Here’s a (hopefully) interesting question: Martyn Coleman is now in his sixth spell with Penrith – has ever there been a more instinctive homing pigeon in the long history of Northern League football?
And here’s a (ditto) interesting stat: while the lad scores for fun for the Blues, breaking the club record last season, he’s only managed a total of eight with his five other clubs, most recently South Shields and Shildon.
Conversely there’s Willie Paul, so greatly a one-club man that he’s now made more than 800 Penrith appearances. Might that be a league record, too?
Martyn’s in the team for today’s visit to Dunston UTS, Willie on the bench. “A very long journey,” says the Dunston programme but for Penrith it may even be their nearest derby. That or West Auckland? The sat-nav savvy may know.
After a disappointing season, the Cumbrians seem much to have improved under new player/manager Kyle May, himself signed from Shildon, though they still fear that at the end of the season the FA will hook them into the North West Counties League in the wretched name of restructuring.
The FA appears no longer to care about a club’s wishes, or even its means. They see only little boxes, and as the late Pete Seeger observed, little boxes made of ticky-tacky.
Dunston are the model which many would wish to emulate: solid, comradely, ever-welcoming and impeccably run. When we did all those Last Legs walks two years ago, it was also the only one with three pub stops.
“If we get back too early Malcolm (the chairman) will have us sweeping up leaves,” they said. There are still quite a few leaves about the place today: best not to ask the lads where they’d been.
Though struggling near the foot of the table, Penrith deservedly win 2-0. The now-retired league chairman wins the raffle (again) but decides not to claim the prize: thanks for the pint, Malcolm.
*Though the question in yesterday’s blog was indirect, Keith Stoker was first to know that the only place name in England which formally ends with an exclamation mark is Westward Ho!
Keith also works in a gripe about the way the Americans pronounce tomato, but that’s one for the redskins.
Westward Ho! is a seaside village in Devon. Originally just a hotel, it was dreamed up by early Victorian PR men in an attempt to cash in on the popularity of Charles Kingsley’s novel of the same name.The estate grew. Onward!!!!!