Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Hurricane Blows Out

It seems unfair to record that Alex Hurricane Higgins appears to have passed away in his sleep. If ever there was a man who required a blaze of glory for his final moments it was Higgins. A quiet end doesn't seem to fit.

The tributes have poured in for the unhinged Ulsterman since he died at the weekend. Very few of his colleagues can have had any feelings of comradeship for a man whose career petered out in a whirl of excuses and blame for everyone else and apparently very little acknowledgement of his own frailties. Even as cancer treatment turned his teeth to powder and his tiny frame resembled nothing so much as a cue-wielding Gollum, he was still suggesting a comeback was on the cards.

What his fellow pros cannot deny of course is that before the Hurricane, snooker was sedate, sleepy and seldom watched. The first World final Higgins won was by 37-32. It wasn't so much a sporting showpiece as a feat of endurance (for the audience especially).

Alex wasn't called the Hurricane for nothing. People'll tell you it's cos of the miraculous pace of his play, but I think it's because after he'd passed through Snooker Town a lot of genteel cosy types had to put all the furniture back and rebuild the game with him at the forefront of their minds.

When I first picked up a cue in a snooker hall, and somehow found my way through the half-midday hum of beer and fug of fags to the top of a table, I wasn't reckoning on myself being Ray Reardon. I couldn't see me as middle-aged, methodical, relaxed. Nah, I wanted to be a twitchy little firecracker freak, scuttling around the table like I was doing the 20km walk in double-quick time, lining up shots like Shere Khan on the pounce, following through like I was running a cutlass through some salty sea dog.

And more than that, making a white ball behave like the tip of my cue had its soul at its mercy. They can all do it now, fizz it off the top cush, screw it back so hard that the thing flies up the table like a scalded cat. But until Higgins it wasn't seen.

The oft-quoted break against Jimmy White in '82 is still the best 69 I've ever seen -maybe I should get out more. He was so much agaiinst the wall, he was almost through it. The Whirlwind, a monosyllabic genius with all Higgins's brilliance and most of his human weaknesses was in position to don his mentor's fedora and stride off into the snooker sunset. One mistake and the Hurricane was nowt but a nostalgic breeze.

And yet Higgins mustered shot after shot of unparalleled magnificence. Think the Nadal-Federer final two years ago. It was like that. Never was the cue-ball at his mercy when I think about it. He was always willing it to do his bidding against its better judgement.

It was as if Butch and Sundance had escaped after that still-frame at the end of the movie. As if the Titanic had swerved left and slipped the iceberg. As if Frank Lampard's goal against Germany had stood and our boys had rescued triumph from utter indignity. (I include that to give our younger reader a sense of how it felt).

Of course Higgins had by then styled himself as the People's Champion, which was audacious but just about merited when you considered the dour buggers grinding away like overladen freighttrains all around him: Griffiths, Charlton, Reardon; and Thorburn, who beat him a few years before in the World final and was the utter flipside of Higgins: slow, inevitable, sleep-inducing; snooker morphine.

Of course the People saw what they loved in their champion, complete with 1982's award ceremony that saw Alex with a trophy in one arm and a baby in the other, like the sportsman who had it all. (It may well be that he inspired other nefarious characters to offset their public personas with images of perfect Dad-dom. Think Wisey, or JT, getting their chavved-up selves draped in kids on Cup Final day... are you coughing up a bit of last night's lager and beer nuts too?)

He was lovable. Why even his hot temper, his nap hand of addictions and his colourful late-night antics were all part of the charm. He was George Best in a waistcoat.

Truth is Higgins nutted and punched his way through a few officials, smashed a couple of urine samples along the way and probably a few tormented a number of lasses along the way. The notorious tirade at Dennis Taylor after a UK Championship defeat, when he threatened to get one of the least intimidating people on God's green earth shot if he went back to Ulster, must go down as one of his lowest professional moments. I mean that's like pointing a pop-gun into the eye of a kitten.

And yet there are hundreds of instances of gestures of kindness too. Although these grew less frequent as he got older and iller. Like Geri Halliwell he could barely hold a note (without losing it on the back of some lame nag or other) and in later years was sustained by the hand-outs of ex-colleagues and forgiving friends.

His story does look worryingly like the tale of a death foretold when you glance over at, say, one Paul Gascoigne - a similarly gaunt, delusional addict, talent oozing from his pores and bats flying round his belfry.

His track record would not suggest he was on a par with any of the true greats of the game - Davis, Hendry, O'Sullivan - and yet there has never been a cue-wielder that quite lit up a living room like Higgins.

They'll always tell you that snooker's rise was linked with the arrival of the colour telly but I reckon that when the Hurricane was on the box the rest of them still looked like they were playing in black and white.

545 comments:

  1. No comments? C'mon boys, wake up!

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  2. I wasn't reckoning on myself being Ray Reardon.

    Put a bit more grease on your noggin you could be his twin brother :-)

    RIP Alex

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  3. i really liked him, last time i saw him play(cant remember wich year but a while ago) some referee was shouting at him to shut up and play haha, but he had a nice style in his game, definately a character

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  4. Monk, You're only first if the the other's receive a coded message to let them know you're faster because you've thrown all your toys out of your pram.

