Thursday, December 03, 2009

Smiling last

Last night was another nightmare in terms of injuries (footy matches played on ploughed fields usually are) but it was absolutely brilliant in terms of character. A one nil win away from home in those circumstance with players dropping like flies can’t be under-estimated.


Great performances from Fellaini, Jo, Cahill, Hibbert as well as kids like Duffy, Coleman & Baxter coming in and playing hearts out. Superb stuff....great to be through the group stage with a game to spare. The Benfica games were pretty disappointing but you’ve just got to hold your hands up and acknowledge that they are a top side.



So the derby ended in a two nil defeat for the blues. Not being churlish but that is the worst Liverpool side I’ve ever seen. So many of their players are just utterly, utterly average. Everton, I thought, played really well but had no luck whatsoever. Pienaar coming back could be key to us if we are to avoid a relegation battle, it was also great to see Cahill pushed further forward. Onwards and hopefully upwards

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Japanese Samurai Subs

Wow how cool is this :


Japanese Samurai Subs


After 60 years in a watery Hawaiian grave, two World War II-era Japanese attack submarines have been discovered near Pearl Harbor, marine archaeologists announced today.


Specifically designed for a stealth attack on the U.S. East Coast--perhaps targeting Washington, D.C., and New York City--the "samurai subs" were fast, far-ranging, and in some cases carried folding-wing aircraft, according to Dik Daso, curator of modern military aircraft at the Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum, speaking in the new National Geographic documentary Hunt for the Samurai Subs.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Brilliant blog post about lower league rugby

Saw this over at My Waterloo Rugby, hope it’s the first of many posts :

So why did I fall out of love with the game?  The game started to lose its mojo a few months into our second season in National Division 2 back in 2004.  The sense of adventure of visiting away games ceased to exist, many of these newer club grounds we found ourselves visiting lacked charm, many purely sterile.  These new grounds don’t reflect the warmth of the local community, they reflect a cold ambition to win and succeed to progress, there was no joy or character and so my interest waned.  Give me a Wharfedale over Doncaster any day; these are places where the true spirit of rugby lies, not in the concrete slabs of the new Coventry ground; you walk into places like Rosslyn Park and you feel the heritage and esprit de corps come up and shake you warmly by the hand.  In Nottingham three years ago, my love of rugby hit rock bottom; there we were, 300 of us, in a football stadium on a Sunday afternoon, the moon had a better atmosphere that day.  I’m sure any first time visitor to the game that day will have ensured it was also their last; no bar, no banter and they had one of those wretched over sized cartoon mascots; not a parrot or a squid or something vaguely amusing for the kids but some bloke adorned as an eight foot mobile phone.  And then at half-time the Nottingham people entertained us with cheerleaders….

People know I have an abundant hatred of the use of cheerleaders in this country, if you go to a grid-iron game in the States you’ll see buxom blondes being thrown in the air and performing multiple silhouettes before being caught by their peers (note to self – can we learn any techniques from the Dallas Cowboy cheerleading coaches? Look up ‘awesome cheerleading stunts’ on “YouTube”- get that girl in our line-outs) but here we have to make do with 14 year olds in the middle of winter waving a couple of pom-poms; it isn’t attractive, it isn’t rousing, in fact I find it very creepy….     

….And that was the end of the love affair. Since then the numbers of games I attended could be counted on one hand.


Saturday, November 07, 2009


How did that happen? Hayes beat Valuev!!! Bonkers. Utterly amazing sporting moment. Outstanding.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Eusebio on Goodison Park "Best stadium in my playing life"

Last night was pretty depressing but loved this quote from Eusebio


Eusebio on Goodison Park: "Sorry, I don't speak good English. But today for me, for my family, it's a good day, for Benfica to play here. This stadium for me is the best stadium in my playing life."


Everton were swept aside in the second half, Benfica looked spot on whilst we looked clueless and frantic. A game crying out for Phil Neville it has to be said. The next two games now have a fair bit of pressure on them but BATA and AEK drawing helps.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Everton's treatment room xi

Everton are depressingly beatable at the moment but ultimately it's not surprising when our treatment room xi is, apart from needing a keeper, looking fantastic. Look at the team we had missing for the weekend against Bolton

Everton Treatment Room XI - 26/10/09

Hibbert - Yobo - Jagielka - Baines

Pienaar - Arteta - Neville - Bilyaletdinov

Yakubu - Vaughan

with Anichebe and Osmanalso fighting for a place too

sporting depression

Some pleasant viewing to take away the blues (and scarlets and a myrtles)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Fame at last

Last weekend I phone the Danny Baker Show in order to try and save Goodison and Blundellsands (home of Everton FC and Waterloo RUFC respectively) from his totalitarian demolition crews....I was less than successfull but Hey, it was early on a Saturday morning, I didn't do too bad.

Listen here : Danny Baker Show Podcast

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Evertonians don't forget their own

Just a very quick notes, a mate of mine is off to Lisbon tomorrow with T-shirt highlighting the continuing hopes we all have for the safe return of Madelaine McCann.

We also have issued a special purple 3rd kit in memorial for little Rhys Jones (and as a fund raiser for the city-wide Liverpool Unites charity).

Footy fans are sometimes viewed as neanderthals but things like this remind us that we do not forget our own.

Who were the first Liverpool FC players to play for England?

Interesting trivia question there “Who were the first Liverpool FC players to play for England?”. It is of course a trick question because 4 players of Liverpool Football Club (as in Rugby Football) took part in the very first rugby international in 1871.


Step forward J. H. Clayton, A. Lyon, E. Tobin & E. Kewley. Liverpool Football Club players representing their country a full  7 years before Everton were formed and 13 years before Everton’s offspring stole your club’s name.


Almost as good is the one “Name three Russians to play for Everton”...the answer, of course, being “Bilyaletdinov, Kanchelskis and Gethathibbertoff” or “Name three Israelis to play for Liverpool....Cohen, Rosenthal and Judas Barmby”.

Same clubs, different rules - Richmond take on Barnes (again)

National League Division 2 South Fixtures


Would dearly love to go to a Richmond V Barnes fixture :


Saturday, 07 November 2009

Barking v Westcombe Park, 15:00

Bridgwater & Albion v Rosslyn Park, 15:00

Canterbury v Southend, 15:00

Dings Crusaders v Worthing, 15:00

Ealing v Henley, 15:00

Lydney v Clifton, 15:00

Richmond v Barnes, 15:00


Why? Because Barnes and Richmond played the first ever game of association football. I’ve been to Richmond RUFC’s lovely homely was the same day I went to Twickenham and if I was brutally honest I wish I’d plumped for spending the full afternoon at Richmond. Lovely club, very similar to Waterloo.......just a hell of a lot posher. ;)


Friday, October 09, 2009

Where do Premier League players come from

Superb little gadget from the BBC showing all the current Premiership squads and where they are from :


Where do your Premier League team’s players come from?


Nice little cluster of home grown players for Everton as well as our foreign leagion.


Friday, October 02, 2009


Good old Tim :

Everton midfielder Tim Cahill dedicated his winning goal in the Europa League game against BATE Borisov to the victims of Tuesday's Pacific tsumani.

The Australian international mimed rowing a canoe after scoring in the second half of the match in Belarus. "I just felt in my heart it was the right thing to do," he told ESPN. "Me and my family are from Samoa and I've got a lot of family there that got caught in the tsunami. A lot of people are going through a hard time."

Rescue workers on the Samoan islands and Tonga are continuing to search for survivors after the tsunami which has so far claimed 149 confirmed victims.

Other than that it was a tremendous performance from Everton given the line-up. Yobo and Rodwell going down with flu (and you can bet the others were feeling ropey too). Hibbert in central defence, Osman as skipper.


Bit of a kick in the pants conceding the goal like that but chuffed they didn’t let their heads drop. 6 points is a great start to the group, especially with AEK rallying to beat Benfica.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Yak is back?

Great to see Yakubu score last night and especially nice to see him make a beeline to Mick Rathbone (Everton’s head physio) and hug him. Pretty good goal too...he just makes goal scoring look so easy.


Hull looked very poor it has to be said...very funny to see Barmby get mugged in the build-up to our 4th goal.


Osman was captain last night, it’d be great if he can pull his form round as he does looking he’s sleep-walking his way through some games. Was good against Blackburn and bagged a goal last night so let’s hope for more of the same


So the last 7 days basically pan out as : Everton 11 – 0 AthensBlackburnHull United. Can’t complain about that.





Friday, September 18, 2009

Everton v AEK Athens or football spectating as performance art

Everton in Europe

Well, not sure if that Everton being ace or Athens being poo. Apart fron a 10 minute spell in the first half where the blues were on the back foot we basically destroyed them from the word go. Very rare I, as a totally pessimistic bluenose, feel totally confident about a game. They looked very balanced in midfield with Fellaini simply stepping in and winning the ball then moving it along. At the back Distin looked solid and Gosling played well at right back (although it's difficult to tell if they just didn't have anything to test them).

