November 10 2017: weather report

The north wind doth blow and we shall have – well the forecast’s a bit iffy, anyway.

It stirs an assiduously idle thought: has the Ebac Northern League lost a single game to the weather this season?

Though recent seasons have been waterlogged right from day one, league secretary Kevin Hewitt confirms that 2017-18 has been absolutely set fair – and, not without reason, accuses me of tempting fate.

Though Penrith lost a Cumberland Cup tie amid the monsoons which prevail west of the Pennines, and though Marske United were drowned out at Darwen, Kevin has so far seen not a single postponement form.

It recalls Gordon Nicholson’s first season as league secretary, 1966-67, when not a single fixture was lost to the elements – but even the weather gods lived in fear of old Nic.

*From cloudless skies to fair weather fans. On Saturday a few of us are off to 1874 Northwich v Row Law, stirring memories of the Lawyers’ FA Vase runs around the turn of the century when a group called the Misfits attached themselves to the club.

Absurdly branded by BBC 5 Live as the most active hooligan gang outside of professional football – though they did have their moments – the Misfits were described by Lawyers chairman John Flynn “a small group of drunks with some easily led hangers on.”Now, peaceably, they’ve re-formed.

Back in 2001, the BBC persisted. Hearing of another group called the Marske Morons, they approached United’s technicolour chairman John Hodgson ahead of a meeting between the two clubs.

Hodgy patiently explained that the Morons were aged between five and 12, produced a junior fanzine from which swear words were banned because they’d get wrong off their mams.

So what would happen, insisted the silly BBC man, if the Misfits set about the Morons. “They’d bash them with their buckets and spades,” said John.

*An altogether more sombre note: the funertal of Paul Tully – former Newcastle United programme editor, Northern League enthusiast and football fanatic – will take place at the West Road crematorium in Newcastle at 12 30pm on Tuesday November 21, followed by a reception at St James’ Park.