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  5. Kin 'ell where is everyone today?

    Too young to remember the Hurricane unfortunately, though I've heard all about him reinventing Snooker as a contact sport.

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  6. ha ha ha!!! Nice, so you wanna tell me that I'm the reincarnation of Drogba? (In throwing toys that is?)

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  7. Have you lot signed up for the Robbo Blog League yet? We had 400 entrants last year ...we've only got about 30 this time round you slakers.

    http://www.premierleague.com

    robbo blog league. pin 41384-28795

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  8. Hey Don't call me a slacker! I'm still enjoying my holiday, so I'll be back just before the start of the Shield.
    PS. I've already joined though

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  9. Not Drogba ( I expect his arm is not up to throwing toys just yet) but a mono browed spaniard who doesn't like it when he can't get things his own way.

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  10. Then I'd rather be Nigel de Jong (van Bommel's friend's cousin's brother in law)

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  11. It really is quiet in here today innit? Jeez.

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  12. It's because Robbo talked snooker and guys are scared. They'd rather he talks about Paul the Octupus or something slimier

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  13. Are you suggesting Robbo has snookered himself Monk?

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  14. A fitting tribute to the Hurricaine, I too used to love watching him play. I saw a documentry about him not so long ago and he did indeed look like "gollum". Scary, what a horrible way to go.

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  15. Great stuff Robbo, an accurate reflection on his tortured brilliance, he made snooker worth watching. We'd had four centuries (it seemed) of Fred and Joe Davis overlapped by the Draculonian Reardon, then along he came and changed everything. It was probably an hour a week on a school night that Pot Black found it's way on to the BBC but it was an hour a week that we all found a way to watch it when Higgins was on.

    Fitting irony that the first hurricane of this 2010 season was named Alex.

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  16. Robbo snookered himself for real, he hurricaned himself.

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  17. It is a sad loss for another "character" to have gone. He stood out in snooker because of his natural talent and his approach was poles apart from Reardon, Eddie the australian one, and all the other cures for insomnia.
    We've lost Best, Floyd (Keith that is) and Higgins all who had a flamboyant approach to life, a god given talent, and a propensity for the occasional glass.

    Maybe we need to encourage modern day athletes to live a little more on the ragged edge and that does not include dying your hair if you're a triple jumper, or wearing odd trousers if you're a golfer.

    Of the current sporting folks Flintoff, and Ronnie O'Sullivan come closest but the world could do with a few more like them rather than the banality of most.

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  18. hi all

    nice tribute robbo.

    i remember Higgins coming to our school in about 1988 to be interviewed in an assembly by students.
    one brave soul from the audience said
    "Alex, who do you think is the second best player in the world?"
    can't recall his response...
    ...but i do recall that he was drunk and utterly charming.

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  19. ...and also, isn't it quiet in here?

    sssshhhhhhh

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  20. Just thinking about the other "characters" of that era and Jocky Wilson came to mind. Some similarities.....2 World Championships, from the outer reaches of the UK, now living in self imposed obscurity with very little to show for his time at the top.

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  21. at least Jocky Wilson had the honour of a Dexy's Midnight Runner's song being written about him...

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  22. hello yous lot...

    i was over at the odl bog, i know robbos said the new blog was up but i didnt beleive him...

    I am also a bit too young to rememebr the man in his prime, but clearly a damaged genius, and the sort of person any sport needs...

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  23. Just saw this and had to laugh.......
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1297886/Martin-Jol-wants-Mido-reunion-Ajax-Middlesbrough-prepare-offload-misfit-free-transfer.html

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  24. Mido is 27? I would have bet a few quid that he's actually 37 or something!!!

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  25. Jol said of Mido. "We had no options up front, but now we have two."

    Yeah, leave him on the bench or out of the squad

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  26. Barca are apparently 370 mill down the crapper right now ....

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/europe/8859257.stm


    Looks like Fabregas is safe then ...

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  27. And then there's Sol Campbel, after we rescued him out of the shits he rejects to play for us, asshole!! Sol Campbell and Magpies

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  28. Cesc can go if he wants, but first, Barca has to pay us for Henry and Hleb!! Simple as that. And I like the fact that Arsene won't budge on this one, I mean, If Milner (a 2nd round WC dropout) is worth 24million quid, then Cesc (a WC winner) must be justified at 50mill

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  29. Arsenal need to just tell Barca £50M or get stuffed. Sol knows he won't be first choice at Arsenal so I can understand him moving but I don't understand that with the chance of European Football why David Calamity James has not walked up the M3, M4, M6 & M74 to sign for Celtic.

    And the biggest quandaries are: -

    Will gazza take note of George Best & Alex Higgins' deaths and sort his life out or be dead by the time he is 55

    And also with £9.0 to spend in the fantasy league do you go with either

    Joe Cole or David Silva

    Answers please

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  30. neither... both will be injured for most of the season...

    Djemba Djemba mate...


