Usually if not entirely accurately described in Northern League circles as a former sausage seasoner from Tow Law, Chris Waddle is going up market. He has a lengthy piece in The Times.
When not on media duty, Chris now runs the Sunday side at Hallam, on Sheffield’s skirts. We saw him at a Vase game there a couple of years back, though memory fails to suggest the opponents.
He and others want a five per cent levy on the Premier League’s £8.3bn television deal between 2016-19 to be diverted to the grass roots. A petition seeking that end needs 100,000 signatures by Tuesday March 13 in order to be “heard” in parliament.
“The money at the top of football is what gets everyone’s back up,” he writes. “It’s a working class sport but unfortunately fewer people are participating in it. It’s just all about money. People are sick of it. They just want to play football and enjoy it.”
So how much is likely to be diverted as a result of that particular initiative. As they might formerly have said in Tow Law, not a sausage.
*As possibly we have observed before, Raymond Gowan’s planned autobiography has the gestation period of a hairy mammoth. It’s reached 2003 – seems, indeed, to have got there a very long time ago – and there rests. Call the midwife.
An email from the long serving former manager, now in South Africa, seeks information on the Cleator Cup final – the Northern League’s pre-season pipe opener – between Brandon United and Shildon in 2003. Shildon finished with just eight men.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, The Northern Echo thought the game “bad tempered.” Goalkeeper Phil Owers, then but a bairn of 48, went for handling outside the area, Graham Liddle had two yellows and dear old David Bayles – along with Brandon’s Kris Leighton – was despatched for “an off the ball incident.”
What on earth had happened? As luck would have it, the ever-pacific Bayler – with former team mate Danny Key – is doing a talk-in at Shildon’s clubhouse this Friday to recall Shildon’s run to the FA Cup first round that same season. 8pm, free, all welcome.
Ever on the ball off the ball, we may have more on Friday.
*The blog a few days back tried to recall the free scoring Richie Allen, said to have been of Bedlington Terriers. That was Roy Allen. Richie – as Billingham man Martin Birtle points out – hit 195 goals in 338 for the Synners between 1987-96. Also unsurprisingly, he wishes they had him now.