18th September 2005 : Yet again the boys
provide a feast of football that defies all logic. How much longer
can this bunch of old giffers keep cheating father time. Perhaps our
squad rotation system is the answer but not quite in the same mould
as Chelsea or Liverpool's, it's more the turn up and you get a game
system we encourage. Well tonight Bryn, Chris, Bud Jackson,
Paul Garner, Malcolm Stubbs, Steve Gerrard, Zsu Zsu Mastin, Martin,
John Goodwin, Karl English and myself turned up and did our best to
roll back the years to when football was played for fun. Martin
managed to net four times in one game and Karl smacked in three in
the last one, the games are only 5 minutes long so this is no mean
feat. Paul is starting to get back to his old self with some very
strong tackles and Steve Gerrard made a good return with a great
first half hour. Malc Stubbs gave us 50 reasons why he should be a
defender, that's one for each shot he had tonight. A couple of
quality long rangers from Bryn and some masterly goalkeeping from
Zsu Zsu Mastin were the highlights of yet another 90 minutes of
Masters 5 a side.
25th September 2005
: What a week in football, Grimsby dump Spurs out of the league cup
then Doncaster do the same to City. Wigan win at Everton and Proudy
sees Blackburn turn Uni£ed over at OT. Big news on the vets
front though is Old Mooro going under the knife in hospital this
week. Hopefully this will bring the old boy back to the rudest of
rude health wise and with the possibility of a return to the leisure
centre in the near future, we still miss him. The vets were
out in force this evening with three teams. Scouse Ron, Bryn,
John, Disley and Martin for the Mary's Moaners - Karl, Malc Stubbs,
Zsu Zsu Mastin, Colin and Paul and finally myself, Steve Hart, Steve
Gerrard, Dan and Proudy. The football was fast and furious with the
teams very even. Proudy has got used to his new silver trainers and
flashed some tasty goals in with them. Karl also hit some stunners
with his trusty left peg but the one Colin sent past me left a burn
mark on my shirt, he hit it that hard!
Scouse Ron made an excellent comeback after a few weeks out and
rightfully ended up on the best side of the night by a country mile.
Zsu Zsu continues to make goalkeeping look easy although he's not in
the Sam Bartram bracket just yet, mind you, he is a bit fatter than
Sam was. Steve Hart couldn't keep the smile off his face
tonight after his glorious Jambo's beat the Rangers to stay top of
the Scottish Premier league, wouldn't it be good if only they stayed
there. So another nights great sport which just goes to prove
there's life in the old gits yet, and long may it be so.
2nd October 2005 : After a failed late fitness test I had to miss
tonight's football and decided to take the physio's advice and rest
my injured knee. I kept the weight off it in the Bombay Café,
Chinley where I enjoyed a superb Vindaloo with Janice and my son
Dylan. It's amazing what healing powers are hidden away in a good
curry and a few glasses of quality red wine, when we set off for
home the knee felt great. Without doubt the best news of the week
was Old Mooro's surgery went swimmingly well and the boy is back on
top of the World and ready for his much awaited come back. We'll
have to make sure Matt our Paramedic is playing that night just in
case the kiss of life is called for, I mean bloody hell, you'd have
to be a professional to volunteer for that!! The old git
will hopefully receive his vets special over 60 shirt and take his
rightful place as the senior master.
Hopefully (footballers most used word) I'll have a report about
tonight's football here soon.
REPORT JUST ARRIVED : Only 10 souls on
Sunday night, with Houghie nursing a recurrence of the gum disease
which has afflicted his career and Johnboy having probably fled the
country. A session of two halves, with Zsu Zsu, Bryn, Scouser, Danny
and Karl storming into a substantial and well-deserved lead before
the half-time resuscitation team came on, only to be walloped in the
second half as the youthful exuberance of Colin, Proudy, Paul and
the two Steve's outflanked the ageing warriors. Some outstanding
individual performances as well as some impressive cussing from
Jocko Hart following numerous misses with only Zsu Zsu to beat.
Anchoring the come-back, though, was Colin who led with passion
following a dismal first half performance. Issue of half-time
drug-testing now likely to be raised at the AGM.
- Thanks to our anonymous reporter (thank goodness for a decent
9th October 2005 : So England
qualified for the World Cup Finals in Germany with their incredibly
disjointed win against a very ordinary Austrian side which the vets
would give a decent game to. Beckham became the first ever English
player to be sent off twice playing for their country the big tart!!
