January 12 2018: glasses ceiling

Probably it was the American humourist Dorothy Pakrer who observed that men seldom make passes at girls who wear glasses (though personally I’m quite smitten by specs appeal.)

It may also be the case that men seldom make passes to goalies who wear glasses, which would explain why much of my time between the sticks – yesterday’s blog – was spent fishing the ball from the net.

Don Clarke sympathises. “”You must have made your debut about the same time as Jimmy Montgomery,” Don supposes. “He was also myopic but did canny.”

Monty’s ability to pick up long shots was often questioned: he did pretty well on the short stuff, though.

*Yesterday’s blog also recalled superheavyweight goalkeeper William “Fatty” Foulke, Sheffied United and Chelsea, prompting Martin Birtle to recall the well-told tale of a breakfast at the team hotel to which Foulke had come down early, seen a table of food intended for the whole party and scoffed the lot himself.

Though the story’s well known, Martin questions its authenticity. Could it, he wonders, just be Foulke lore.

*Mention a few days back of Doggarts department stores, once familiar throughout the North-East – more memories to come – also recalled Bishop Auckland boys’ habit of threatening to bare their backsides in Doggarts window if things went wrong.

In Darlington, posher, they talked of being bare faced in Binns. In Sunderland, says Don Clarke, it was Joplings and in Newcastle, remembers Ray Ion, it was Fenwicks. These days, of course, Fenwicks is best known for its spectacular Christmas window dressing. There’s no posterior motive.

No such nonsense in Shildon, of course. There was only the Co-op. the dividend was already declared.

*Alan Shearer’s spurious assertion that it was a long time since a team beginning with the letter N had been to Wembley, prompts Norman Robinson to recall when there were five – Newcastle Benfield, Newton Aycliffe, Northallerton, North Shields and Norton and Stockton Ancients. That was the all-Northern League FA Vase final in 2012, when all our clubs were represented. It probably doesn’t count.