October 6 2017: Winter’s tale

Anticipating next Saturday’s big match between Guiseley and Shildon, the blog a couple of days back recalled the 2002 FA Cup tie between Guiseley and Guisborough at which Newcastle United publications editor Paul Tully had talked of the Premiership’s frst Braille programme.

It was a case of the blind misleading the blind. The match, a 3-3 draw, was at the KGV and not at Guiseley, as we had supposed. The only time I’ve been to Guiseley was in 2006, against Newcastle Benfield Bay Plastics (as then they were known.)

The sign outside the ground identified them as Newcastle BF, though our boys were clearly no fools.

Managed by former Hartlepool United favourite Paul Baker – and with Andrew Grainger in goal, then as now – they’d already beaten Conference North side Hyde United and leading Unibond club Cammell Laird.

Thanks to Shaun Bell’s 73rd minute goal, the giant slaying continued. Shildon should take encouragement.

Mention of the earlier Guiseley game gives Paul Tully chance to recall the prank to leave a copy of the Braille programme in the referee’s room.

Security manager Dave Pattison, in on the wheeze, advised against trying it out on Graham Poll, next up at St James’ Park. “Dave thought that Poll wouldn’t get the joke, would give three penalties against us and send two of our men off,” says Paul.

Instead they waited for Jeff Winter, Boro’s finest. Jeff not only saw the funny side, but spent the rest of the afternoon tapping around the place with a white stick “apart from the 90 minutes of the match, of course.”

Paul’s other memory of Guisborough, that scorching day in September 2002, is that he won the meat draw, carried the booty in triumph back to Hexham and discovered when he got home that half of it had gone off in the heat.

West Allotment Celtic secretary Ted Ilderton himself won the half-time draw at last week’s match with Alnwick, the winning number picked out by entertainer Declan Donnelly – at the game to watch his 17-year-old nephew, who scored for WAC. “It was quite a nice bottle of wine,” says Ted, an Ant and Dec fan now.