27 years ago, in an fruitless attempt to save money, my wife and I hired a function room above a pub to celebrate our joint 40th birthday. With a free bar.

We invited friends (both of them), members of the book club and close family, blew up our own red and white balloons, paid extortionate prices for prawn volavons and, in an extravagant measure, even hired a DJ with a Karaoke machine.

In an effort to get things going, I submitted my request at 21:39 (Oasis

  • Wonderwall)

Unfortunately, the premium strength lager on offer that night was Kronenburg 1664 (not Grolsch).

At 23:57, I was summoned to the stage where I grabbed the microphone and prepared for my moment of glory.

I eagerly sang out the words on the monitor screen

‘Introduction. Introduction..’

The middle-aged DJ’s looked aghast and frantically started gesturing to me. I kept going to a round of perplexed silence.

In tribute to the world’s most famous Ciddy fans, I spontaneously changed the words of the final chorus:

‘And, after all, United won f**k all’

People looked perplexed. My mate (who was drinking bitter) said ‘This is the best 40th I have ever been to.’

More songs were played. We drank more beer. We eventually went home.