9th January 2005 : After a three weeks rest
the lads turned up in good numbers tonight and turned on a feast
of flowing football. Three teams, Steve Gerrard, Steve Hart,
Dan, Chris and Peter Wallace faced Karl English,
Nigel Caldwell, Dave, Richard, Robbie and Bud Jackson with
Mary's Moaners represented by Scouse Ron, Bryn, John, Keith Zsu
Zsu Mastin and Ian Lemonzic (Disley). First goal of the New Year
came from a fine move by the Moaners with all players involved
before Zsu Zsu picked out Bryn with a great reverse pass which
the Stalybridge man slotted home. And so began another year of
vets football with top notch competitive football which I could
only enjoy from the balcony due to a back problem. No problems
on the pitch though as the goals flew in, Steve Gerrard, Scouse
Ron and Bryn with the pick of them. After a flying start Mary's
Moaners were looking good but overall Steve Harts team ended the
night on top losing only two games although in general it was a
pretty even session. Goal of the night had to be Nigel's
when Steve Gerrard fired a shot straight from a kick off only to
see it smash into Nigel and rebound into his opponents net, all
We also had a cracking night at the White Hart on Friday when
sixteen of the lads turned out for the Xmas get together. Plenty
of good crack, lots of liquid refreshment and some nice food
provided by Ev and Mike. Keith presented numerous awards and we
all lifted our glasses to Harry Martin who shared a pint or two
with us before he left this weekend for New Zealand. Harry will
be missed but hopefully will stay in touch and give us an
insight into vets down under.
DID THAT BALL CROSS THE LINE
: Download now for new evidence to prove the ball wasn't over
16th January 2005 : After a week off work with a bad back and
chest infection I was chomping at the bit to get to the leisure
centre tonight for my first football of 2005 and was well
chuffed by the great turnout. Bryn, Ron, John, Keith and Matt
for the moaners Steve Gerrard, Steve Hart, Chris, Tony, Peter
and myself with a third team of Karl, Nigel, Disley, Dave,
Bud and Richard. So it turned into a six a side session which
was in fairness popular with some and not with others. Space was
tight and ball players like myself and Zsu Zsu had to work extra
hard to create space for our playmaking. Only one player in my
opinion fully conquered the cramped conditions and that was Matt
who played as aggressively as I have seen since he joined us. I
resorted to a blatant body check on him at one one point which
he shrugged off with a nod of a man who knew he had proved his
point. Lots of other confrontation tonight to keep us on our
toes but overall the lads were all up for a good game and that's
what we all got. Steve Hart scored the goal of the night, one of
a hat trick against the moaners which surprised us all and
probably himself. Dave also curled in a superb shot into the top
corner and Matt popped one into about every corner of both nets
during the course of the evening. Steve's team just about edged
it tonight with only 2 defeats, both by the moaners the last one
being a good old 5-1 thrashing. We are very fortunate to get so
many good 5 a side sessions on a regular basis and hopefully our
new players who are all contributing well, are going to carry on
the tradition and keep supporting the Sunday nights.
APPEAL - I am still happy to accept guest reports, if you wish
to make a point or just have a crack let me know and I will post
your work the same night (preferably before midnight Sunday)
Please moderate language.
23rd January 2005 : After watching City lose
to the Baggies yesterday I thought about the effort my so called
heroes put in and compared it to the vets Sunday night sessions.
No contest really, the vets put them to shame. They certainly
did tonight with another excellent session. Bryn, Scouse Ron,
Karl, Disley and Peter represented the Mary's moaners who
unloaded Zsu Zsu to join Robbie, Dave, Bud, Richard and Nigel.
I played in our regular team with the two Steve's, Chris and
Tony. Overall the Moaners just nicked it tonight with six wins
to our five with Zsu Zsu's team notching three with a few draws
between us. Ron's goal from his own half looked to be the pick
of the evening when he looked up, picked his spot and bent a
corker onto the top corner, then Zsu Zsu struck probably the
best goal I have ever seen him score to better it. After a fine
flowing move Dave crossed a ball waist high the width of the
hall and Zsu Zsu met it on the volley at speed, it flew in past
the astonished keeper and was met with applause from all, a real
snorter from the old cockney hippie....
