Saturday, 30 April 2011

I Predict a (rather small) Riot

"I forsee a Cunnington hat-trick today,
at the very least...."
At end of play today a very select band of Poppynetters will be nervously awaiting the result of the 2010-11 Prediction League.  Given the fact that the league table hasn't been updated since, I think, last November, we could all be in for a long, fruitless wait!

There were 42 entrants for the opening day trip to Gateshead.  This solid number soon started to droop during November to the 20 - 30 mark of die-hard Predictors.  By early 2011 it became clear that the table wasn't being updated, and the participant numbers dropped off further.

By the last month of so of the season we are down to less than 10 players.  Recent games against Wrexham and FGR have attracted just half a dozen of us who are either unwilling to let this thing die, or are so desperate be in with a shout of a win JUST IN CASE SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE IS KEEPING SCORE!

If no-one is actually keeping score anymore, do not bet against me unilaterally declaring myself the winner is the next day or so!  CHAMPIONI!  CHAMPIONI!

Monday, 25 April 2011

As if we didn't have enough problems....

"Student fees Protest Cops 'Focused Too Much On Kettling'

Kettling breaches human rights, lawyers....tell Metropolitan police commissioner"

The Guardian
"Protest Cops 'Focused Too Much On Kettling'

Senior officers focused too much on the potential use of the controversial kettling tactic"
Sounds like Marcus may have reached the end of his tether -
"Lawyers challenge kettling tactic on human rights grounds"
And finally, and most damningly, the Green Party weighed in with their take on the subject, which, if we were honest, most of us feared might be true -
"Kettling takes away human rights and civil liberties"


Sunday, 24 April 2011

KTFC? I'm Out

Of all the things we were hoping to hear as this season draws to a close, Kettering Town commences legal proceedings against DRC Locums must be right up there. Never mind Marcus’s vision for next season or even whether Marcus will be here next season, what really counts is the outcome of a court case brought by our chairman against, er, his former company.

Anyone who needs explanation at this point really hasn’t been paying attention.

It’s quite simple. Imraan Ladak bought KTFC because his business DRC Locums made him quite rich then after a few years he became a bit less rich then along came a celebrity investor who bought a majority share which apparently included a sponsorship deal with KTFC which apparently wasn’t honoured hence our chairman is suing DRC Locums.

It’s helpful to know that the villain of the piece is “Dragon” James Caan just in case he might be confused with the other one, who was whacked so memorably at the Long Island tollbooth. Maybe IL is plotting something similar at a set of traffic lights near Milton Keynes, in which case let’s hope for his sake he doesn’t advertise it quite so blatantly as publishing JC’s phone number on our official website and inviting creditors to give him a call.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Is today the day?

In an attempt to help big Adam finally pop his Poppies cherry we have come up with the following ways in which he might start paying back the first installment of his transfer fee.

Assuming we are 3 or 4 goals up AND get a penalty AND JP is off the pitch, Adam COULD have a punt from 12 yards.

Adam COULD accidentally deflect a shot from JP or Brett past a wrong-footed 'keeper.

Adam could jump up with a defender who scores an own goal, but wheel-away with his arm in the air and pretend he touched it last.

Er...that's all we can think of!

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

PATGOD Issue Twelve Part Three - Oh, we were such cards!

Contrary to popular belief, thinking up ways of mocking the
Board of Directors did NOT occupy all of our waking thoughts! 
The figure is far closer to 90%.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Wrexham in pictures

Apart from Brett and Ropes' kit, as well as
Willy's underpants of course, none of the other
Poppies players kits will need washing
before next Saturday.

Rather than the Racecourse Ground most
of the players seemed wish they were here. 
By the end, so did the supporters.

The Wrexham fans were delighted to further
cement their position in the play-offs.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

PATGOD Issue Twelve Part Two - Trouble at the Top!

Page One.  Angry!

This article written almost exactly 20 years ago shows how much has changed and also how much hasn't.  There is talk of long forgotten 3000+ league gates, which is interspersed with seeming Boardroom indifference to the plight of the team and club....

Pages Two and Three.  Angrier still!

PATGOD Issue Twelve - April 1991 - the parting of the ways

Satire so biting that these days
it would need to wear a muzzle.
April 1991 was the defining period for any current Poppies fan in their forties or older.  This was the season where we had all but won the title and promotion to the fabled Fourth Division.  And then....

