Torquay Anniversary: Bandanna-mania swept through Macclesfield in August 1997

Efe Sodje has always been a very controversial figure wherever he has played – you either loved him or if you were playing against him then you probably hated him!

Silkmen fans experienced both of these emotions during the summer of 1997, as the former Stevenage Borough defender had riled a few Macc fans up the previous season when he gesticulated to the Boro fans that they were 2 – 0 up at Broadhall Way.

Clearly we all now now how that game had ended, yet the could be no denying that the Nigerian was a cult hero with the Stevenage fans, and therefore when he signed for The Silkmen all was forgiven and we all got just a little bit giddy with excitement.

To mark the signing (and also to cash in a bit), the club released some MTFC branded bandannas to coincide with the start of the season.

So muggins here decided that it would be pretty cool to go and buy one in the hope that it would improve my own ropey football career.

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Villan to Hero – Efe Sodje (Pic courtesy of Stevenage FC).

Back in those days I was studying for my A-Levels and the day before the Torquay match I took the opportunity to skip a compulsory R.E lesson, and nip down to the Moss to claim my new headgear.

On the way back, and feeling a bit peckish, I stopped in Crompton Road chippy for some well deserved fuel before setting off for the last lesson of the day at All Hallows – double Chemistry!

On the way back, I was struggling to appropriately fix the bandanna on my head and as I approached Oxford Road who should walk around the corner but Efe himself!

After a quick chat, he kindly signed my bandanna and showed me how to put it on properly – I was so happy I could have burst (which is kind of ironic considering the chippy I had just nailed!)

Walking back in to All Hallows with my signed bandanna on my head, I started to get a bit of attention – but when I explained what it was then people were genuinely in awe that it had been signed and fitted by the great man himself.

That was of course until I walked in to Miss Orwin’s Chemistry lesson.

She didn’t take too well to my exclusive piece of Silkmen merchandise, and told me to “get it off or get out”.

So I walked out.

Ten minutes later she kindly advised me that she would give me one more chance to take it off or forfeit the lesson.

So off home I went, as pleased as punch about my new bandanna, and beyond excited for the forthcoming match against Torquay.

I never did like Chemistry anyway!

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