August 9 2018: parental guidance


                                        Fraternity: Jamie and Nathan Cobain

On the subject of dads and lads – yesterday’s blog – Dave Bussey reports a case of potentially divided loyalties ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup match between Washington and West Auckland.

Jamie Cobain plays for West; Nathan, his brother, is with Washington. Their parents, Sandra and Damian, watch them alternately – or together when only one team is playing.

“They’ll have a real dilemma on Saturday,” says Dave, to whom thanks for the photograph “but at least they’ll know that one of the lads will be in the next round.”

*The Ebac Northern League always prides itself on being a family, of course, a claim wonderfully underlined by a letter to The Northern Echo from Billingham Town fan Johnny Drummond.

Last season was a bit traumatic for Town, not helped when the chairman, chief executive, secretary and programme editor – all the same person – upped and offed.

Now the chairman’s former senior police officer Paul Beddow, the secretary’s Ray Morton – who was an inspector – and, early days, the team’s top of the second division on goal difference.

Johnny, a relatively recent convert, now loves the place – quirks and all. It reminds him, he says, of Peter Kay’s Phoenix Nights.

“Of course it’s just a game of football, but the spirit and friendship between fans, staff, players and chairman makes my Saturday.

“I feel like I’m having a family Sunday dinner, surrounded by friends and kin. It’s lovely.”

He loves the quirkiness, too, like the match in which the PA guy failed to announce the only goal. There was a subsequent announcement, though. “Sorry,” he said, “I’d gone to the loo.”