To the outside observer our late season failure could be attributed to a combination of lack of players, fitness, luck, and tactics.  However, if you asked any of the 2000+ supporters who had watched the end of season points giveaway the blame lay fairly and squarely on our board of directors and their apparent desire to avoid promotion at all costs.  These self-titled models of financial prudence had fatally hamstrung our title charge just when all the other promotion contenders had made a final push for the Football League.

This wouldn't have been so bad if indeed the directors had actually been fiscally aware.  Within a couple of seasons their mishandling of the club's finances became apparent, along with their disregard of trifling issues such as paying the taxman.  This led to some hairy times with the very real possibility of closure, and, of course, our brush with a certain Mr English and Mr Talbot.

The end of the season also marked the end of the PATGOD triumvirate of Lorne, Peter and Gary, with Lorne standing down as editor.  Again, to the outside observer it may have looked as though Lorne might be making way for a fresh start with people closer to the action to carry on the bulk of the production, when in fact Pete and I pretty much instigated a coup d’├ętat, looking to replace his brand of boyish optimism with our own brand of home-grown and nurtured pessimistic fatalism.

We felt bad about ousting Lorne then and even a little bit to this day, even though he took it all very well and continued to contribute a few pieces (which were rigorously checked to ensure they measured up to our newly created quota of miserable, sarcastic, right-on socialist leanings).  But, looking back, it was probably the right time to toughen up our act for the problems the Poppies were about to face.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Fascinating Facts about Wrexham

Don't expect to see the Racecourse this full....
The folk of Wrexham are famous for having the largest chips on their shoulders in the UK.  Who can blame them - their Welsh former rivals Cardiff and Swansea are knocking on the door of the Premiership, whilst Wrexham are rolling out the welcome mat to the likes of us!

"Mr Aspel, is that your
microphone, or are you
just pleased to see me?"

Their current "Welsh derby" is against Newport County, which at 130 miles distance, is exactly the same length as their journey to Rockingham Road.

Former Miss World Rosemarie Frankland was born in Wrexham.  She won the title in 1961 against stiff opposition from girls from China, Spain and France, and no doubt a bit of a stiff one from presenter Michael Aspel.

There are numerous famous siblings from Wrexham, including footballers Rob and Joey Jones, Mark and Edwin Hughes (the former is the current Fulham boss and the latter the last survivor of the Charge of the Light Brigade, or vice versa), and of course, the transvestite sisters Rob and Lily Savage.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

"Northamptonshire can f*ck off and die", says Johnson!

"Diana County my arse!"
With the Cobblers only 2 points north of league trips to Nonce Park and Rocky Road next season, Gary Johnson has finally blown his cool with the Rose of the Shires.

Speaking exclusively to PATGOD, probably because we're the only people still alive to have written about a Gary Johnson Northamptonshire win, he bemoaned his lack of luck within the County.  

"I've been successful with Yeovil, Bristol City, and even bloody Latvia, but as soon as I cross into f*cking Northants, everything turns to sh*t!"

No one can argue with that assessment when considering his spell at the Poppies.  Few will forget the hellish end to the 1995-6 season and our 8 straight defeats, culminating in a couple of 6-goal thumpings.  The (thankfully) last day of the season saw even a crap Stalybridge Celtic gleefully running in the half dozen.  Gary somehow hung onto his job over the summer, but a couple of months into the new season he gratefully accepted the sack, with his record for 1996-7 reading P14, W3, D4, L7. 

Now, after some 15 years of success, he dared to venture back into the County of Spires and Squires. And guess what?  Nothing has changed!

He still can't buy a win, and the Cobblers are circling the Football League plug-hole.  8 games have yielded just 3 points, and a million excuses. 

Hopefully his CV will be in order for his forthcoming stint at the Direones.

Saturday, 9 April 2011



Adam Cunnington and Fernando Torres both line up for their teams today, intent on trying to lose their cherries.

Cunnington should be favourite to notch first as he is starting his game, whilst Torres is on the bench at Stamford Bridge.  However, this is balanced by the fact the Torres is only up against Wigan!


Cunnington gets a touch!


Torres has a jog down the side of the pitch and adjusts alice-band.


Cunnington watches on as Barrow have a couple of corners.  Then gives away a free kick.


Cunnington almost earns a corner.  So far today Torres has earned £25,000.


Cunnington gets ball in the face!  Watches as Mills has a shot.


Cunnington clears left nostril.  And then right one.  At Stamford Bridge Torres takes a sip of water.


Ref tells off Cunnington for constant fouling.  Cunnington shakes head.


Half time.  Cunnington settles down to a cup of tea in a cracked mug, and half a slice of orange.  Torres helps himself to a quick massage from his personal masseur, whilst taking onboard an isotonic meal/drink designed specifically for him by bio-technic chemists in Zurich.


