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Five weeks after their last footballing outing at Ruskin, SHWFC gathered on Monday for their first Astro-turf session of 2023. Would they remember what a ball looks like? What effect would over a month’s browsing and sluicing have on their fitness and abilities? Would they look at the weather; think ‘Nah, can’t be bothered’ and shatter another New Year’s Resolution? Would Gaz remember to bring the balls?

Well; the answer to that last question was, yes; eventually. But not until a panic call had gone out to our trusty Council unlocker – Emma – who was all set to dig out some specimens from her lost property cupboard.

And as far as New Years resolutions are concerned, I have no idea what passed through the minds of our members as they supped a beverage when the clock struck midnight on December 31st, 2022. But it resulted in a record busting (I think) 34 turning up to ease themselves back into the football habit, plus two volunteer referees in Jeff Bettye and Chopper. There was also a welcome visit from Kirsty after her leg operation; it was great to see her! AND a welcome for his first game in ages for Dave ‘Grazer’ Clark after a 2022 where medical matters and recovery from them had to take centre stage. And last but not least we also welcomed 3 new recruits, in John, Andy and Chris. Hope you enjoyed it and you’ll become regulars at this great club of ours.

A most necessary warm up from Andy Man given the squally showers blowing across Ruskin ended with some brisk team selections from Les which left us with: -

Purple: Dave ‘Grazer’ Clark, Gonzalo, Chris (debut), Andy Man, Anita, Elaine, Robin, Steve Honeyman and Lord Rainford.

Green: Donal, Paul, Andy Z, Andy P, Phil the Power, Les Meldrew, Tony Snakehips, Andy Knowles (debut),

Black: Daz, John Pender, Norman, Chris W, Haggis, Dave P, Tony K and MikeA.

Pink: Cockney R, Gaz, Thatto Dave, Sheila, Mark (unrelated) Davies, John Pidgeon, Tom Derby, Eamonn, John (debut).

[I think I’ve got that right!]

Now those of you who are regular readers of SHWFC’s blog will be saying ‘O.K.; but where are the pictures of our walking football heroes/heroines?’. Err……sorry we forgot; and normal service will be resumed as soon as possible. But we did take some pictures of the post-match coffees in the Wicket at Ruskin - known by us as the ‘Slipper Room’ (I’ll explain one day) - to compensate.

So, what happened then? Here are the bald (and if you’ve seen the photos of us, you’ll know that word is used deliberately…) facts: -

1st games

Purple 0 v 0 Pink

Green 0 v 2 Black (Daz, Dave P)

2nd games

Black 0 v 0 Pink

Purple 1 v 1 Green (Gonzalo; Phil the P)

3rd games

Purple 1 v 1 Black (Steve H; Daz)

Green 0 v 3 Pink (Cockney R, Eamon (2))

Which gives us a very tight table with Pinks coming out on top on goal difference! -

Being wrapped up in playing means you don’t get the chance to provide in depth (or even objective?!) reporting of each individual game; so here are some brief snippets of what caught my eye: -

1) An excellent return from Grazer with some good interceptions and saves from his turn in nets.

2) Good games from all our debutants who will - I am sure – prove to be a welcome addition to our squads.

3) For Pinks, honourable mentions to John Pidgeon for his usual assured self on the left and Sheila who kept her opposing defenders on their toes.

4) For Greens, (unlucky not to get better results) Tony turning back the years and Phil reminding us why he got that nickname.

5) For Blacks, Haggis in the Sheila role up front and a usual industrious session from MikeA and Tony.

6) For Purples, it was wonderful to see Dave Grazer Clark back in action after an absence due to illeness. We all welcome him back to the club.

Aretha Franklin reference in the title to this blog?

Well, we did, sadly, in the Black v Pink game have an incident which resulted in a red card after disputing referee’s decisions and some tantrums. I am not going to go into details and name names as the main protagonists have given their apologies to each other. But let’s end with these two points: -

1) Our referees are volunteers. They are your fellow club members who are either not playing because of injury or in the spirit of helping the rest of us. Please respect them and accept their decisions. They may get some wrong – but so will you when you spoon that shot over the bar or let that ball slip through your hands when in goal. We are all human.

2) We are an inclusive cub. We cater for all abilities; have members from their 20s to 80s and across all abilities; and many with underlying health problems. Please remember that when you play and – if you are lucky enough to be blessed with footballing experience and ability gained throughout your life - please think about how you can best use that within the club.

Here endeth the lesson!

(* Aretha Franklin – as if you didn’t know!)

In a change from our normal images today we have taken some from the world famous (in St Helens) Ruskin Slipper Room

Code of Conduct

  • Place the well-being, safety and enjoyment of each player above everything, including winning

  • Adhere to the rules

  • Display and promote high standards of behaviour

  • Promote fair play

  • Always respect the match officials decisions

  • Never engage in or tolerate offensive, insulting or abusive language or behaviour

  • Never engage in bullying, intimidation or harassment

  • Speak to my team-mates, the opposition, spectators and my coach/manager with respect

  • Remember we all make mistakes

  • Win or lose with dignity.

  • Shake hands with the opposing team and the referee at the end of every game

  • Be an ambassador for my club


  • 0%YES

  • 0%NO


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