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5th October 2003: Eleven players tonight in a non stop action session with Zsu Zsu, Disley, Craig, Mike, Robbie, John, Scouse Ron, Chris, Bryn, Paul and myself. The play tonight was brought to a sudden stop when an enthusiastic attempt by Robbie, in goal, to stop Bryn scoring ended up with him managing to stop Bryn's knee in his face. I don't think there was any malice in the challenge although it happened well inside the box. When Robbie (pictured left) was asked at the hospital what had happened, he said he had fallen down some stairs, they understood perfectly!
Lets not let this distract from what was one of the better sessions of late with some excellent goals scored by Chris, Scouse Ron, Bryn and Paul in particular. Zsu Zsu also slotted home a couple of his long rangers. Disley was scoreless tonight although he did manage to hit the ceiling, basketball hoop and all four corners of the hall.
John Goodwin reminded us all that the assassin remains inside just waiting for the opportunity to show itself, and tonight that opportunity arrived when Rick replaced the battered Robbie. As Rick cut inside John and headed for goal he didn't hear the swish of John's attempt to scythe him down but, when he attempted the same thing minutes later he sure did feel it. I don't know, they say it's a funny old game but funnily Rick and Robbie weren't laughing.          Session Rating (out of 10)  -  7
Injury News - Steve Hart looks like he will be missing a few weeks, he's having a  course of physiotherapy treatment on his tendon and hoping to return soon. As our only foreign player we wish him a speedy recovery.                                         
Any Player fancying themselves as a scribe would be welcome to submit a "Guest Report", either named or anonymous - just Email report to me (Monday at the latest) and it will be published unedited on this page. No foul language please.

12th October 2003: After watching England last night it was a pleasure to turn out at the Leisure centre for the vets although only eight tonight. John, Disley, Paul and Craig played against myself, Zsu Zsu, Chris and Ian Huddlestone who made a welcome return. John's team were full of running and if Disley had been on the mark they would have won comfortably but, for an hour at least my side held on and competed well. Then our legs went and to be honest, we got steamrolled! We did however finish the night with a glorious golden goal scored by myself off a superb pass from Chris, this was just reward for our efforts. John continued his assassin rebirth with some marvelous "blocks" followed by cries of, "well he did worse last week," and, "I only just caught him." Another very entertaining night with Paul  Garner and Craig Mills putting in fine performances. 
I will miss next week because tonight I'm of to Kusadasi,Turkey for a weeks r&r plus some friendly chat with the boys about Saturdays game no doubt.....     Janice and I are staying in the Korumar (pictured right), a nice 5* jobbie, I will miss the football next week but we all have to make sacrifices.  Session Rating (out of 10)  -  7

26th October 2003: After a really good holiday I was looking forward to a game of football at the leisure centre with the boys, sadly there were only four of us turned up. Disley, Scouse Ron, Bryn and myself decided to call it a night. Ron now unfortunately can only make two weeks out of four due to work commitments so he wasn't too pleased about missing his bi fortnightly fix. Last week we had eight. I've mentioned about commitment many times on these pages but we certainly don't seem to get enough of it recently. Disley asked what had happened to that old bloke who used to play in goal, Tony Gavin the cat would possibly not have appreciated that remark, Bryn certainly did.
Well it looks like we may have to have another crisis meeting to bolster the numbers, at the moment we rely too much on players who turn up on a whim. With Zsu Zsu away and Steve Hart still under the physiotherapist  we need to restructure.
Session Rating (out of 10)  -  0

2nd November 2003: Back to business with a bang tonight, 10 players, a bag full of goals and loads of good football. Bryn, Scouse Ron, John, Zsu Zsu and Frankie Hughes started against myself, Robbie, Chris, Paul and Bud. Young Frankie, son of Paul Hughes from the Skillet in Hayfield had an interesting debut getting better as the night wore on or maybe as we got more knackered. The result on the night wasn't important although I suppose I must add here Zsu Zsu Mastin inspired his boys to a 32- 14 win. This looks at first sight as if it was one sided but if you watched the Everton v Chelsea game this weekend you had to scratch your head in amazement how Chelsea won it! Tonight was no different, a few lucky ricochets and the usual break aways while you are under pressure rewarded Zsu Zsu's boys and left us bemused. After his horrendous injuries suffered last month Robbie returned and left his mark, I have to say it took until the 75th minute but they all count. Credit where it is due, reluctantly, tonight my boys took a right old 'ammering but we didn't give up, well Bud did but there again we still managed the now traditional last "Golden Goal" - small consolation but a brilliant session.
No Scouse Ron next week, work commitments but we have advertised throughout the centre and hopefully new players will become involved over the next few weeks and we look forward to the old Jocko returning from injury. One new lad will be joining us in a fortnight so things are on the up.   Session Rating (out of 10)  -  7+

