Sunday, November 30, 2008

The disappearing robins part 2 (Swindon Town)

....... Or in the case of Swindon Town it should be the reappearing robins.

Swindon Town have used at least 5 different badges during their history, and most have them have involved robins, from their nickname or trains, their other nickname being the railwaymen and the town is famous for its locomotive history.

The diamond shaped crest with the 'S' on it was from 1991 and was supposed to signify a successful outlook for the future, which never really materialised. To me it looks more like the logo of a geeky IT company, something which Swindon is more famous for nowadays.

In 2007 the fans voted for the badge with quaters and a train and a robin in it. The towns motto was also reinstated 'Sulubrius et industria', and a very fine badge it is indeed.

Funnily enough for a team who have the nickname of the Robins they haven't always worn red and white. They started off in black and white and then changed to red and white quaters when they entered the Southern League in 1894. In 1897 they decided on a green strip, but green dye was difficult to get hold of. Funnily enough a lot of people think that football teams don't tend to wear green as it is considered unlucky, but at the time of the inception of most clubs it was actually difficult to get hold of.

In 1901 they settled on red, although the 'rebranding' in 1991 saw the club trying to incorporate green into their kits.

The black and white badge shown above is from 1970 and seems to form the basis of today's badge, which is also pictured

Not what it's all about

When the boys from ITV talk about the magic of nonleague football in their annual trip to somewhere crap in the pouring rain and say 'this is what it's all about', don't listen to them. They might have been wetting themselves down the road, as Histon knocked out the 'mighty' (their words not mine) Leeds, but up the road in Ely on Saturday in the freezing fog, nobody was feeling special.

A few years ago Histon and Ely were together in the Eastern Counties League, but nowadays the gap is wider than it ever has been. Histon look like they could get into the league, whereas Ely will probably end up in a dogfight for survival in the Premier Division.

Yesterda, Rod was in town and Sean fancied a trip to the football, but it was not exactly and advertisement for football. The freezing fog and heavy pitch didn't help, and I can't see the Great Shelford game which has been yet again rescheduled for Tuesday going ahead after today's heavy rain. We had a laugh as usual, but when Ely let a typically soft goal in on 22 minutes, it didn't look like there would be a silver lining, and there wasn't.

Ely threatened a bit more in the second half, but on 60 minutes Kirkley and Pakefield increased their advantage to 2-0. Ely finally scored on 65 minutes, and despite a Kirkley player being sent off for a straight red offence it looked like the Robins had already given up and the damp squib of a game petered out.

The attendance was a dismal 77, it can only be hoped that Ely can dig themselves out of this hole and start getting the fans back through the turnstile.

I imagine Rod probably regretted it especially as the miserable woman in the High Flyer turned down our custom for the Wolves v Blues match on TV

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The longest story in Cambridgeshire cup history

The Ely City game against Great Shelford was again off last night. It doesn't look like they will ever get it played the way things are going, especially with Ely due to face Yaxley away in the Hunts Cup on Tuesday night.

Walker out and a lot of walking

I finally met Phil in a pub in Milton before the game and went about drinking at a rate that wasn't safe. I reckoned that I deserved it after being messed around by bus drivers on the way there.

The game wasn't that great and I must admit to having some regrets, especially with the £3 programme and £15 entry fee, when Mick phoned me up to tell me that Ely scored in stoppage time to win 2-1.

The Cambridge goal came from a Ben Purkiss own goal, which settled the match, although it could have been a lot worse for the Minstermen. No wonder the travelling faithful were shouting 'Walker Out'. They got their wishes a week later and now have Martin Foyle the ex-Port Vale manager in the hot seat.

I got sent the wrong way into Cambridge by a copper and didn't find very many friendly locals. In fact it was a German who finally helped me, so I probably got home later than those travelling up to Yorkshire.

I have to admit that meeting Billy Brewer's best mascot mate in Yorkie the Lion, albeit without his costume was probably one of the highlights!

