Team re-unites for a night out

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page -

So, the party sea­son is well and truly in full swing and I can vouch for that be­cause I was out on Fri­day night (a rare event th­ese days, long gone are the times when I would drag the boys out kick­ing and scream­ing, just be­cause it was the done thing re­ally). One of my favourite parts of the fes­tive sea­son is be­ing re-united with my old (and old is def­i­nitely the op­er­a­tive word) Sun­day morn­ing foot­ball team. It would nor­mally be on a Christ­mas Eve, but we re­alised that as fam­ily men, the last thing the fam­ily wanted was a gib­ber­ing wreck com­ing home at an in­de­cent time on the Eve of the big event. So we moved the date to give our­selves plenty of time to re­cover and boy did I need it. Fri­day in Ash­ford town cen­tre was a hub of ac­tiv­ity as of­fice par­ties galore were tak­ing place. The boys met down at The Ge­orge in the High Street (other wa­ter­ing holes are of course avail­able, in fact we are blessed with some of the best pubs in the en­tire cos­mos) and quite ex­pected to have a roam around, tak­ing in as many pubs as hu­manly pos­si­ble in the al­loted time sched­ule. But you know how it is, the best laid plans and all that, so we ended up stay­ing ex­actly where we were as the am­bi­ence was very con­ducive to our needs (mainly, peo­ple of a sim­i­lar gen­er­a­tion) and the mu­sic not too loud as we ex­changed wit­ti­cisms and anec­dote af­ter anec­dote. One of the main stip­u­la­tions of play­ing for The Fox Sun­day FC was to have a nick­name al­lo­cated to you be­fore you could play. We’ve had some crack­ers over the years but I have to say, the best foot­ball nick­name that I’ve ever heard, is a guy called Fitz Hall, who now plies his trade at QPR. Any­way, his nick­name was One Size, it’s ge­nius. So I’ll just namecheck the boys who were out on the town, but un­for­tu­nately don’t have the time (or mem­ory) to ex­plain how the names orig­i­nated. We had Bambi, Yogi, Poker, Phan­tom, Men­tal, Geno (or Cocky), Dob­ber (that’s me), Striker, Spud (one of the nicest men in the world but for some very strange rea­son, af­ter he’s had a cou­ple of sher­ries wants to play naked wrestling and no­body to date has taken him up on his of­fer, but it’s only a mat­ter of time), Ra­zor, Shed and last but not least, one of the long­est nick­names we’ve ever had “And the win­ner is Colin New­ton from Wal­ton Knew­ton, not from Lu­ton, he works in dis­tri­bu­tion and he has a suit on”. Strange but true, we just call him Colin th­ese days. One of my big­gest fans and in­deed crit­ics while play­ing for The Fox was my dear old dad, Ron. He would come and watch ev­ery game, nor­mally with Poker’s dad Mick Car­ney and we called them Wal­dorf and Statler (the two old boys from The Mup­pets), be­cause they would al­ways have a proper moan about how we had played. The rea­son I men­tion my dad is that on the 14th De­cem­ber twenty one years ago, he passed away. I of­ten think about him and won­der what sort of cri­tique he would give me on my ra­dio show and this col­umn. He’d be ruth­less, but he’d mean well, as al­ways. Miss you much.

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