One of the main points to emerge from the game was the totally superfluous extra officials. Felt sorry for the two goal-linesmen...they just stood there like lemons for the entire game.

Other then the only other thing to report was the Greek fans and there 'football spectating as performance art' co-ordinated craziness. Very distracting with the game ebbing to it's conclusion but you have to take your hat off to them. Superb support for their team. at the full time whistle they unfurled an Everton banner with our crest on and "Forever Blue - Athens Branch" written on it (how to win friends and influence people).

Top work by Everton as they struggle to get some rhythm in this stop start up & down season opening.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Oh dear, oh dear Ireland

The All Blacks have their haka, the English generally pout at the camera...the Irish prance around like McFly wannabes

Ireland launch their new rugby kit

Monday, September 14, 2009

It's not a bug in the game's code, it's a bug in your moral code

I like this novel approach to piracy protection :

It's not a bug in the game's code, it's a bug in your moral code

Anyone who attempts to direct Batman using the "glide" button finds that the feature has been disabled, causing the Caped Crusader to plunge to his death.

One gamer who got his hands on an early copy of the PC version, which is released this week, reported the apparent bug in a hastily-typed post in the game's official forum, complaining that Batman kept dying in a cloud of poisonous gas.

"I've got a problem when it's time to use Batman's glide in the game. When I hold , like it's said to jump from one platform to another, Batman tries to open his wings again and again instead of gliding. So he fels down in a poisoning gas. If somebody could tel me, what should I do there," he wrote.

But rather than sympathy or tips from other players, he received a ticking off from an employee of Eidos, the developer behind the game.

"The problem you have encountered is a hook in the copy protection, to catch out people who try and download cracked versions of the game for free," he wrote.

"It's not a bug in the game's code, it's a bug in your moral code."

Unbelievable shot from Roger Federer

Just when you think Federer can't get any better he does this :

That's just awesome

Monday, August 17, 2009

Lonely Planet Magazine

Sent this to the Lonely Planet Magazine after they labelled Anfield a 'cathedral' and Goodison Park a 'shed' in their city mini-guide section

Sir, I read your magazine with interest each month and so was particularly excited to see my own city, Liverpool, featured in your mini-guides this month.

Alas you saw fit to label stoop to gaining lazy, easy laughs at the expense of Goodison Park, home of Everton FC. I presume this stems from a lack of editorial judgement on your part and a mischevious streak on the part of your correspondant Richard Vaughan. For the record Goodison Park is one of the few old style British football grounds hosting top flight football, whilst other grounds opt for concrete and steel and modern razzamataz Goodison still retains a traditional feel.

It's worth noting that Everton remain locally owned whilst other club have been taken over by foreign billionaires. We mightn't have huge budgets, corporate investment or McDonalds in the corner of the stadium (like the "cathedral" your piece recomends visiting) but the club has, in fact, been the only antidote the big money cartel dominating the game in recent years...much more in keeping, I'd say, with the Lonely Planet ethos.....still at least your readers will be able to fuel up on Big Macs when they visit.


Stuart Brandwood

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Hooray for Hollinwood

Got to love this sort of anonymous mischief. Hats off to whoever has done it

A recreation of the iconic Hollywood sign, which nestles in the Californian hills, has appeared on a grass verge by the side of the M60 - in Hollinwood.

No-one has yet claimed responsibility for the sign, which at 3ft (0.9m) high is dwarfed by its famous cousin.

An Oldham Council spokesman said it was "definitely not a council initiative".

The sign, 4.5 miles (7.2km) away from Manchester, appeared on Monday by the side of the eastbound carriageway of the motorway between junctions 21 and 22.

News of its appearance is spreading and local ward councillor Keith Pendlebury was set to visit the new attraction on Tuesday.

But he admitted he was also in the dark about the origin of the wooden lettering.

"There was a scheme proposed to put an iconic piece of art at the Hollinwood roundabout - but I don't think this is it," he told BBC News.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Lescott makes a formal transfer request

So we got from this

Joleon Lescott was cheered every time he touched the ball as Everton beat Malaga 2-1 in a pre-season friendly at Goodison Park.

The defender, who has told the club he wants to leave, could have expected a tough night, but his name received the loudest applause before the game.

The 26-year-old played the full 90 minutes and left the field with the Gwladys Street fans singing his name.

to this

Everton have turned down a transfer request from Joleon Lescott, who is being targeted by Manchester City. The Goodison Park outfit have knocked back bids of £15m and £18m from City for the centre-half.

"I have always said that we are not selling any players and that has not changed," Toffees boss David Moyes told the club's website. Lescott, 26, is currently on international duty with England ahead of a friendly against the Netherlands.

But he played in a friendly for Everton in a 2-1 win over Malaga last Friday and was cheered throughout by the Merseyside club's fans. But, if the supporters were trying to urge Lescott to stay, their attempts appear to have fallen on deaf ears as he has put his desire to leave the club in writing.

So he plays in a game and is cheered at every turn (despite him informing the manager he wanted to leave) then scuttles off on international duty and whilst away makes a formal transfer request. You can only assume that he's one cold-hearted, mercenary, coward. Until today I wouldn't have bought that for a second...totally out of character.

He'll get huge amounts of cash at City and will no doubt be desperately looking forward to participating in their 2nd round Carling Cup tie. Ah well that's modern footy for you eh.

Bassong's ban...earliest St Totteringham's day ever?

So Spurs beat liverpool with a banned Bassong in the side, liverpool quite rightly cry foul, Tottenham relegated (or let off scot-free if the West Ham "media-darling London club" precedent is followed). Could be interesting though.

Sebastien Bassong is set to make his debut for Tottenham against Liverpool on Sunday despite appearing to serve only one game of a two-match ban.

Bassong, 23, was sent off for Newcastle at the end of last season and missed their final match of the campaign.

Spurs say he has completed his ban by missing Newcastle's match against West Brom on Saturday, even though he signed for the Londoners before that match.

Tottenham insist the ban continued to apply to Newcastle games.

"Sebastien Bassong will be available for selection for our Premier League season opener against Liverpool on Sunday," read a Spurs statement.

"Given he served the first game of his ban against Aston Villa on the final day of the previous campaign as a Newcastle player, it meant the suspension continued to apply to Newcastle games.

"It was therefore satisfied when his former club visited West Brom on the opening day of the Championship season on Saturday."

How can Tottenham possibly say he's available...he was a Spurs player, you buy a banned player he's banned for his next game. No doubt that slimy crook Redknapp will be on the news feigning shocked righteous indignation as usual.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sunshine on Leith - Hibernian

This is brilliant

My heart was broken, my heart was broken
Sorrow Sorrow Sorrow Sorrow
My heart was broken, my heart was broken

You saw it, You claimed it
You touched it, You saved it

My tears are drying, my tears are drying
Thankyou Thankyou Thankyou Thankyou
My tears are drying, my tears are drying

Your beauty and kindness
Made tears clear my blindness

While I'm worth my room on this earth
I will be with you
While the Chief, puts Sunshine On Leith
I'll thank him for his work
And your birth and my birth.

My heart was broken, my heart was broken
Sorrow Sorrow Sorrow Sorrow
My heart was broken, my heart was broken

While I'm worth my room on this earth
I will be with you
While the Chief, puts Sunshine On Leith
I'll thank him for his work
And your birth and my birth.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Argentinian league postponed due to debt

Wow, how massive is this...a whole country's top flight getting mothballed due to debt :

The start of the football season in Argentina has been delayed indefinitely because many of the clubs involved are heavily in debt. The season had been due to kick off on 14 August, but the Argentine Football Association (AFA) said some clubs did not have enough money to pay players.

AFA President Julio Grondona said the situation was "very difficult". Last week, clubs in the second division had the start of their season postponed for similar reasons.

"The executive committee of the AFA resolved unanimously tonight that the championships in all categories should not start on the scheduled dates," said a statement posted on the AFA website late on Tuesday.

The organisation said it was continuing to look for "a substantive solution" to the financial problems facing the clubs and that their decision "will not affect intelligent and dignified meetings to seek a solution satisfactory to both parties".

Unbelievable's you much danger there is of football eating itself alive

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Cheatball, diveball etc etc

As regular readers know we here at GarstonTowers love rugby union only marginally less than footy.

We are however regularly faced with a fair bit of lazy snobbery for rugby fans (almost as bad as the inverted snobbery rugby fans get from the footy types). Cheatball, diveball etc etc. Heard it plenty of times....what's happened with this Harlequins fake blood-replacement affair is one of the worst examples of cheating I can remember in sport. To have a blood pellet in store for just such an 'emergency' is absolutely shameless.

