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Normal Service*

Regular readers could be forgiven for wondering if last week's Blog had been the result of Mr Forgetful's Rambles on a Theme or whether it applied to some other worthy Walking Football Collective


Lord Rainford has at times when stressed or under severe pressure, been known to forget names and faces as indeed we all have (it's an age thing) Our Club is blessed with lots of people with the same fornames Andy's, Johns, Daves, Martins and so on


So in keeping with footie traditions we've very successfully adopted Nicknames to counter the lack of parental vision and more importantly distinguish our members apart


So it is unfortunate that the Scribe of old Sussex reverted to ye olde Six Former trick (if in doubt liberally use First names & surname initials) Having compiled and published a list of Nicknames and widely established this footie variant, we can only apologise for those who had no idea who then featured in 'That Was The Week, That Was'


Be assured Dear Reader that Normal Service has now been restored Anyone who was offended, can write to The Editor who will refer to the established legal remedy of forget it and/or ignore (providing of course that we can figure out who it is)


Monday morning's Ruskin session marked another impressive assembly of members 39 players 3 Referees and assorted spectators As has been leaked elsewhere there was a pair of videographers present to record some of the action and record vital interviews (more to follow)


The teams selected after exhaustive warm ups, introductions and reshuffles were;


Orange - Roger, Lefty Bridge, Wickie, Joe the Ghost, Jill Tomo and El Presidente


Pink - Steve Honeyman, Eileen, Tom Stretch, Kenny, Liz and McSpeed


Green - Grazer, Daz (returning from injury), Snakehips, Jenko, Willo, Prout G (Birthday Celebrant) and Prout C (or Chris 10P as he's oft times referred to as)


Purple - Les Hewitt, Brian, Les Meldrew, Aldo, Sheila and Simon (a Monday debut?)


Black - Michelle Monday, Tom Derby, Mark Dav, Phil the Moss, Chopper, Donal and debutant Tony Bennett (not that one)


Sky - Citeh Geoff, Grav, Harry the Hatchet, Lord Rainford, Phil the Cat, Barry Wizz and Kirsty


Referees were Jeff Betty Birchall (minus an unnecessary 'e'j Cockney Rebel and Eamon (still claiming injury though his sick note is overdue)


The session was filmed by Martin Fox of Farnworth Foxes WFC with a very obliging teammate In the fullness of time a new video will be added to our website and social media platforms, once the heavily redacted version has been vetted


Interviews with Club Chairman El Presidente and Secretary Lord Rainford will be included as will individual contributions from Jill, Liz and Brian

Games were swiftly underway once the logistics of three teams of six and three of seven were established In keeping with wishes expressed for longer game time Cunning Plan B was unveiled with a team nominated to utilise a pitch for all their games with opponents moving clockwise to each of their next fixture As complex as the description sounds the reality worked quite well, despite the efforts of elderly members who use the changeovers to discuss the politics of the day with anyone daft enough to engage with The number of rounds of play was restricted to accommodate longer games Rather than attempting to allow everyone to play all teams (six teams with five rounds) a more relaxed 3 round format was adopted and thus fewer but longer matches were created Still with it?


In Round One Orange and Sky played out an end to end encounter with both teams evenly matched Herr Betty found the pace and skill levels on show especially easy on the eye But despite numerous attempts neither side could find the net An absorbing contest finished goal less Eamon watched on with admiration as Green and Purple served up another closely fought affair A solitary goal by Chris 10P split the teams 1-0 Green finishing strongly having weathered an early onslaught by Purple On Pitch 2 Martin Cockmey Rebel Briggs had another easy game to officiate as Black took the honours thanks to goals by Phil Moss and Tom Derby in their matchup with Pink


The second Round of games included a a huge turnaround as Orange, ahead thanks to a smart strike by Jill were then eclipsed by Black The game swung thanks to a brace by Donal and Coup de Grace administered by Phil the Moss (playing in the miles offside position) 3-1 tough on Orange not that Black cared too much

Pink endured a miserable morning in front of goal and their defeat at the hands of Green was sealed by a stunning goal by Daz who was back in action after his latest tour Lee Jenko was also on target as Green swept Pink aside 2-0

Sky and Purple provided an entertained spectacle for the cameras with Grav for Sky on the mark, only for Brian to earn Purple a share of the spoils 1-1 the result Eamon pleased to have little to do but admire the application on show from both sides


The final Round of games started with El Presidente away on video business, then Lord Rainford withdrawn for his stint before the cameras Steve Jones was introduced from the walking wounded ranks as El Presidente's able replacement As Lord Rainford left his berth in the Sky ranks, El Pres' fitted in to retain Sky's numerical balance with their final opponents Pink The game was a classic attack and counter, end to end with bags of effort and some outstanding work throughout As is often the case despite all of the above neither side could conjure a goal 0-0 the game ended