9th November 2003: Back to eight again tonight but a tremendous 90 minutes of non stop football. Ian Lemonzic, Paul  Garner, Bud Jackson and young Frankie Hughes played against myself, John Goodwin, Keith Mastin and the fit again Steve Hart. It's quite remarkable that my team had an average age of just over 53 and we ended up 2 goals ahead of our younger opponents at the end of the night, their average age was 33.5. I don't know exactly what this proves but we all felt pretty chuffed afterwards. Steve Hart thumped in the first goal of the night to show us he was back to some kind of fitness and John Goodwin tickled a few ankles to keep the opposition on their toes. Young Frankie did what all 18 year olds do by taking the micky with a handful of very nicely taken goals. Bud was definitely up for it this week and Disley again tried to destroy the infrastructure of the building with his shooting. Zsu Zsu and myself had a pretty good time playmaking using the extra space to ply our trade.
I am confident that next week we will be up to strength with at least 12 including the return of Chris, Robbie and Bryn.
Session Rating (out of 10)  -  8

16th November 2003: Scotland and Wales played their socks off this weekend to set up the possibility of three home nations in Portugal next year. England's Rugby Union team overcame France to reach the World Cup final and their Rugby League counterparts also gave France a gubbing - so how come our overpaid superstars couldn't complete a wonderful weekend for Britain by beating Denmark in front of a packed Old Trafford. Thank goodness for the Vets on Sunday night I say, no stars, no prima donna's, only Zsu Zsu who is overpaid, but lots of effort and a good nights sport. Two new players tonight, Matt (the Ambulance driver) and Steve Gerrard from Hayfield. John, Steve Hart, myself, Keith, Paul, Robbie, Chris and Kevin English. A very hard fought game this evening which was as close as we have had for a long while until the last 15 minutes, the sort of game you'd wish for every week. The result was unimportant for once but, good performances from all unlike our national team. Robbie is fully recovered from his brush with the law and Steve Hart likewise is looking like his old self (probably buoyed on by the Jocko's sticking it up the Dutch, Ruud an all).  Hopefully next week will see the return of the golfers from Spain (Ron and Bryn) and young Frankie (in Blackpool today) plus Disley and Bud Jackson - could be a bumper turnout at last       Session Rating (out of 10)  -  9

23rd November 2003 : So England won the world rugby cup final - But, Scotland now have something in common with Michael Jackson (the singer not our Bud), yes they've both ended up well f***ed in Neverlands.... Well just four weeks ago we didn't have enough players for a game but tonight we had three teams and a brilliant session. Myself and the two Steves plus Chris in one squad, young Craig, Disley, Gary and Bud Jackson in the second squad and Scouse Ron, Bryn, Keith Zsu Zsu Mastin, John and Stuart (ghostie) for the Mary's moaners. No team managed to dominate tonight although Disley's team set off well until the Moaners stopped them in their tracks - still no team have managed to win all their games in one night. highlights of the night were Steve Harts delightful chipped goal over the beached ghostie and John Goodwin's left footer (not a reference to his Catholicism) past the same hapless keeper. Stuart also had the foul of the night nearly cutting Craig's leg in half, after two years his timings a little out of sync. Comical moment - Scouse Ron scaring the shit out of everybody when he bellowed "Doooooorrrrr - the dooooorrrr - the fu***** dooooooooorrrrrrrrr" to let us know the fire door was open an inch or two. All good stuff and may it continue next week....  Oh and the Welsh?  did anyone really care?
Session Rating (out of 10)  -  9

30th November 2003 :  Bertie Vogts surprised us with his new look Jocko Squad this week (see picture below). Fitness appears to be the key to the Germans train of thought and when it comes down to nitty gritty, these lads look to be up for it.
Another good turnout tonight with some more new faces. Myself, Steve Gerrard, Steve Hart, Bud Jackson, Sam, Andy Gartside were up against Scouse Ron, Bryn, Zsu Zsu, John, Paul and Danny Moore. In the first game Scouse Ron's Mary's Moaners took us to the cleaners with the Scouser scoring an excellent hat-trick. Things were looking bleak for my team at that point but the next three or four games ended in draws before we finally notched our first win against the moaners. Overall though I think Mary's Moaners just about shaded it with Danny Moore, looking like a leaner version of his old man, running riot. Some good goals tonight, I was chuffed with my effort from well inside my own half and Andy whacked a couple in from a similar distance. Steve Hart pulled a muscle and finished early, hope this doesn't affect his Jocko chances! No Disley again this week and Chris was unlucky again to choose watching our beloved City lose at home instead of playing at the leisure centre, a choice which he must surely regret. Old Mooro used my ticket today to sample the City of Manchester Stadium for the first time, I wonder if he was impressed with the Stadium because the football was crap.  
Session Rating (out of 10)  -  8+