    MONSTER!

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  31. he is one and he's coming over the hill

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  32. Top Blog Robbo.

    Sport's mad geniuses: not many of them around and not many will ever make it to the top for we are now obsessed with health and safety and political correction.

    The news of Gazza's death in less than glorious or normal circumstances will be sad.

    Sad, but not unexpected.

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  33. Hi Robbo!
    Good blog. I am a keen snooker player from just outside Belfast. Alex was a complicated guy - he offered something different on and off the table. Some of today's robo pros owe their wages to him. Hope he gets a good send off.

    Ian, Bangor

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  34. Why spend 9 mill on a midfielder when you can ger Etherington or N'Zogbia for 6?

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  35. Arsenal are now being linked with Federico Marchetti of Cagliari as a replacement for Manuel Almunia. Sport Italia quotes Cagliari president Massimo Cellio as saying: “The only real club that is pushing for his signature is Arsenal.”

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  36. The Tribal Monk said... And I like the fact that Arsene won't budge on this one,
    -----------------

    It wont mean anything unless we sign a few more players at the back. At the moment, its very fragile. We need a defender who has CL experience or at least 250 games in his CV. We also need an experienced keeper, if AW is planning to try out Scezny/Mannone in reserves for another season.

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  37. This season is going to be the toughest Emirates Cup we've ever played.

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  38. Arsenal's 4-0 win against SC Neusidel to finish off Tour de Austria.

    Vermaelen played only 29 mins... WHY???

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  39. Seen Alex walking down the Dublin Road in Belfast a few years ago. He may not have been a hurricane on the snooker table but I haven't seen anyone walk so fast in my life. Seen this figure pass me and in the 0.5 sec it took me to register who it was & turn round he was 30 yards down the road fedora disappearing into the distance. Snooker was never the same after the hurricane.

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  40. Hurricane legend. RIP you old fruitcake - one of a kind as they say.

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  41. Tis funny how some people's on screen character differ markedly from their real life personas (though I do not think that was the case with Alex Higgins) I once met Tony Meo and Steve Davis at a function in London. On TV Meo was the one with the sparkly character and Davis the most boring, one-track minded snooker donkey you're ever likely to meet. In reality, Meo was the complete bore and Davis an incredibly affable bloke who happily chatted with me and me plebby mates even though we were nobodys in a sea of celebs.

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  42. Also remember trying to snog Erica Roe at the same function - one of the first celebs who became a celeb for doing nothing other than getting her kit off in public - two-a-penny nowadays.

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  43. funny how the comments didnt take long to get round to football!!

    As I'm old enough to remember The Hurricane, I like the comparison to Gazza.... two utter geniuses unfortunately who's grip on reality is less than tight, and escape through a bottle into a world which is less painful.

    Still I'll miss him in all his pomp and glory.

    The other funny thing I thought while reading through this is that once again, sport has less "characters"... is that because they are all scared of the press who build them up for their prowess at their game, and knock them down for their indescretions off it.

    Oh how I long for someone to steal a double decker bus because they can (Gazza), or punch a referee (Alex), or even burp directly into a reporters mike (Gazza) again, instead of the mundane boring fuckers who inherit the world of sport now. If the best we can come up with is Gerrard, Lampard, Owen or Rooney, who between them have the personality of my trainers then I'm going to steal myself a Delorean, some plutonium and invent the flux capacitor and live the 70s and 80s again!

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  44. Hey Geordie! Would you want to challenge de Jong and van Bommel?

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  45. Morning lads........ Robbo, NEW BLOG, FAST!!!

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  46. Its the summer so the blog is enjoying its usual hybernation.

    They'll be back in drones as soon as the newly promoted Newcastle beat the crap out of Manchester United on opening day.

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  47. Have the united boys been shagging andy carroll's girlfriend then spit?

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  48. Robbo didnt you even nick a beeb laptop when you left? jeez....

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  49. adampsb said...
    And also with £9.0 to spend in the fantasy league do you go with either
    ====================

    With only 9 quid adam you wont get any of those players. Maybe Bendtner though......

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  50. Why Did You Ngog Rafa said...
    adampsb said...
    And also with £9.0 to spend in the fantasy league do you go with either
    ====================

    With only 9 quid adam you wont get any of those players. Maybe Bendtner though......

    ========================
    And maybe Ngog. No, not you, the other one

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  51. Mido... He only ever made it to the prem as Martin Jol was a massive starwars fan and he thought he was signing Bounty Hunter Greedo... then he only made it to Boro as Soutgate wanted to purchase a Lido, an outdoor swimming pool for his players... Reports that a similar mishearing of his name almost landed him a place in Arsene Wengers team are unconfirmed.

    Mawning then...

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  52. So how much did Boro have to pay to ship Mido out then?

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  53. http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/28072010/58/premier-league-tevez-begs-torres-join-city.html

    Does Tevez want to go back to sitting on the bench then?

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  54. they just drove him to the woods, threw a pie in to the forrest and as he chased it they drove off...

    it had now't to do with his footbal, he just didn't have the legs for a kilt...