What is just as pathetic is thar the authorities have decided not to take action against Dean Richards the coach...or the physio who administered the fake blood....rather just a fine for the club and a banfor the player.

Head burying of the highest order.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Stephen Fry on cricket

Stephen Fry making a speech about cricket :

Thank you ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much indeed. It is an honour to stand before so many cricketing heroes from England and from Australia and at this, my favourite time of year. The time when that magical summer sound comes to our ears and gladdens our old hearts, the welcome sound of leather on Graham Swann.

I have been asked to say a few words - well more than a few. “You’ve twenty minutes to fill,” I was firmly told by the organisers. 20 minutes. Not sure how I’ll use all that time up. Perhaps in about ten minutes or so Andrew Strauss would be kind enough to send on a a physio, that should kill a bit of time.

Now, many of you will be wondering by what right I presume to stand and speak in front of this assembly of all that is high and fine and grand and noble and talented in the world of cricket, and to speak too in this very temple of all that is historic, majestic and ever so slightly preposterous and silly in that world? I certainly can’t lay claim to any great cricketing achievements. I can’t bat, I can’t field, I bowl off the wrong foot. That sounds like a euphemism for something else, doesn’t it? “They say he bowls off the wrong foot, know what I mean? He enters stage left. Let me put it this way, he poles from the Cambridge end of the punt.” Actually as a matter of fact, although it is true in every sense that I have always bowled off the wrong foot. I have decided, since Sunday, to go into the heterosexual breeding business. My first three sons will be called Collingwood Fry, Anderson Fry and Monty Fry. That’s if their mother can ever get them out, of course. But back to the original question you so intelligently, if rhetorically, asked. If I can’t play, what can I do? I can umpire, I suppose, after a fashion. A fashion that went out years ago around the time of those two peerless umpires, perhaps some of you are old enough to remember them, Jack Crapp and Arthur Fagg. I remember them. I remember them every morning, as a matter of fact: Crapp and Fagg. Though now, sadly, the law says we can no longer do it in public places. And I believe that may even apply to smoking too. Anyway. We were on the subject of why I’m speaking to you. I don’t play. I’m not even a cricketing commentator, journalist or writer. I suppose the only right I have to be amongst you, the cricketing élite, might derive from my being said to represent, here in the Long Room, all those who have spent their lives loving the game at a safe distance from the square. It is love for the game that brings me here.

In the forty-five years that I have followed cricket, I have seen it threatened from all sides by the horrors of modern life. The game has been an old-fashioned blushing maiden laid siege by coarse and vulgar suitors. A courtship pattern of defence, acceptance, capitulation and finally absorption has followed. When I started watching, A. R. Lewis played for and captained England as an amateur. The game could never recover surely, from being forced, against the will of many of those who ran this place, being forced to become solely a professional sport? I am just old enough to remember too the Basil D’Oliveira affair in all its unsavoury nastiness: the filth of racism and international politics was beginning to stain the pure white of the flannels. The one-day-game appeared, shyly at first. The balance of bat and ball, essential for cricket to make any sense as a sporting spectacle, became threatened, everyone agreed, by the covering of wickets which would privilege batsman, and then that necessary equipoise was threatened the other way by the arrival of extreme pace and the pitiless bouncer. The look and style of cricketers was apparently forever compromised by helmets and elastic waisted trouserings hideous to behold. Cane and canvas pads were replaced by wipe clean nylon fastened by Velcro. Kerry Packer arrived and sowed his own blend of discord. The continuing rise and mutation of one day cricket caused panic from Windermere to Woking as white balls and coloured pyjamas threatened the sanity of Telegraph readers everywhere. Rogue South African tours caused alarm and frenzy. Pitch invasions marked an end of the days when schoolboys could lie on their tummies by the boundary-rope filling in a green scoring book, until they got bored which they inevitably did, all except the speccy swatty ones who were laughed at and are now running the world. The rest of us were too busy asking the man in the Public Announcement tent to put out a message for our lost friends Ivor Harden, Hugh Janus, Seymour Cox and Mike Hunt. One turbulent decade began with John Snow getting barracked and bombarded with tinnies and ended with batsmen getting bounced and sledged. Cameras and microphones got closer and closer to the action to overhear the insults and demystify the bowling actions. The art of spin had disappeared, for ever, some believed. Cricketers wives wrote books about the overseas tours. Reverse swing seemed to arrive out of nowhere : “Not only does he bowl off the wrong foot. They say he swings it the other way.” Ball tampering became a matter of dinner party chat from Keswick to Canterbury . Clever 3-D images were painted on the grass round about the long stop area advertising power generation companies no one had ever heard of. Advertising was not only to be seen on the grass, but on the clothes, Vodafone and Castlemaine were stitched bigger and brighter on the shirts than the three lions and the wallabies and that mysterious silver feather that Kiwis seem so unaccountably fond of.

The county game was rent asunder into leagues and divisions that no one really understands; the politics and governance of cricket, with its contracts and coaches, its bloated fixture lists and auctions of broadcasting rights caused hand-wringing too, though many would rather it were neck-wringing.

Meanwhile, drugs, drinking binges, embarrassing text messages and other scandals continued to erupt like acne on a teenager.

South Africa returned to the fold as other countries entered the club of test playing nations. Kenya, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh.

Two of those speccy boys who used to score at the sidelines got their revenge, their names were Mr Lewis and Mr Duckworth.

To the dictionary of acronyms and initials were added ODI, T-20 and IPL. Power plays and baseball style pinch-hitters were swept in. The old lady of cricket was getting a right duffing up.

Yet, amazingly, none of these changes, professionalism, the covered wickets, helmets, day-night games, confirmed the dire prognostications of those who believed each one might hammer a stump into cricket’s fragile heart. For this same period of my cricket watching life saw some of the greatest matches in the game’s history. The 1981 and 2005 Ashes series, the Tied Test; a new aggression and boldness of stroke play that no one could disapprove of. Scoring rates went up and great batsmen emerged: Lara, Tendulkar and Ponting amongst many others. And miraculously, to keep the game balanced, Warne and Murali showed that far from being dead, spin bowling was supremely alive; even providing a new ball in the form of the doozra. Huge crowds and rising popularity in fresh territories confirmed cricket’s health. Levels of fitness and standards of fielding rocketed. And all the while, the game’s greatest expression, the 5 Day Test Match, led the way, providing the greatest entertainment, the most excitement and the deepest commitment from the players. All those mournful predictions had come to nothing. The greatest of games had triumphed again.

But now, now, in the age of the internet, just as the great, great players of the past ten years have one by one started to play their farewell matches and leave the field for ever, hideous new forces have been at work. The newly emerged South Africa became mired in scandal, intrigue and misery as the new disease of spread-betting lived up to its name and spread, spread like cholera through a slum. Grotesque emails from professional umpires hit the headlines; allegations of systematic cheating and match-fixing have become commonplace, a dismal and lamentably organised Shop Window for international cricket, its 2007 World Cup seemed to lay the game low: an incomprehensible and dreadful tragedy in the death of Bob Woolmer its ghastly and unforgettable legacy. As if that weren’t enough we were more recently treated to the embarrassing spectacle of cricket’s governors cosying up to a Texan fraudster with a helicopter and a bigger mouth than wallet.

A new kind of bitterness has entered some quarters of the game as ex-players become commentators, columnists and journalists and begin to turn on their erstwhile teammates, dispraising the current players, pouring scorn on their technique and deprecating their tactical nous. We have video of course and can see that these pundits know what they were talking about: historical archive reveals that Boycott, Botham, Gower, Atherton, Willis, and Hussein were never out playing a false shot, never shuffled across, never missed a captaincy trick, never dropped a catch, never posted a fielder in the wrong place and never bowled off line or off length in the entire course of their careers.

The benefits and the drawbacks of broadcast technology bewilder us. Hotspots and Hawkeye, referrals and replays, umpires have never been more pressured and exposed and greater more seismically structural questions have never been asked about the meaning and spirit of the game. The rewards are greater, the stakes are higher, the price of failure more public and humiliating.

So a hundred years on from cricket’s Golden Age of C. B. Fry here is another Fry, searching for a way to toast a game that appears to have become … well, toast.

