JORDAN HENDERSON: Whilst many people consider scrumping – the act of stealing apples from privately owned orchards – to be a highly illegal and therefore intolerable act, there are very few things in life that can come close to this jolly traditional English jape, especially when done with good friends.
DANIEL STURRIDGE: That’s right, Hendo. Why, many’s the time you, Lazar Markovic and I have gone off into the countryside to steal a few pippins and literally enjoy the fruits of our labour.
JH: Indeed Studge. So, with that in mind, let’s look at the very best ways to scrump, and the choicest apples to pick.
DS: When I was a kid, there were only three or four apples grown and sold in the UK. You had your Granny Smiths, Golden and Red Delicious and Cox, but not much else. These days, with ever greater markets to choose from and GM crops now considered the norm, the choice of apple is far greater. Personally, I’m a big fan of Braeburns, but I know from experience that Jazz Apples don’t last long in the Melwood canteen.
JH: Yes. Kenny Dalglish comes in for a lot of stick regarding his second spell as manager, but he did introduce us to McIntosh apples, and for that we should all be grateful.
DS: That’s right. I don’t know where we’d be today if it weren’t for those delicious Macs.
JH: Remember his little saying? How did it go again?
DS: ‘An apple a day keeps defenders at bay’. Wise words from a wise man.
JH: That’s why he’s the King of the Kop Studge. Now we move on to the act of scrumping. Pay attention, because what we tell you now will keep you safe and full of apples for weeks to come.
DS: The first thing to bear in mind is location. Where are the best apples to be found? How easy is it to get there? Should a farmer shoot you, how close is the nearest A&E? These are vital questions that must be fully answered before you decide to head out for a good day’s scrump.
JH: A particular favourite haunt of ours is an orchard located just outside Garstang, roughly halfway between Preston and Blackpool. Now, before you get all hot and bothered about the fact that the South-East is where the best apples are grown, please bear in mind that we’re a North-West club, and so are limited to Lancashire’s wares. Of course, on away days south of the Watford Gap in August or May, it’s pretty much open season for us, but most of the time we have to make do with what we have. Luckily for us, this particular orchard is rich in soil, and therefore bears excellent fruit.
DS: The only drawback is the farmer supports Everton, so we need to be extra careful when scrumping here.
JH: Indeed we do. How many of you go on this adventure is down to personal choice, but we prefer to go mob-handed, in order to maximise our chances of getting lots of apples.
DS: Basically it’s like the Somme, but for apples.
JH: I’m not sure I’m totally behind your allusion there Studge, but you’re not far off the point. Usually we’ll fill up a car with bodies; myself, Studge and Lazar are the hardcore, but we can usually convince Mario Balotelli and Alberto Moreno to come along as well.
DS: Mario loves a good scrump.
JH: Jamie Carragher was the Daddy, but since he’s retired Studge and myself have taken on the mantle. Anyway, we drive to the orchard, and stick Lazar on look out for the farmer. Once he’s certain no-one’s about, he gives us a signal, and we all run in, making sure to grab as many apples as we can. We have one rule, and that’s to keep going until either the boot is full, or the farmer’s taken a shot at Alberto’s arse. When it’s over, we pile back into the car, and head off for a nice meadow to have a scrumptious feast.
DS: And that’s how you scrump Liverpool Style.
JH: So now you know how, why don’t you give it a go? And remember, never walk alone. Seriously, you’ll get caught and end up with a criminal record.