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Cold As You*

After a spate of oddly named storms Winter decided to revert to type with a 'Cold Snap' designed to act as reminder that whilst we might have a shiny new year we are most definitely still deep in the period of the year known as Winter A single word that can spread terror in the psyche

The week's opening session on a chilly but bright Monday morning at Ruskin had attracted 38 players plus officials and spectators Whilst we congratulate ourselves on that figure we acknowledge that due to injuries, illness and the holiday activity (not the Judith Chalmers Formation loungers again?) our numbers could have been much higher

We've seen a steady growth in membership numbers, though we have also lost a few through injury (mostly people who after a couple of sessions find they aren't as committed as they would like to be, or thought they might become) There is, at every year end, a trawl through our lists, so we can remove those who we are unlikely to see again But as we grow and develop we hear repeatedly that it is the camaraderie and Club ethos of inclusivity that resonates through everything we do Hopefully we learn lessons quickly and adapt to ensure we remain on course

In May we have our AGM and the chance for members to express their thoughts or to ask questions It's also a chance for members who want to take a more proactive role in the Club's affairs to put their hand up and themselves forward to get involved Keep an eye out for details Our esteemed Secretary will be in constant touch as usual

So back to the action as they say in between flogging SkyBet and that annoying villa in Devon that's too good to be true oh and that woman with probably the most annoying voice in advertising land The teams selected were;

Black - Harry the Hatchet, Kirsty, Haggis, Les Meldrew, Mark NR, Les Hewitt and Phil the Power

Green - Amazon Prime, Andy Man, Eamon, Geoff P, Daz, Barry Wizz

Purple - Spiro, Grazer, Enoch, Kenny, Thatto Dave and Little John

Pink - Michelle Monday, Roger, Tom Derby, Phil the Moss, Wickie and Les Hewitt

Orange - Tom Stretch, Margaret, Lord Rainford, Ian Lefty Bridge, Snakehips (eventually) and El Presidente

Sky - McSpeed, Charlie, Chopper, Aldo, Sheila and Andy Zac

Jeff Betty our very own Tournament Referee patrolled the area nearest to the grandstand known as Pitch 1, with the Cockney Rebel in a parallel universe and area known as Pitch 2, this left the Late Colin Williams to enhance his growing reputation as Referee on the far pitch sometimes known as Pitch 3 With our laminated cunning plan of matches, play started with the first round of games pitching up some juicy games

Yellow and Purple struggled to find a goal Purple hitting the woodwork twice whilst Yellow forced a fine save from Grazer in the Purple goal After end to end action throughout Colin signalled an end to excitement 0-0 the final score

On Pitch 2 Orange and Sky provided lots to admire but just one goal, Aldo swooping (is swooping technically legal?) to fire Sky ahead 1-0, plenty of endeavour from Orange but no goals despite hitting the post

Jeff Betty kept a tight control on proceedings on Pitch 1 a game between Black and Pink settled by a solitary blast from Phil the Power

Pitch 1 next had a thrilling but ultimately goal less tussle between Black and Purple There was a deluge of goals on Pitch 2 with Green slipping into gear with a one-sided 3-0 demolition of Sky Barry Wizzed in with a goal with Daz making light of a foot injury with a brace

Plenty of goals on the far pitch (3) Pink claimed a consolation from Phil the Moss after goals by Tom Stretch and El Presidente (with deceptively quick feet) had fired Orange ahead 2-1 the final result And on to Round 3

Purple snatched a narrow one-nil victory over Orange in a game that might have just as easily gone the other way So excited was the play that the Referee omitted to record the goal scorer - the pressures we put on our officials!