We could choose to believe that and retreat into memories of an apparently innocent and gilded past. We could wash our hands of it all, or we could choose to continue to believe in the game. Not necessarily in its administrators, nor even its players, though most of them in all divisions of the game are proud and gifted. We could choose to have faith in cricket. I for one do truly believe that the game itself, as first played by shepherds in the south of England, the game that spread to every corner of the world, the supreme bat and ball competition, the greatest game ever devised, will continue to provide unimagined pleasures, that true drama will once more come centre stage, booting into the wings the tragedy and farce we have witnessed over the past decade in particular. There will be new scandals of course: that you can depend upon. Undreamt of debacles, imbroglios, furores, brouhahas, crimes, rows, walk-outs and embarrassments are waiting around the corner, quietly slipping the horseshoe into the boxing-glove and preparing to give the goddess Cricketina a sock in the jaw. But new geniuses, new historic last ball climaxes, new unimaginable heights of athletic, tactical and aesthetic pleasure await us too. It is up to the players to believe in the game and the cricketing administrators to believe in the players. But most of all it is up to us to keep the faith and be unashamed, be proud of our love of cricket. Here, in the very place that is so often called cricket’s Mecca, cathedral and temple, is the place for us all to pledge that faith. I do so happily as I raise a glass in toast, on behalf of cricket lovers everywhere to Andrew Strauss in his Benefit Year and his wonderful Team, to Ricky Ponting and his fine tourists and to cricket itself. For, to misappropriate Benjamin Franklin, Cricket is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. So then: raise your glasses, to Strauss, England, Australia and cricket.

Apollo 11 online 40 years on

There can only be one song to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing

Saturn V by the Inspiral Carpets

There is tonnes of good stuff on the net for this. There's a relive Apollo 11 twitter feed and a flash based website at Great fun.

"...and a planet full of people raises it's hands".

"We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon... (interrupted by applause) we choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.

It is for these reasons that I regard the decision last year to shift our efforts in space from low to high gear as among the most important decisions that will be made during my incumbency in the office of the Presidency.

In the last 24 hours we have seen facilities now being created for the greatest and most complex exploration in man's history. We have felt the ground shake and the air shattered by the testing of a Saturn C-1 booster rocket, many times as powerful as the Atlas which launched John Glenn, generating power equivalent to 10 thousand automobiles with their accelerators on the floor. We have seen the site where five F-1 rocket engines, each one as powerful as all eight engines of the Saturn combined, will be clustered together to make the advanced Saturn missile, assembled in a new building to be built at Cape Canaveral as tall as a 48 story structure, as wide as a city block, and as long as two lengths of this field.

Within these last 19 months at least 45 satellites have circled the earth. Some 40 of them were made in the United States of America and they were far more sophisticated and supplied far more knowledge to the people of the world than those of the Soviet Union.

The Mariner spacecraft... (interrupted by applause) the Mariner spacecraft now on its way to Venus is the most intricate instrument in the history of space science. The accuracy of that shot is comparable to firing a missile from Cape Canaveral and dropping it in this stadium between the 40-yard lines.

Transit satellites are helping our ships at sea to steer a safer course. Tiros satellites have given us unprecedented warnings of hurricanes and storms, and will do the same for forest fires and icebergs.

We have had our failures, but so have others, even if they do not admit them. And they may be less public.

To be sure,... (interrupted by applause) to be sure, we are behind, and will be behind for some time in manned flight. But we do not intend to stay behind, and in this decade, we shall make up and move ahead.

The growth of our science and education will be enriched by new knowledge of our universe and environment, by new techniques of learning and mapping and observation, by new tools and computers for industry, medicine, the home as well as the school. Technical institutions, such as Rice, will reap the harvest of these gains."

Amazing to think of the amazing adventure those people went on all those years ago. Great to see the Endeavour launching yesterday too (Primarily 'cause it's the one with the best name).

Monday, June 29, 2009

Jo Whiley is a vapid sycophant and the British Lions were robbed

So what did we learn over the last week....well for one thing Stephen Pienaar and Tim Howard are both ace but ultimately miss out on honours due to not being in the 'elite' teams.

We also learnt that when touring the southern hemisphere teams from up here will always be the victims of dodgy referees. They were brilliant on Saturday and deserved so much more than going down 2-0. They have really shown a lot of pride & togetherness during this tour. Qualities that were missing during the New Zealand tour. But for a few key moments they could easily be 2-0 up. Hopefully whatever happens in the final test it'll prove that The Lions will always have their place in world rugby because both tests so far have been superb games.

....and we also learnt that the BBC are only interested in presenters who will earnestly look into a camera and proclaim that what they are seeing is just brilliant/fantastic/amazing etc etc etc. Primary amongst this is their Vapid-Sycophant-in-chief Jo Whiley but her cohorts (and possibly clones) Edith Bowman and Zane Lowe are almost as bad. I am, of course talking about their Glastonbury coverage, Blur were good last night...their slow songs were spot on but all the up-tempo songs were just that little bit too snatched and fast. Probably understandable nerves.

One thing I did notice this year was that the flags are just getting ridiculous...paying all that cash to look at a stage obscured by a forest of national flags, footy flags, CND flags and a huge banner with "I love sausage" written on it. Shame on the two flag carrying Evertonians who were seen at a Ting-Tings gig!

We also learnt that The Ting-Tings are still garbage...shame on the two Evertonian flag wavers in the audience.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

BBC Licence fee to be split up

Do I not get a say in this?

BBC Licence fee could be shared

I don't really want my money going to pay for ITV or Channel4...quite frankly their crap. The BBC is ace. If the sponsors and advertisers aren't enough to keep Coronation Street in the production values it is accustomed to then tough luck.

If I am going to pay for anything I want it to be the sort of high quality stuff that only the BBC can produce. If we are talking about sharing it out how about giving ITV Jonathon Ross' share, that's it.

Leave the BBC alone, it's one of the best things about the country.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Is this your new replica kit? (What were Spurs thinking?) 15 June 2009 - 13:18 |

Is this your new replica kit? (What were Spurs thinking?) 15 June 2009 - 13:18 |

New football kits for this season. I don't particularly like the new Everton home shirt (the away kits looks like it'll be nice but isn't pictured here).

The new Blackburn and Bolton shirts are much worse than ours.

City's is surprisingly classic given that Umbro were forever messing with our shirts when they made them.

Wow, It's just not cricket...actually it is

I'm sure there was a fair few MCC members scowling yesterday but ultimately yesterday was just a cricket carnival.

Even the most cynical of England fans would doff their caps to the Indian fans, fanatical doesn't even begin to cover it. As the Australian will attest our "Barmy Army" are no slouches either so it made for an amazingly vibrant evening. If they fail the old Tory "cricket test" then who cares.

With 153 runs under our belt I thought England were at least 20 short but in the end it was an absolutely enthralling finish.

So chuffed England won, this tournament is really catching fire now, England have an extremely difficult job on their hands later today but after yesterday anything is possible. Hope some of those Indian cricket fans will revert to plan b and support us now.

Monday, June 08, 2009


Well after the debacle against the Netherlands it was relieving to see England step up and deal with a very tricky match against Pakistan so professionally.

The loss to the Dutch was utterly shocking but Twenty20 can be like that 'cause the game can get away from you so quickly. Against Pakistan that never really looked like happening. It would have been pretty shocking to go out of the tournament after just two days so I'm very glad we won.

England's footy players dealt with an arduous trip out to central Asia pretty professionally too with a fairly comfortable 4-0 win (once we'd settled down) and finally the Lions continued their winning ways although they were given a scare against the Ceetahs as they almost blew a 20 point lead.

Also great to see Roger Federer complete his career grand slam because he really is one of the greatest.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

and that's that

Bit gutted about the FA Cup Final still but at the end of the day it was a great day to be an Evertonian whatever the result. Chelsea fans, individually, were mainly sound but collectively they seemed an odd bunch (Singing versions "Poor Scouser Tommy" and some weird Bouncey bouncey song). It was only this weekend that's made me realise how unpopular Chelsea are, everyone we met, Arsenal, liverpool, United, Blackburn, West Ham, Brentford seemed to be going out of their way to wish us luck again The Pensioners which was nice.

Ultimately the only thing that threw the Evertonians off kilter was Saha's early was very much "Okay, what do we do now" (We had a brilliant angle for Saha's goal...the delirium after he scored was breathtaking.

In the end we we met Triumph and Disaster and treated those two impostors just the same and that's all you can ask.

Will write more about the match when the dust settles (Haven't even read the program yet). It has been a great old season...if even my lucky conkers couldn't conjure up a win then nothing could.

Thanks to everyone, blue or otherwise, who's helped make this such great season.

Friday, May 29, 2009

What Everton means to people

With the FA Cup Final looming The Echo have done this survey about what Everton means to it's fans.

Everton FC fans' survey shows depths of passion and pride.

I like this, they made the following Word cloud out of the answers :

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Congratulations David Moyes. Manager of the Year again

Well done Davey...LMA Manager of the year again. 3rd time in 7 years. Personally I'd have given it to Roy Hodgson this year but who am I to argue

Everton's David Moyes has been named as the League Managers' Association's manager of the year for the third time.

The Scot, who guided the Toffees to fifth in the Premier League as well as the FA Cup final, has twice previously won the award in 2003 and 2005.

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson won the LMA Special Merit Award for his success this season.

Son Darren, Peterborough boss, won the League One title and Wolves boss Mick McCarthy took the Championship prize.

Brentford's Andy Scott was named as the League Two manager of the year after guiding the west London club to promotion.