A Week ago

Another break down with my computer has meant that I've been off line for a week, so I'll be catching up now. I only went to the Cambridge United v York match last Tuesday and since then a lot has happened. I was in Bonn at the weekend and had to settle for watching the Villa v United match in a bar and Dynamo get beat by a very desperate Arsenal in the Champions League last night. In my opinion the Arsenal goal was not against the rules of the game, but not very sporting. I mean it was a drop ball and Dynamo didn't even go for it, but that's the way it goes. It also got me thinking about the changing fortunes of Dynamo and Drogheda since that game in summer, but more of that later.
Anyway, here comes a short, as it was a long time ago, photoless (I forgot the camera) report of that Cambridge v York game.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The disappearing robins part 1 (Charlton Athletic)

There has been a trend for a lot of clubs to upgrade their nicknames to sound harder. For example, the Biscuitmen of Reading are now the Royals and the Robins of Charlton are the valiants and the Glass boys of Crystal Palace are the Eagles. Unlike Eagles Robins are not hard, as although Ely still have a Robin on the badge, Swindon, Charlton, Cheltenham and Bristol City have all got rid of the Robins from their badges.

Charlton Athletic have had the current badge with the hand holding the sword since 1968, although the original idea for the design was first announced in 1963 when it won a competition held by the club and they have had a similar design since this date.

The original badge had the letters CAFC in the shape of the diamond, but after World War 2 chose a Robin design, which they wore in the 1946 defeat to Derby in the FA Cup Final.

They have at other times also used the Greenwich Council symbol as their badge.

When the current badge design was chosen the nickname 'The Robins' was replaced by 'The Valiants', as it went better with the badge and was connected with their home ground, The Valley. Out also went the song 'The Red Robin' to be replaced by 'Old Father Thames', however this tune was soon unsurped again by the old one.

As well as being known as the Robins and the Valiants Charlton are now commonly called 'The Addicks'. The most likely source of this nickname is from haddock, the fish as local Arthur 'Ikey' Bryan used to give it the players as a reward when they won a game. A lot of people think it is a recent nickname, but it actually goes back at least to 1908.

In 2002 the fans were informed that the club had decided that the sword motif was too agressive for a family club and that they would choose another one as an online vote. The 3 that were chosen are shown above, the CAFC that bears more than a passing resemblance to the current Fulham badge, the more traditional robin, or the addick. The fans were up in arms when they met Arsenal on April 1st, well the ones who hadn't noticed what the date was.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

York City in shirts - part 3

Top - the shirt that fans chose in 2004
bottom - this season's kit

York City in shirts - part 2

Notes on the below shirt from top to bottom:
2002 - The ones with the dodgy chequered flag.
1974 - The ones with the Y that they wore when they got promotion.
1937 - The first time York appeared in red
1934 - The chocolate box kit
1922 - The original coloura

York City in shirts

On Tuesday night big Phil will be in town for the game between Cambridge United and York City. I was getting a bit bored with the club focus format, so here is a more visual and even more potted history.

York city were formed in 1909, but were disbanded and reformed after the first world war and wore the maroon and white shirts at the top. In 1929 they got into the league at the expense of Ashington who were relegated and Mansfield who won the Midlands league, but got less votes than York, who finished ninth. They also changed to brown and white shirts as a reference to the town's confectionary history. They then changed for red shirts, as the brown and white stripes were said to clash too often with their opponents.

In 1974 they got all the way to division 2 and released the shirts with the big y to celebrate the fact.

In 2002-2003 they almost went to the wall after being taken over by someone who didn't really have any cash and who was a car racing fan, hence the daft chequered flag part of the design. A year later the fans took over the club and York returned to red and this year they are wearing the red and blue halves.

The History of Hamburg SV

This week I bought the retro Hamburg SV shirt (the blue one pictured above), which was perhaps a bit of a strange purchase as they are in the same group as Villa in the UEFA Cup, but it's a good shirt and they seem like a decent bunch, although i might not be saying that next month.

The 'Bundesliga Dinosaurs' are the only club to have played in every season of the Bundesliga since its inception in 1963. They were formed as an athletics club in 1887 when Der Hohenfelder and Wandsbek Marienthaler came together to form Sports club Germania, they started playing football in 1891 after having it introduced to them by some Englishmen. After World War I Sports Club Germania, Hamburg FC and FC Falke found themselves in a weakened position and decided to get together and form Hamburg SV. The red and white shirts come from the colours of the city and the blue and black crest is that of the oldest of the three clubs Germania.

