Team re-unites for a night out
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.