They said I was too small. I wanted to get into the under-18s and under-19s with England and never did that, because I was told I was too small.
I just took it on the shoulders, just played my own game; I waited for the right moment. Didn’t wanna let it get to me. Just wanted to prove myself, I used it to spur myself on. I was in the local paper and a couple of tabloid papers, and people started showing a little bit of interest in me, saying that I was going to be big. I didn’t listen to him though, if you know what I mean. I remember, I was asked for my first autograph – by my Grandad! I used to practise it all the time.It is a beautiful feeling.
The fact of being able to perform for loads of people… I like it. It’s like, I don’t know, a dancer, right? Something like that, something similar to that, I enjoy doing it because, first of all, from the personal pleasure I gain and, secondly, I know that so many people like to see good football and so you try to offer it to them.
And then there’s the responsibility because of the fact that people their pay to see it and they want to see a good performance. You have a responsibility to offer it to them. Actually running out on the pitch is one of the best feelings in football.My best memory was of when I broke through into the team, I scored against Galatasaray in my first game. I’d just scored and the fans started singing, I couldn’t believe it. There were crying out, I knew I had made a big impression and I had to live up to it.
Sometimes I just couldn’t understand the game, when everything was going so well, it was brilliant, people loved you, they cared for you, but when you went through your phase, your bad patch, people could really get you down. It never really happened to me because everything was a blur, it happened so quickly, but I heard about other people.The letters from fans and stuff, they didn’t seem good. My first professional season was amazing, everything looked good, people looked up to me, they encouraged me. To cap it all off I was in the England squad at the age of 21, it didn’t seem right, but it felt damn good, me playing for England. Only a few years ago I was playing with my mates on the street corner. Occasionally, I thought it was just a dream; I would wake up soon and still be at school. But everything changed, near to the end of the season, my form dropped a little.
I think it was just a lapse in concentration, the boys were saying I had to take it easy, because the limelight was getting to my head, my parents told me to relax too. Although the club was doing well, I was going through a bit of a sticky patch. He chose me though, he picked me in the starting eleven, all he said was, “you can do it, you’re young but you got the potential, take the opportunity to prove your self to the nation. The FA Cup Final”. I couldn’t dream of anything better, as I walked out on the pitch, the atmosphere was immense, each footstep felt heavier and heavier.I stopped and took a look around the stadium before I approached the half way line; see the thousands of fans shouting out, the colours and the flags.
From that moment on everything fell apart; I felt like I was slowly coming undone, I knew I was playing bad. As the game continued the more I got frustrated, I became the subject to some rash challenges, but I took it. Eventually, psychologically, I couldn’t cope; the pressure was getting to me, the slightest of infringements wound me up.
My temper was growing. But I found myself in a good position, I found myself splitting the defence, running through on goal, with just the keeper in front.It felt like I was running the marathon, it seemed like the goal was slowly moving away. As I went to pull the trigger, the opposing player pulled me back, all I could hear was the referee’s whistle being blown for a free kick.
In that spilt second I lost it. I was fuming. I swung and punched the opposing player; he fell to the floor like a sack of potatoes. The whole stadium came to a stand still. All eyes slowly focused on me as I was ambushed off the pitch by security, I didn’t even struggle. I knew I had done wrong. All I can remember were images of the player lying on the floor surrounded by colours of people.Why did I do it? ” A question I’ll always ask myself.
I didn’t need to do it; I had everything, why did I do it? My career, my life turned upside down, just like football itself. One week you’re a hero and another you’re zero. In my case, I was going to be a nobody for a long time to come.
I can remember being inside the police van, I didn’t know where I was going or what was to follow, all I could hear was the chanting ‘kill him’. But why I thought to myself, I didn’t actually murder the guy, I didn’t really do anything wrong, he was at me the whole game, I just got him in one situation.Later that day he was announced dead; he died of a blood clot, sustained to the head as a result of my blow. It didn’t really sink in, how could this happen? I didn’t mean for this to happen. In a flash it was all over, the trial came and went. “Please stand, Mr Meehan”, I remember the judge looking up. The words that followed will always be with me, hanging over my head.
‘… Sentencing you to life imprisonment on the account of murder. ” Those words echoed around my head.
How? I felt dizzy and sick. My knees went weak. The judge walked out of the room. I lost all sense of time and space.
The room was hazy. I needed a fag! I stopped smoking along time ago, just before I turned professional. I had absolutely no idea it was coming, I didn’t think it would have been that bad, a few years at the most. I felt so small, the world was against me. But whatever the whys and wherefores, I now found myself in big, big trouble. My head wouldn’t stop spinning. I was going to jail.
It really hadn’t sunk in. Having a pair of handcuffs clamped around my wrists soon sorted that out. But it was still difficult to comprehend. I’d never been in trouble with the police before, never broken the law.I lay in my cell, thinking, why was this brought on, I was doing so well. Everyone in prison hated me, they detested me, but why, I was in for the same thing as they were. Doc said, “they despised me, you had it all, everything they ever dreamed of.
And then you threw it away”. Everywhere I went I was cornered off by someone, all of them, all having a go. I was sick of it. I soon discovered that celebrity gets you nowhere behind bars.