Green found a single goal from our Clubman of the Year (so last year) enough to shade their Black opponents Black finding it hard to score again but just as difficult to score against

Goals were equally difficult to find as Pink and Sky cancelled each other 0-0 on Pitch 1

Pink and Purple had a better time in their 4th Round game on Pitch 2 Michelle Monday stroked home for Pink but goals by Thatto Dave and Little John sealed a 2-1 for the Purple People eaters

Sky were undone by Black with Mark NR on target in a narrow 1-0 win Elsewhere Eamon netted twice to seal a good performance by Green against Orange Lefty Bridge marked his return to action after a long injury layoff Working Retirement should help him recover his form which will be most welcome

In the final Round Sky proved too strong on Pitch 3 for their Purple opponents The 3-0 score line a well deserved reward, sadly too much excitement for the scorers to be recorded Green rounded off their morning's work with a comfortable 2-0 win over Pink Amazon Prime and Andy Man sealing the win

There was a thrilling 2-2 draw on Pitch 2 with Black and Orange serving up a grandstand finish to proceedings Tom Stretch and Lefty on target for Orange whilst Les Meldrew Mark NR hit back for Black

There was Presedential cake to follow another excellent morning's session

After a gap of some weeks we are delighted to mark the return of Lord Rainford to the Blog His report of Wednesday's session was a tester for certain though the hint of his faithful retainer's hand is prominent throughout

." 3pm on Wednesday came the announcement from the Council that all but the most incurable optimists had known was inevitable :-


Sand Based MUGA (Multi Use Games area, apparently!) is cancelled tonight due to snow and ice


Cue much frantic WhatsApp-ing by Lord Rainford with his Secretary’s hat on to stop hordes of football hungry SHWFC members descending on the venue in a vain search for their Wednesday night kicks (literally).


Eventually, those members who had got up at Sparrow’s Fart to book their slot on the WhatsApp poll as one of 10 “innys” (© Grav) were joined by the two Neils (Simms & coach) who could wait no longer to get their first fix of Walking Football of 2024. This included debutant Tom Banks, rescued from wandering around some of the less salubrious parts of Sutton after a frantic phone call to Les Meldrew and meeting M'Lord in the car park


The teams lined up as follows:-


Reds: Kirsty, Kenny, Chopper, Enoch, Neil S and Joe the Ghost


Whites: coach Neil, Les, Phil the Power, Steve C, Tom B and Grav (not in picture as he was – ahem – adjusting his dress)


6 a side indoors can be a bit like dodgems sometimes so – ever the innovator – Cockney Rebel proposed a system of 'rolling subs'. (At this point Mr Meldrew thought it was possibly another chance to rub his hands together prior to the arrival of further funds) Instead it means that everyone takes it in turns to sit out for 3 mins, and when they return they take a turn in goal. He and M'Lord did a tag team of Reffing, although having two officials born south of Watford did cause some communication problems Those members born north of the M1 did struggle at times to understand English 'like wot she ort to be spoke'.


Red started off with an early goal from Kenny who had obviously rediscovered his shooting boots having misplaced them on Monday. But that lead was soon overturned as first Steve C with 2 goals and then Banksy (a very impressive first outing) put White 3-1 up at the first break.


Into the 2nd quarter (how very NFL) but with very few flags on the play Kirsty and Andy for Red and Steve and coach Neil scoring for White, at half time there was still only two goals in it 5-3 ,White ahead. coach Neil was obviously revelling in an unusual role for him playing out of goal and showing us all he’s got a mean shot in his locker (jokes about playing in lockers notwithstanding)


The game was played in a good spirit and the use of two Refs kept any naughty business down to a minimum despite some occasional unsubtle attempts at deception, done with a smile on the faces of the guilty parties. Both teams missed chances with shots narrowly wide or ballooned over when clear on goal. There were some good saves including one from Kenny which made him a bit thoughtful for a brief moment


Into the 3rd period and White now put some distance between them and Red with Steve and Neil (2) both scoring but only Joe replying for Red 8-4.


For the last period our two Refs decided they'd risk a bit of dodgem-ing so we went 6 a side. This almost enabled Red to pull the game closer. Kenny and Joe scored for Red to bring the game back to 8-6, and then Joe and Kirsty hit the posts which would have made the score tighter still. Finally the night's top scorer Steve C added his 5th near the end to make the final score 9-6.


An enjoyable game; well played everyone. Us Refs enjoyed it too, especially Cockney Rebel who was quite relieved nobody walked out on him this week!"

Monday morning's session follows in the trail of Sunday night's Storm Isha we await with baited breath just how that will turn out

Rest assured to paraphrase the old axiom If we build it people will come!

Cold As You* - Luke Combs - give a special listen to the lyrics

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