Scotland the not so brave went out as did the taffies and the
paddies from the North with the paddies from the South hanging in
there by their boot laces. What a state our national sport is in,
that is until you have a peep round the grass roots. Yet again the
vets would put these so called superstars to shame. Tonight Paul
Garner continued his comeback with a great all round performance
scoring two or three real classic goals. Dan, Matt, Bud and Colin
backed up Paul with some very tasty football, Colin scoring at will
and Dan showing good form. With myself suffering with a knee
ligament injury Steve Gerrard, Proudy, Chris and Andy Gartside had
to work extra hard. Steve is starting to find the net again and
Proudy backed him up well. The Mary's Moaners were back to almost
full strength tonight with Ron, Bryn, John, Keith and guest Karl
reaching new heights in the art of Moaning. Free kicks, penalty
claims, goals that they claimed never went in, internal arguments
all contributed to their wooden spoon award on a night when they
only managed three wins albeit against my team. Paul's team took the
honours tonight and it would be good to see them play together on a
regular basis. Squads still make the best competitive matches in my
opinion and in fairness they were pretty even tonight but one thing
I have learnt over the years is to beware when the Moaners have a
bad night, they usually come back with a vengeance.
As for England, maybe they will give us something to shout about
against the Poles on Wednesday night but you know, somehow I doubt
16th October 2005 : It's
always difficult to leave the telly when City are 1-0 up against
West Ham at half time and you need to get down to the leisure
centre for Sunday nights footy. Still I hung on until just after
half time when Andy Cole nicked his second of the day and made it
safe, I hoped.
At the Leisure Centre, Bryn, John, myself, Chris, Steve Hart,
Steve Gerrard, Proudy, Dan, Karl, Bud, Colin and Robbie turned out.
We played five a side with two players dropping and returning to the
opposite side they left for each game. The games were ok but lacked
that edge when you have two or three squads. However there were some
very good games and goals to go with them. Stevie Gerrard hit a
classic hat trick early on and looked as sharp as a razor. Robbie
had a nightmare first game in goal turning a horribly miss hit shot
from Bryn into his own net when his enthusiasm took over from his
brain. Proudy's new silver trainers are starting to hit the goals
and tonight he found the net more often than not. Colin gets better
by the week but sadly Paul Garners come back has hit the buffers
with a recurrence of the dodgy knee injury. I have great sympathy
with him as my own doesn't appear to be improving much although I'm
not ready for the knackers yard just yet.
After the game we got the news that City had hung on 2-1 to go joint
third in the Premier but next game is Arsenal away, still they're
only mid table!!
23rd October 2005 : The boys
gathered tonight for another excellent session. Steve Gerrard,
Proudy, Chris, Colin and myself dominated the evening winning all
games bar two, a draw and a defeat. John, Bryn, Martin and Malcolm
Stubbs had a real mare of a session. After beating my team in the
of the night they went from bad to badder. When Bryn ran out of
steam on the hour the goals just dried up for his team and John, who
took a fair old buffeting tonight, sadly missed the encouragement he
normally gets from Scouse Ron. To his great credit John resisted the
temptation to hand out similar treatment which in earlier days would
have been second nature to him at a time when he lived up to his
well earned reputation as the assassin. Matt, Dan, Keith Zsu Zsu
Mastin and Nigel also formed a decent team with some good pass and
movement. Back to where I started and my team who really did play as
a team with all players scoring and generally on their game. Steve
Gerrard scored the pick of the goals though with two particularly
difficult volleys nearly bursting the net.
No Steve Hart tonight though, we believe he has journeyed up to
Jocko land to try to convince Vladimir Romanov that he's the man for
the Heart of Midlothian job vacated by George Burley, talk about
quitting at the top, that one really took the bickie.
I also heard that Zsu Zsu Mastin took umbrage at the constant
references to him being called a cockney. Apparently he tells me you
have to be born within the sound of Bow Bells (whatever they are) to
be a true cockney. Does that mean we can't call Scouse Ron a Scouser
any more because he wasn't born within the sound of a car alarm
And finally, I spotted Ron the Pirate Aitchinson this week being
dragged along by his dogs near Furness Vale. He looks a bit rounder,
greyer and just as slow as he ever was but nether the less still
breathing. I suppose this could start a where are they now slot. I
feel a list coming on.....
