Sunday, 29 June 2008


On the morning preceding the Euro 2008 final between Germany & Spain, ITV commentary duo Clive Tyldesley and Jim Beglin discuss Mark Sanderson’s performance during Hillyfields’ 10’o’clock training session.

CT: His performance has been a bit flat, hasn’t it Jim.
JB: As a pancake.
CT: Do you think it’s got anything to do with those milk cocktails he put away last night?
JB: That or the eight pints beforehand.
CT: Sanderson’s usually so good with milk. He’s had it on his cereal for as long as I can remember and I don’t think he’s ever puked afterwards. Not once.
JB: Yeah, it’s a great record to be fair, Clive. His record with Cornflakes, Weetabix, even Ricicles has been second to none, but vodka at two-thirty is always a very unforgiving opponent.
CT: Ricicles?
JB: They’re exactly the same as Rice Krispies, Clive - just with a frosted sugar coating.
CT: Really?
JB: Yeah, they never really captured the public‘s imagination.
CT: Sanderson’s preparation hasn’t been ideal.
JB: No, you’re always going to struggle on three hours sleep.
CT: In hindsight do you think running to the Sports Centre was a good idea?
JB: No, It’s bad enough when you’re knocking on for thirty and you’re still going to the same old bars, when you wake up to retch down the toilet it’s a whole new low.
CT: He really is his own worst enemy some times.
JB: Yeah, but to be fair a shag was on.
CT: The chance was certainly there Jim, wasn’t it? He just didn’t seem to have belief to convert the chance.
JB: It was stonewall, Clive. He’s very good at giving it the big one, but when it comes to getting them home and getting them naked he’s not quite there.
CT: Overall impressions, Jim?
JB: Great promise, Clive. Just always fails to deliver in the big games.

Saturday, 28 June 2008

Running - the jury's out.....

Hi guys, you are still my guys aren't you? Great! Just finished trying this new thing. It's called running. Wait a minute, how rude of me, I expect most of you haven't got the foggiest idea of what I'm talking about, have you Jay? Running is this thing like walking, just faster. Least it's supposed to be. I haven't really worked it out yet.

Now I just want to warn you, because you'll get alot of people, people like Scott Burnet - you know, science types with clip boards and a head full of crazy ideas. They'll try and tell you that 'running' is good for you. Now I'm all for puking, especially on Saturday & Sunday mornings. I've been doing it for years & years. Spending all my hard earned money on more & more booze I can scarcely afford let alone handle, then waking up and feeling like total shit.

That's the way I like to puke, alone and hunched down over the toilet bowl with nothing on but a cold sweat. I don't want to be doing it with shorts and trainers on, leaning over the metal railings of the kiddie's park, puking my ring up on the tarmac in front of young mothers, shielding the eyes of their innocent young from a scumbag. No, I've got myself a nice little miserable rut that I've worked bloody hard to nail down over the years.

So go ahead and knock yourself out, try running if you like. When you've finished, you'll feel like you've been on a big night out, just without the fun of the night before.

Thursday, 26 June 2008

Don't try this at home

Daredevil Lee Fielder amazed colleagues with a narrow escape from a serious injury at Burridge’s first pre-season training session last night. In front of the rest of the squad, long term injury absentee Fielder, performed a stunt that had some Burridge players looking on in a state of total disbelief. With utter disregard for his safety, Fielder actually kicked a man-size leather football and somehow managed to walk away from the incident unscathed.

How Fielder has been able to live to tell this tale is a mystery. He’s tried such elaborate stunts before and they’ve ended badly. Doctors have diagnosed the problem, giving Lee a series of exercises that take all of five minutes per day to complete. But what with Lee’s busy schedule he’s been unable to get round to doing these.

Blessed with the taunt physique of a shop floor mannequin, but the knees and ankles of an arthritic donkey, Lee has not played many more games than David Busst over the last couple of years. When you consider that Buust packed playing in after snapping in two while playing for Coventry over ten years ago, you suddenly get the picture.

What with these things usually coming in threes, Burridge are now wondering if Greg Baker can go more than two minutes without telling anyone with a vagina that he's done a lot, and I mean a lot, of charity work with children, really sick ones who will almost certainly die. Or that Mark Sanderson may actually have sex. Although it's reported that Burridge are too preoccupied with this miracle at the moment. An unnamed source said, "It was amazing." Before continuing, "I’ve never seen anything as exciting as seeing a twenty-eight year old man kick a football without dying."

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Let's get Physical....

Pre-season training starts on Tuesday 29th July. Last year Burridge trained down at Osbourne Road in Warsash, near to Burridge manager Pete Lyons' house. He's since moved to Hamble and the new training location's yet to be disclosed, although it's been reported that Pete has a reasonably sized garden for a five a side, after the squad have gone through their paces going up and down his stairs.

In the meantime, sometime Burridge right-back Jay Schwodler arranged for a gentle kick about at Burridge, kicking off at 7pm tomorrow night. Big Manchester United fan Jay said ,"It'd be good to have a kick about before the serious business begins."