The first 'success' of Hamburg came in 1922 when they met defending champions 1.FC Nurnberg in the final of the German Cup. The first match finished 2-2 when it was 2 dark to play after 3 hours and 10 minutes, as there were no substitutes in those days I can imagine that they wish someone had thought of the idea, or penalty shoot outs before. A lack of substitutes caused problems in the rematch, which the referee finished at 1-1 when 1.FC Nurnberg were reduced to 7 men. The DFB after a lot debate finally awarded the titile to Hamburg, but told them that they should refuse the trophy as a sign of sportsmanship, which they did (in a more begruding than sporting fashion).

The following year they finally got their hands on the trophy when they beat Union Oberschonweide in the final. In 1924 they lost in the final to Nurnberg and then won it again in 1928.

At the time the German leagues were regional with the cup final acting as the National decider. At the time Hamburg were in the Oberliga Nord, where they were a dominant force. Of the 16 seasons between 1947 to 1963 Hamburg won 14 of the championships. in 1949 they finished second on goal difference behind city rivals St.Pauli and in 1954 they finished 11th. At national level they were less effective though only winning the trophy in 1960 after the 1928 victory and losing in the final in 1957 and 1958.

In 1963 they were one of the 16 founder members of the Bundesliga and they are the only club to have been there ever since. In the 1970's and early 80's they had a great deal of success, winning the German Cup in 1976, the Cup Winner's Cup in 1977 and the Bundesliga in 1979. They finished second, 2 points behind Bayern Munich in 1980 and then went on to win it twice more in 1982 and 1983. In 1983 they won the european Cup when they beat Juventus in the final and in 1987 they won the German Cup again.

In 2004 Hamburg were involved in a controversy when they lost to minnows Paederborn in the German Cup. However, it turned out that the referee, Robert Hoyzer had been paid by a Croatian betting syndicate to fix the match.

This season under Martin Jol they have started well, although they have been slipping up lately and are now down to 5th after losing to Hertha Berlin yesterday, although they are only 5 points behind leaders Bayer Leverkusen and TSG Hoffenheim. Let's just hope there luck isn't in in the UEFA Cup

Slipping down the league

Ely's atrocious run of late continued on Saturday as they made it only one point from the last 15. They lost 3-0 to a strong Whitton United team, but the result doesn't really tell the full story.

Ely went 1-0 down when Duane Wright put them ahead on 28 minutes, but Ely particularly in second half seemed to have most of the chances, but never looked like actually putting them away. It looked for most of the second half that Ely would get an equaliser, but on 83 minutes Ronald Wright made it 2-0 when the goalkeeper fluffed the ball to allow him to get a pretty straight forward tap in. Duane Wright got his second on 98 minutes! There were a lot of stoppages including an injury to the Whitton goalkeeper in what was an entertaining, but bad tempered game. At least Villa managed to cheer me up by beating the Gooners away.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Club Focus - Whitton United

On Saturday Ely should play host to Whitton United.

Whitton United's official birthday is 1926, although there is evidence of a club existing before the start of the 20th Century. In 1927 they made it to the miinor cup final of the Suffolk and Ipswich league, where they lost to Bungay.

In their early days they played their football in fields behind a couple of pubs and at one time they shared a field with a few cows, who were moved for the football. They finally settled at King George V Playing fields where they play up until the presnt day, although there are plans to move to a more modern facility.

A lot of their history from this period has been lost in time and the next record of major note was a game infront of 8000 at Ipswich's Portman Road in the Suffolk Cup Final in 1948. Unfortunately, they went on to lose 2-0 to Lowestoft Town. They went on to win the cup 2 years on the trot in 1959 and 60 by beating Bungay and Long Melford.

Up until the late 1980s the club played in a variety of minor leagues in the area. They won the Suffolk and Ipswich league title in 1993 and 1995. In 1995/6 season they joined the Eastern Counties League where they are still playing today.

Pompey help to put my Last FM group on the map

A couple of years ago I started the group 'Johnny Metgod's Unpopable Balls' on Last FM. Yeah, I know it should be Unpoppable! It was named after those balls that didn't pop obviously, and they really didn't , thorns, dogs, nothing could pop them and Johnny Metgod endorsed them. The only problem was that if you played with them in the rain they turned into concrete.

