If you should happen to come across any tweets or Instagram posts or discussion of two non-league soccer clubs from south London — the Streatham Rovers and Sydenham United — or the league they play in (the Xtermin8 Rat Poison League,) beware: you are entering a long-running “alternate reality game” or ARG known colloquially as the Trevor Bastard Extended Universe. Although in this case, the ARG term might not be totally appropriate, since there is no real winner in this game — it’s just a prank that took on a life of its own.
The TBEU encompasses not only other fictional south London non-league teams — from bitter rivals Dynamo Catford (known for their slogans “Shit on the Streatham” and “Solidarity with ISIS”), to bit players like CSKA Wallington and Edenbridge Bridge FC (check out that completely wild club crest) — but also SRFC’s lawyer, a divorce solicitor named Oliver Laughdugry (a man who hates Brexit so much he had his beloved pet dog put down so that he can fight it full-time, a “tragedy” he attempted to blame on Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn) and Laughdugry’s friend Simon Hedges, a “Sensible Labour” journalist and online politeness activist.
Streatham figures such as manager Goose and Club committee member Roger Parnsip (bio: “Hope Dynamo Catpiss die in a car crash”) , have their own Twitter accounts, and the universe also draws in other parody accounts such as the Blairite Politics Professor Dr. Robert Zands. This world is known by the acronym “Trevor Bastard Extended Universe” (TBEU), although the pseudonymous authorship is in part collaborative: while Bastard is behind the majority of the accounts, some, like Hedges, are run by other people.