We’ve all been there, desperate to see our favourite band, hoping that if we walk up to our bosses, cap in hand, that they will grant us the extra time off so we can see them. Though it is perhaps less expected that we would ditch a professional football match to do so. But, former Chelsea winger, Pat Nevin can certainly call himself an avid New Order fan after he demanded to be substituted at half time so he could go and watch the band perform live.
Nevin, a mainstay at Chelsea TV as well as taking up posts for many of the larger broadcasters in recent years, is also a huge music fan. The winger has been known to frequent the seedy clubs of London’s East End to spin the decks and deliver a plethora of rock and indie anthems. In fact, his DJ’ing had become equally as legendary as his footballing by the time he hung up his headphones. However, while his connection with music has always been apparent, there was one story that had captured everyone’s imaginations.
Noted on Is This Music back in 2010, there was a keen rumour flying around football forums: that Pat Nevin had once got himself sent off in a game so he could go and watch a Siouxsie and The Banshees gig. It was, naturally, met with a degree of laughter and a hefty dose of scepticism. After all, who would do such a thing?
Soon enough, a user by the name of Pat Nevin started to frequent the forums in order to try and set the record straight. Nevin had become a fan favourite even after his first season with Chelsea, though the winger barely partook in the London lifestyle as his then-meagre wages barely covered his rent and living costs. With a new contract in the offing, Nevin spoke with Chelsea chairman Ken Bates and offered a few numbers surrounding his contract. Bates laughed off his demands and left the office empty for Nevin to not only ascertain every player’s wage, but also to work out the average too. He returned with the average salary written down on the piece of paper and left a shocked Bates exclaiming, “That’s more than last time!”
Within the interview, Nevin notes that he was a massive Joy Division fan, seeing them as one of his favourites, “I was at Chelsea and the tabloids would ask me to do interviews, so I’d take the piss out of The Sun – ‘I like music, there’s this singer called Joy Davidson’ – very infantile of me.” It meant that when New Order announced they were to play at Festival Hall on the night of a friendly match between Brentford and Chelsea, Nevin saw his chance to not only go to the gig but get one over on Ken Bates.
“I’m not re-signing unless you take me off at half time,” he told Chelsea’s manager John Neal. It was a bold move for any player to make, but considering that Nevin was easily Chelsea’s best player at the time, he perhaps had an inkling that he’d be given the all-clear. He was subbed at half-time and made it to the show to watch his favourite band.
This tale, of course, is just one of the many Pat Nevin escapades in music, he also spent a night out at Morrissey’s home, partaking in his multi-gym, something which prompted Nevin to say “He always was built like a brick shithouse, but you’d not have known at the time”.
It’s fair to say that not many people have ever been able to pull off what Pat Nevin did. But, then again, very few are as big a music fan as he is.