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Sunshine Superman*

After the longest winter transition to spring/summer in living memory SHWFC members basked in glorious sunshine this week Monday’s Ruskin Sports Village session was played in semi-tropical conditions with play frequently broken to allow rehydration for players more finely tuned to wind, rain and even hailstones The North West is home to many people from good Irish stock assimilated over the years to understand local traditions But nothing quite prepares an emigre for the annual arrival of those few days of heatstroke and discomfort that passes as “summer”


Ginger hair, freckles and the gift of the gab doesn’t quite cover an individual adequately from the pain of sunburn As Seamus O’Hooligan explains in his Green Room ramblings, we tend to get ‘Red, very red and sore!’


So Monday was always going to be a challenge then As so often is the case Cometh the hour cometh the man/woman and/or Referee


Just one Official was available to take the sacred whistle El Presidente pluckily in charge of 3 games on 3 different pitches What could possibly go wrong? The answer is nothing In line with recent performances all players heeded the Club edict to play sensibly and above all for FUN


Thirty Eight players assembled near a white line helpfully provided to assist team selection Andy Man(anger) performed heroics twisting & stretching the life out of the knotted muscles (or so the theory goes) before the following teams were chosen


Two teams of seven were chosen to play each other for the session


Orange - Chris Special K, Tomo, Paul F, Roger, Barry Wizz, debutant Dave Connolly and Spiro (back after a plate busting tour of the Greek islands)


Pink - Phil the Power, Geoff Prout, Eamon fall out boy, Wickie, Andy Ma, Phil the Cat and Gonzalo


In the event, the game was self-governed with wise heads demanding respect for the game which thankfully the players followed with gusto The score line was a one-sided eclipse with our nuclear fall-out boy Eamon romping to a five goal haul before the Wada Dope testers could finish their 23 course brunch and start their mandatory testing That Eamon disappeared into a handy phone box to change is pure conjecture

Gonzalo claimed a brace and Phil the other 8-0


A game too far on a day too hot for the shrivelling Orange I’m reliably informed that the game was much closer than the score, Orange created plenty but lacked a goal threat whereas goals flew from every part of Eamon’s anatomy (we get the picture)


The morning’s other action featured a Round Robin with the 4 teams of six playing each other for the fun of it

Those teams were;


Purple - Kirsty, Snakehips, Tom Stretch, Charlie, Michelle Monday and Phil the Moss


Black - Grazer, Mark NR, Little John, Ian Lefty Bridge, Mark Dav (with new boots) and Les Meldrew


Yellow - Eileen Club Person, Colin the Late, Lord Rainford, Sheila, Citeh Geoff and Enoch


Sky - Simon Burton (a useful debut) McSpeed, Steve Honeyman, Gaz, Haggis (still in mourning) and a Triallist



Yellow played Purple in the first game Phil Moss finding the net with a tricky back heel to put Purple ahead Michelle doubled the lead with a smart drive from distance 2-0 Purple winning the opening match

Black claimed a narrow 1-0 win in the other game Mark Daverin celebrating his return from Oz (Australia not the Land of …) with the only goal

Yellow took on Sky with Citeh Geoff firing home the opener for Yellow McSpeed hit back for a deserved leveller that their play thoroughly deserved 1-1 Gaz claimed a fine team goal for Sky, McSpeed and our Triallist working the opening for a 2-1 lead they never surrendered Purple beat Black 4-1 with 2 Michelle goals, Phil Moss and Tom on target

The score line might have been more but for a string of saves by Grazer in the Black net


The final games used the remaining time (almost 20 minutes) Yellow faced a now very efficient Black, the team sweeping the ball about the park to stretch their opponents Little John finished an excellent team move to fire the opener for Black Lord Rainford claimed a leveller, sneaking undetected beyond the Black rearguard to tuck his shot in at the near post for 1-1 Black struck back following a poor clearance with Mark No Relation Davies coolest under no pressure 2-1 to Black Ian Lefty Bridge sealed the win with a last goal 3-1 to Black

Sky romped to a 4-2 over Purple Kirsty doing her stint as keeper kept Purple in the game Steve Honeyman and Mike McSpeed each claimed a brace Special mention to Charlie who shone in his defensive duties throughout


