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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