Moyes's third win means he has achieved a feat even compatriot Ferguson has yet to achieve.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

We're on the march with Moysie's army...We're all going to Wem-ber-lee

So, The People's Club has come through for us. The wife has got a ticket and so have a lot of the people in the supporters clubs. Some people are still disgruntled and there are some anomalies for example half season ticket holders with 3 extra games get a ticket whilst non-season ticket holders who've been to every game having to go into a ballot.

In truth whilst the allocation is so small there is always going to be problems like this. I genuinely believe that no club our size could have done it any better (the club even gave nothing to it's own shareholders unless they met the season ticket plus extra games criteria).

Rumours abound that the club managed to liberate a load of tickets from a touting network and re-distributed them to supporters clubs and season ticket holders.

Anyway, the fact is that we are on the march. We're all going to or lose Everton have done their fans proud this season.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

the final countdown

Still massively busy at work so not so much blogging at the moment, Love the UEFA Cup Final tonight. Odd to watch a game where you are complete neutral. I could tell I was neutral because I was willing Shaktar, the better side, to score and as soon as they did I really wanted Bremen to equalise.

The last day of the season this Sunday and Everton have little to play for so it's time to relax, hope for not injuries and watch the relegation battle unfold...and thank God for every season that Everton aren't involved in it.

After that....the small matter of the FA Cup final. If Hibbert plays he scores the winner.

Monday, May 18, 2009

and that is that (almost)

Everton's end of term party was pretty routine really,

Everyone had stayed in the pubs to watch the end of the Utd v Arsenal game so getting into Goodison was fairly tricky. West Ham threatened to spoil the day by scoring a 30 yard screamer which was applauded by the Everton fans such was the quality of the strike (although Howard's reading of the drive and positioning was possibly suspect.

From there is was all about Everton, once West Ham were down to 10 men and we'd scored the penalty we took control (apart from two lightning West Ham breaks coming after sustained spells of Everton pressure).

So 3-1 and we wave the boys off to Wembley....looks like The People's Club have came up trumps for it's season ticket holders by stripping tickets off supporters clubs and shareholders. Fingers crossed

Friday, May 15, 2009

Cup Final Tickets

So far it looks like I've got my FA Cup Final ticket but it looks like the wife is going to miss out. Looking forward to it but trying not to rub her nose in.

Will be up in the top tier in the corner but who cares, Everton are going back to Wembley and I'll be there


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

As we all try to be positive in the wake of poor Phil Jagielka's injury here's a nice article about the adversity Everton have faced this season.

Another game, another catastrophic knee injury to one of Everton’s key players. The sight of Wembley hero Phil Jagielka writhing in agony around the Goodison turf was a sobering one for the Blues, coming just a week after the ecstasy of that semi-final win over Manchester United.

Injuries are a fact of the game. Every player who takes to a football field across the world knows that, should fate deal you an agonising hand, an injury could put you out for weeks, months or even threaten your entire career.

Thankfully such serious injuries are rare, but that makes it even more galling for Everton fans when your look at what they have had to cope with this season.

The campaign began without talismanic Aussie Tim Cahill who was still recovering from a broken foot sustained the previous March – the third spell out with such an injury in three years. The likes of Mikel Arteta and Tony Hibbert also had operations over the summer and that coupled with Moyes’ inertia in the transfer market, meant the side began the season with just 14 fit senior players.

Worse was to come. Nigeria international Yakubu, who hit 21 goals in his first season at Goodison, ruptured an achilles tendon at Spurs in November, instantly ruling him out for eight months. With the likes of Louis Saha, James Vaughan and Victor Anichebe also suffering minor niggles, Everton found themselves without any strikers. However a fit-again Tim Cahill and record signing Marouane Fellaini formed an unlikely, but effective, strike partnership.

A key cog in the Everton machine was Mikel Arteta. The Spaniard had finally regained match fitness and was arguably playing the best football of his Toffees career when again the injury curse struck at St James’ Park in February. A cruciate knee ligament injury put him out for up to eight months - another hammer blow. In the same game Victor Anichebe was the victim of a horror tackle by Kevin Nolan and was also ruled out for the rest of the campaign with a knee cartilage problem.

But once again Moyes, who has never dwelt on or moaned about the injuries, rallied the troops again and found another system which garnered more Premier League points and FA Cup wins. It reminds me of Rocky IV, when our hero took on steroid-fuelled Russian giant Ivan Drago. Punch after punch battered Rocky’s face and chest, but he continued unabated and unmoved. Everton have taken each blow full in the face but have refused to go down, bravely fighting on battered and bruised.

The icing on the cake therefore, as a reward for defying the odds, came at Wembley last week when Phil Jagielka tucked home the decisive spot kick to send Everton to the FA Cup final for the first time in 14 years.

If anyone deserved that moment it was Jagielka. The former Sheffield United man has improved dramatically under Moyes’ stewardship, becoming a first-team regular and establishing himself in the England squad. He also deserved to line-up for the final on May 30th, his injury is devastating both for the club and the player himself.

To put it into context take Vidic, Ronaldo and Rooney out of United’s side, or Gerrard, Carragher and Torres out of Liverpool’s starting XI, and you will understand how important the injured trio are to Everton’s fortunes. The entire spine of the squad has been removed.

Now I know all clubs have to deal with injuries but few have coped so admirably and with such a small squad than Everton. The fact they sit comfortable sixth in the table as well as reaching the Cup final (meaning they have qualified for Europe for the third successive year) is testament to Moyes’ man management and the resilience and determination of his players.

Jagielka’s injury is massive blow but if one club can cope, it’s Moyes’ tough Toffees.

Monday, April 27, 2009

BBC not giving Everton a fair crack of the whip?

Not sure if this is just paranoia or just me being gutted after a rotten afternoon at Goodison Park but it seems recently that Match of the Day are being a wee bit snidey to the blues in recent weeks.

After the Villa game they did an absolute hatchet job on Fellaini basically labeling him a thug (the week before our big semi final).

This week they seemed to just ignore a lot of the key issues of the Everton V City game, to be honest it was a fairly fair result but the manner in which it was achieved and how it was reported did grate. They barely touched on the possible fouls in the lead up to their first goal, they didn't bother showing the three incidents when City fans seemed to slap on of our players and tried to spin the outrage over an overlooked Robinho handball as Evertonians booing their own team.

A game against one of Mark Hughes' teams almost always leaves a bad taste in the mouth, I loathed him even when he was an Everton player and his teams are generally in his own makes it even worse when you feel the BBC are trying to twist the knife.

Perhaps that's harsh...there is lots to be upset about from Saturday, not least of all the Jagielka injury. Another player doing their knee ligaments the week after a truly magnificent cup performance. It's just sickening. Just hope Arteta, Jagielka, Yakubu and Anichebe can come back from these injuries and that the rest of the team can cope in their absense. COYB!

Everton are now guaranteed a Europa League spot

Well that's a very very slight silver lining to a pretty thick ugly cloud. Having the sport guaranteed means we'll be able to nurse Saha, Fellaini and Cahill into the final.

From the official Everton website :

Everton are now guaranteed European football next season. The Toffees' run to the FA Cup final and their excellent position in the Barclays Premier League had made a place in the 2009/10 Europa League a probability.

But despite losing to Manchester City on Saturday, that qualification has now been assured. Chelsea beat West Ham 1-0 and secured a Champions League place. As a result, the Toffees will qualify for the Europa League through the FA Cup - regardless of whether they defeat Chelsea in the final.

The Europa League replaces the Uefa Cup and adopts a format that mirrors the Champions League. The Blues will now have to overcome a play-off round tie before entering a new format group stage.

The new-look league will have 48 clubs in 12 groups of four, with teams playing each other home and away as opposed to just once as it stands now. The top two in each group then join the eight third-placed Champions League clubs in a 32-club knock-out stage.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Everton's FA Cup Ticket allocation not enough

Everton have kicked off the now traditional April sport of complaining about their FA Cup final ticket allocation. 25,000 tickets isn't that bad for Everton because we don't have the huge corporate presence of other clubs.

Still it's going to be tricky to get a ticket...there were 32,000 blues at the semi and now everyone is going to want to go to Wembley. I've got a respectable loyalty level this season, should be okay...hopefully. COYB!!!

Everton chief executive Robert Elstone says he is disappointed at the ticket allocation given to the club for the FA Cup final against Chelsea on 30 May.

The Football Association announced on Thursday that both clubs will receive 25,000 tickets for the game.

Wembley has a 90,000 capacity meaning that 40,000 tickets will be given to what is called "the football family".

"We are obviously disappointed at the number of tickets we have received," Elstone told the Everton website.

"The challenge for us now is to make sure that these tickets are distributed fairly amongst the Everton fanbase."

Chelsea have revealed that the size of their allocation means it is unlikely there will be sufficient tickets for all of Chelsea's hospitality and non-hospitality season ticket holders.