14th December 2003 : Missed last weeks session because of a bad back, went to Goodison Park instead to watch my beloved City, I wish I had played instead it was so painful to watch. Great excitement today as the Americans capture Saddam Hussein near Tikrat, Iraq, they might have found Saddam but Scouse Ron is still on the loose...
Nine players tonight but Stevie Hart became the first casualty after netting the first goal of the night and then pulling up with a muscle strain. So we had Steve Gerrard, Chris , Robbie and myself playing John Goodwin, Zsu Zsu Mastin, Paul  Garner and newcomer Peter. Peter looks a handy player but slowed up during the night with an old groin strain problem. Honours were shared tonight with Johns team easily the best for the first half of the night with the other team coming to the fore in the latter part. We played ten minute games tonight for the first time and it was a lot harder but with some good football played it kept things competitive. Steve Gerrard is getting fitter every week so he pushed us hard in the hope that we might show the same level of improvement, I don't think we did. John the assassin reappeared tonight after a full bloodied 50-50 tackle with Robbie ended up with John in quite a bit of pain. Feeling aggrieved in the style specially reserved for John he waited for his moment which arrived soon afterwards. Robbie was chasing a lost cause when the assassin saw his chance. Robbie collapsed about eight feet away in a heap with John totally ignoring the ball in his search for retribution. Poor old Robbie - first Bryn tries to score with Robbies head then John allows him to see his life flash before him, I'll bet Robbie will be glad to see the back of this year. No mention of the Derby yesterday because it left me gutted... Robbie Fowler is starting to get his act together but it doesn't look good.
Next week is the last before Christmas so lets hope the season of goodwill descends on the leisure centre and we have a cracker before Xmas.           Session Rating (out of 10)  - 7

21st December 2003 : Ten players tonight for the last game before Christmas, Mary's Moaners turned out with John Goodwin, Scouse Ron, Bryn, Zsu Zsu and guest Ian (Disley) Lemonzic. Myself, Steve Gerrard, Matt (the paramedic), Chris and another newcomer, Malcolm provided the opposition. As the game took shape Mary's Moaners had the edge mainly due to their familiarity with each other (for want of a better description) but were kept at bay by the speed and goal scoring of Matt and Chris (without the speed). Bryn was also finding the mark for the moaners with some excellent solo goals. John was tackling like his old self tonight, the Xmas spirit was clearly evident. Malcolm slotted in well with the Vets and showed some very nice touches. As the night moved on Scouse Ron started to leave his mark on the proceedings with a steadily increasing stream of criticism aimed at his team mates who were apparently under performing according to their leader. The opposition seized their chance as the Moaners confidence started to wane, Steve stepped up the pace, Chris and I tried to step up the pace, Matt and Malcolm started knocking them in and slowly we took over the game and ended up completely dominating the proceedings. Poor old Zsu Zsu, the senior Mary's Moaner looked completely dejected at the end as his team fell apart however, with the January transfer window soon upon us there is a chance that the old boy may finally lose patience with his fellow moaners and seek counseling. Watch this space...  Last goal of the year was Scouse Ron's Geoff Hurst type - was it over the line or not but, as nobody particularly cared at this point and there wasn't a Russian linesman in attendance we allowed it to stand.      Session Rating (out of 10)  - 7
All the best to all the lads who have supported our sessions throughout this year and may you continue to do so  -  Malc 

Vets At Work Number 1

Bryn signs off

4th January 2004 : Yet another year and the Vets continue to roll along, some more than others as the booze and mince pies seem to have taken their toll. The power of advertising paid off again as we were joined by newcomers Nigel and Harry who both gave a decent account of themselves although both left the building a lot slower than when I saw them arrive! Three teams tonight with the Moaners comprising of John, Zsu Zsu, Bryn, Disley and Paul  Garner. The newcomers teamed up with Chris and Matt and I was playing alongside young Craig, Steve Gerrard and Malcolm Stubbs. I scored the first goal of 2004 after Steve Gerrard played a superb through ball. Chris and Matt played well to keep their team in contention but with goals coming from all of the players in the team I played in, we were the team to beat. Goal of the night had to be Malcolm Stubbs who went on a mazy run taking on all the Moaners on his own before planting the ball in the corner for a cracker. At the moment we have potentially three regular squads which if we can keep them together will give us some excellent competition over the coming weeks. Next week should see the return of Scouse Ron which will test the newcomers a little more physically than we perhaps managed tonight although, with John still carrying his foot injury perhaps they had an easy baptism. Hopefully we'll also have news of our old Jocko who may have recovered from Hogmanay but not from his recent injuries......
Session Rating (out of 10)  - 8