No one likes a looser. I was thrown into an over-crowded and inhospitable cell, with spells in solitary; I had no protection from fellow inmates. I found it hard to adapt to life behind bars.Each day became worse and worse, I was picked on left, right and centre. It was just what they wanted, a young twenty year old to take their frustration out on. I couldn’t handle it any more, I missed my family, the togetherness we had, and months went past, my life became a misery, people labelled me a, ‘cheating scumbag’, and a ‘murderer’.
No one ever reflected on my footballing talent. I hated the cold lonely nights, hearing the alarms going off late into the night; another person hanged on his own accord. All of this tempted me, it always contemplated my mind.
Why don’t I cut all this hassle short?I’m finished now, there’s no need for me to be here anymore. The alarms sounded again! Commentary On Monologue The monologue I have written was intended to be in the style of Alan Bennett, and is intended as entertainment, whether it is read, listen to or watched. Alan Bennett’s monologues concentrate on the audience directly, as though they were a friend; my character talks as though you know what he is talking about, it creates a certain intimacy between the character and the audience. Because of this the monologue can be appreciated by who ever can relate to it, or understand the character.
My monologue is based on a man named, Mr. Meehan. A young footballer that finds it incredibly difficult to keep his feet on the ground, as fame gets to him. Thus leaving him with nothing, resulting in torment and torture from other people.
In the monologue, Mr. Meehan rekindles past memories, when doing this his emotions unfold to the audience, by where he tries to pin point where it went wrong. Mr. Meehan begins, “they said I was too small…
” This is an ambiguous Bennett style opening, instantly grabbing the audience’s attention; they think to themselves, “who said he was too small? And what context? As they persist, the topic of football that he is talking about, gives somewhat of an anti climax, because not all people are interested in football.This technique is intended to be humorous, because it intrigues the reader to go on. As the monologue goes on, we learn about all of the emotions Mr. Meehan experienced and some of his interests just like all Bennett characters, they hide the significant story, by talking about little things in-between. For instance, Mr.
Meehan talks about how he begun his career and the times he enjoyed, ‘only a few years ago I was playing with my mates on the street corner’.As you continue to read through the opening paragraphs, the audience senses that there will be some sort of twist in the tale, because the player is doing so well. You notice that he talks about all the high points in his life and then it gradually comes to a halt, ‘but everything changed’ and he begins to focus on the low points. In re-drafting I added few minor adjustments, initially and most importantly I felt I needed to generate more tension when I reached the twist.
Thus the paragraph commencing, ‘but I found myself in a good position… ‘ I decided to shorten my sentences, as they were fairly long, and seemed to drag on. In that spilt second I lost it. I was fuming. The whole stadium focused on me.
‘ In doing this, I believe it makes the audience more aware of an upcoming eventful situation. Apart from creating more tension, only grammar was changed. The audience of this monologue is very extensive; because it is not just intended for those who are interested in sport as it also focuses on every day life. I touch upon very emotional subjects, being disliked by other people, ‘all I could hear was the chanting kill me’, this shows how people are easily discriminated against in any situation, famous or not?Suffering in prison, what effects it can lead to? Subsequently the player committing suicide. These are both everyday occurrences. In some places I felt that it was more interesting to include questions rather than pauses, for example, ‘why did I do it? ‘ and ‘how? ‘ These questions signified that Mr. Meehan was thinking, what should he comment on next.
I felt that the inclusion of questions helped maintain the fluidity of the monologue, it continually flowed. In this case the question kind of helps the character answer it himself.Lexically, I had to be very careful in what I selected, as the player was extremely young his language was very simple at times, but as the monologue grew on and become more serious, Mr. Meehan’s spoken language improved, because of the situation he was in. ‘difficult to comprehend’ and ‘it always contemplated my mind’. Alternatively, ‘I didn’t wanna let it get to me’, the use of elision emphasizes how well the player is doing, he didn’t have time to think, and he wanted it all to come out at once. The register of the monologue is incredibly informal because of the common inclusion of the word ‘I’ as the monologue is first person orientated.For example, ‘I knew I had made a big impression and I had to live up to it’.
And, ‘I just couldn’t understand the game’. Furthermore, contractions, ‘couldn’t’ and ‘didn’t’ were frequently used throughout the monologue. They in a sense indicate how spontaneous the monologue is, as they consist of on the spot thoughts and feelings. If these words were not contracted, and would have been, ‘could not’ and ‘did not’, the monologue would have been more formal. Although the monologue is informal, there is not a vast amount of colloquialisms used; only the odd word like, ‘wanna’.But the odd phrase, adds naturalness to the monologue, it makes it more genuine.
I feel that I have been very successful in creating a monologue in the style of Alan Bennett; it is difficult to recreate a classic Bennett character and write about life’s everyday situations. In my personal monologue I have included and touched upon most of Bennett’s conventions and I haven’t moved away from them. Like all Bennett characters, Mr. Meehan comes off badly, and generally we leave the monologue feeling immense sympathy for him, but at the same feeling frustrated at what he done to get himself in this situation.