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  55. Ah well it looks like there's bugger all happening with the Spurs squad, save for old Woody not making the 25 man cut.

    Good to see United et al have given up getting hold of Bale and Modric at least while City are too busy pissing Villa off to bother with our lot.

    Wouldn't mind seeing another defender and a striker/ midfielder who knows their way around the Champs league before the window closes.

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  56. Star, i dont think you need to worry about us mate. We havent got a pot to piss in.

    Its going to be interesting to see which premiership regulars dont make the 25 man squad at shitty.

    How does it work if you get a load of injuries? Surely its not uncommon to get 7 or 8 players injured at the same time of the season. Im sure 1 club at least will get that.

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  57. Scholes I think most clubs last year had a huge injury list at some point or other. I suppose that's why they've said we can have unlimited U21's

    Ought to suit Arsenal as all their Uu21's have had about 10 years' experience thanks to the cup games.

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  58. And after saying we've done nothing I've jut heard we've had a bid for Parker turned down ...

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  59. Well, he has it cushy with lady penelope... why rock the boat.

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  60. There's an unlimited number of under 21's that can be used Ginger. That's if you have them.
    So the Gunner's Carling cup team can be called in to help when needed........

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  61. Hey everybody stop not reading this blog and dont read my blog instead...

    http://aldershotwoes.blogspot.com/2010/07/whinge.html

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  62. why do they stop footy in the summer, its just plain wrong!

    Am i the only one watching russian football on ESPN?

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  63. Tribal Monk - I'd take on De Jong and Van Bommel any day of the week... both a pair of pussies. Lets see what they would do against Bremner, Giles, Souness, McMahon et al.

    That wasnt really the point I was making, more that today's sportsmen are safe and boring. Listen to their interviews.... to safe and middle of the road, so that they dont upset their clubs or sponsors. Its the same with the managers!

    Bring back Cloughie!!

    I'm off to work on my time machine... anyone got a police box going spare??

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  64. Nope, besides I'd use the Tardis to skip work. ;)

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  65. I've just been reading Viz's newest Profanisaurus (I lay cable for considerable periods of a typical unemployed morning) and one that made me chuckle the most is "Gash Pasty", which means particularly flaky ladybits. I believe the metaphor could be extended to include footballers who are weak and oft injured, e.g. (Best said in Yorkshire accent) "Eeeee, that Darren Anderton, he were a reet gash pasty."

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  66. WCGeordie.

    If you're looking for a box where time seems to be warped, I read that OLd trafford have quite a few available for the comming season.

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  67. RBA, I've been watching the ladies U20 WC and the U19EC on Eurosport, England where crap in both by the way, and any friendlies I can find on the box.

    Life without proper footy is just not right, you think I should pen a letter of complaint?

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  68. How many goals will Man Utd score in 'Fergie time' this season?

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  69. None, I hope.

    Also hope that Own geezer don't get as many as last year too.

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  70. In a list of unusual baby names over the last 10 years, Rooney is the 13th most popular, with parents choosing to pay tribute to Manchester United striker Wayne.
    Full story: Daily Star
    ---
    How sad is that?

    All I can say is they're lucky that Stefan Kuntz (sp) didn't play for Manc ioU and EngerLannd

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  71. Hman... you read my blog, good lad!

    Mate i have been so desperate i have been watching LFCTV... night before last i wastched 5 of the best against ManCity... 5 matches where liverpool have beaten City... it is dreadful as you can imagine, but the Scouse commentators are awesome, you have never heard such one sidedness.

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  72. I saw Ajax v Chelsea the other day, Ajax beat them 3-1, I didn't have the sound on during the game, but I caught a bit of the after match banter, the commentater seemed well chuffed that an Ajax team without Steeklenburg and Suarez could beat the best of the PL.

    Don't think he's actually seen much of the PL though, as I hardly recognised any of the lads in the Chelsea shirts.
    ---
    I'm chuckling imagining those scouse comentators;

    "Our Stevie passes to that good lad Nando, who gives it a right wallop inta teh back of the net, like."

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  73. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  74. And "OHHHH, WHAT A BELTER FROM NGOG? Clearly beat the keeper, but if his shot had been lower and central it'd have gone in...... Now throw in to what's his name, the opposition"

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  75. it is like that... beyond a joke its like that... exactly that. And they condemn the opposition terribly. So funny!

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  76. Didn't realise City were rivals enough to get a programme like that. Everton, United, Arsenal, Spurs, even Forest. But City? Fair enough. Suppose it is the close season. Whatever next? Great victories over Fulham?

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  77. And leave those commentators alone, that's my dad you're talking about and he's really really impartial especially considering what a cheating bunch of nitwits the opposition invariably are.

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  78. City were the only one you'd beaten 5 times.

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  79. i think its a pre-emtive strike as city ar going to be big, and if liverpool create this fake old rivalry with a big team it makes them seem like you know, they are still a BIG club.

    He's good your da, "dats stevie, passes to masher, lovely ball to lucas, oh fantastic stratergy, punting it off the pitch for no good reason under zero pressure, make em werk boysh make em work! get in"

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  80. Interesting read.