30th October 2005 : There are some
weeks when the teams on Sunday night are just a shade unbalanced and
other weeks when they are down right unfair and Keith Mastin always
gets grief from John in particular when this occurs. Tonight Keith
got it just right with three well matched line ups and sadly John
wasn't with us to appreciate it. Mary's Moaners started with Scouse
Ron, Bryn, Ian Disley Lemonzic and Martin Wilde. Keith decided to
try his luck in my team with Proudy, Steve Gerrard and
Chris. Karl, Bud, Paul, Nigel and Matt Pink made up the third team.
Over the evening we ended up with exactly the same number of wins
each team with a good few draws thrown in so it was honours even.
Mary's moaners definitely benefited from the return of Scouse Ron
who made a splendid return to the action with some nifty passes and
a couple of classic Scouse Ron goals. My team suffered by over
committing to attack and attractive football when what we needed was
some basic thud and thunder stuff. Karl battled away with Matt but
they too were a little too inconsistent but still had some excellent
wins. So all in all another fine nights football enjoyed by all.
I believe John's son is out in Mexico on holiday and tied up in all
the storms etc that have hit that area, I'm sure that he will be
fine but I have great sympathy for John who is understandably very
concerned. I remember on a few occasions when my son Dylan was in
Australia he didn't contact us for one reason or another, at times
we got quite anxious and were always relieved when we got a call or
email from him.
It's off to the COMSTAD tomorrow night with my grandson to see if
the glorious Blues can leapfrog above the rags by beating Villa,
it's on the cards but being a City fan I can't help feeling I've
been here before. The dream is over in Jocko land as Hearts hit the
Hibs buffers and Celtic hit the top. Stevie Hart looks like getting
pipped for the managers job by King Kev of all people - book now for
the helter skelter ride you jambo's....
And finally, if by chance you are visiting Manchester, my roots,
and you're looking for a good night out, then check out this site -
it should help.
6th November 2005 : Not the best
weekend as Uni£ed decided to make an effort for a change and beat
Chelsea whilst City did the opposite and lost at Craven Cottage and
the Jambo's remain behind Celtic. Thankfully the Vets turned out in
numbers and we had three full 5 a side teams this evening.
Steve Hart returned without the managers contract at Hearts to join
myself, Steve Gerrard, Chris and Proudy. Dan, Bud, Colin, Paul and
long time no see, Guy made up a more than decent side. The Mary's
Moaners were led by their inspirational leader Scouse Ron who linked
up with John, Zsu Zsu, Martin and Andy Gartside. In some fast and
furious games there were some tasty exchanges but all in all an
excellent run out. Some spectacular strikes including a couple from
Andy and Steve Gerrard and one corker from Bud were the flavour of
the night. My team were back on track tonight with our old Jocko
returning to shore up our defence, Proudy and Chris both raiding from
the wings. We were unbeaten until the last game when Guy, the
youngest player on view decided to have his best game of the night
and inspired his team to a great win. The Moaners were just a tad
off the pace tonight, obviously missing Bryn's goals coring but never
gave up. John, never a man to give in easily was running around like
a man on a mission, more power to his elbow but in the main his team
were like a rudder without a ship.
And finally, when quizzed in the dressing room about the proposed
trip to Barrow for a friendly, Zsu Zsu said "I have been in touch
with her and it's a goer!" Like Steve Gerrard said, "in touch
with her, are we playing a bunch of women?" Sounds good
November 2005 : Wow England beat the Argies and Scotland draw with
the USA, a good weekend for football especially as England were
actually up for a game for once.
The vets were also up for it tonight with sixteen in all turning up
for a more than decent session at the leisure Centre. Karl, Matt,
Bud, Colin, Nigel and Paul formed a formidable squad who took the
night by storm. Having the luxury of a Chelsea sized squad allowed
them to rest a player between games and they took full advantage of
this with their players on the whole sharper throughout the night.
Colin, Karl and Paul all scored some amazing goals to easily earn
them the distinction of being top team of the night. My team, Steve
Hart, Steve Gerrard, Chris, Proudy and myself must have peaked last
week because we were a pale shadow of the team that turned out then.
Still we had our moments as did Bryn's team with Zsu Zsu, John,
Disley and Martin having to play without Scouse Ron their leader
again, laid low with a recurring knee injury. Martin has joined the
silver trainer users group and spent most of the evening on his arse
as they failed to offer the minimum standard grip specification.
And finally a mention for Steve Gerrard's superb shirt which made
it's debut tonight, a Cork City replica red, white and green striped jobbie that looked like something from the fields of Eton.