This coincides with the Euro 2008 semi final, where Turkey take on Germany, but many Burridge players have already claimed not to be interested in the tournament. Afterall it's only a once in every four years tournament when the cream of Europe play for the pride of their country in shirts without sponsors, but people are busy, doing.....stuff.

And anyway, England aren't involved. Which is true, it is a semi-final. England haven't been involved in one of those for twelve years. Burridge will welcome back Lee Fielder, who's had a busy summer rearranging his Facebook page. Lee's been working hard taking photographs of himself, striving for moody poses that best make him look like a homosexual. The results have been good. He's hoping to double his appearances of the last couple of seasons and maybe play three games in 2008/2009. Also coming back to Burridge are Rich Allan and maybe even Kev Wiltshire, or if we're really lucky Kev Willsher. Shit, let's push the boat out, has anyone got Dave Gurd's number?

Sunday, 15 June 2008


It appears to be your round, but look, you've lagged behind. Yapping away, forgetting to tip that lager down you neck. They're laughing, laughing at you. You'll show them. Open that gullet and down the hatch. The whole bloody lot. Drown out the dark days of Michelmarsh, two-nil up, when second place was in the palm of your hand. Later, you'll sit watching the Czechs collapse against Turkey on television, knowing all too well the contours of Peter Cech's tears. But now you're not really sure whether there was a change of venue. A change of drinks too. Perhaps an altercation with a kebab, then the cold soft pillows of concrete. But that's all later.

Right now it’s just gone nine at the Bugle Inn in Botley, Hampshire. The Fosters pump’s taking a right hammering as Burridge fill the restaurant side of the bar for their annual awards ceremony. Team gaffer Pete Lyons is stood in the conservatory with the mic in his hand, about to name the player’s player of the year. Looking down his glasses into a crumpled page of scribbled notes, saying it’d been a really tight ballot this year and that he’d had to get in touch with Birksy, who’s gone out to start a new life in Australia, for the deciding vote.

“He scored what turned out to be the goal of the season down at Netley,” said Pete about the winner. “Even the ref commented on what a fine goal it was.”

This made it crystal clear to a well oiled crowd that Kristian Hewitt had won. Up he stepped. His thick set hugged by a blue polo shirt, unbuttoned to reveal a clutch of chest rug. After shaking Pete’s hand firmly, he lifted a wooden shield, far too big for any reasonable mantle piece to cope with, high above his head with both hands. Later on by the jukebox, he asked if I’d voted for him, as the newly added silver emblem that carried his name shined brightly off the lights. I lied, telling him I had, when I’d actually voted for Justin Newman, who won the manager’s player of the year. Ryan Jones got the clubman award.

Other than Sam Schwodler, who was busy doing his one man propaganda act, telling anyone with ears that he was top goalscorer as any man who's been down the pub all afternoon tends to do, the night was strangely absent of any wild claims of title challenges or cup runs. Burridge will face newly promoted Redbridge in the coming season. So it'll be another visit to Green Park in what promises on your Mother's life to be a full on game of fuck you, shouted out in big bold capital letters from the rooftops of Redbridge Towers. We also welcome back the derby with Burridge Sports, which is always a spicy little number. Referees usually get themselves down WH Smiths prior to game because they tend to get through alot of pencils. Sports did us twice with ease back in the 2005/06 campaign, so we owe them one.

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Look at his face.....

A bird of prey soars high in the open blue heavens. Its telescopic vision pinpoints a disturbance in the scrubland over a hundred feet below. In no time at all it swoops downwards, snatching a rodent away in its sharp yellow talons. A devastating attack performed with clinical speed. Not on reflection how you’d describe Burridge skipper Kristian Hewitt. Not on appearance anyway.

At 28, Hewitt is a thick set man with a barrel chest, who deprives the world of a head full of curls with a monthly appointment at the hairdressers. Their clippers shorn his scalp, leaving a length of hair closely rivalled by the growth of his beard, that sprouts thickest in the moustache.

A non practising goalkeeper, who you might see putting another fifty pence piece into the slot of the quiz machine at the Bugle. Wiping the bristles above his lip with the back of his hand, that have become wet after the first sip of another pint of Fosters. They, along with his arms are tanned from ten years cutting the greens at East Horton Golf Club. All the time wondering what the capital of Nicaragua is.

Come match day the elastic waste band of Burridge’s shorts are spared the weight of his paunch, that’s held in by a black back brace, tied around his waste with velcro. Hidden within this posture lies the destructive power of ten tigers. His eyes are on goal within forty yards. The studs of his standing foot planted firmly in the turf, the other cutting through the air like a switchblade, meeting the ball with the cross hatched laces of a black leather size eight Nike.

To get an idea of what it’s like to see Hewitt in action, you’d do worse than looking at one of my favourite pieces of archive footage from the seventies. Franny Lee is back at Maine road with Derby County, wriggling along a brown grey surface in a shirt from the shelves of Oxfam, shooting at goal. Off he runs. Both hands in the air like he’s found Jesus, not the top corner of the net. “Look at his face,“ says commentator Barry Davies. “Just look at his face.“ It’s just how Kristian Hewitt celebrates a goal. Now, about to embark on his eleventh season for Burridge, many look forward to the next time he’s in range to strike.

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...