Today should have been the day the Jestrian uploaded its hundredth piece. Instead, a coup has been staged, and Chronicle journalist Paul Wheelock has managed to force his way into another area of CFC culture. His views are his own, remember. It says so on Twitter. Stop trying to steal his views.
Some journalist, didn't even give his piece a title, so The Jestrian has added one for him.
There's nothing I won't do for a name-check
by Paul Wheelock
The player, club and supporters can move on. But not me. Oh no, for a resolution of the long-running Jamie Rainford saga was not my main motivation for this week. No, the question I really wanted to find the answer to was… just exactly who is The Jestrian?
It is a question that leads me to a pitch-black and deserted Exacta Stadium in the early hours of this morning, Friday, 13 January, as I await an extremely rare interview with my news nemesis. The person whose offbeat take on life at the Blues is often closer to the truth than it suggests.
My aim? To uncover the man (or woman) behind the mask. To get to know a little bit more about Chester FC’s very own Banksy. No, not that one. Although it could be…
“Who hides in plain view? Who can be so knowledgeable about the club without being connected to anyone within it?” muses The Jestrian, taking up position in his (or her) usual spot – an inflatable chair in the West Stand refreshment stall.
“I can’t tell you about the man or woman behind The Jestrian, and nor can anyone else. Either that, or I'm Daniel Burns off The Seals Podcast.”
So far, so futile. Convenient, too, as it is from behind this veil of secrecy that my interviewee is able to take potshots at anyone and everyone connected with Chester FC. Directors (‘media-junkie Jar Jar Banks’), players (‘quiffy beanpole, Michael Powell’), supporters (‘The Remarkable School for Brain Magicians aka The Devachats’) and the club itself (www.animalfarm.com from September 27) have all felt the wrath of The Jestrian’s wit.
Renamed ‘The Tall Peacock’ and branded ‘fame-hungry’, I have not escaped either. But why would The Jestrian want to bite the hand that helps feeds him (or her)? Jealously, it has to be. Jealous of my record-breaking number of appearances on The Seals Podcast. Jealous of my significantly greater following on Twitter.
“No, I wish the blog was less popular,” replies The Jestrian, who much to my disappointment fails to rise to the bait. “Once it’s out there, you don't get to control who reads it, who laughs or the reasons why they find it funny.
“I've never once advertised The Jestrian. When it started, I just ‘followed’ about 10 or 15 Chester fans on Twitter, and watched it grow by word of mouth. I like it being tucked away in a dark corner of the internet with a badly drawn banner. When I came up with the idea, I said I wanted it to be ‘punky’. I think it's achieved that.”
So if not for popularity – and it is certainly cannot be for the money seeing as my interviewee has sold a grand total of one ‘Jestrian’ branded product so far – what was and what is the motivation behind the blog?
“Standing on the terrace at an away match, I remarked to a friend that the Cestrian programme feature ‘Gregga’s Gripes’ should be given to Wes Baynes and renamed ‘Wesley’s Snipes’,” says my interviewee, whose identity is hidden by a ‘Jestrian’ hoodie pulled tight over his (or her) face. “The Jestrian was set up entirely as a vehicle for that feature, but I’ve never actually used it.
“The motivation is that there is no motivation. Everything seems to be done ‘for the club’ or ‘for the coffers’ or in keeping with the community spirit. Even The Blue and White fanzine, which I’ve not read, is I am led to believe, a (very good) serious piece of journalism and an advocate of the club. The Jestrian hasn’t got any agenda other than being stupid. It may stray into being slightly political at times, and if there is a message, I guess it’s that people need to just chill out about football.”
Contrary to the last. And with that – and with daylight approaching – our interview ends with me no closer to answering just exactly who is The Jestrian?