No John tonight but maybe his spirit entered the fray when
Richard ("Rocky"), seemed to be possessed when he clattered Chris
into the wall as they both chased a loose ball. A fair bit out
of character but who knows what got into the lad?
30th January 2005 : A distinct lack of
Mary's Moaners this week with only Zsu Zsu who was dumped last
week in attendance. He joined Richard, Bud and Dan with Disley,
Karl, Dave and Peter making up the second team. Steve Hart was
injured in the first game and took no further part so Steve
Gerrard, myself, Tony and Nigel completed the line ups. After a
number of tough tackling games Disley's team nudged ahead and
finished that way with two more wins than the other two teams
(mainly due to my erratic finishing). There were more drawn
games than usual but the standard was pretty good. Tony scored a
couple of great goals for my team and Karl wellied one or two of
his left footers home but Zsu Zsu Mastin yet again found the net
with one of his famous volleys. I think it might be
something to do with his huge plates of meat but he does catch
the odd one seriously well, it's getting too regular to be
lucky. We had a problem with the refereeing tonight, with
the lack of Mary's moaners the problem was - no problems....
The spirit of John the assassin also appeared again tonight as
Bud sent Karl rolling and tumbling without touching him, spooky
or what? Chris didn't appear tonight after last weeks "assault"
let's hope Karl is a little luckier.
The FA Cup was like a damp squid this weekend with the games
spread out wider than some of Robbie's shots and there were few
surprises. One bright spot this week though was watching Chel$ea
dump UniŁed out of the League Cup in front of 67,000 cockney's.
Also good to see the ref ignoring the indirect free kick winner
that sailed in past the hapless reds defence.... directly!!
6th February 2005 : Watched the glorious
blues playing Chelsea away until half time, most impressed and
can honestly say the lads were easily equal to the pretenders to
Not only is the Pope on his last legs but Mary's Moaners were
down to two again tonight as both John and Zsu Zsu were not
selected. Instead Ron and Bryn chose Bud, Richard and Matt to
make up their team. Karl, Dave, Nigel, Zsu Zsu Mastin and Disley
made up the second team with John, Dan, Keith Proudfoot and
myself the third team. Matt inspired Ron's team early on
with some neat touches and clinical finishes and looked good for
a full house until Dave and Karl carved them up to stop their
domination. John got off to a slow start after returning from
the Caribbean looking bronzed and fit but when he finally got
into things he scored a superb hat trick against Karls team. Dan
also got better as the evening rolled on as did Nigel who scored
a couple of excellent goals.
Goal of the night was a beaut... Karl sent in one of his left
footers and John made half a save with the ball going up about
three feet over his prostrate body, it came down on his head but
he tipped it up a couple of times before it finally came down
off the end of his finger nails and trickled in, much to the
amusement of everybody!!!
I do hope the Pope picks up a bit and that the Mary's Moaners
get their real team back together, there's nowt like a win
against the Moaners to get you in the mood for the week ahead...
Next week it's the Derby game against Man UniŁed, can the boys
do it again - let's hope so.
13th February 2005 : I was gutted today when my glorious Man
City lost to UniŁed in the latest derby game at the COMSTAD. The
lads gave it a good crack for three quarters of the game but
poor old Richard Dunne knocked in a brace of own goals to gift
the points to the rags. There's something wrong in our game when
the play has to be held up whilst Ronaldo the Portuguese Poser
removes his ear rings and then we're treated to the sight of the
Welsh Super Star Giggs taking to the pitch in a pair of fishnet
tights. I'll bet he wouldn't last two minutes dressed like that
down at the leisure centre on a Sunday night.