    Get yourself to a restaurant for a free meal.

    http://www.walletpop.co.uk/2010/07/03/five-powerful-rights-you-never-knew-you-had/

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  81. Bit far fetched even for these pages, H2. Unless you mean since football was invented properly in 1992 by Sky? In the dark ages, the beforetime, in the long long ago, we beat everyone every week, and everyone had a perm and tache and knew all the words to 'She Loves You'. Sniff, ahhhh, those bygone days of yore.

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  82. City are gonna be big, in fact too big, they're gonna have to get rid of loads of players.

    Who's gonna want Lescott for over 20mil though? Who on earth is gonna pay Adebuywhore 5.5mil a year?

    The 25 player rule will throw a serious spanner in their works.

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  83. I know it was way off the mark, Tommy.
    But, I never let the facts (or fahkts) get in the way of a good dig.

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  84. City will be like a black hole. Nothing will be able to escape their ever increasing density of mass. Their event horizon will be somewhere around Piccadilly station's platform 3, so all trains to Alderley Edge or Wigan will be swallowed and spat out at full speed somewhere in the region of Andromeda, at which point ticket prices will rise as the return journey will require you to change at Crewe. It's quantum economics. Very simple, really.

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  85. I like the 25 player rule so much hey.........

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  86. Andromeda, Crewe and quantum economics, all in the same paragraph. Briliant!!

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  87. Test yourself:

    http://www.asylum.co.uk/2010/07/13/30-signs-youre-not-where-you-should-be-by-now/

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  88. That nothing H, you just got em all in one sentance!

    get in there man!

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  89. I think I'm going to enjoy this rule too ... we've a fair few handy kids in our ranks who were handy last year.

    Besides it'll be great pissing myself with laughter at the fact City have spent a squillion pounds on a fifty strong squad and can't use half of them now.

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  90. Well spotted RBA, heh, I feel better aboit myself lready, I must be well cleverish and stuff.
    ---
    Yeah Star, let's all laugh a City, before they buy up the right to do that and stick it in the reserves.

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  91. Holloway2Holland said...
    I know it was way off the mark, Tommy.
    But, I never let the facts (or fahkts) get in the way of a good dig.
    ================================
    You don't have to pologiz mate. There aint nothing wrong with your fahkts

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  92. I would never pologiz, Monk mate.

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  93. The 25 rule player means we'll give more play time to cak players like Walcott, then if he gets more game he improves. If he's injured, we get to play Thomas Cruise,If Cesc leaves for Barca we get Wiltshire in there (Sorry Trotts, seems like he not going nowhere).

    Can only be good for England!!

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  94. Wilshire desn't count for the 25player rule as he is under 21.

    For all those who still don't get it (mostly reporters from the NOTW and Sky) here are the rules;

    Squad registration list must be submitted at the end of the transfer window: 31 August 2010, and then again on 31 January 2011.

    Squad size limit – Maximum 25 players over 21 years. No limit for under-21 players.

    Age definition – 1 January of the season’s starting year. 1 January 2010 for the 2010/11 season.

    Home-grown (1) age – All club registrations before the age of 21 (at the end of the season).

    Home-grown (2) home – All clubs registered with the English or Welsh FA.

    Home-grown (3) length – Minimum period of 3 seasons or 36 months (continuous or not).

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  95. H2H......... Wiltshire will be in the Under 21 section. So he won't be counted in the 25, but he's a regular starter. Same as Rambo, Murphy, Eastmond, Hoyte etc. And in there are you aware that Cesc is classified as home grown coz he's been with us more than 3 years b4 he became 21? That also includes RVP, Eboue and Vela

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  96. Well gents, I gotta bar to open up and a hell of a lot a beer that won't drink itself.

    Laterz.

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  97. Yeah, drink one for me while you're at it mate.

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  98. wow, summer is very quiet for blogs...

    http://aldershotwoes.blogspot.com/2010/07/whinge.html

    which makes the above pretty futile...

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  99. RIP Alex.

    I just watched the 69 break again, what strikes me is how quickly he gets up after playing a shot.

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  100. i tend to get up quick after a shot in a 69

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  101. before going on to pot the brown and the pink

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  102. ad for those of you watching n black and white, the blue is just behind the green

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  103. on te 25 dquad rule hopfuly it gives young englih plyers more first team pportunity in the prem. this would be a very good thing.

    BUT homegrown can be anyway in the EU whose beeen with the club for 3 years under 21 - fabregas counts as homegrown for arsenal. so it could result in greater first team opportunity for overseas youth players nurtured in the english acadmies which would be a vey bad thing

    the other thing is that in the Good Old Days of horsedrawn Sinclair C5s the football league clubs could sell their good young uns uwards to the 1st div.

    the prem clubs are stitching up quality young players (shockingly there is a trade in talented 9 year old which is practically child trafficking ffs) and this relationship is now inverted.

    as H said they have too many players now and loan them out to the lower leagues. so much needed cash doesnt go to the league clubs in fact THEY pay the prem clubs for the pivilehge f talented loanees

    i blame Thatcher

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  104. i prefer this one, SS, the celebration at least

    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/sport/football/3070718/Icelandic-teams-fishing-goal-celebration.html

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  105. they give celebrations a lot of thought them icelandinc boys

    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/sport/football/3072661/Icelandic-teams-Rambo-celebration.html

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  106. mornin lads, not much to celebrate up there so when the chance arises they celebrate in style. Bit like being a Bolton fan really.

