The Ping

Flicking through my twitter the other day and I came across a post from an old team mate Ian Spring. It jogged the memory bank of Sunday football days gone by when I first started playing adult football at the club. We started as a CB football team as we had a thriving club in Waltham Abbey called the Ghost Town Breakers. Every week we would meet at the community centre in the Crooked Mile and then laterly if my memory serves me correct at the Football Club. My brother got us use of the Johnson Matthey works ground in Brimsdown and we started playing friendlies known as Matthey Citizens. In reality we were pretty crap but we loved it and at that age I guess we thought we were the boll*x. It was not long before ex Club Secretary John “Charlie” May invited us to come and play Sundays down at the Abbey and would get us in the Sunday League. He used to referee our games and knew that my brother and Keith Hutchins, who ran Matthey, didnt get on.  We took up the invite and were proud as punch when we won our first two games 7-0 (Edmonton Green) and 4-0 (TPA) in Junior Division Four. I remember the paper said we were ” cock a hoop”. If my memory Ian Springalso serves me correct, I dont think we won another game that season! Still we had some great laughs along the way. I recall playing a team called Tower Hamlets in the Essex Cup at Capershotts early on. No way was we going to win this game but strangely enough we did, winning 2-0 at Capershotts. It was Ian Spring who inspired me to write this article as I recalled he scored an absolute ping of a goal with a strike that gave the keeper no chance. Now not knowing what Ian looks like these days, (until seeing his twitter profile) at the time he was about (seemingly) four foot tall, no neck and basically was a circle. But boy could he strike a ball. Ask him to run around and then that was a different matter. Two funny things happened in the game that were stand out had to be there moments. A player was jumping up and down in front of Charlie May (who was now playing for us) as he took a throw in.  Charlie threw the ball straight in his face. Naturally we cracked up as the player fell like a ninepin and claret splattered all over his white Tower Hamlets shirt. The other moment was when a Hamlets player called the ref a See You En Tee. Charlie turned around a said to the ref “did you hear that”? “what”? said the ref. “he just called you a cunt” “who did?” “him”. Come here player, within seconds the fella was shown a red card and turned to curse at Charlie as he walked off. “you wanker, you got me sent off” Charlie said “well I didnt call him a cunt did I!”. We were pissing ourselves, one of the funniest things I´ve ever seen and heard on a football pitch! We lost 1-3 at home in the next round as we embarked on our losing streak throughout the season. I think it was 82-83 that season, no doubt I will look it up one day.

Did you play that day or have a sunday memory from the Abbey? Would love you to leave a comment.

Relegation a real reality

So we go to the last day of the season in true Sky Sports style hoping that we can win or at least draw and other results go our way. Can we afford to rely on others, well now it’s possible because that’s exactly  what we have to do.  Relegation does not bare thinking about…
Fight the good fight

A defeat is a calamity, results going our way is a god send.   So many times in football we have heard that phrase “your too good to go down”. Ok we ain’t really quite in the too good league but we can certainly be a better side than what we are.  The evidence is there, take the AFC Sudbury away win for example and the fantastic comeback against Bury Town. It’s been a season of frustration and despair with what started off as optimism and the hope of glory!  Who would have foreseen that the appointment of ex professional League winner Martin Hayes as Manager would actually take the club backwards. Many felt it was already on a sliding slope but couldn’t get any worse when promising such high hopes.  Any hope of team, let alone club spirit appeared to drain away with defeat after defeat. All the comments were and general consensus was that we were playing well, some great football in fact and we will come good soon. But the rot never stopped and the roots were growing longer into the mire.  It could not be doubted Hayes is a nice fella and knows his stuff but is level 4 football below his footballing ability mentality wise?  The players could not respond and one by one our so called best players left and finally he realised the journey was over.  No regrets all round, we gave it a go and it didn’t work. Simple. That’s football.  So let’s bring us back to today. The footballs pretty much the same, the same decision making mistakes that cost us are there but the team and club spirit has changed and this gives us belief for the future.  We just need this one big Saturday to go our way and we are back in the game.  Fresh start and all that.  We cannot rely on FA reprieves, we don’t want to rely on other results although we have to, either way we need to win to go out pride intact.  In my time and my knowledge no Waltham Abbey FC team had ever been relegated until we fell out of the Ryman Premier Division in 2010, once is enough.

WAFC v Redbridge Sat 23rd April 2016 3-00pm Capershotts, Sewardstone Road, Waltham Abbey, Essex, EN9 1NX

Spurs 2 Abbotts 2

Of all the weekends to go away I had to travel to Scotland on the day Tottenham were playing Arsenal at White Hart Lane.  I wouldnt have been there as you know, well maybe, I would have been at Brentwood Town watching the Abbotts.  Well it was a mixed day I suppose, I watched the Spurs win 2-1 on social media with some lad running up and down the train to Glasgow at the final whistle.  Whatever floats your boat.  Hallett scores early for the Abbotts but the journey became gloomy as we went 3-1 down eventually losing 3-2 to a Brentwood side who are up there this season.  Hallett hit both.

Still, watching all the Goons squirm on social media later was an experience, after that they all disappeared until tonight, the time of writing.  A three day sleep.  Spurs are back to normal service resumed with a 3-2 loss at Liverpool while the Goons send the library back to sleep with a narrow 2-1 win over bottom club Leicester.  Have to say it was  a cracking game on TV at Liverpool and I would think no football fan would deny that.

I did manage to see some football this weekendish though, I took my little Sunday son (Alf) to White Hart Lane last night to watch the Under 18’s play Manchester United in the FA Youth Cup fifth round.   2408 wasnt a bad crowd with a fair chunk of Man Utd fans coming in from London. Come on they aint come down have they!  It was a great game of football and I was suitably impressed by the standard, both sides playing some great stuff and possessing great trickery.  Spurs took the lead and Man Utd equalised with their first shot but eventually the home side ran out 3-1 winners.  The crowd were in good form too, there is a section who only go to the Youth and Under 21 games and sing their hearts out.  Some of the songs were a bit choice but they wernt doing any harm and seem to enjoy themselves.  The whistling in me ear was a pain though.  Well worth a look for only a fiver and pound for kids.  NO hassle parking and the refreshments are open if you got a spare 100 quid lol.  Anyway away again this weekend so I’m guessing any footie will be watched on TV once again.

See ya soon, amen  Abbey Abbott

 

Abbey Blog and History Site

Back in the 90’s I used to have a site called Capershotts.com.  It was all about the history of Waltham Abbey Football Club and not current stuff.  I had started to build the site mainly to post old memories of times at the Abbey and try to gain interest from people in the town, old players, fans etc and generally friends who had some great times in the 70’s and 80’s.  Due to an error on my part this site was lost but recently I managed to find some old files on computer and think I may just be able to recover them.  Also with the advent of new technology it looks like its even easier now to build decent websites and get up and running pretty quick.  Now I’m not saying this one is going to be quick, by any means, but I’m going to try and make an effort to place as much of my old stuff online as possible, its about time.  So if you have stumbled upon this site, thanks for looking, over the next few weeks it will take shape.

TAA