THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

A small portion of despair and enlightenment delivered to your inbox every Friday
27 February 2015 ~

Manchester City and Arsenal beaten at home in the Champions League, Spurs and Liverpool knocked out of the Europa League. The only hope for Premier League clubs is to pay these players even higher wages in the hope that they improve. Fingers crossed.

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Mushuc150Badge of the week ~ Mushuc Runa SC, Ecuador
Tabard Boy is an Ecuadorian folk hero of uncertain provenance. Many histories mention him appearing in a time of crisis, all giving a similar description of a boy in a red tabard with quick feet. Another element that all the tales seem to agree on is that no one is quite able to describe the nature of the boy’s special power.

In one story from the mid-20th century, The Blind Widow and the Housing Benefits Form, the boy appears to a widow as she weeps over Section 4 of claim form B21A, “Tell Us About People Who Live With You”. The widow knows Tabard Boy is there because she hears his tabard billowing in the draught through her broken window and there is also a distinct aroma of turpentine. The Tabard Boy introduces himself to the widow in his unearthly voice that sounds a bit like someone whistling into a brass piss-pot and proceeds to complete the form for her and subsequently hand-deliver it to elicit a swifter response.

A much earlier story from the 18th century, Treating of the Marvellous History of The Sleeveless Childe, tells how the boy appears to orphan twins lost in the depths of a forest and gives them mittens and a ball of twine – neither of which were to prove of any use to them but the encounter definitely cheered the twins up. He may not have had any obvious skill set, but Tabard Boy is remembered by Mushuc Runa as a force for good and a very quick dresser in the morning. Cameron Carter

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The anti-Blatter revolutionary Luis Figowelcomes winter World Cup in Qatar”. But then the PR company representing him also promoted Qatar's 2022 bid. The football family, there.

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from Karris Abrams

“I didn't think it would be possible to beat a half-and-half scarf for pure awfulness but I have been proven wrong. Just to add to the obscurity of the situation, Arsenal aren't even playing.”

SunArse400

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from Mark Holmes

“People occasionally say that football can learn a few things from rugby union. Here’s one I hope won’t catch on, from last weekend’s Worcester City v Stockport match.”

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from Andrew Baker
“How many newspaper columns about refereeing standards have quoted Half Man Half Biscuit? Just this one, I would think. Well done, Dave Kidd of the Mirror.”

Biscuit400

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Football oracle Piers Morgan does it again.

Piers500

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Also in the news this week
Russell Crowe to buy Leeds?

Ban for Hibernian’s McMuffin flinger

Keeper fights fan

Keith Hackett slates the refereeing of Chelsea v Burnley

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