Where the money comes from: Huddersfield 1 QPR 1

August 11, 2013

There had been an accident on the M62 somewhere between Saddleworth and Huddersfield. The traffic wasn’t moving, and I had plenty of time to spare, so I thought I’d make a detour along Manchester Road, taking in Marsden, Slaithwaite and its surrounding countryside. Read the rest of this entry »


Qualification status: It’s complicated

June 17, 2012

I’VE never understood why anyone would select ‘It’s complicated’ as their Facebook relationship status. For one thing, it can’t make pleasant reading for the person who thought (or perhaps didn’t think) they were in a relationship with you. For another, if you’re not sure whether you’re in a relationship, then surely you’re not in a relationship. Read the rest of this entry »

The Marwood factor

May 14, 2012

THE final league table will tell you that it wasn’t quite the closest title race of all time, but it still won’t have done Manchester City football administration officer Brian Marwood’s blood pressure any good.

Marwood, more than anyone else connected with City, might just have seen yesterday’s extraordinary finish to the Premier League season coming. Read the rest of this entry »

Cup final days

May 10, 2012

I’LL tell you a personal story about the FA Cup; but first, here’s a question: When was the last time that the English domestic season concluded with the cup final? Read the rest of this entry »

Ten years later

April 14, 2012

“What do you reckon for today?” asked the man in charge of one of the Macclesfield Town tea bars as I ordered a hot dog.

“Got to win,” I replied, blandly.

“I reckon we’re down,” he said. “The games we needed to win have gone.”

I tried to make reassuring noises – as much, I realised, for myself as for him. Read the rest of this entry »

Remembering Gary Ablett

January 2, 2012

GARY Ablett was conducting a radio interview at the back of St James Park’s main stand, moments after Stockport County had ended a terrible run of results with a 1-0 victory at Exeter.

It was February 2010. County were hurtling towards relegation from League One, and teetering on the brink of extinction, having spent almost a year in administration. On the pitch, they had lost a club record 12 successive league games. Ablett, taking his first steps into management, was gamely struggling with an impossible job.

His dry sense of humour, though, hadn’t deserted him. After the win at Exeter ended a 17-match run without a league victory, a local radio interviewer asked him for his thoughts.

He said: “Football would be a great game if it wasn’t for Saturdays, wouldn’t it? We could enjoy the week and not worry about the weekend.” Read the rest of this entry »

Mystery of the unseen equaliser

December 17, 2011

IT was a piffling incident, but a puzzle all the same: Norwich manager Paul Lambert missed Everton’s late equaliser at Goodison Park this afternoon after leaving his dugout, but he didn’t want to say why. Read the rest of this entry »