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  107. bolton seem to be shaping up nicely for the new season, trott WHEN DOES IT START IM GOING COLD TURKEY

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  108. Blog, there was a lad about 7 on my brother's street in Blackburn had already signed up with the Rovers at that age. Everytime I went over he'd be there on the school field shooting at his Dad, crossing with both feet nodding crosses his brother kicked in. My brother said he trained with other kids at Rovers a couple of times a week and they gave his dad the program of what to work on on the other days. Anyway, he was there again 3 weeks ago, shooting, crossing, nodding, he must be 27 by now!

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  109. Don't go cold turkey, John Lennon said it was overrated.

    Yep, we'll be alright.

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  110. trott were you tempted to tap him on hs shoulder and say "leave it son, your times passed"

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  111. no, why spoil the lad's dream, not to mention his old man, who by now is saving shots one handed supported by a zimmer frame.

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  112. his old man should try out for the vALE

    joking of ourse. i think we'll go up this year in fact i know we will. couple of good signins

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  113. that's the spirit Blog, a new day, a new dawn, the sky's the limit.

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  114. Actually Trott, Sky's new broadband packet has no limit.

    Evenings you lot.

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  115. it bloody well does, it's limited to Europe, unless you have information that I don't in which case please tell me how I get Sky Sports in Noo Joisey

    ReplyDelete
  116. oh dear. Bolton got pasted tonight by Oldham, must be the jet lag eh? please let it be the jet lag.

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  117. love your story about the lad in blackburn trott. poor fella probably has had it drummed in to him that he could still make it.

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  118. I know, it's a sorry state of affairs Scholesy. I hope he's turning out for the local pub on a Sunday at least.

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  119. on the plus side, he must be awesome in and around the box!

    City might buy him to be fair. Im going to phone the MEN and say he is worth £40m.

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  120. yeah, I wonder if he was meant to be a full back.

    How's the nipper?

    ReplyDelete
  121. or a goalkeeper...perhaps his dad could have made it?

    He's good thanks mate, very laid back and goes with the flow...suppose that is how it is if yer the third. His brothers are pretty good with him as well, probably training him up so they can gang up on me.....buggers.

    right off to bed mate.....ive got to phone someone about a job in the morning! my missus will be happy, fed up having me around for 3 weeks.

    have a good evening trott.

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  122. you too Scholesy, good luck with the job

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  123. Robbo, fbh.

    What the Fuck, this guys not Scottish??

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/teams/m/middlesbrough/8863108.stm

    Someone at the Riverside thought they were ordering a parmo.

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  124. we've signed our own mini higgins - gary roberts, hes one of dario gradi's boys from crewe, is only 22 and since captining england at 18 has been busying himself in the art of self-destruction

    robrts is not averse to the occasional quiet half and a game of bingo

    in words chillingly reminiscent of the idiot john terry, he ascribes his problems to "boredom". he's one of these young twitchy brainless ADHD gazza types with a massive talent and zero self-discipline - released by 3 clubs already.

    can micky adams morph into brian clough and reform this dim but talented now then young man?

    the Potteries holds its breath......

    ReplyDelete
  125. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/c/celtic/8860029.stm

    So I'm guessing we won't be drawing Celtic in the 4th round then ....

    ReplyDelete
  126. Tottenham's teenage midfielder John Bostock reckons his progress is being damaged by foreign players in the English game.
    =============================================
    I fink he's right. As much as them okes in South Africa reckon us foreigners took their jobs, their land and now their women!!

    ReplyDelete
  127. So Fulham look like they've got old Sparky as their new boss ... ought to be a safe pair of hands for them.

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  128. Man City can expect a phonecall then asking if Santa is for sale.

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  129. Sparky to fulham, he'll do alright wont he... theres something very anooying about mark hughes, he welsh, but great player and good manager... City would have been top4 if he stayed, maybe. i dunno i cnt remember, how long now till kick off...

    ReplyDelete
  130. 387 hours and 4 minutes. Roughly.

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  131. He's got a proven record in management ...he almost got Wales to qualify for a tournament, he got Blackburn into the Uefa cup and he was doing an all right job with City until Cook came out with that trajectory of results bullshit that got him sacked even though the team had only lost once that season.

    He'll do fine at Fulham.

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  132. Jesus Noel... that sounds like a long time...

    lets call it 16.125 days ok?

    ReplyDelete
  133. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  134. Yeah Cooke screwed Hughes... another monumental cock up by city, i think the money is going to make them more QPR than Chelsea... they almost seem to be sabotaging it, i think the whole thing is some improbable Brewsters Millions scenario...