Johnny himself is 50 years old and started his career at HFC Haarlem in the 1970s. He then went on to play for AZ67, Real Madrid, Forest and Spurs. At Forest he became famous for his free kicks at Forest despite being a defender. I presume he got used to kicking the ball so hard from practising with those unpoppable balls after they had turned into rainfall medicine balls and not the 'Pure animal physics' the commentator in the video above is talking about. He must have been shmoking some of the stuff Johnny's home country is famous for.

Johnny also managed to get 21 caps for Holland and scored 4 goals. He played the last 6 years of his career at Feyenoord and then went on to coach their neighbours at Excelsior before returning to Feyenoord. Today Donkey Adams appointed him as coach of Portsmouth.

The longest cup tie ever

.... Or does it just seem so. I should have been at Ely City v Great Shelford tonight, well if there hadn't been a blackout in Ely in the 88th minute the game wouldn't have been rearranged. The reason I wasn't at the game tonight was that it was postponed, this time for a water logged pitch. Thank God Mick from the club popped round to tell me and thus saved me a trip down the road.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The FA Cup so far

I know it wasn't really the start of the FA Cup yesterday, as I had already been to qualifying games at Rocester and Cambridge City, but it was the first round proper and there was no local football, apart from Histon who beat Swindon in the cup, so I was perched in front of the TV. Unfortunately I am going to miss the Havant and Waterloovile v Crewe game, which I expect Havant to win due to promising to go to the swimming pool.

Obviously, the big stories so far have been Curzon and Ashton, Histon and Blyth knocking out league opposition, with the Blyth win over Shrewsbury being the most impressive, but there were some other interesting results.

Notts County, who knocked out Sutton United and the commentator saying 'Notts County's quality shone through', it must be a long time since anybody said that!

Macclesfield also got called the 'romance killers' when they beat Harlow, which is funny as I remember being at the Moss Rose when Hartlepool knocked Macc out when Macc were the non league underdogs.

Kidderminster knocked Cambridge out, which I was glad about, but only because it means that I'll be able to go to Cambridge v York in 10 days, as a replay was avoided.

Chesterfield beat Mansfield in the Spires v Scabs derby, a game that must have kept the Derbyshire Police busy, as they still bear grudges from the miners' strike. Also in the East Midlands, 2 of the smaller teams went through with Eastwood Town and Alfreton Town recording victories.

Stevenage gave the Toon a shock 10 years ago, before losing in a replay at St.James, I presume the shock was the dodgy shirts they were wearing. Yesterday they were wearing sensible shirts and had the chance to knock out one of the biggest teams in the first round, Leicester City. They lost 3-0. The music that they play when Leicester score sounds like 'Did I really kiss the sky by Kingmaker', but I doubt it is. I really hate it when they play music when a team scores, but at least it was different to the little ska ditty every other club who have to try and create an atmosphere tend to play.

One of the shocks that went virtually unmentioned was Conference bound Bournemouth beating Bristol Rovers who have been rejuvenated by Nicky Lambert's goals.

Well anyway there are still quite a few games to play in the first round and there could be a few more shocks, and I've found it really interesting and a welcome break from the big four on TV, Accrington v Tranmere on TV has a certain comedy effect and I can't imagine some of these games making it to mainstream TV in most countries. I remember Sasha from the sports bar in Kyiv being a bit confused a few years ago when I got him to put Burton Albion v Hereford on and Kolya being bemused when they put Mansfield v Middlesbrough on last year. Just remember if Havant do win they aren't the heroes of last year only three of them remain on the books.

Time to go swimming

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Going Even Further Off Topic - Bonfire Night

The kids made me do it, honest. I'll get back to football after this interlude

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Kompakt Records - the final installment

....... and then we can get back to the football.

Live session from the label's founder, Reinhard Voigt. It was recorded at Dry Rock in Naples in 2006.

There is a double CD available here, but again it isn't my link:

More from Kompakt - Schaffelfieber

This was the 8th release from Kompakt records and continues the Kompakt records special, that has temporarily moved the website away from being a football site, but don't worry there'll be plenty of football related stuff soon.