Orange stubbornly stayed in the contest despite falling victim of Chris 10P's one man assault on their goal Goals by Joe the Ghost and Wickie almost brought a measure of parity to the contest but the hat trick and claim on the match ball meant Green ended the morning unbeaten

The final game under the guidance of Eamon featured the Bruise Derby with Black coming up just short against Purple The game hinged on the Monday debut goal by Simon 1-0 the final outcome


The final whistle presented opportunities for Jill, Liz and Brian to feature in the blockbusting video, whilst the majority of members made for the sanctuary of the sumptuous surroundings of the Slipper Salon and chocolate cake courtesy of Prout G


As is customary the potential rainfall that had been threatened held off until El Presidente and Les Meldrew had exchanged their sports bags after a cock up in the bag retrieval manoeuvres No bags were damaged during this delicate incident though it is another worrying episode in dementiagate


There were some poignant moments that marked our midweek meander at the Sutton SoccerDome The debuts of Dad & Lad duo Simon & David Collinson was an especially proud occasion as they joined the innards for their SHWFC baptism Our Members marked the game with great kindness, sportsmanship and encouragement It was a testimony to the Club ethos that all Players offered support and encouragement The game was pretty special too


The Innards were;

Yellow - Les H, Lee Thomo, Grav, Kirsty and Brian


Blue - David Collinson, Eileen, Steve C, Citeh Geoff and David Collinson


A high scoring match with the outcome always in doubt Yellow ahead thanks to Les H we're pegged back when David crashed a penalty high into the net after Kirsty had wandered into the area Lee Thomo and then Les again handed the initiative to Yellow but Steve Carine pulled one back just before half time 3-2 Blue staying in the fight


At the interval the Three Wise Men (Briggs, Hawkins & Fitzpatrick - term used loosely) made an adjustment to the sides to split Dad &Lad with Grav swapping with David to realign the second half sides


David was twice thwarted by good keeping, before Steve C slotted the equaliser 3-3 Kirsty swooped to cancel a Brian goal at 4-4 and still 10 minutes left we had the finely balanced

The game was secured with goals by Grav and a double from Steve C with five minutes remaining 7-4 surely no way back for Yellow?


Great game but it had one last turn when Brian intercepted a loose clearance and dispatched low into the corner 7-5 Time up, and a good win for Blue


One moment of mirth of particular note - Kirsty had left her spare prosthetic leaning against a chair behind the goal, one of her shots went wide of the net and hit the spare knocking it t9 the ground with a thud As the thud rang out Kirsty shouted "Ouch" to the amazement of all watching Pure improvised comedy gold!


In the parallel AstroTurf world meanwhile, 20 players braved the weather and the iron grip of Referees Betty and Eamon to produce some magic of their own


The Outward Bounders were pitched into four teams of five Sadly film of the teams has gone missing (Boots the Chemist is now officially on the naughty list) so we cannot offer the usual deep insightful look at the protagonists We do have details of the game scores and goal scorers however, and for that Dear Reader you must be forever grateful


In the first games White and Blue produced a ten goal feast Deggs returned after injury to claim a brace Mark Dav went one better with a hat trick but their opponents Blue spread the goals about Tom Stretch, Midweek Michelle and Kidda were all on target with a Kenny brace to round off an entertaining 5-5 draw Eamon stepped in to stop Kenny any chance of claiming another goal by awarding a Blue Card and 2 minutes in the sin bin

Green and Red responded on the adjacent pitch with ten goals too Three goals including a penalty from Chris 10P plus goals by Nigel and Joe the Ghost promoted Red But Green found goals to match thanks to Daz with a hat trick Andy and Jason 5-5 Two games 20 goals Unbelievable Jeff!


The second round of games was tame in comparison with a mere 21 goals to entertain the drenched spectator Green and Blue continued their scoring blitz with Blue sealing a narrow 5-4 victory thanks to 4 goals from Kenny plus a Tom Stretch strike Green relied on Chris 10P who hit four also


Undaunted White and Red were in great form producing a six goal thriller but no winner Deano, Simon and Keith found the net for White but Andy, Daz and Jason hit back for Red 3-3 the final outcome in extremely difficult conditions


The Boot Room was a sublimely entertaining affair with discussions ranging from the night's football (obviously) to concerns over the Royal Family (to the consternation of some of us) Tales of wild nights in Shipton and er...Rainford

Richard Gere and Gerbils provided welcome distractions Never a dull moment eh!


Normal Service* - The Blues Band and Memphis Horns (Paul Jones on vocals)



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