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  135. We've got a qualifier to play Noel ... looks like it won't be against Celtic though.

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  136. Ta. Looks like Parker has had his head turned by the Spurs bid and wants to move. I'm a Spurs fan too, but living in Australia at the mo, so don't get much 'soccer' coverage. All that oval ball stuff instead.

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  137. noel you need to download sopcast or summat. hughes isnt handsome enough for man citys glossy image.

    man city seem to be trying to buy up all the worlds good players so they cant play for the opposition.

    they'll probably herd them into a shed and set fire to it and then make soap out of them before invading france and procliming a 3,000 year Reich - Maine Kampf-

    the struggle to dominate world football what for???? to flatter the vanity of oil-reich sheiks??? what do they care about footie???

    it must be a plot to undermine enngland's self-esteem this means war, patriots:

    Port v Ale

    let he battle commence

    (blame 606 for that joke)

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  138. off on me hols now catch you guys later

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  139. Hughes to Fulham - very good signing and as expectations won't be massively high he'll be able to get on with his job with minimal pressure.

    He does need to get a few more players in though but overall good move for both.

    What are the odds Balotelli stays at Inter for Champions League footie rather than going to City.

    Alo I'd laugh if Liverpool sold Mascherano to someone other than Inter the way Fergie sent Heinze off to Madrid rather than letting him go to Anfield

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  140. Blogs, get me a stick of rock you funny bastard!

    blogs... oi, BLOGS! Stick of rock mate!


    ah, hes gone...

    ReplyDelete
  141. Noel,
    I use this to watch live Prem matches free, actually you can watch football live from all over the world. It's a tad tempremental at times but usually works fine.

    http://p2p4u.net/watch-live-sports.php?id=10518&link=1&site=Watch Free Live Football

    ReplyDelete
  142. Sopcast is the only way to go Noel, google it and download it, then all you have to do is check the p2p pages. The live streams don't stick and you can literaly choose from any game that is being broadcasted on the planet. (that's this planet, sorry, no intergalactic derbys)

    O yeah, Afternoon All.

    ReplyDelete
  143. Portsmouth face the prospect of paying out more than £500,000 in wages at the end of the week to players no longer at the club. David James will pick up about £140,000 - if he does not sign for anyone else before Saturday night.
    Full story: Daily Express
    ------
    I bet there's not a pen to be found in the James household before Sunday.

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  144. What have I missed - Blogs - come back off yr hols!!! Now!!!

    ReplyDelete
  145. fbh, your guys ordered a parmo and got a Tarmo. (in case you missed it)

    ReplyDelete
  146. Cheers for the advice, I'll give Sopcast a google. No guarantees that I'll get it working though - when it comes to computers I'm what is generally referred to as 'retarded'. Come to think of it, not just when it comes to computers.

    ReplyDelete
  147. Noel, I'm a computard to, and even I could get it working. Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  148. Jimmy Sommerville was a computard. That was poor. I'll grab my coat.

    ReplyDelete
  149. I just saw this;
    West Ham have offered midfielder Scott Parker £20m to stay but he wants to leave to play European football.
    Full story: Daily Mail
    --
    And remembered this;
    Starfire said...
    And after saying we've done nothing I've jut heard we've had a bid for Parker turned down ...
    ---
    Star, you should be glad.
    What's all the fuss about him? OK, he's been West Ham's player of the year for a few seasons, but that tantamont to being the worlds talliest midget.
    Isn't this the guy who was bought from Newcastle a few years back for around 6-7mill and will be turning 30 later this year? How the fudge can he be worth anywhere near the money that has been mentioned? (some rags say that WHU were holding out for 15mill plus)

    ReplyDelete
  150. Computard, I like it, I'm gonna copywrite it and add it to my (and blogs, but only if he makes it "back safe" from his hols, mwahahah) OurJoke©® concept.

    ReplyDelete
  151. Noel... jimmy sommerville... computard...

    I like the cut of your jib!

    Keep it up...

    ReplyDelete
  152. Hi H - Tarmo Kinky - you couldnt make it up m8

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  153. Tarmo Kinky? Sounds like tinker porn...


    thats a shudder worthy thought....

    ReplyDelete
  154. Tinkaporn?

    Was that Peter Pan's Nympho fairy?

    ReplyDelete
  155. England goalkeeper Robert Green's first save in his first pre-season appearance for West Ham in the 2-0 friendly win at MK Dons was greeted with ironic cheers on Wednesday night. Green's fumble in the World Cup allowed the United States to draw 1-1 with England in South Africa. (Various)
    -----
    Is this guy DOOMED, or what?

    ReplyDelete
  156. Test match update for those in work: Trott looks like he invented batting, KP swinging like a rusty gate. Pak bowling like demons, fielding like Robert Green. KP'll be gone soon

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  157. Christ, I'm better than the octopus!

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  158. Well, Star, it's now Colly and Trott. Should be thrilling fare!

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  159. Maybe they should give the octopuss a bat, he might be pretty decent, gotta be carefull for LBW or would that be TBW.