We had a decent turnout tonight with Scouse Ron, Bryn, Dave,
Dan, Karl, Chris, Steve Gerrard, John, Robbie, Richard, Matt and
myself playing six a side with one player dropping from each
team and returning on the opposite team (the famous Scouse Ron
rotational system). Some good games and good goals but without
that little edge we normally get with settled sides. I must
admit I prefer a bit of rivalry to get the old spirit going.
Goal of the night was a slick move which ended when Robbie sent
John and everybody else, probably including himself, the wrong
way to net a beaut... FA Cup next week if anybody's still
20th February 2005 : Another milestone this week as the first
English brothers appeared for the vets when Kevin and Karl
English (no pun intended) teamed up with Dave, Robbie and
Richard. The Hart brothers from Scotland made a brief appearance
a couple of years back but as far as I can remember these are
the only brothers to grace the leisure Centre (unless you know
different). Mary's Moaners reformed this week when Bryn and Ron
welcomed back John and Keith Zsu Zsu Mastin. Steve Hart, Steve
Gerrard, Disley, Nigel and myself formed the last team. This was
a big improvement on last week with lots of well contested
games, tough tackles and a fair old spattering of moaning from
Mary's men. Most enjoyable, this is what it's all about although
the referees came in for a bit of a bashing.
There were a few unusual incidents during the evening like a
misplaced pass by me which Karl accepted with glee before
planting it into our net much to the amusement of the watching
moaners and the exasperation of my team mates. Then there was
another goal from Robbie this week, he's on a run now, and a
decent performance to boot from the Baggies man. Great to see
Kevin back in the fold his first appearance of the year.
Pick of the goals tonight, Steve Gerrard, Bryn and Richard with
some nifty finishes but Karl tested the new nets with some real
(young Craig Mills and his brother played with the vets
last year but both being under 20 failed to qualify for the
youth squad of the vets so don't really count in the final
27th February 2005 : No football
this week due to the Leisure Centre running a Cricket
Tournament. Because of this I have decided to fly off to Tunisia
for a week with Janice. Hopefully we will get a little winter
sun and we can look up some old friends. I won't be home in time
for next week so I have commissioned a guest writer to report on
all the action.
6th March 2005 : Despite initial worrying signs that Mother’s
Day was going to reap its mean harvest of old gits returning to
the Leisure Centre after a week off, twelve turned up, their
women obviously satisfied, to form two rotating squads of six.
This rotation system led to great variety as returning players
joined the opposite team to the one they had left, reducing both
consistency and passion, but this didn’t dull the spirit and
unleashed some good performances. Missing from the field of play
were Malc, taking a well-earned holiday with Saga, and Zsu Zsu,
whose leg injury following an altercation with a wheel brace
whilst attending a puncture required him to spend the whole
evening in goal (where he excelled). Ghostie made a welcome
return after a lengthy lay-off, as did Chris after his earlier
bruising, but both need a few more turn-outs to reach their
best. No clear MoM, although Dave, Bryn and John-Boy did the
business, but mention must be made of Robbie. Despite bringing
to ball control what Margaret Thatcher brought to arc welding,
Robbie compensates by continuous running, and this paid off in
one majestic move which took him from the defending penalty area
to a goal at the other end with two slick passes. If Robbie can
do it, there’s surely hope for his team, the Baggies, as they
strive to stay in the Premiership next season.
Many Thanks to Guest writer Zsu Zsu
Mastin for this report.
13th March 2005 : After an excellent week in Tunisia I was
really looking forward to this weeks football but, after a fall
from a great height at work that felt like a full blooded Scouse
Ron tackle, I reluctantly limped down to the Leisure centre more
in hope than anything. Still I was surprised to see 17 other
players tonight and enjoyed the run out in a three team six a
side session (one player dropping in turn from each team).