Cunnington on hand as we win a throw-in.


Barrow score with first shot of the game.  Cunnington needs to dig deep to help us back into this one!  Torres warms up again and signs a couple of autographs.

Barrow score again, as the Poppies start to think about their summer holidays.  Cunnington hat-trick needed now!


Torres is on!  Meanwhile at Barrow the two quick goals seem to have deflated the Poppies.  Even Cunnington's efforts may not be enough to get us anything today.


Poppies let third goal in.  Must assume half the team have put on their beach sandals on for the second half.  Torres beats Cunnington to the punch by actually having a shot!


Barrow look to not only help their survival chances, but boost their goal difference.  Chelsea score, but not through Torres.  He did, however, win the free kick they scored from....


Cunnington substitued in favour of the equally prolific Sol Davis.  Torres now has the whip hand for the last 15 minutes.


Cunnington warms down.  Aims a kick at a water bottle.  Misses.


0-4 to previously relegation haunted Barrow.  Anything less than an hour's bollocking from Law after the game will be a travesty.  It's a good job the players wages were found, or we may have missed out on this thrashing.....

Torres has heard that Cunnington has been withdrawn and relaxes, knowing the tussle will in all likelihood carry on to another Saturday.


As the 5th Barrow goal flies in, their management respectfully ask Poppies bench if they can play us every week. 

Full time whistle goes.  The ref stops the contest as one of the combatants cannot protect itself anymore.  Poppies team look to get to the beach for an hour before catching the coach home.

Any Kettering fans going to risk going to Wrexham after this?


Torres takes applause of the fans as Chelsea win.  Another 30 minutes without a goal.  He'll ponder that as he drives his Porsche up west for an evening's hard partying.

Cunnington tries to get on the team coach.  Misses.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Fascinating Facts about Barrow

One of the "Hairy Bikers" hails from Barrow.  Not sure which one.  Probably the one who isn't a Geordie.

Barrow has declared itself, "The gateway to the Lake District".  This is not entirely true, unless the prospective visitor is going to the lakes on a direct line from Anglesey, and deliberately avoiding using useful things like roads or land.  It is similar to Kettering calling itself the gateway to the Norfolk Broads, providing you are coming in a straight line from Cork.

A Barrow supporter faces a round trip of some 740 miles when they play away at Eastbourne.  Consequently they are probably not best impressed that Dover are in the shake-up for promotion into the Conference National!  740 miles!  That's pretty much the distance of a return trip from Kettering to Paris!

A famous footballing son of Barrow was cheesy Anfield smiler Emlyn Hughes.  Although he became a bit of a gormless jumper wearing "Question of Sport" luvvy he did at least lend his name to the greatest ever computer football game, "Emlyn Hughes' Soccer" for the Atari ST!  Happy days, and nights!

The most notable daughter of Barrow is fringe comedienne Karen Taylor who starred in a couple of series of self-titled shows for BBC3 a couple of years ago. OK, she's not enormously well known, but at least it gives me the excuse to use the following photo!

The best front in Barrow?

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Do you need a spoon?

Everyone seems to accept that the Club is in a precarious financial position.  Imraan is effectively unemployed now he is no longer associated with DRC Locums.  His intentions for the club are unclear.  No one has seen him in several weeks.

We all need to know where the club is going, and where we stand now.  And we need to know now.

Obviously the future of the Poppies is important, but the main reason I  want Imraan to put his cards on the table is to prick the bubbles of self-importance of the former Poppy-employees, ex-Board members and one-time DRC Directors who infest Poppynet at the moment!  Oh, they are so clever with their innuendo, dark warnings and suspicions.  Bitterness was never so tedious.

Of course, none of them EVER divulge any of the tidbits of information they guard jealously.  Heavens no!  If they did that they'd be no more important than us mere supporters!  The don't ACTUALLY accuse Imraan of anything untoward.  They also have NO SUGGESTIONS how the Club can move forward.  Basically, if anything ever goes wrong, they can drone on that they told all of us lesser mortals that the problem was coming.  Except of course, they never do!

Curiously they never seemed to have any problem with Imraan or his methods when they worked for him, and he paid their wages!  No, back then they were loyal club officials with fancy titles and the right to swan around because they were "in the know".  Their problems with Imraan arrived at pretty much the same time as their P45's.  Weird, eh?

I think the phrase is, "Put up or shut up!"

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Belated Fascinating Fact about Luton

"Hi ladies, and the more open-minded gents!"
Can't be arsed to dig too deep into dreary, overspill shitehole Luton. 

