Tuesday, 27 November 2007


Saturday 24th November

So eighteen winters have passed and we find ourselves with parched throats standing at the bar of the Bugle in Botley and for Sam Hewitt, whose birthday it is this very day, a new age. The age of man and with it his very first legal pint. The rest of them lean on the bar waiting to be served, listening to the latest scores coming in from the wide-screen TV behind them.

Jeff Stelling says, "….The deadlocks’s been broken at the Emirates." His hair’s still a suspicious shade of dark brown. "….And Arsenal have had to wait almost eighty minutes to get it."

Arsenal and Sam Hewitt both. The young man will have to wait a little bit longer. There’s only one member of staff behind the bar, but it’s not the girl who’s expecting and not the young lad who’s usually good for a couple of quid on the football card. No. Some bloke who’s all beady eyes and long face.

Burridge didn’t have to wait so long on the field of play. Inmar put up little resistance and it was all over after twenty minutes as crash! A lonely Inmar defender confirmed to the world he got the final touch to a Rob Kelly cross by lying prostate in the mud with his head in his hands. Bang! Ryan Jones thumped home number two. Wallop! Justin Newman cracked home direct from a corner. A fourth came early in the second half from the head of Rob Kelly. Arsenal are top. Burridge are third. Just not in the same division.

B.Stanfield, J. Schwodler, P.Dyke, K.Hewitt, L.Sanderson, R.Jones, J.Newman (M.Sanderson), J.Hewitt (M.Reeves), R.Kelly, S.Hewitt, S.Schwodler

Booked: P.Dyke, S.Schwodler

Saturday, 17 November 2007


It’s been said by many that it provided the foundations on which our empire was built upon. I’ve enjoyed it in the ancient medina of Tangier and been soothed by it at some dilapidated hospital out in the bastardised far reaches of the Siberian tundra, but seldom have I - if ever - tasted a better cup of tea than what passed my lips from delicate china during half-time in the away dressing room of Michelmarsh’s Jubilee Hall ground. Not everybody agreed. Burridge warhorse Justin Newman was stroking the lonely hairs on his head and said, “Hardly a builder’s cuppa, is it?”

“Oh I dunno, Justin,” replied Reevesy who was gulping down his second cup. “Tastes alright to me.” He’d been warming the bench and now a good old cuppa was on hand to return the favour. Here amongst the leather seated chairs of the changing room, like some giant interior of a Ford Capri, Burridge gaffer Pete Lyons delivered his half time team talk. The scores tied at one each. Michelmarsh had taken the lead from close range with only a couple of minutes on the clock. It took a little time for Burridge to get a foothold in the game, but that they did.

It was Sam Hewitt, who with a dexterous swing from the outside of his right boot found the oncoming Sam Schwodler, who after side stepping the goalkeeper was left with an unfavourable angle from which to shoot upon, not to mention a defender covering the goal line. It would appear that geometry is another string to the third Schwodler, who wrapped his foot around the ball finding the necessary angle to equalise. There were to be no further goals. Schwodler ran off. Arms outstretched, screaming skyward. As weeks pass it’s fast becoming a very common sight.

B.Stanfield, L.Sanderson, P.Dyke, K.Hewitt, J.Schwodler, S.Schwodler, R.Jones (B.Rowe), J.Hewitt, J.Newman, R.Kelly, S.Hewitt

Tuesday, 13 November 2007


Saturday 10th November

The ball ran harmlessly out of play. Hythe attackers retreated into their defensive positions ready to face another goal-kick from Burridge goal keeper Ben Stansfield. It never came. The referee was pointing to the penalty spot. Before this moment Hythe had been putting most of their efforts into whining at the referee. Not even a throw-in decision against them on the half-way line could prevent then from becoming parodies of Ben Kingsley in the gangster flick - Sexy Beast, when trying to tempt ex-con Ray Winstone into one last bank job. Interesting then that not a single arm was raised in appeal. Burridge centre-half Paul Dyke was first on the scene, running towards the referee in disbelief.

"Fuckin’ Hell ref," he shouted. "For what?" The ref pointed to left-back Luke Sanderson, insinuating that he’d impeded Hythe’s inside right. For once Dyke was almost lost for words. He continued to protest whilst standing in front of the ball which was now placed on the penalty spot.

"Out the way you tosser," cried someone from the Hythe faithful. Dyke obliged out of duty rather than obedience. The penalty was scored. It didn’t matter. Burridge were already three goals up thanks to Jamie Hewitt, Sam Schwodler and Justin Newman. In Sexy Beast, Kingsley becomes such as aggressive nuisance that Winstone batters him to death with a shovel. Burridge did not use this method to defeat Hythe. They didn’t even use the tried and tested method of questioning their opponent's - who are from out of town - alleged confusion between family and carnal matters. They scored a fourth instead through Sam Hewitt.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007


Saturday 3rd November

The afternoon sun in Barcelona stung my eyes. I had to seek shade. Although a good twenty-five hours into my day I was still fairly sure I could trust the hotel receptionist to ensure the incoming telephone call could be transferred direct to the Irish Bar I forget the name of off La Ramblas. Amazing how obedient staff can be when they can smell Stella Artois about your breath.

"Ola, Senor Marks?" asked the bartender. I told him I was the very same. "Call for you from Ing-land." I took the receiver from his hand, stubbed out my Lucky Strike and prepared myself for the news by taking a hearty slug from my bloody Mary. Burridge had won 3-1. The goalscorers were Sam Hewitt, Rob Kelly and Schwodler.

"Schwodler?" I asked. "Was that Jay or was it Sam?" Hysterical laughter followed down the telephone line.

"Jesus, Marks - you really must be sinking the booze down there," said my informant still laughing. "Jay or Sam?.....that's priceless, really it is." I put down the receiver realising what I'd just asked and ordered another drink to celebrate.

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...