Mary's Moaners snapped up Matt to join Bryn, Ron, John, Stuart
and Dave. Chris, the two Steve's, Nigel and Lee were unfortunate
to have to carry me tonight in their team. The last squad was
Karl, Disley, Robbie, Kevin, Dan and Bud. Scouse Ron scored a
couple of quality goals tonight and Bryn scored one from the
kick off but yet again Robbie hit the goal trail. Sporting a
natty red Baggies away shirt the lad is going from strength to
strength. No Zsu Zsu tonight as his efforts to change a car
wheel have taken their toll. I think a biro is probably the only
"tool" this man can be trusted with, to each his own.
Talking of shirts Ian Lemonzic (Disley) turned out in a retro
Pele Brazil shirt tonight, I didn't know they made them that
large. Karl had an off night with his shooting but he did
net one pearler near the end but in general the standard of goal
scoring wasn't at it's best tonight with too many players trying
to copy Freddie Ljungberg's stunning miss in yesterdays FA Cup
We can't let this week pass without a mention of Kevin Keegan's
decision to leave the glorious Blues, I for one enjoyed the guys
stay at City and wish him well in his retirement, and if I have
many more falls like the one I had at work this week then I'll
be joining him......
20th March 2005 : After watching Liverpool go 2-0 up against
Everton I set off for the leisure centre for our weekly dose of
5 a side football. I gave a lift to Matt on the way down and as
Scouse Ron sped past in his car we both agreed the old
Evertonian would probably be a bit on the aggressive side
tonight. It didn't take the lad long to prove us right as
he whacked Robbie into the air and snarled and growled his way
through the night constantly moaning at the referees etc. Then
just to top it all as the whistle sounded for the end of a game
his side had just lost he smacked the ball away in frustration
nearly taking Steve Harts head off. A nicer bloke off the pitch
you would find it hard to meet but on it he is transformed into
a Duncan Ferguson type bully with the verbal control of Wayne
Rooney but, that's Ron, what you see is what you get and this
week unfortunately Robbie saw it and got it!!
Anyway enough of that, tonight Ron, Bryn, Bud, Matt, Keith
Proudfoot and John played David, Steve Hart, Robbie, Keith Zsu
Zsu Mastin, Lee and myself. To be fair my side managed a couple
of wins and a couple of draws in a pretty one way contest
although I personally enjoyed most of the games. Bryn had his
shooting boots on and of coarse Matt weighed in with with a goal
or three. John was still full of Guinness from his previous
night out but still had a decent night as did Proudie netting
snorter from an acute angle.
Even Bud found the net tonight on quite a few occasions. For my
team we were never at the races but, as John rightly said in the
dressing room afterwards, the hospitals are full of guys who
would dearly love to be in our shoes no matter how the results
go. Robbie came close to challenging that statement tonight!!
NEXT WEEK IS EASTER
SUNDAY BUT FOOTBALL AS USUAL : Not only that but it's
free... Yes Zsu Zsu has decided to mark this pagan festival of
chocolate with a seriously generous gesture. Yes he's decided
that for this week only there will be no subs so there's no
excuse for anything but a bumper turnout..
27th March 2005 : With England romping home 4-0 against the
hapless Irish in the World Cup Qualifier the lads were in the
mood for some action tonight. With the session being free it was
a huge surprise not to see our old Jocko Steve taking the
opportunity to keep his wallet closed but with the expected
demise of Scotland's World Cup hopes perhaps he didn't want to
share in our success.
Martin Wilde made a welcome return and joined Bryn, Ron, Kevin
and Stuart to play against Steve Gerrard, Chris, Proudy and
myself. The third team, Bud Jackson, Dave, Karl, Keith Mastin
and John. The football tonight was pretty even with all three
sides having their moments. Proudy was on scoring form and
Martin Wilde chipped in with two very smartly taken goals.
Considering his lack of match practice the lad slotted in quite
nicely and hopefully will continue to turn up on a regular
basis. We now have the makings of a regular White Hart side
which can't be a bad thing. Ron and Bryn were without
their runners tonight and as a result lacked a little shine,
they were definitely lacking their "Matt" finish.