The Slipper Salon, with it’s outdoor annexe for gluten free cake, normal full fat cake indoors, was a welcome respite from the heat for one and all We learned that our debutants Simon and David were blistered and bewildered by the game’s intensity and physical demands Walking Football not for the faint hearted then


Midweek’s Sutton SoccerDome session failed to break the 30 mph (Members per hour) level for another week A reminder that Wednesday night is of course where it all started back on 2015 and that we provide 3 pitches to meet the needs of our players This year numbers have failed to justify that provision, consequently we are probably losing money on Wednesday evenings and we cannot continue that long term We really do need to see more players turning up


Twenty Seven players, two referees and two net repairing onlookers made up the cast to join the dizzying midweek display of finest Walking Football

The teams eventually whipped in shape were;


Blue - Citeh Geoff, Eamon, Gaz, Steve Carine, Midweek Michelle, Les Meldrew and Andy Man(anger)


Red - Jason, Kirsty, Graham, Deggs, Lord Rainford, Little John and Tom Stretch


Yellow - Darron, Chris 4G, Chris 10P, Subbuteo Dave, Haggis, Les Hewitt and Joe the Ghost


White (6) - Robin, Deano, Enoch, Thatto Dave, Wickie and Eileen




Our Referees, Phil the Power and El Presidente, conferred to stamp down hard on any foul play from the very start The result was an early Blue Card for dissent for an elderly striker (sic) Interventions for tackles from the wrong side and general acceptance from all players that we were here for a fun Walking Football for all Those who still wanted to exert their physical presence in the matches were in the wrong sport and wrong venue


El Presidente took charge of Red v White with Deano claiming the first goal of the night White compact and generally accurate with their passing Red for all their endeavour were more wasteful in possession Deano hit a second following up his original shot that was parried back into his path 2-0 White the result after a decent opening match

There was a see-saw battle in the other opener, with Green eventually losing a close game against Blue by 2-4 Chris 10P led the way for his Green machine with a brace of goals But Blue had Steve Carine and Fall Out Boy Eamon each matching that goal tally to ease home in an excellent contest

Chris 10P went a goal better in his next outing as Green brushed off the Red challenge 3-0 and the match ball (it’s just an expression - no match balls were hurt or missing afterwards) Red stuck in reverse with no goals to show in any of their evening’s work

White and Blue were well matched for the most part Blue always looked a threat but White calmly absorbed the pressure White eventually took the lead thanks to Wickie with Blue wasting effort appealing for an overhead foul for a shot that was barely chest high (defenders ducking out of the path) Steve Carine was unlucky to see a snapshot hit most parts of the woodwork before being grasped by keeper Deano Still 1-0 to White

Blues exerted much pressure but couldn’t find a way through

In the final game Yellow played White for the evening’s honours Deano lashed White’s opener as Yellow struggled to clear 1-0 to White

Yellow’s play makers were stifled by close pressing and timely blocks but had quality and were always capable of turning the score round Eileen had a chance to double the lead but rushed her shot White took full advantage of their over stretched opponents turning a corner clearance Joe the Ghost returned after recent birthday celebrations and holidays with an equalising goal for Yellow He’d been quiet all night until that point then he celebrated with a spell of banter at the expense of his opponents But he later spurned a simple chance that was instantly punished by White There’s a moral there somewhere! Thatto Dave finding a sweeping pass to create an overload and hand White a 2-1 lead with Deano tucking away a deserved goal 2-1 the final score

White ended the night unbeaten Blue edged their final match with Red courtesy of Eamon finding the net to seal a 1-0 win that condemned Red to another defeat and another blank score line


The Boot Room was calm and quiet with Messrs Rebel, Betty and Gonzalo all absent Media duties fell to Lord Rainford with Messrs Stretch, Disco, Gaz and El Presidente ably assisting In truth some eyes were distracted by Turkey and Georgia who both found the net in sharp contrast to the previous evening’s participants By the time of our next session England will be either through to the semi finals (seems barely possible) or clearing their bags through customs at Luton

Cake all round then


Sunshine Superman* - Sixties aging hippy Donovan

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