20th November 2005 : I returned home
from working in Hampshire just in time to make the leisure centre
tonight and was glad I made it for a terrific session. Karl, Robbie,
Dan, Bud and Matt - Bryn, John, Martin, Colin and Paul - Steve Hart,
Steve Gerrard, Chris, Nigel and myself made three well matched
teams. There was much to admire about this evenings football, played
at a furious pace with no prisoners taken when it came to competing.
This at times boiled over and players had to be pulled apart on more
than one occasion. Football is a tough old game at times and I
personally prefer there to be a bit of an edge in the play rather
than a softly softly approach. There is a fine line though between
passion and over zealous play and it is up to us all to maintain a
sensible level of control which hopefully will allow each of us to
continue our Sunday night football in a sporting atmosphere.
Getting back to the footy, Karl's team ended up top dogs although
there wasn't a great deal in it. West Brom won well on Saturday so
it was no surprise to see Robbie back. He battled away in his usual
non stop style in his unsuccessful search for a goal which earned
him the nickname Mini Crouch. Unlike the Baggies he only managed one
tonight. Another new shirt for Steve Gerrard, another Cork City
number in Green this time. And finally it must be mentioned that
throughout all the hostilities tonight the Assassin remained
unusually distant but I'm sure he was taking a mental note for
No Zsu Zsu next week so it's a freebie, the old cockney's off to
España, probably the only time of the year that the weather
November 2005 : George Best finally reached the end of his life on
Friday leaving us all with varying memories. For me George's life
ended when he quit playing football but, fans from all over the
world paid emotional tributes to Best as they left flowers, scarves,
team shirts and farewell messages outside the Cromwell Hospital,
while newspapers reminisced about Best's highs on the pitch and his
many lows at the mercy of alcohol. It must be said that that tonight
at the Leisure Centre I never heard his name mentioned but I thank
my lucky stars that at the same age as George I am still able to
turn out with my mates and play football something he stopped doing
nearly 30 years ago.
Tonight we had three teams of four (borrowing a keeper for each
game). Bryn, John, Martin and Bud - Karl, Matt, Paul and
Nigel - Chris, Steve Gerrard, Robbie and myself.
Robbie came in for a bit of stick last week but made the perfect
reply tonight with four decent strikes and a good few assists in my
team which was about par for the night as generally we were just off
the pace. Karl's team were again the pick of the sides almost
completing the night unbeaten until a couple of late reverses. Bryn
has hit a goal scoring drought by his own standards hitting almost
anything but the net. John also suffered from lack of goals which
put the onus on Martin and Bud who both had excellent games. Overall
none of the nonsense of last week but loads of decent games until
Stevie Gerrard turned his ankle in a tackle with Karl. This didn't
look good at all and I fear a longish lay off for the hub of my
team, we may have to take a look round in the January window
for a Bosman or loan signing.
And finally we will have to start thinking about our Christmas get
together when our leader returns from España.
4th December 2005 : It's always a
difficult decision when City are performing away on a Sunday, live
on Sky, winning and playing well 2-1 up at Charlton, do I watch
until the end or do I go to football at the leisure centre for a
game with my mates. So when I got to the leisure centre tonight it
was good to see fellow Blues Chris, Colin and Martin had done the
same. Bryn, Bud, John, Proudy, Zsu Zsu (looking a little washed out
from the Spanish rain), Paul and Karl made up the eleven in a superb
session using the famous Scouse Ron rotational system. Martin
continues his improving form and is looking the part these days
along with Karl and Colin who both showed well. Bryn's goal scoring
is still on the wane although one beauty from the kick off did find
the target. Proudy played this evening with the handicap of back
trouble but still managed to put himself about. Paul Garner
(Stockport County fan) turned out in probably the worst shirt Man
Uni£ed ever made, the reversible gold and white monstrosity that the
money grabbing Stretfordians marketed as a dual away shirt to save
the fans money. Well it was a crap shirt and Paul's play matched it
tonight, the sooner he reverts back to his blue number or a County
one, the better. If that wasn't bad enough Bryn (Stalybridge Celtic
fan) has been trawling the local bins and found a Classic Devon red
Uni£ed shirt which he chose to wear tonight, what's happening?
Christ, Karl will be turning up in a Liverpool shirt next, I don't
think... Sanity was restored when the lovely Freda
appeared on the balcony to announce City had won 5-2 and all the
Blues went home happy.
I'll be in touch with Zsu Zsu this week to try and confirm a date
for the Christmas bash probably on the 16th or 23rd, both Fridays.
