Sunday, 15 April 2007


Saturday 7th April
Burridge AFC 3-0 Priory
Burridge Rec

Burridge eased to victory with second half goals from Mark Sanderson and Sam Schwodler, but they had to wait 'til late in the first half before finding the breakthrough. Ben Hutton skipped through on goal only to be felled illegally by the oncoming goalkeeper, leaving the referee with little choice but to destroy the serene atmosphere with a shrill whistle, pointing a fully extended index finger to the stained white grass of the penalty spot. This act - as it always does - reminded me yet again of the words uttered by my PE teacher from the well worn comfort of his threadbare brown sofa of the staff room, "Nobody should miss a penalty," he said shaking his head with disdain. But they do.

Chris Waddle blazed his high into the Turin sky during England's penalty shoot out defeat in Italia '90, making me whole heatedly believe that he had lost his mojo, much like Samson, after setting clippers loose on British soccer's most infamous mullet, that even during the time was viewed with the suspicion of the sinister bouffant of a fairground gypsy working the dodgems. Waddle went onto become the darling of Olympique Marseilles with a lightly highlighted coiffeur.

Midfielder Greg Baker - who's yet to miss a penalty this season - stepped forward. By which point I couldn't see anything other than that old brown sofa sloped along the goal line, with sir sat upon it drawing heavily on a cigarette, baiting Baker and all penalty takers across the planet with thos words. The low strike with the instep of his right boot had sufficient purchase on it to evade the goalkeeper's clutches and roll into the net, banishing the old brown sofa to the confines of my mind. Until the next penalty of course.


Wednesday 4th April
Fryern Rec

Thirty-five old year Justin Newman put Burridge ahead striking crisply from outside the area. Capital levelled before seventeen year old Sam Hewitt - who four days earlier - put Burridge in front from close range. In the evening sun many of Hewitt's age bracket occupied the basketball court that lay adjacent, congregating rather than playing an American sport for giants. The metal caged perimeters holding them captive in the limbo of post World-Cup single tournaments. Of which I remember playing with my friends into one goal as if life depended on it, each under a moniker like Cameroon's Cyrille Makanaky or Enzo Francescoli of Uruguay, poaching for goal and passage to the next round. Buying time to sit behind the goal, poking fun at less fortunate competitors like Barry Smith, rushing home in a flood of thinly concealed tears, under no illusion that being knocked out of the first round of a twenty man tournament marked the end of his life until that particular balmy Tuesday evening became Wednesday.

Such vivid memory bought back why the council construct these courts, when in 1986 Dad, desperate to see England in less than half an hour cheated out of a World Cup semi final with Belgium by the hand of Maradona in the Azteca Stadium of Mexico, still have the patience to untwine the clunky metal chains of the swings to their normal position for me to sit and face a concrete wall covered with Anglo-Saxon tirade and graphic phallic scrawling like some modern fertility hieroglyphic. Basketball may be a foreign sport, its playing environment of caged fence and hooped net leaving little to excite the hearts of saboteurs. But sometimes in unseemly circumstances the unlikely prevails - Burridge succumbed to two late goals.

Sunday, 1 April 2007


Saturday 31st March
Burridge Rec

Ben Hutton thumped a goal in either half giving Burridge victory against table toppers Team Solent, but it came in the usual unusual circumstances. Returning from injury, Hutton was only on the field as a first half substitute after a nasty injury to 17 year old attacking midfielder Sam Hewitt, who's made quite an impact during his short time with the club. It was from a right wing cross that the youngest of the Hewitt brothers, quite literally, attacked the far post. In his determination he collided perilously with the metal goal frame and fearing he'd broken a leg an ambulance was called. When it arrived the stretcher bearer asked rather perplexingly which post the injured rookie had clashed with, as if perhaps it was paramedical procedure to reprimand any inanimate object guilty of causing injury, which in this case was a goal post, with a shaking fist and furrowed brow.

In the home team dressing room before kick-off, Ben Hutton had taken two lustrous items of footwear from his kit-bag that caused his fellow team mates to avert their gaze from a burning glare usually associated with staring straight into the sun. These little beauties were in such pristine condition they wouldn't have looked out of place hanging with the other pearly whites of Tom Cruise's cake hole, from where words these days usually emanate a scientologistic bent. How anyone can take a religion seriously started by L. Ron Hubbard, a man with an initial as a first name is baffling. But when your boots are as white as Tom's pegs, you have to let them do the talking. Had they done so, I don't think many - particularly Sam Hewitt in his delirious state - would've been surprised, but victory was Burridge's.

3-5-2: B.Stanfield, P.Dyke, L.Sanderson, J.Schwodler, G.Baker, S.Schwodler, J.Newman, M.Sanderson, K.Hewitt, J.Hewitt (M.Reeves), S.Hewitt (B.Hutton)

Booked: B.Hutton, G.Baker

Goals: B.Hutton

Looking back (bringing back the blog)

I haven't posted here since 2012 – that’s five years of not blogging. The blog is/was about Burridge AFC, the football team I played f...