However, they too said on their official website they intend to "ensure there will be as fair an allocation of the tickets as possible in line with the club's ticketing policy."

Tickets that are not allocated to either club are distributed to alternative groups which include the regional FAs and referees, sponsors and charity partners.

Last year, 17,000 tickets went to Club Wembley - the 10-year season ticket allocation which were sold to help cover the cost of building the ground.

The FA also revealed on Thursday that tickets will be priced in four categories: £34.30, £58.65, £78.30 and £93.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Everton V Man Utd : Review from a very happy Evertonians

This was our day in the sun and everyone knew it. I don't go in for all that best fans in the world rubbish. I don't care what the wider football media/public think about Everton &'s my fellow blues that count. I stayed in Hammersmith on Saturday and as soon as I got up on Sunday we were bumping into blues. A little glance/smile/nod or a proper "Come on you Blues!", it felt like our day from the off. We met up for a drink with loads of our mates, no-one was missing this one.

Train stations and pubs were all there "WHAT'S OUR NAME?" "EVERTON". The United fans milling around seemed to know to take a back seat, this was just another game to them. They didn't seem to begrudge us it (plus the enemy of my enemy is my friend). Loved every second of it, the sun shining down on all those royal blue jerseys. The buzz outside the ground was immense, people were just's understandable, it's pitiful that it's been almost 15 years since our last Wembley trip, the high spirits were brilliant. Obviously I hope for loads more days like this but I do hope we never get blase about it like our Manc cousins obviously were. Kids and big kids smiling and just enjoying being a bluenose (there's been plenty of times when it was difficult)...some of those young uns have been ripped by their rednose mates there entire lives. Well every dog has there day and this was ours. I now know that there is no upper limit on the size of a Fellaini wig.

The team news also highlight the United priorities, were we ever going to get a better chance? Into the ground then, two behind Joey 'The Pieman' Parkinson, I even rubbed his head for look....I knew it was out day from that second onwards. "The City's all yours, The City's all yours...we're off to Wembley. The City's all yours" up those stairs and into our seat. Up in the Gods but who cares, the Evertonians were in early and the party started. Nervous at first but by the start of the second half it was rocking. As I said earlier I'm not into all that "Best supporters in the world", all I know is that those players knew how much we love them.

So ultimately we came up just short of winning the game properly, if Vaughan had put that late chance away...but then again they should have had a penalty. Vidic was immense for them and they kept us at arms length....but we had at least matched them. Neville put in a true captains performance whilst Jags and Lescott were superb. So it the penalty shoot-out. Arteta and Jo milled around geeing up the players, their mates. Rooney and Ronaldo were watching back home. Is that telling?

I reckon everyone in our end thought it was over...I didn't see too many long faces. We'd done ourselves proud, we all knew we'd had a great day, Cahill missed and we just started singing his name, no recriminations... It's Tim, we owe him plenty. But as it turns out this was our day...Berbatov took one of the worst pens I've ever seen, Bainsey takes on of the best. Ferdinand puts it a little too close and all of a sudden it's getting scarey. Neville and Vaughan both did it and so it comes to Jagielka, a player who has been beyond brilliant all year. We were so close to getting the glory, but it never happens to Everton, we are the bridesmaid not the bride. I could barely watch but Jags puts his head down and he scorches it was like 30,000 fireworks had gone off at once in our end. Just grabbing anyone and everyone and screaming, I had tears in my eyes. It just went on for so long, finally looked round and the team were already making their way to the Everton end, the Mancs had somehow all left.

Z-Cars and Forever Everton rang out and we sang like loons, Amarillo and Hi Ho Silver lining...incongruous but who cares. Everton had done it...hadn't we? Yeah, we had...we never normally do it. Even last year when we set about Fiorentina and turned around a first leg defecit, we'd still managed to have it snatched from us...this is a team that earlier this season managed to equalise with the penultimate kick of the game and still manage to lose. But there you go...every dog has it's day. Moyes and his Everton may well be pushing against a glass ceiling but days like this come along and you see the pride, hunger & togetherness in player, manager and fan alike. Wembley again in May. Bring it on.

Superb article about Everton's semi final win

Finally got round to watching the Man Utd v Everton semi final again last night, was nervous watching even knowing the result. Interesting how your impressions are different after the fact. I thought we were a lot more comfortable in the first half whilst Fellaini was actually a lot more imposing than I'd originally thought. One thing that cam through loud and clear on the tv was the Everton support. It was a nervous affair but from the start of the second half onwards it was just a wall of noise from us. It's something that'll always stay with me.

Loving this:

David Moyes' Everton reach the FA Cup final

The days when Moyes was being questioned after a troubled summer in the transfer market and there was uncertainty over his own future before signing a new, long-term contract seemed an age away as he joined in the celebrations at Wembley.

And when Everton's players had not been at their best during the game, a seething wall of sound produced by their supporters stepped in to provide the missing inspiration.

Everton's fans have fashioned pessimism and long-suffering into a fine art but the wild scenes among those in royal blue at the final whistle suggested the long wait to grace a showpiece final had been worthwhile.

The coaches streamed back to Merseyside from London festooned in flags, scarves and smiles, with the supporters on board anticipating the chance to pursue greater glory at the end of May. They have waited all this time for a Wembley appearance and two come along at once.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Everton at Wembley

THat was just one of the best weekends ever.

Everton, I love you.

Will write a proper post when I come back down to earth....but for now put the champagne on ice, we're going to Wembley twice.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Another "Time Cahill says all the right things" interview

Tim Cahill interview

He also appreciates, he says, the heritage of a club that has participated in more FA Cup semi-finals than all bar Arsenal and tomorrow's opponents, United. More, even, than their high-achieving local rivals. "But I think it's difficult to be an Everton supporter with Liverpool in the Champions League every season, spending hundreds of millions. So when you see kids on the streets of Liverpool in Everton jerseys you're like, 'well done, son'. You're really proud of them because they genuinely support their local club. When we play derbies we see coaches coming from Norway carrying Liverpool supporters, but these are young kids whose parents have taught them what it is to be an Evertonian. It's the People's Club, for sure."

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Sir Clement Freud has died aged 84. RIP

Sad news this morning. Sir Clement Freud has died.

Broadcaster and former Liberal MP Sir Clement Freud has died aged 84. A statement from his family said Sir Clement had died on Wednesday evening at his London home.

He is survived by his wife of 59 years, the actress Jill Freud, five children and 17 grandchildren. His funeral will be held next week. A grandson of psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, Sir Clement had a varied career as a cookery expert, press columnist and radio game show contestant.

Such a sharp, witty man...a shame he'll never brighten our evenings on Just a Minute again.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Everton dream team

A nice article in the Independent listing Everton's all time dream team

Everton dream team Not sure about the 3-5-2 but it's fairly impressive.


T.G Jones



Hillsborough : 96 footy fans...You'll Never Walk Alone

Frequent readers of this blog will know that I am not particularly fond of our red cousins. However rivalry is rivalry but blood is thicker than water. When it comes to things like Hillsborough and The Sun boycott then Stanley Park is barely as wide as a blade of grass. I took my scarf down to Anfield on Sunday and tied it to their gates, it was quite a strange goosepimple moment but I'm very glad I did.

96 fans who's only crime was loving their team and wanting to see them play, they never came home but they'll never walk alone.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

New Everton song

There are often attempts at releasing footy songs, most of them are pretty toe-curling.

This one is miles above all that and is pretty goon once they get into their stride and lose the phlegm-laden overly Scouse accents

The St Domigo Song

Now Saint Domingo was our name
The founders of the greatest game
When we had our pitch on Stanley Park
In season eighteen ninety one the Toffees history had begun
We beat them all and the football league was won

Lets look at ninety twenty five
We signed the greatest man alive
Dixie Dean he came from Birkenhead
A god like man it has been said, with sixty goals he knocked them dead
You think that's good ? well most were from his head

and they gave us Dixie, Lawton, Alex Young and Kay
They gave us Harvey, Howie Kendall, Alan Ball, Sharpy and Gray
and now most of the football greats have passed through Goodison's gates
to play football the School of Science way

In sixty six in London town the Toffeemen were two nil down
and Harry Catterick had to earn his dough
so Gabby Westie and Labone they fought and brought the cup back home
with Temple one and two from Trebilcock
and they gave us Dixie, Lawton, Alex Young and Kay
They gave us Harvey, Howie Kendall, Alan Ball, Sharpy and Gray
and now most of the football greats have passed through Goodison's gates
to play football the School of Science way

The eighties side by far the best we won the lot forget the rest
with Tricky Trevor, Brace and Reidy too
we had Psycho Pat, Sharp, Heath and Gray
Big Neville's ma's put the spam away
in Rotterdam a sea of white and blue

and they gave us Dixie, Lawton, Alex Young and Kay
They gave us Harvey, Howie Kendall, Alan Ball, Sharpy and Gray
and now most of the football greats have passed through Goodison's gates
to play football the School of Science way

In ninety five we come of age the dogs of war took centre stage
Waggy lifts the cup up with the boys
Big Duncs no fear he'll never run
so step aside or you'll get done
The People's clubs on the march with Davey Moyes

and they gave us Dixie, Lawton, Alex Young and Kay
They gave us Harvey, Howie Kendall, Alan Ball, Sharpy and Gray
and now most of the football greats have passed through Goodison's gates
to play football the School of Science way

copyright 2009 : 1878 The Originals

Russell Brand: The thrill of how the Premier League mighty are falling | Sport |

Russell Brand: The thrill of how the Premier League mighty are falling | Sport |

Like this article by Russel Brand about being a footy fan.

