x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 29 July 2017

Honey I blew up our honeymoon

Will Batchelor imagines how the newly-wed Tim Ream would explain to his wife his decision to opt for game time with Bolton over their honeymoon.

Tim Ream, right, playing here for the New York Red Bulls, is now a Bolton Wanderers player. The US defender has chosen, according to Owen Coyle, the manager, to play for Bolton over going off for a honeymoon.
Tim Ream, right, playing here for the New York Red Bulls, is now a Bolton Wanderers player. The US defender has chosen, according to Owen Coyle, the manager, to play for Bolton over going off for a honeymoon.

"Tim got married a week last Saturday and I had to ask him to cancel his honeymoon to Tahiti, which is something he gladly did," Owen Coyle, the manager of Bolton Wanderers, discusses the signing of Tim Ream, the US defender, from the New York Red Bulls.

Hey honey!

Well, I've been here in Bolton, England, for a few days now and I'm settling in nicely.

I guess you are feeling kinda sore about missing our honeymoon but I know you will just love it over here.

You'll come to realise that life at a Premier League football club is like one long honeymoon. When you are not in bed, you are getting pampered. You even get free massages, although they tend to be from a short guy in a woolly hat, named Ronnie, who uses Vicks vapour rub instead of essential jojoba oil.

Of course Bolton is not exactly Tahiti. One is famous for its tattooed savages whose distrust of outsiders has hindered civilisation. The other is in French Polynesia.

But, honey, there are similarities, too. For instance, both places have a wet season from November to April. Granted, Bolton then has a damp season from May to October, but you just need to layer up. I can probably get you one of those padded jackets with initials on. There is a whole heap of stuff marked "GC", whoever that is, but he does not seem to be around. I guess he must have left in a hurry.

Just like Tahiti, Bolton is a cultural melting pot: French, Spanish, English, even some folk from Europe. We manage to communicate pretty well and the only guy I cannot understand is coach Coyle. He speaks something called Glaswegian, which must be the ancient native tongue because it sounds nothing like any language I've heard before.

Hey, you know how you really wanted to see a volcano erupt on Tahiti? Well, I've already seen one! On Saturday, after we beat Liverpool 3-1, there was a terrible eruption from a notoriously volatile landmark.

"King Kenny", as some locals call it, is said to have spewed flames and lava for several hours. It must have been pretty bad, because some of the Liverpool players' wives had been scorched a deep shade of orange.

I know how you wanted to look inside a volcano, too, so I asked the guys in the dressing room if it was possible to stand on a precipice and peer into the abyss around here.

"That is what we've been doing since November," they replied.

Anyway, I'm going to sign off now and hit the beach. Tahiti may have black sand but here the whole ocean – or, as they call it, the Bolton-Bury Canal – is as black as molasses! Kinda syrupy like molasses, too.

I cannot wait to see you, honey, not least for all the extra training that I think you promised me. I could not quite hear you when we said goodbye – you were sobbing a lot and the bridal veil was hiding your face – but I think it was something about wanting to shoot at me?

I sure hope so, baby, because I could use all the practice I can get at defending set pieces!

Your loving husband,

Tim