11th January 2004 : With City having a disastrous week it was good to see all the Blues down tonight. Mary's Moaners Scouse Ron, John and Zsu Zsu were joined by Ian (Disley) Lemonzic and Paul  Garner. Stevie Hart returned to action with Chris, Dan Bolton, Steve Gerrard and myself with the third team made up with Harry, Nigel, Michael (Bud) Jackson and Gary. The first game of the night saw my team play Mary's Moaners and Scouse Ron making his first appearance of the New Year took us apart. The much maligned Liverpudlian played like a man on a mission as he netted four goals of almost real quality... Our team replied with three very well worked goals with Chris and Steve Gerrard linking up very well but for once the Scouser led with his feet and inspired his team mates to a 6-3 win. The rest of the night was littered with good football and sporting action with new boy Harry notching a good few of his teams goals and looking the part. Goal of the night was without a doubt Disley's thumping volley from distance after running on to a Scouse Ron flicked pass. Good to see Steve Hart back but the injury is still lurking and Dan Bolton who hasn't played for a long while did OK. I bumped into the fat cat at City on Wednesday night, he's looking as portly as ever and Zsu Zsu Mastin was in the City section which was a shame because for the first time the away section was nearly empty because his cockney mates couldn't be arsed coming up the M1 - that never bothers the UniŁed fans!!! Also spotted Martin Wilde and David Biggins so watched the second half with them.
Things are starting to look good for the Vets in 2004 with decent turnouts and pretty good football.
Session Rating (out of 10)  -  8-

18th January 2004 : What a good weekend, Wolves prove anyone can win in the Premier League with a stunning victory over Man UniŁed and the vets played out another great session of 5 a side. Harry, Nigel, Paul, Matt, Steve Gerrard and newcomer Rabbit played Bryn, Chris, Keith, Disley, Stuart (ghostie) and myself. With Bryn's side passing and moving better we managed to win all but three of the games tonight which was quite an achievement. Bryn profited from some excellent approach play with a sackful of goals and I must admit I found him an excellent target man, always available and looking to shoot. Paul  Garner demonstrated the art of tackling with a brilliant display tonight, I can't think of anybody at the present time who wins more challenges than Paul. Goals of the night were definitely Steve Gerrard's two thundering drives and maybe a couple from Disley who hit one particular effort from the half way line that fair zipped in. Zsu Zsu was more relaxed tonight and benefited from playing alongside myself and Chris who may just have persuaded him to up sticks from Mary's Moaners where his masterly playmaking is wasted. Harry again put in a good show but his mate Nigel had to retire with a back problem. The sides were maybe a little unbalanced tonight but I always think it makes for a good session when this happens as at the end of the day it's all about stretching ourselves and when your under the cosh you soon notice anybody who tries to hide.
Next week Zsu Zsu is visiting the bog they call the emerald isle, more like the back of beyond if you ask me, but hopefully we will see the return of the Scouse one, Steve Hart, John Goodwin and maybe even Robbie.....
Session Rating (out of 10)  -  8+

25th January 2004 : After sitting through another grueling match at COMS this afternoon I arrived at the Leisure centre Ł30+ lighter and in a depressed state. If my glorious team put as much effort into their games as the vets do on a Sunday night we would probably be a half decent team. As it is they are pretty mediocre. Anyway another good turnout tonight with Scouse Ron, Bryn, Rabbit and newcomer Dave Webb making up one team, Paul  Garner, Dan, another newcomer Peter and Malcolm Stubbs making up the second team with Steve Hart, Steve Gerrard, Chris, Harry and myself as the third team. This was another of those nights when we enjoyed lots of good games with no side dominating. I must say though that tonight's session was particularly physical with no holds barred but, not a bad tempered tackle to be seen although one between Rabbit and Dan measured at least 2 - 3 on the Richter scale. Lots of good goals tonight including two or three gems from new boy Peter. My own favourite tonight was from a cross that I drilled across the hall probably too hard to the unmarked Steve Gerrard who lashed it past the keeper into the top corner on the volley.  Good to see Stevie Hart back to fitness this week and the return of Malc Stubbs, Zsu Zsu Mastin will be back next week after his soaking in the bogs of Ireland (why would any sane person want to go there?) and who knows a fit again John Goodwin and Robbie.....
It's great to see all the new players and I feel they are enjoying the sport themselves, the sessions have been given a new lease of life and long may it go on.
Session Rating (out of 10)  -  9
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