When in my life am I ever so consumed with passion, I reflected? Will I ever live a moment with such committal and unquestioning verve? When at Upton Park the Hammers score as they dutifully did, twice, on Saturday briefly I am lifted but my goal celebrations as a fan are succinct. Typically I rise from my seat during the build-up play, the momentum lifts us all in unison and then as the line is breached I'll maybe punch the air, one fist, or two if the goal really demands it, then self consciousness is again upon me.

Often I notice that fans around me are still jigging about but I have been returned, deposited once more in the ordinary. Like in orgasm, the release, the presence of divinity is fleeting and all too soon all that remains is the mind and its undying question – "is this it? Is this it?" Well, yes, I'm afraid it is. In life there is no second leg.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Clare Balding apologises for insulting Grand National jockey's teeth

Quite right too, that was a proper *cringe* moment.

BBC presenter Clare Balding has apologised to Grand National winning jockey Liam Treadwell after making fun of his teeth while on air.

In a post-race interview, Balding urged the 23-year-old to show his teeth and told him he could afford to "get them done" with his prize money.

A BBC spokeswoman said the presenter "had no intention whatsoever" of upsetting or embarrassing the jockey.

The BBC received 1,477 complaints from viewers over the remarks.

Treadwell won Saturday's race on 100-1 outsider Mon Mome. In the interview, Balding said to Treadwell: "Give us a big grin to the camera."

When he smiled, keeping his lips closed, she added: "No, no, let's see your teeth. He hasn't got the best teeth in the world, but you can afford to go and get them done now if you like."

Treadwell replied: "Well I could do, but I ain't complaining. It might be bringing on bad luck if I do that, though."

Evertonians, Win semi final tickets

Just seens this on Twitter so I thought I'd flag it up in order to help non-season ticket holders get their hands on semi final tickets

Win Man Utd V Everton Wembley semi final tickets

Best of luck blues.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Tim Cahill is ACE

Brilliant interview with Tim Cahill love the way he answers the liverpool question. No disrespect but letting everyone know that he gets what it's like to be a good blue. I think we'll heard that quote a fair bit.

DR: Can you explain why you've become such a cult hero at Everton?
TC: Every time I score, the passion comes out and I try to relay that back to the fans and to the players and the staff at how grateful I am to be playing for such a good football club. I am part of the furniture at Everton but I don't take it for granted.
DR: It could be argued that you embody Everton, in that you punch above your weight. Is that fair or is that a slight on both your character and that of Everton?
TC: It doesn't matter. I take compliments and I take constructive criticism. Not everyone loves you. It's the way you react as a footballer. I use it all to make me play better.
DR: Do you think you might have won more honours and recognition if you'd gone to a bigger club?
TC: Is the grass always greener? Is it the right situation for you and your family and you as a player? I feel that I am achieving a lot at Everton. It's unfortunate that I haven't won them big awards. But who knows? Maybe one day. But beating Liverpool is like winning an FA Cup. Once you've played for Everton and know what it is to be a Blue, then you know what it means to beat Liverpool.
DR: You've had good battles in the Merseyside derbies. Those games seem to really matter to you.
TC: Definitely. I hold the record with Dixie Dean for being the only Everton player to score three derby goals at Anfield. I still hope to better it. Things like that, the fans never forget. [Ex-Liverpool striker] Ian Rush said that games like that make you a legend and to me that means a lot more than going to a club and being part of a trophy but not really recognised.
DR: Would you ever consider a move to Liverpool if they came in for you?
TC: Never. Never, never. No money in this world could convince me to play for Liverpool. That's not a lack of respect for Liverpool supporters or the football club. It's respect for the Everton supporters. You just can't do that. It goes against everything that I stand for. No chance.

DR: Arsene Wenger is a big fan of yours. What about going to somewhere like Arsenal?
TC: It's a different story when it comes to things like that. Opportunities arise and you either turn them down or you take them. The best thing for me now is I'm at a club that really likes me.
DR: What's the story behind your trademark celebration of boxing the corner flag when you score?
TC: It's from [fellow Socceroo] Archie Thompson. Archie did a kung-fu celebration and I said: "That's quality, I love your celebration." And he said: "Do it. Take it to the Premiership." So I adapted it and it's stuck now. Archie's trying to buy it back off me but he can't have it.
DR: You like to dedicate goals. You dedicated your FA Cup goal against Aston Villa to the people affected by the bushfires in Victoria.
TC: People mourn in different ways. I just felt I had to put that [black] armband on and go on that pitch carrying Australia on my arm. And then when I scored, [Everton captain] Phil Neville is pointing to my arm and the lads are cuddling me and it felt so magical; it felt like the weight had been lifted off my shoulders just for those few seconds.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Obama's gift faux pas

I didn't read this at the time but it did raise a smile. There are few things worse than giving someone a gift only to find out the person returns a much, much better present in return.

Apparently Gordon Brown present President Obama with a pretty splendid & historic gift :

Mr Brown's gifts included an ornamental desk pen holder made from the oak timbers of Victorian anti-slaver HMS Gannet, once named HMS President.

Mr Obama was so delighted he has already put it in pride of place in the Oval Office on the Resolute Desk which was carved from timbers of Gannet's sister ship, HMS Resolute. Another treasure given to the US President was the framed commission for HMS Resolute, a vessel that came to symbolise Anglo-US peace when it was saved from ice packs by Americans and given to Queen Victoria.

Barak Obama dvd boxset for Gorden Brown

To return the gift with something that could have been picked up in ASDA probably caused a few red faces in The Whitehouse.

South Korea Vs North Korea

The two Koreas are due to meet in the world cup qualifier, makes for an interesting fixture given the current political tensions.

Liked these bits in particular :

The two teams have played each other a number of times over the past year during the qualification stages for the next World Cup.

But North Korea's home matches have had to be played on neutral ground in Shanghai, because the North refused to allow the playing of the South's national anthem or the waving of its flags.


North Korea's travel restrictions on its own people make it impossible for fans to attend, even if they could afford it.

During past games, a group of South Korean volunteer supporters has been assembled to provide cheering for the visiting team from across the border.

Congratulations to Tim Cahill

Australia are the first side to qualify for the World Cup!

Offthepost : Australia Qualify

The Socceroos have become the first side to qualify for next year’s World Cup in South Africa after a 2-0 win over Uzbekistan. A goal from Josh Kennedy (no relation to Dr Karl) and a Harry Kewell penalty gave Australia the victory they needed to secure qualification with three games to spare.

The result will be a disappointment to Uzbekistan who were quite up for the game, you might remember!

We're going to Wembley! COYB!!!!!

Got my Wembley ticket this morning at 8:05am...had been in the queue since about 5:30am. Absolutely chuffed.

Am in Block 549 which is in the Upper Tier, am quite for back but who cares, there's not a bad seat in the place...Using the miracle that is the internet I've located a picture that's taken from row 5 of that block.

New Wembley Stadium, Block 549
With many thanks to Flickr user 'unruly chaffinch'

Here's my Twitter updates from the whole endevour

Tell me Ma, me Ma to put the champagne on ice. We're (hopefully) going to Wembley twice #everton
about 8:30am

Two Wembley tickets sorted. Sound as a proverbial pound. CoyB! #everton
about 8:00m

Queue growing rapidly. Don't think this club would know what hit them if we were ever actually successful. Steward's just brought me a tea...
about 6:30am

Ooh twenty in the queue now. I'm sure this makes for dull reading but it's keeping me awake. #everton
about 6:00am

At Goodison Park. Ten blues in the queue already. Birds singing. Could be worse. #everton
about 5:30am

I must be mad. #everton
about 4:55am

It has to be said that Everton have done really well on this whole thing, really fair allocation policy, loads of stewards keeping you informed (6am starts for them too), orderly queuing system and efficient service once you get there. Top marks to all the staff at Everton FC, they really looked after the fans on this one.

Monday, March 30, 2009

The Everton family

Now ordinarily I'd never bother with women's football but this surely is worth comment. Everton Ladies have brought Arsenal Ladies 108 game unbeaten record to a halt with a 3-0 win.

