George Kinnell was a Scottish centre half – from Cowdenbeath, home of the tawse – who spent a couple of 60s seasons with Sunderland.
Almost ten years his junior, his brother Andy was also a pro, chiefly with their home town club. Jim Baxter, their cousin, is the only one of the three with a statue in his honour at Hill of Beith. Both Kinnells are still with us.
Don Clarke well remembers Gordon from his own formative years, recalls a friend calling to say that Charlie Hurley would be back in the Sunderland side the next day.
“For Kinnell?” asked Don and received an “absolutely withering” state from his mum.
You get the point? Continuing the theme of unusually named football teams, yesterday’s blog noted Geoff Thornton’s email that a six-a-side bunch in Crawley were called Kinnellref and simply couldn’t work out why.
“Were you being a little coy,” wrote Keith Stoker but, honestly, the mind wandered no further than the Kinnell brothers and the true explanation never occurred. It does now. I must get out more.
*Still over the border, a recent blog recalled- via former Willington and Billingham Synthonia assistant manager Eddie Kyle – the annual stooshies between pit-belt neighbours Auchinleck Talbot and Cumnock Juniors.
Ray Ion now forwards a recent Newcastle Benfield programme in which Ian Cusack writes of a recent visit to that deep-digging derby but admits to some difficulty in knowing if they were swearing or not.
“The two tribes mingled with little visible or audible confrontation,” he writes,. “though it’s always hard to be sure of this because even babes in arms in Ayrshire sound like Mick McGahey in a particularly belligerent mood.”
It was when the final whistle blew that, paradoxically, it all kicked off – and not just the “provocative cavorting” from the winners. Ian notes “innumerable volleys of profane abuse” but, as in sunny Sussex, I probably wouldn’t have understood a word.
*Yesterday’s blog noted that Dave Robinson, the Ebac Northern League’s diligently devoted registrations secretary, was in hospital with a kidney infection. Happily, he came home on Wednesday evening and, it’s much to be hoped, is on the mend.
It prompted an email from Bob Rogers, league vice-president and grandson of Charles Samuel Craven, our founder. Bob, who lives in Hong Kong, had only one kidney when he was born – there’s probably a long medical word for it.. “It seems to have worked out fine so far,” he adds.