Wednesday see's England take on the might of Azerbaijan whilst
the Jocko's have a break until June when they take on the
prodigious Moldova. Walter Smith has lined up a couple of
friendlies to prepare them for this make or break clash against
B&Q West Lothian Branch and a Coronation Street XI (away).
Zou Zou is off to Ireland next week for some R&R (rest and rain)
but yet again his generosity knows no bounds, it's free again
which means he's been charging too much....or he doesn't trust
anyone to collect the dosh.
April 3rd 2005 : Some great football tonight with Bryn’s team
running riot and the English brothers er… just running into each
other. Bryn was joined by Disley, Martin and Kevin English
whilst Karl English, Gary, Michael Bud Jackson, Nigel and Dan.
Steve Hart, Steve Gerrard, Chris and myself were the first to be
stung by Bryn’s team. Although I felt we played pretty well we
found ourselves on the wrong end of a 4-1 drubbing. The next
game brought together the two English brothers and both
gave it a real good go but Karl came out on top winning this
with a great left foot drive. That was the only defeat
for Bryn’s team all evening although both my team and Karl’s
team ground out a couple of draws. Bryn was for once outshone in
the goal scoring department by martin who was on fire (no
not the rugby player). Disley and Kevin also chipped in to
ensure their team stayed the course all night. Steve Gerrard
scored a “Mattesque” type goal when he went past all the
opposition players before netting a belter. Karl did his best to
rally his team but got a little over enthusiastic when he
ploughed into his kid brother as his frustrations got the better
of him. A few words were exchanged by the Evertonians and the
handbags were at the ready but they kissed and made up
afterwards so avoided the need for family counselling.
No Zsu Zsu, John, Scouse Ron tonight but I’m sure all three will
be back for next week when I predict a near 20 turnout.
I’m going to have to reformat the old Commodore Vic 20 this week
and do a complete reinstall as I’ve picked up more bugs than a
tramps underpants. I don’t know, I thought XP was the answer to
all these problems but apparently not….
April 10th 2005 : What a great weekend for football, City
beat Liverpool at home for the first time in years and UniŁed go
down 2-0 at Norwich City (the bottom club in the Premier
League). So it was with no small amount of enthusiasm that I
arrived at the Leisure Centre for the nights footy. Disley,
Bryn, John and Zsu Zsu were tonight's Mary's Moaners with Bud
Jackson, Dave, Gary, Dan and Martin making up the second side.
Steve Gerrard, Chris, Proudy and myself were without our Jocko
leader tonight, he's out in China drumming up business, so we
took Robbie into the fold on trial. The little fellow didn't let
us down, with his leg now fully recovered from Scouse Ron's
attempt to lift the baggie into orbit two weeks ago, he tackled
and harried non stop and kept his goal a night ratio ticking
over with a late strike. Disley amazed us all, and probably
himself too, when he finished off a good move by swivelling on
the spot to rifle in a great goal "Lampardesque" style.
There were plenty of good strikes on offer tonight with Steve
Gerrard, Bryn and Dave all scoring quality goals. All in all
tonight was very enjoyable, Bud Jackson's team played
particularly well, moving and passing with ease, Gary and Martin
are really starting to look the part with Dan having his best
game for weeks.
Zsu Zsu also showed well tonight after his trip over to the bog
they call Ireland but oh that kit needs a makeover. What ever
happened to the Charlton shirt we bought him? Ever since he left
Age Concern his choice of kit has left something to be desired,
is this because he has to pay for his clobber now? We need to
Cup Semi Finals next weekend, Keith Proudy is off to the
Millennium to watch the Rovers rough up Arsenal. Sunday see's
UniŁed attempt to spoil Shearer's last hurrah, but for me
Newcastle v Blackburn would make a very pleasant change and
perhaps set the pattern for the future, a Chelsea, Arse and
UniŁed free zone.
PS - If Stevie Hart has internet in China, Hearts are out of the
cup mate..... It's Celtic v Dundee United