Phew!!! What a week we’ve had trying to keep our FMTTM public happy. Two issues in a week is an administrative nightmare, especially as our ageing and decrepit old typist has finally been put out to graze after last week’s shoddy performance, nearly as bad as Burkys against Villa… (only joking Mark).
Not a bad week on the pitch though, i reckon we deserved the three points after our superb fight back against Villa. They must hate coming here. Despite two points lost it was an epic match and you’ve got to hand it to McInally, he looks a great player, stick your house on him to be the divisions top scorer at the end of the season, although Mark Brennan may yet catch him up.
Shocking performance against Oldham in midweek though wannit? Still, nice to see Royle sickened after all his chatter in the press, if they want to be the leagues good Samaritans that’s up to them, but i don’t see why we should switch to an inconvenient night just for a Simod Cup tie. Anyway can’t see them making many friends with those tactics, any team who plays an offside game will come unstuck eventually, as Davo showed when he finally sprung the trap. Clear penalty by the way Joe!!! I thought we were going to have rows over who was taking it for a moment, until discretion proved the better part of valour on Parky’s part, with Deano dispatching it into the net John Hickton style.
Some of our sales men report frenzied scenes of pandemonium when copies of FMTTM reach your favourite bars, we urge our patrons to restore your sanity and form orderly queues. Nice to receive a few letters, but even more would be appreciated. Finally lets look forward to turning the 6-a-side experts over today, and see you all again on the 2nd, with all the part timers too no doubt.
Boro have had many good players. A few great players and some very popular players. In this article I am going to try and put the position of John Hickton into perspective.
Hickton was bought from Sheffield Wednesday in September 1966 as a full back, but was hastily switched to centre forward with prolific consequences. In all he scored just under 200 league and cup goals during his decade with the Boro. He topped the Second Division scoring charts no less than three times, whilst also top scoring for Boro six times in a row.
He made his debut at home to Workington and remained an ever present up front with John O’Rourke. That season we gained promotion from the Third Division, with Hickton scoring in our final 4-1 victory at home to Oxford Utd in front of a crowd of 44,000.
Big John stayed up front for the next ten years, he was partnered but never bettered by some fine forwards including Horsfield, O’Rourke, Foggon, Laidlaw and McIlmoyle. Powerful in the air and pacy on the deck, he was as hard in the tackle as Souness and as brave and determined as Dave Hodgson.
Those that saw him play will never forget his forging runs down the wing or through the middle, lashing aside any scything tackles before finishing with a net budging drive. Remember that 25 yard volley against Brum on Match of the Day ’71 or that stunner versus Newcastle on Shoot ’75… Sorry about that, im getting carried away.
Many of the big clubs looked at Hickton but he was loyal to the Boro and was rewarded in the twilight of his career with first division football, also scoring the first goal of our return to the top table.
He wasn’t as prolific a goal scorer as Clough or Camsell, didn’t have the skill and caps of Mannion. However, he more than made up for that with bravery, pace, power, grit and charisma that made him one of the most popular players to make the Holgate roar, we salute you Big John.
So we’ve had about half a dozen editions of ‘The Match’ so far, including new camera positions, interviews with substituted players and exclusive access to the dressing room.
Have you been enjoying it then?
No, neither have I. Arsenal versus Liverpool wasn’t bad thanks to Barnes and Beardsley, but apart from that, the rest has been pure dross. When are the TV companies going to realise that we don’t want the big five every week. The festive season is upon us and they are only just finding time to plan a Norwich, Millwall, or dare I say it, Boro game.
How often do we see good games between the so called big five, not very often. They usually just cancel each other out and give us what we’ve had for years, a boring Sunday afternoon.
We all know the best live match last season was Boro 2 Villa 1. Put that with our cup matches against Sutton and Everton plus the televised play offs, and we were arguably the most entertaining side on the box last season. I am not just pushing Boro’s case either, but using it as an example to show that the best matches don’t always involve the big five.
Also when these so called ‘glamour ties’ turn out to be poor, why is that Brian Moore, Ian Saint John and Elton Welsby all try to cover things up by claiming the game is better than it really is. Don’t insult our intelligence ITV, there are lots of knowledgeable football fans out there who know if the game is good or bad.
Well done Graham Taylor for admitting the truth when Man Utd played at St James Park, which is probably why he was dropped from the Big Match team. So come on ITV, get your act together before people only switch on for the half time goals.
The story so far… Charlie Scrooge chairman of Middlesmoney FC (Never-share-some Park) was looking forward to the Bank Holiday crowds and creaming off loads of cash from the receipts. But this was all about to change as he answered the phone one December evening at home…
The voice on the other end of the line spoke to Charlie. “I am the fan of Christmas past”. Ordinarily Charlie would have hung up on a crank but as the caller had introduced himself as a fan he didn’t mind listening whilst the strangers phone bill ran up. “I am phoning to remind you of Middlesmoneys better days, when decent men ran the club and you were just a cock eyed dance band leader with a nose for a quick buck”. Charlie was warming to the man, there was nothing he liked better than flattery, apart from money of course. “This was the time when crowds were big and we had a team that entertained and was crammed full of internationals”. Charlies eyes lit up, a player with an international cap added at least £2000000 to his market value. “We were above Blunderland and Ruined Castle United as we are now but we also had the chance of winning something. Then you came and our prospects and crowds fell. Now you must go Charlie”.
Charlie hung up with the voice on the line still repeating “Charlie Out, Charlie Out…” He was overjoyed, the fact he had been unpopular with supporters only served to prove what a good businessman he was. Anyway he knew nothing about football until he’d taken over the club as being a band leader hadn’t required any such knowledge.
It was midnight now and Charlie decided to turn in. He always went to bed late because he found it hard to sleep with all the piles of cash under the matress. Just as he was settling down the phone rang again. “Is that you Scrooge?” a rough voice on the line questioned. Scrooge confirmed his identity. “I’m the fan of Christmas present and me and my mates hate your guts”. Again Scrooge was positively beaming, he loved this kind of talk but it was late now and he really didnt have time. “Listen you young hooligan, you and your cronies had better stop bothering me or i will tell my good mate the Chief Constable”. He wasn’t joking either, Charlie and the top cop often shot a round of golf at Charlies very own Country Club.
“Listen Scrooge, the teams got a couple of good young players and the club could win something without you there. So get out if you know whats good for you” and with that the voice hung up. Scrooge wasn’t bothered though, receiving threatening telephone calls was an occupational hazard for a tight miserable git of a club Chairman.
His third and final call of the night woke Charlie from his light sleep. The caller introduced himself, “I am the fan of Christmas yet to come. I must warn you of changes in football that will happen shortly. There will be a minimum wage for professional footballers, freedom of contract and transfer tribunals that favour the buying club and…”
“Stop! I’ve heard enough.” Charlie put down the receiver. That morning he announced to his staff that he would be resigning, knowing it made good money sense to leave with the impending financial changes in football. However he still needed to put the finishing touches to his legacy, rubber stamping the sale of every midfielder on the clubs books. Unfortunately he hadn’t realised that this would leave a large sum of money at the very club he was trying to leave. So, ever the businessman he arranged for a little bit of building work to be done by his own firm and to be charged at extortionate rates.
He left a happy man and lived miserably ever after.