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Ashes stories: Headingley 2009

Justin Langer's dossier on the England test team was just the tip of the iceberg for the meddlesome Australian cricketer. PDCC exclusively reveals Langer's other secret submissions and asks: does anyone actually care?

It seems that the England cricket team is not the only thing to have come under the scrutiny of ex Australia opener Justin Langer.

Documents seen by PDCC reveal that Somerset captain Langer has been spending his time casting an analytical eye over various other national institutions.

In a now infamous email to Australian coach Tim Nielsen Langer accused England's test side of being "flat", "lazy" and lacking in self belief, before singling out individual players for personal criticism.

Although Langer subsequently played down the so-called dossier it appears that the Western Australian has been keeping himself busy in Taunton by compiling similar reports on just about everything.

This leaked email to the Manager of the Luxton Bus Company demonstrates Langer's keenness to swap his whites for a career in occupational psychology.

To: Cyril Blake @ Luxton Bus Company . Com

picture of Blakey
The manager of The Luxton Bus Company was surprised at the findings in Langer's dossier.

Dear Blakey

I have now had the opportunity to watch several episodes of On The Buses and I hope that the following observations might be of some use. In general I would say that in general the staff at the Luxton Bus Depot display typical English employment traits of laziness, immaturity and disregard for authority.

They will posture and display an aggressive attitude towards management but if you stand up to them they lose heart quickly and slope off to the canteen to chase passing clippies.

Stan Butler is fundamentally idle and unambitious. He still lives with his mother and sister despite being the wrong side of 50. Butler is more interested in hanging about leering at women half his age than getting his bus out in time. He will begrudgingly give you a day's work but it will be interspersed with crude attempts at humour, subordination and skiving. You are right to hate him. I would recommend that you insist that he gets his bus out.

Jack Harper is an average conductor at best yet he has an ego far beyond his actual abilities to pull decent crumpet. Despite obvious physical short comings he believes himself to be something of a lothario. When teamed up with Stan Butler there is likely to be unsubtle attempts to undermine management and a pathetic disregard to bus timetabling. Keep a watch on his punctuality, especially as he has regular amorous liaisons at several houses on the route. These are inevitably middle-aged women in baby doll nighties whose husbands often arrive home from work unexpectedly. You are likely to find him returning to the depot in a state of undress and looking flustered. I would chip away at him for having to climb down a drainpipe in just his y-fronts.


From Taunton


picture of Spandau Ballet fans
Spandau Ballet fans were angry at Langer's unflattering comments.

Langer's eagle eye hasn't failed to notice that 80s New Romantic poster boys Spandau Ballet have reformed for a series of lucrative dates.

In a letter to ex Radio 1 DJ Dave Lee Travis, Langer writes ...

...these were never much good in the first place and this current tour is all about money. If you stand up to these guys then they will crumble quicker than a middle order of Bell, Bopara and Owais Shah.

As a group they lack focus and they are happy to churn out their old hits with a minimum of effort.

Lead singer Tony Hadley is especially weak on fast paced numbers. He would much prefer to be in his comfort zone of ballads. I would recommend requesting Chant Number 1 early on in the set to test his vocal chords before he had settled down.

Also since they split up they appear to have been joined by the Kray Twins. This pair must be long past it by now and I doubt that they will even make it to the encore let alone kill anyone.

From Taunton


But perhaps Langer's harshest criticism comes in a report labelled the 'dosser dossier' in which the all-time leading Australian run scorer points the finger at the shortcomings of England's once proud tramps.

picture of tramps
Tramps waiting outside the Grace Gates at Lord's in the hope that a passing MCC member has a spare pair of trousers.

In a postcard sent to himself Langer begins by saying that in general English tramps "stink" and have often "vacuated in their own clothing whilst still wearing them". He continues:

If they get 50p for a 'cup of tea' early on then their confidence will be high but as soon as the going gets tough and the money dries up then they give in and will start looking in bins for dog ends.

They often have aggressive body language especially after a bottle or two of meths but if you stand up to them they invariably retreat to the nearest park bench and scratch themselves. I would chip away at them about having to sleep in a cardboard box and having to keep their trousers up with string.

Wish you were here

From Taunton, JL

picture of Michael Vaughan ducking for cover
Michael Vaughan ducks for cover in anticipation of being splashed from an imaginary puddle.

However, not everybody has been upset at Langer's strategic spying.

Former England captain Michael Vaughan commented: "Most of what Justin has said is true. The Luxton Bus Company is a disgrace. I tried to get the number 17 from the Cemetery Gates to the Town Centre the other day and it was half an hour late. Then the engine nearly caught fire because the conductor had two portions of fish and chips under the bonnet."

"Also I saw Spandau Ballet perform at Sheffield City Hall on their comeback tour. They were rubbish. I got charged £20 for a souvenir pillow case and they didn't do Through the Barricades. That's not good enough for Spandau Ballet and not good enough for Michael Vaughan.

"Justin was a bit harsh on tramps but it needed to be said. They are a disgrace. One of them said that I was his best mate in the whole world but I never heard from him again. Then I lent one of them my form and he never gave it back to me. He said his dog had eaten it. I last saw him getting a double ton for the Salvation Army the day before I made a duck at Chelmsford."