And finally congratulations to Michael (Bud) Jackson who joins the
over 50's this week with his own bash at the White Hart on Friday, I
remember mine as if it were yesterday, I didn't plan it it just
happened, suddenly I was an old git and I must admit a nicer fellow
old git than Bud I have yet to meet.
11th December 2005 : Back to earth
this week as City go back to playing like plonkers and Uni£ed say
farewell to Europe in a display that would have had Bestie shaking
his head. The vets turned out eleven this evening in another very
tight session. Proudy went down in a heap late on with a nasty
looking calf injury that will probably make sure he'll be home with
his family over Christmas (not quite a silver lining). My squad is
getting decimated with Steve Gerrard out until January and Chris
taking a break. Steve Hart returned tonight from his business trip
to the far east to join the over 50 brigade which was also swelled
by Bud last week. We now have Steve, Bud, myself, Zsu Zsu Mastin,
and John Goodwin who all played tonight as well as Nigel who didn't.
Karl, Paul, Disley, Robbie, Martin and Proudy were the other players
in another Scouse Ron Rotation session. Goal of the night was
Proudy's early doors 20 yarder, into his own net, perhaps an early
omen as to what would happen later. Robbie continues his goal glut
with another five tonight and Martin also hit a good few but none
were more precious than the Golden Goal winner netted by Steve Hart.
Wearing his new Hearts Away shirt the old Jocko spent the entire
evening peppering the sports hall with miss hit shots, both goal
posts, the ceiling, the balcony were all under threat until the last
kick of the night was majestically guided past Zsu Zsu in goal for
his first score of the night.
We have set the date for our Chrimbo bash at the
White Hart : 19:30 Friday 23rd December.
Hope that's Ok with everybody, I'll contact as many as possible in
the meantime pass the word around.
I'm also looking to produce some Get Your Kits Out polo shirts in
the new year for purchase at very reasonable prices, they will be
available in S, M, L, XL and Scouse Ron. Watch this space.
18th December 2005 : The last game of the year tonight and the
lads were expected to turn out in force but crikey, only 5 of us
bothered. Zsu Zsu, Bryn, John, Karl and myself made the best of it
and had a 2 a side into one goal session. As it turned out we
had a really good knock and lasted an hour before we decided to call
it a year. And what a cracking year it has been with some great new
additions to our group joining the old regulars who seem to go on
for ever. Indeed with John Goodwin, Keith Zsu Zsu Mastin and myself
the sole survivors of the original session on that balmy summer
night, 26th June 1988 although I still live in hope that Old Mooro
is not yet out of it. Yes that's 17½
years ago, approximately 840 sessions - not bad eh! Anyway,
another new page to prepare for the New Year and a chance to
introduce some new features such as, the long awaited Vets Hall of
Fame, Monthly Quiz with mega prizes and much more besides.
The Web site is very healthy now, 567600 hits since January 2005 as
I write this, the prospect of sponsors and hopefully some input from
the Vets themselves.
On the Injury front, we have had more than our fair share of those
this year but hopefully Scouse Ron, Proudy (back limping at work),
Steve Gerrard, Colin and also I hear Richard, will all be back in
the New Year.
And finally here's to you lot for
all the good football and quite a bit of crap football too
throughout 2005, may you all have a Happy and Peaceful Christmas and
a healthy and prosperous New Year.
The Vets Christmas Get Together
White Hart : 19:30 Friday 23rd December
December 2005 : Good night on Friday with a fair smattering of vets
who saw Bud receive his 50 shirt from Zsu Zsu. Then Robbie
astonished us by announcing he was in fact 52, you could have
knocked me over with a Chris tackle!! The little Baggie kept
quiet about that one. So we now have Myself, Zsu Zsu, John, Steve
Hart, Bud, Nigel and Robbie as over 50 vets. Evelyn provided some
tasty butties for supper and the night eventually broke up about
Got up this morning to a lovely sunny day and had a walk up to the
White Hart with my son Dylan and son in law Jez while the girls
prepared Christmas dinner, life is as hard as you wish to make it!!
A few of the boys were in there, probably since Friday night along
with Old Mooro and his boys, Paul & Dan. It was good to see Tony in
such fine spirits and looking quite well for his advancing years.
Hopefully if his on going treatment can halt the cruelty of the
aging process, the maestro will grace the Leisure Centre in the
coming weeks. We'll have to slow down a bit and probably put a bell
in the ball but at the end of the day it's the taking part that
counts. SEE YOU ALL ON THE
JANUARY 8th 2006
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