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Summertime Blues*

Updated: Jun 12, 2023

One of the casualties of SHWFC’s success as a fast growing club is keeping up with all the scores and players when you come to write a relevant Blog. Your scribe for a report of the doings at Sutton this Wednesday refereed on one of the pitches so he has very little knowledge of what went on elsewhere.

With such pleasure denied to our core of regular readers perhaps we need to look at taking on an apprentice reporter (careful vetting will naturally be required) Anyone with allegiances to a Southern-based Premier League could be possibly suitable Perhaps a Yorkshire accent (as their Clubs rarely trouble that League beyond Christmas) or a Midlands brogue? I digress


Help with the detail would be a huge help and as you know passing resemblance with the true facts would be a distinct advantage

 

A sunny but breezy summer’s evening meant we had enough players for 6 teams of 6. Line up’s were (as far as I can remember them; and thanks to Les Meldrew who has a better memory than me - Pimms overload detected);

 

Green: Roger Moore, Nigel, Andy Man(anger), Les Meldrew, Darron and Chris 4G


Red: Barry, Cockney Rebel, Dave Martland, Lee Thomo, Steve C and Steve Honeyman


Orange: Disco Deggs, Harry (Hatchet), Haggis, Citeh Geoff, and Roy F,


Yellow: Wicky, Martin Mc, Michelle, Joe the Ghost, Deano, Matty (on debut)


Blue: Tony Snakehips, Tony Welsby, Neil Stretch, Barry, Tom Stretch and Keith Slater


White: Phil the Power, Eileen, Enoch, Little John, Grav and Chris Prout

 


First up for supervision from Lord Rainford’s trusty police whistle were Blue and Orange. On paper, evenly matched teams and with one or two players who can be…err….’challenging’ to the inexperienced referee (i.e. me). Fortunately they behaved themselves impeccably (mostly…)

 

Evenly matched it was not. Or at least not after Citeh Geoff put Oranges 1-0 up with a fine shot which Tom Parr in goal, watched sail into the top corner. ‘I could have saved that’ said Tom wistfully over a tin of 0% Guinness in the Turks Head later. Stretching the truth? Which rather begs the question, why didn’t he?

 

Anyway, moving on, Citeh Geoff then (according to him) for the first time ever scored two in a match. Oranges were helped by some gaps in the Blue defence. Well, when I say gaps, the Blue half of the field looked more like the Great Plains of the mid-west USA for 25 yards or so in front of their hapless keeper, who was powerless to stop Deggs adding to the Oranges score. He then added a 4th after Tony Snakehips completely forgot the ball, giving the Huyton Hitman an opportunity to add the final goal. With two players on a hattrick yours truly was relieved to blow the final whistle with no further score. We’d never have heard the last of it otherwise; and I would have had to nominate the hat trick scorer as player of the nigh.t Phew.

 

The 2nd game saw Blues stay where they were, to be challenged by the Reds, with Cockney Rebel leading them out with a slightly peevish expression on his face. More on that later. And Blues seemed to be putting their defensive woes behind them as – dazzled by the sun – Dave Martland was unlucky enough to let goals by Tom Stretch and then someone else (sorry someone else, can’t remember who you were) putting Blues 2-0 up. But Red did claim a goal before a half time switch of ends.

 

And that switch was Blue’s undoing. There was a false dawn for Reds when a free kick taken by Cockney Rebel in his own half was missed by absolutely everyone including the keeper, meaning it had to be disallowed. But then there was a real Red dawn as two goals saw them overtake Blues. I have to say it was a cracking game and drew applause from the Official when he blew for full time.

 

Whilst all this was going on I have to say I saw very little of the other matches and never got to see Yellows or Whites play. But in brief gaps in play (mostly when I was retrieving the ball after a wayward shot or clearance) I did witness:-

 

1) Michelle bravely blocking the ball, had she been batting at Lords, it might have been described by the Test Match Special commentary team rather coyly as being ‘in the lower abdomen area’,

2) A similar block by Wicky, which, being higher up, will certainly have sorted out any lung congestion he might have been experiencing,

3) Jeff Betty politely suggesting to Cockney Rebel that he might like to consider taking a rest for two minutes (see comments above); and

4) Numerous whistles for running etc which I am unable to comment on the correctness of. But as Eamon says ‘I’ve got the whistle, therefore I’m right’

 

So, after that diversion, on to my final game, which saw Green, sadly depleted by Roger’s injury (hope you are OK now Paul) take on the Blue who obviously didn’t think they needed a change of referee to alter their luck, seeing as they had a man advantage.

 

But it didn’t turn out like that. Astutely managed by Andy Man(anger) Green made light work of their numerical disadvantage as Darron put them into a deserved lead. Eventually Blue did get a goal back (another scorer whose name has been lost in what passes for my memory) before a frantic last five with both teams going for a winner. We had a bit of controversy when yours truly had to reach a quick decision when Barry, in goal for the Blues, took 4 touches. ‘Free kick, 3 metres outside the box’ said the referee, discreetly keeping his fingers crossed. ‘Are you sure its not a penalty?’ I was asked. ‘Haven’t got a clue’ came the answer; and, fortunately, when later consulting with the Oracle (Jeff Betty) apparently a free kick was the right decision. Phew. Must be said it’s bewildering that any keeper would require so many touches - modern game!

 

Nothing came of that decision but a minute or so later in a move to delight the eye, Nigel and Andy found Darron wide on the right. His quick pass in was met first time by Les to give Green a hard fought 2-1 victory.

 

And so ended another compelling night of Walking Football which, assuming my Achilles starts behaving itself soon, I’ll be back playin’ rather than reffin’ very soon

Commiserations to my constant Blue companions, you had some good moves but sometimes, its just not to be!


Summertime Blues* - Eddie Cochrane


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