Everton Ladies brought Arsenal's 108-game unbeaten run to an end in sensational fashion on Sunday.

Arsenal's winning sequence, the longest unbeaten streak in the history of the Women's Premier League, was halted thanks to a shock 3-0 victory for the Blues.

The Gunners, champions for the last five seasons, had not lost in the league since October 2003. The victory leaves Everton six points behind leaders Arsenal with three games in hand.

That really is superb because Arsenal are basically untouchable. It gives Everton a realistic chance of taking the league title. On the flipside Everton Tigers have lost out to Newcastle meaning they basically have no chance of winning the league now.

Good times for the Everton family.

We also have people queuing up from 3am to get their hands on their Wembley ticket (even though the are guaranteed a ticket anyway. I have to wait 'til Wednesday, nice little 5am start for me there and then everything is sorted.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Couple pay 1 penny a month for mortgage

amidst all the doom and gloom, investment woes, personal loan repayment hell, unemployment figures and ads for debt consolidation I noticed this :

Couple pay 1 penny a month for mortgage. That really is impressive, apparently they are on an interest only tracker mortgage which is pegged on 1% below the base rate. It's gone down from £1500.

Their mortgage with Cheltenham & Gloucester tied their payments to 1.01 per cent below the base rate, which then stood at 5.5 per cent.

Since then it has fallen to 0.5 per cent, cutting their monthly bill from around £1,500 to zero.

But the couple from Hampton, south west London are being charged 1p because their building society's computers cannot deal with payments of nothing.

I mean I know they aren't actually paying off any of the equity but it's still an interesting sign of the times.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Monday, March 23, 2009

Stuey's place of the day : The Inca Trail

Not a great weekend of sport (although England played well enough), I suspected a result like that was due after a few weeks were the signs were there that was are on the ragged edge. Two defeats in 19 though...absolutely staggering considering our injury record.

Anyway here is my place of the day :

The Inca Trail, The Andes, Peru

It's the pass AFTER Dead Woman's Pass on The Inca Trail. You do a really sharp climb up from the second camp site and there is it, it is literally like being on the top of the world, all those mountains and clouds stretching off into the distance. If you look carefully there is some snow capped mountains pointing out of the cloud in the far, far distance. Stunning. God knows how many miles they must have been from where I was standing. Truly amazing if knackering hike.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

This is what a football ground looks like

Everton's Goodison Park has appeared on Google StreetView

Goodison Park. Great stuff, lots of exploring to do there, pity they didn't put all the Beatles stuff in South Liverpool such as Strawberry Fields, Forthlin Road, Menlove Avenue in there too although Penny Lane does feature.

I also noticed some cheeky Streetview advertising by Qantas, wrote a story about for work.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Yay, The East Terrace returns...again

I do love The East Terrace, infrequent dispensers of top notch rugby satire...they are back with a properly sarcastic article about Martin Johnson.

The former England skipper, surrounded by senior management and several top players, spoke eloquently and sensitively as he revealed his dream to see England re-establish themselves at the very pinnacle of the world game - a position they have not occupied since 2003 when Johnson himself lifted the Webb Ellis trophy in Australia.

"We have suffered through the winter of our discontent," said a fired up Johnson, clearly holding back tears as he spoke. "I now see hope and promise waiting on the horizon. I will go root away the noisome weeds which without profit suck the soil's fertility from wholesome flowers."

On several occasions during the news conference Johnson was so overcome by the passion of his vision he frequently slipped into classical Latin without even realising.

Finally, Everton semi final ticket news! COYB!!!!!!

Everton have released ticket news for the semi final. Looks like a long wait for my ticket but I have got one....doubtless it will be up in the rafters but let's not complain about that now. The fact is that the loyalest fans will get the best seat. I only go to home games so can't moan. I could get on on the Friday but Anne has missed some cup games so I'll have to wait 'til Wednesday to allow us to stick together. Anyway here's the details in full from the Everton ticket news page

Tickets for next month's FA Cup semi-final with Manchester United at Wembley Stadium will go on sale on Monday, March 23, 2009 at 8am.

Blues officials have now agreed on how to allocate the 31,825 tickets made available by the Football Association and can confirm that all areas of the Everton fanbase will receive an allocation.

Priority will be given to the most loyal fans and that means every Season Ticket holder and Executive member will be given the opportunity to purchase a ticket for the Blues' first FA Cup semi-final appearance in 14 years.

Tickets are priced at:
• £24.50
• £34.30
• £44.00
• £53.80

The FA offers a £10 reduction for supporters under 16 and over 65 years of age (please note that with any concessionary ticket purchased proof of age will be required on entry into the stadium).

The stadium layout and pricing grid can be viewed by clicking here.

Club officials have agreed to release the ticket allocation based on match attendance history and first opportunity to buy the semi-final tickets, next Monday, will go to any Season Ticket holder who has attended 13 or more Home or Away Cup and Away Premier League games in the current season.

Tickets will also be on sale from next Monday to any Executive member who does not wish to buy an Executive package*.

Thereafter remaining tickets will be available to Season Ticket holders and Executive members as follows:-

Date Ticket Eligibility
Monday 23/03/2009 Season Ticket holders with 13+ and AutoCup and Executive members
Tuesday 24/03/2009 Season Ticket holders with 8+ and Executive members
Wednesday 25/03/2009 Season Ticket holders with 6+ and Executive members
Thursday 26/03/2009 Season Ticket holders with 5+ and Executive members
Friday 27/03/2009 Season Ticket holders with 4+ and Executive members
Saturday 28/03/2009 Season Ticket holders with 4+ and Executive members
Monday 30/03/2009 Season Ticket holders with 3+ and Executive members
Tuesday 31/03/2009 Season Ticket holders with 3+ and Executive members
Wednesday 01/04/2009 Season Ticket holders with 2+ and Executive members
Thursday 02/04/2009 Season Ticket holders with 2+ and Executive members
Friday 03/04/2009 Season Ticket holders with 1+ and Executive members
Saturday 04/04/2009 Season Ticket holders with 1+ and Executive members
Sunday 05/04/2009 Season Ticket holders and Executive members

Officials expect a small number of semi-final tickets to be available after the allocation to Season Ticket holders and Executive members. These Wembley tickets will go on sale to supporters with a purchase history for home games from any of this season's fixtures. Details of priorities and dates will be published no later than Monday, April 6.



Any Shareholder requiring a ticket should apply to Lee Newman at the Fan Centre. Shareholders who hold a season ticket or Executive membership can purchase a ticket during the sales priority period outlined above or alternatively apply to Lee. Shareholders should note that they will only be entitled to one ticket whether purchased as a Season Ticket holder, Executive member or Shareholder.

Supporters' Clubs

Supporters' Clubs Secretaries should submit their applications by Friday March, 20, 2009. Applications received after this time can not be accepted. Season Ticket holders who normally purchase their home cup and away match tickets via their supporters' clubs should submit their request with the Supporters club applications, giving name and customer number, and the staff at the Fan Centre will endeavour to allocate tickets together.

* Executive packages

Details of Executive packages for the FA Cup semi-final will be announced later this week, and any Executive members or Season Ticket holder wishing to purchase a package should contact the corporate sales team on 0151 530 5300 or email

Postal information

Please note, all tickets posted will be sent via Royal Mail's Special Delivery service and will therefore be subject to a postal fee of £4.95. Any supporters wishing to collect their ticket from Goodison must bring the payment card used to purchase this order and proof of identification before any tickets will be released.

Tickets can be purchased by visiting the Park End Box Office during normal opening hours or by calling 0871 663 1878**

**Booking fees apply

Essentially it all boils down to : Tell me Ma, me Ma, I don't want no tea, no tea...we're goin' to Wem-ber-lee. Tell me Ma, me Ma.

Monday, March 16, 2009

tick tick tick ticket news

Well Everton did well to edge past Stoke at the weekend, we were cruising in the first half and Stoke look awful but Everton being Everton still managed to contrive to give us a nervous afternoon. Stoke scored early in the second half after Cahill has gone off with the strain.

That left the new braided Fellaini attempting to do the disrupting in midfield and he just isn't that sort of player. As a consequence we were living on our nerves until the 90th minute when The Player Formerly Known as The Divine Afro made the game safe.

So now we are just waiting for semi-final ticket hard can it be, we have the same number of tickets as Utd and less season ticket holders but they've finalised their arrangements whilst we are still in the dark. They don't need to actually sell them, just tell us where we stand. Surely season ticket holders should get one. Hope so.

Stuey's place of the day

New feature seeing as YouTube is busy toaking down all the music of it's site :

Stuey's place of the day : Sanjūsangen-dō, Kyoto, Japan

Absolutely amazing temple, you just walk into this dizzying, seemingly endless room full of golden statues. One of the most amazing things I've ever seen.