Instead, as a balance to the usual photographs we feature, and to put a smile on the face of 'er indoors, here's a piccy of Luton's very own Colin Salmon.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Kett'rin Tayn

Growing up in Kettering, I never realised I had an accent. I spoke the same way other people spoke and it sounded perfectly normal to me. Then I left home and went away and things changed. Firstly, the way I said certain words, like Baaaarnet, was commented upon. Then I started noticing it myself, on my return trips. I hadn’t changed, I was still true to my Kettering roots. But on hearing, within 5 seconds of entering the ground, the following exchange:

“Owaaaaryuh me ol’ booty?”
“Kent cumplane me duck”

I thought, good heavens, what rustic types! (told you I was still true to my roots).

Every trip on the Travel Club bus provided enough linguistic source material to fill a book. The local accent got thicker the further you went down the aisle. By the time you reached the back seats, where Dave Tailby held court, you could stand a spoon up in it. Even the agricultural wing of the Brigstock & Thrapston Reds occasionally looked blank when DT coined another phrase in a voice that was halfway between Norfolk and Somerset (in other words Broughton).

But if DT is the Kettering accent turned up to 11 you can’t blame him for trying. The gravitational pull of Eastenders is threatening to make everyone south of Bedford sound alike, so we should hang on to a local twang while we still can. When I say twang, it's more of a quack. Or a bray. Take your pick of farmyard verbs. Moo?

Listening to a couple of Poppies old timers chuntering away with minimal use of the jaw is one of life's pleasures. On Saturday, a hugely wayward York effort was described by the old boy behind me as “almost tekking out the floodloight poilon”. DT would have been proud.

Anyway, shelladdergewnow.

On the subject of the RSPB....

"Even I can see the
York player handling
that ball!"
Mentioning the RSPB in the previous blog has just reminded me of something!  Did anyone else see the Red Kite flying over Rockingham Road on Saturday?  It did a few majestic laps around the ground, no doubt scaring the crap out of the local pigeon population (just what we need, more pigeon shit!) before disappearing back towards the rolling fields which border our fair town.

Presumably the bird of prey was looking for a flailing creature, obviously in distress, who would soon collapse to the floor and become a carcass that could be leisurely picked at.

It's just as well the bird didn't see [insert your own player or supporter name here for desired comic effect] or it would have had a field day!

Back to the Future Part One

Life is all about milestones.

First tooth lost.
First day at school.
First Poppies game.
First hangover.
First day at work.
First grey hair.
First kiss from a girl (note to self - must edit to put this earlier on list...)

Another sign that the more youthful phase of your life is behind you is the changing nature of your away day Poppies experience.  Only five minutes seem to have elapsed since a good away trip meant staggering from bed at the crack of dawn, about an hour after you got in on Friday night.  Boarding the coach to God alone knows where (you automatically booked the previous week).  3 hour beer stop on the way to the game.  90 minutes of cheering Peter Morris's team of middle-aged journeymen to a 0-0 draw.  And then a further 3 hour beer and curry stop on the way home. 

If you were lucky you managed to stay awake during the coach journey and repel Hamish's attempts to drown you in his moist armpit.  If you were unlucky and fell asleep, Ivan Long would probably entertain himself by rubbing his lower portions into your slumbering face!  Or setting fire to his pubes.  Or yours.

I'd like to think little has changed since those care-free days, except any parts which include Hamish and Ivan of course.

However, under scrutiny, I have to confess that my current away day schedule does vary a little from the ones of more youthful days.  I don't remember that the proximity of National Trust properties or Cathedrals used to have much influence over my attending away fixtures.  Nor do I recall especially noting if the away game was close to a pleasant stretch of coast.  Or whether we could book a nice B&B adjacent to a sight of natural beauty, or historic City centre. 

I also don't recollect being especially bothered if there was a guaranteed trip home, let alone the proximity of a pleasant RSPB reserve!

What Saturday Taught Me

If nothing else, Saturday taught me the following: -

"I've missed you Andre!" 
"Shut up and kiss me Pat!"

To stop worrying when little old Poppies play former Football League teams.  If they were really any good, they wouldn't have been relegated out of the League, would they?
To not expect that just because an opposition player handles the ball on the goal line, and this is seen and flagged for by the linesman, that we automatically awarded a penalty.

Not always a good idea to watch too closely when a couple of close former team mates, who haven't seen each other for a while, greet each before the game starts.

And, never use a blog to mock the missus if she wins a halftime draw, because you have nowhere to go when she wins it again!