    Sorry, I know bugger all about cricket.

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  160. He'd get fair sponsorship on his pads I reckon.

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  161. STOP MENTIONING CRICKETER'S NAMES TOMMY!!!!!


    :P

    ReplyDelete
  162. Sorry, Star! I'll keep me gob shut.

    Pakistan are the cricketing equivalent of Argentina... blessed with raw talent, energy and pace, yet prone to infighting, whingeing, sloth and, shall we say, gamesmanship.

    ReplyDelete
  163. stop even talking about cricket its rubbish (apart form when I play then its worse)

    footie talk -

    David James to Bristol City - quality or what

    ReplyDelete
  164. we beat bristol city 3-0... they need him.

    (pre season played 4 won 4 scored 16 conceded 0)

    ReplyDelete
  165. Oh and crickets brilliant, just not when we are 128 for 4 against the joe dakis... (i'm pretty sure that not racist as its cricket)?

    ReplyDelete
  166. How can 'Paki' be racist anyway? That's no worse than them referring to us as 'Brits'

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  167. Not sure about that one, RBA, I'd refer it to the 3rd umpire if I were you. He's a wog though so might be biased ;)

    David James to Bristol City? Wow. Just wow.

    ReplyDelete
  168. Star, 'Paki' is racist because of the implications and the intention when used, even if semantically it's exactly the same as 'Brits', 'Afghanis', 'Aussies', etc....

    ReplyDelete
  169. pakpaks alright though aint it?

    ReplyDelete
  170. Sounds like a Lahori tuk-tuk

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  171. David James to Bristol City, just means he'll probably be training at Arsenal someime in the not to distant future. He'll be at Newcastle with Sol next season.

    ReplyDelete
  172. Who called MASSA a sh*t ?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/8868309.stm

    ReplyDelete
  173. Cricket and motorsport.

    Hurry up footy season, pleaaaaassssssseeee.

    ReplyDelete
  174. Unless they decided to play cricket on a race track during a grannd prix*, that I might find interesting.

    *Is Grand Prix french for big dick?

    ReplyDelete
  175. No, H2, it's the collective noun for their national team

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  176. So the French squad were basically racing drivers, makes sense because they were pretty nummber two. (MR's link)

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  177. If Massa is not a number 2, why did he become number 2? Tis baffles me. I think it's time for a beer!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  178. I'm blogging from the bar Monk. I'll pass you a virtual cold one.

    In fact, virtual beer, or should that be virtu-ales (another copywrite needed me thinks) all round.

    Cheers.

    ReplyDelete
  179. go on then Hman, line us up a virtual(e) pint of lager flavoured beer-o-pop with a kia-ora and malibu chaser...


    Its not for crows!

    ReplyDelete
  180. Here you go mate, I've thrown in a few whiskys for the kids too. That cola crap is bad for their teeth.

    ReplyDelete
  181. I'll have a virtu-ale Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster and Um-Bongo please

    ReplyDelete
  182. You want an umbrella and a straw with that, mo'red"?

    ReplyDelete
  183. come on mate, i have 2 daughters... red wines, please! though you can't beat a jack-dans & Cow&gate for the lad, proper drink...

    chin chin!

    ReplyDelete
  184. Just an Um-Brella in me Um-Bongo H will be fine ta.......oh...oh...and a packet of pickled onion Space Raiders

    ReplyDelete
  185. Shit, how silly of me, I must of forgot about that lesson in barsteward (tee hee) school.Whiskey for the lad and vino for the lasses it is.

    Bottoms up!! (tee hee again)

    ReplyDelete
  186. cheers for the drinks squire,SNH5 as always...

    catch you in morning gents...


    laters.. .

    ReplyDelete
  187. mo'red'

    "pickled onion Space Raiders"

    Fancy smancy, sorry mate, I wasn't expecting a visit from the queen, all I've got is a bowl of peanuts, you're welcome to them. Unfortunatly the dutch don't care about crisps the way us proper folk do.

    ReplyDelete
  188. No probs H, I recently found a local shop that sells them, quite rare now you know. 15p a packet though, they used to be 5p! And while I'm on my high horse,getting hold of a Curly Wurly is a hassle as well these days, perhaps their too elaborate for the youth of today?

    God I'm bored, bring on the footie. When does the dutch league start back?

    ReplyDelete
  189. The Eredivisie starts on the 6th of August mate, but it's total horse poo, the Championship fare is better then most of what is on offer, I hardly follow it, although I supposed I'll "have to" this season seeing as I'm in an area with many Ajax and AZ supporters and many frequent the "Dungheap".
    ---
    I saw curly wurlys in a Supermarket here, well in the Hague, a few months ago, just before I moved. They were 1 euro for a 3pack, bargain, I bought up about 20 packets.

    ReplyDelete
  190. Virtu-booze? Make mine a Guinness then :)

    Since Tommy stopped mentioning cricketer's names our lot's putting in a good shift ... Colly's backing up what he said about the oppo bowlers and Morgan's just hit a ton .... watch them both get out now.

    ReplyDelete