’ll have to try harder than that!