August 11 2017: when in Rome….

When not trying to paint two miles of fence with one hand tied behind his back, Darlington Railway Athletic secretary Alan Hamilton has been doing his Latin homework.

The football club approaches its centenary in 2018-19. Though Alan accepts that few folk down Brinkburn Road way may now engage in classical discourse, he feels that a Latin motto would be “quite classy.”

Twelve Ebac Northern League clubs have mottoes – four in English, one (Marske United) in French and seven in Latin. They are:

Dunston UTS – Nulli secundus (Second to none), North Shields – Messis ab altis (Harvest from the deep), Penrith – Res non verba (Action not words), Stockton Town – Fortitudo et spes (Endurance and hope), Whitley Bay – Ludus est omnis (The game is everything), Bedlington Terriers – Virtus unita fortis ((United we are stronger) and Durham City – Floreant cives (The citizens flourish.)

Since the Romans never got around to inventing railways – or football, for that matter – the RA are struggling a bit.

Committee member Jack Usher, a 20-year-old Arsenal fan, has suggested “Skintus maximus”,  which while an undoubtedly accurate reflection of the club’s financial position has been rekected because (“as every schoolboy knows,” says Alan) Latin had little room for the letter k.

Venerable team manager Peter Mulcaster’s suggestion of “Pecuniam non habemus, nobiscum risus” – (very) roughly translated as “We don’t have much money but we do have a right good laugh” – has also failed to make the shortlist.

“Again the sentiment is right but the motto is perhaps a little over-long,” says Alan, who has been looking over the border at Queens Park’s “Ludere cause ludendi” – WE play for the love of playing.

The RA – probably not to be confused with the Royal Academy – thus quite fancy “Nos ludere ad ludens caritas” – to play for the sake of playing.

It would have the bonus of at once advising academically inclined money spiders that there are no brown envelopes at the RA

Scholars to a man, Grass Routes readers may have ideas of their own. Alan’s at but please copy me in at

What’s Latin for thanks very much?