Category Archives: Sport

Some great trees (and a bit of football)

Saturday 26th September 2020, 2.15pm (day 3,320)

Calder 76 landscape, 26/9/20

Now that’s a serious tree.  Surely it predates everything else in this photograph except the hillsides.  And it’s probably seen a lot of football too.  (The willow’s not bad either.)

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The 15:10 to Manchester

Saturday 19th September 2020, 3.10pm (day 3,313)

15:10 to Manchester, 19/9/20

Not sure that I have previously managed to categorise a post as ‘sport’ and ‘transport’ simultaneously.  A shame the ball could not make it into shot as well…

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Not the tea hut

Saturday 12th September 2020, 2.55pm (day 3,306)

Runcorn Town, 12/9/20

I like straightforward signage like this: though as should also be apparent, in this case, it was giving false information. The football ground, with its backdrop of very heavy industry, is that of Runcorn Town.

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Pre-match warm-up

Saturday 29th August 2020, 2.40pm (day 3,292)

Steeton FC, 29/8/20

Travelling abroad may be curtailed at the moment but there’s still plenty of my own country I haven’t seen and going to football matches on Saturday afternoons is, as far as I am concerned, as good a way to see it as any. The village of Steeton, near Keighley, provides a picturesque backdrop to the warm-up exercises of the visiting Avro FC. I like the contrasting colours and the impressive house that pops up above the trees at the top.

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A welcome return

Saturday 8th August 2020, 3.20pm (day 3,271)

Oxenhope Recreation, 8/8/20

Everything has become so messed up during the Great Fear that standing in a field on a glorious, sunny day with a couple of dozen other people is now considered less ‘safe’ than, say, driving down the M1 or operating heavy machinery.  But I still welcome the return of some level of competitive sport, something this country (and others) misses more than it realises.  My first football match for 147 days, or 21 weekends, and the first pre-season friendly for Oxenhope Recreation FC, the guys in orange, against Keighley Athletic.  I guess it’s about a 50/50 chance whether the season to come will actually be finished, but for now, I don’t care.

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The cricketers of Keswick

Saturday 25th July 2020, 2.35pm (day 3,257)

Keswick cricket, 25/7/20

Over these months of lockdown it has become apparent that Our Glorious Leadership have been taking decisions on an arbitrary basis.  What is ‘safe’, what is not? What is healthy, what is not? No one really knows.  So, on the evidence of activities taking place in Fitz Park, Keswick, today, cricket is OK, including having spectators present — but not yet football, oh no.  And I don’t mean here the type of football played in front of 30,000 packed together and sweaty fans, but the sort that keeps people fit and provides enjoyment for a few dozen.  That is, the sort I like best.  I am not griping about the fact there was cricket in Keswick today: I think it’s a good thing.  But there seems no reason why, for instance, the football club (Keswick FC) that play in the same park shouldn’t be back in action soon.  Unless you talk to Our Glorious Leadership.

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Football landscape, awaiting inhabitants

Sunday 3rd May 2020, 1.20pm (day 3,174)

Heptonstall football pitch, 3/5/20

For most of the teams in England, this weekend should have marked the end of the football season. For me, this started back on June 21st in Anglesey, but seeing as the only anti-COVID strategy anyone could think of involved killing off most of what gave life meaning, it was ended, along with everything else, after March 14th. What remnants of grass-roots sport will be left when the paranoia finally lifts and we realise that in the long run, for our survival as a functioning society, we have to get outside again — that is still to be seen.

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The day’s big race

Sunday 29th March 2020, 3.40pm (day 3,139)

Totopoly, 29/3/20

I don’t know if I’m the only one having problems uploading pictures to WordPress at the moment: these difficulties explain why these posts are coming out at odd times right now. It’s been a case of when it works, grab the opportunity. Maybe it’s all a consequence of the ongoing hiatus in civilisation…. There must be many groups who are having to come to terms with changed circumstances. What are the inveterate gamblers doing at the moment, I wonder, with no (public) sporting events taking place? We did consider a live sream of our afternoon game of Totopoly. Number 2 did turn out to be the winner — odds of 5/1, don’tcha know. Clare in the background looks excited, as well she might, as she was the owner.

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Acceptable levels of risk

Saturday 14th March 2020, 3.30pm (day 3,124)

Football geezers, 14/3/20

Senior football across the UK was suspended as of yesterday. I, these guys (who have doubtless been coming to the same spot, probably with the same chairs, for decades) and three hundred other people got their fix at AFC Blackpool of the North West Counties league. The crowd included a large number of fans of Sunderland FC who had been due to play in the town this afternoon but could not. Alas, it then also began to include a number of the local idiots who saw here a chance to wind up these visitors free from the distractions of police or stewards. A microcosm of a usual Saturday for various people therefore.

The point is that if this kind of thing isn’t available, then for good or bad, people will go find it where they can. I suspect Britain, and the world, currently needs sport more than it realises.

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Beneath the castle walls

Saturday 7th March 2020, 2.55pm (day 3,117)

Richmond Town FC, 7/3/20

The walls of the castle at Richmond, North Yorkshire, have been there for some 900 years now: they’re not as intact as once they were, but still form an impressive backdrop to the town — and here, its football club. I lived near here for a few years in the mid-1990s, it always seemed like the ‘big city’  in a way but it’s a tiny town in actuality, a sign of how far out in the sticks I was at this time. I don’t miss living there and haven’t been back much at all, but it was pleasant to return for a day trip today.

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