Anyway, although it's 8 years old it still sounds great:

1a Wolfgang Voigt Diskoschleifen 2000 A1 (Intro) (0:56)
Written-By, Producer - Wolfgang Voigt
1b M:I:5 Maßstab 1:5 (4:17)
Written-By, Producer - Wolfgang Voigt
2 Sensorama Star Escalator (5:42)
Written-By, Producer - Jörn Elling Wuttke , Roman Flügel
3 Superpitcher Softmachine (5:13)
Written-By, Producer - Aksel Schaufler
4 Freiland Rot (5:29)
Written-By, Producer - Wolfgang Voigt
5 Eight Miles High In This Place (5:57)
Written-By, Producer - Roman Flügel
6 Christian Morgenstern Gem Club Pt. 1 (6:49)
Written-By, Producer - Christian Morgenstern
7 Thomas Gwosdz Reinaufwärts (5:21)
Written-By, Producer - Thomas Gwosdz
8 Doppel Galoppmusik (3:48)
Written-By, Producer - Wolfgang Voigt
9 T.Raumschmiere Bolzplatz (4:55)
Written-By, Producer - Marco Haas
10 Sascha Funke Appearance Are Deceptive (4:56)
Written-By, Producer - Sascha Funke
11 Bolz Bolz Groupies (4:35)
Written-By, Producer - Bolz Bolz
12 Electronicat Shuffle Tiiiime (3:32)
Written-By, Producer - Fred Bigot

The above information came from Discogs.
If you want to listen to it then you can download it from:
The password is:
I downloaded it from that site

Kompakt Records mixtape - off topic

I seem to be going completly off topic this week, but as I like music a lot as well and I started off the mixtape and Kompakt records thread, it seems like a good idea to carry on with some other good stuff from Germany's greatest record label.

Here's the track listing, which includes the fabulous Mexican artist known as Drugs Made Me Smarter, who I first came across on a net label.

1. Andrew Thomas - Groove 3
2. Tilman - Live Hood
3. b twisted - Tempo Injection
4. Lackluster - 111080702 (Tumbling along)
5. Audiossey - Songtitles Are Ridiculous
6. Craque - Licht
7. Kontrast - Vision and Tradition
9. Drugs Made Me Smarter - I Wanna Feel your Soul

Download it here:

All tracks are available free from Last FM

Language Problems - Part 2

I've just come in from the evenings back yard pyrotechics, which weren't exactly on a par with anything FC Seoul would do and realised that there are no live games on what can be termed as normal telly, so I decided to catch up on the old web site here.

A few months ago I wrote about the problems of Ukrainian, Russian and the Cyrillic and Roman alphabets throwing up some strange linguistic concoctions, but now I have another problem and the problem is English. The other day I read a report about a CRC game, CRC being a team in the same league as the mighty Ely City which linked what happened at their home game and what happened at Ely's home game as 'further up the road in Cambridgeshire'. Now I took this to mean that CRC were a team from Essex or Kent or somewhere like that and they meant further up the road in another county (Cambridgeshire), but on more research and the fact I saw a bus going to CRC from Cambridge train station I found out that CRC are a kind of academy team for Cambridge City. (CRC stands for Cambridge Regional College - more about that another time.) so, what the report actually meant was further north in the same county.

This is all rather pointless, but now I'm wondering what the commentator for the Roma v Chelsea game meant last night when he said 'the Roma coach was stoned last sunday'.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Record Label - Kompakt (off topic)

Not much live football apart from on TV tonight, so I am going to look at another record label that I have enjoyed in the past - Kompakt.

I had a ton of Kompakt stuff on my hard drive before it broke and I aim to try and get some of it back and hopefully make a mix tape.

Kompakt records were formed in 1989 and have a lot in common with the English label Warp. The Cologne based label, like Warp is famous for its minimal techno although it also represents other genres, it also works as a record store and distributor.

The label, which is home of 'the Cologne Sound', was formed in 1989 by legendary techno artist Wolfgang Voigt, Jurgen Paape and Michael Mayer. It is also the parent label for 2 of Voigt's other project labels, Auftrieb and Profan. There is also the Kompakt Pop label, which despite its name is often the vehicle for the label's flagship acts like Gui Boratto, where as Kompakt tends to specialise in compilations, although the Orb have appeared on it

Sunday, November 2, 2008

A Hard Fought Draw

Yesterday I went to Ely City v Walsham Le Willows, and again the weather was fairly bad. Ely went one down early on, but managed to get an equaliser through Lee Dixon on 44 minutes. The second half saw Ely come close on a number of occassions, but they weren't able to nick the win in the end.

a bit of a short report this time and again apologies for no photos