A small portion of despair and enlightenment delivered to your inbox every Friday
28 June 2013 ~

Ossie Ardiles revealed how out of touch he is this week when he claimed England won't win another World Cup for "20 or 30 years". That's ridiculously optimistic.

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HasseltBadge of the week ~ Koninklijke Sporting Hasselt, Belgium
Reindeer Gynaecology is a peculiarly Belgian area of expertise. The pioneer in this field was Dr Alain Masson-Montage, a former forester who developed a specialism in reindeer genital tracts for no good reason whatsoever. Considered a misfit in his home town (he wore elevator shoes despite being 6 foot 4 inches tall), he was rendered unemployable for some years until the Great Reindeer Infection of 1936.

The traditional reindeer doctors were mystified by the outbreak of an unidentified malaise in the reindeer pack and it was initially ignored, until Masson-Montage began to operate informally from a bothy in the hazel wood. The subsequent breakthroughs made by Masson-Montage and the restored health of the deer, led to him being awarded Belgium's highest honour, a bell on a stick. Two years later, his seminal work Tracts Of My Deers was published and his fortune assured. Koninklijke Sporting Hasselt champion the outsider and the underdog with their crest. Also they challenge taboos surrounding reindeer iconography. Cameron Carter

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from Andy Hockley
"David Nugent's international career is a source of astonishment, according to Wikipedia."

Nugent

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If Alex Ferguson had chewed the teamsheet it would be worth a lot more

ferguson-chew

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Given his dogged demeanour, it's not surprising that Tony Hibbert turns out to be a keen angler. His devotion to his hobby is examined, at considerable length, here.

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from Neil Dykes

"This Corinthian figure of Roy Keane looks so benign, with his wry raised eyebrow, that it can't surely be based on a real photo of the surly midfield dynamo. Unless he'd just been told that Adrian Chiles will no longer be presenting football shows."

Keane

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Getting shirty Notable kits of yesteryear

WorkingtonWorkington AFC home, 1995-96
It is probably safe to say that Workington are the only team to have sported a fried egg on their shirt. Their red home Spall shirt (and their sky blue away kit) was sponsored by the Channel 4 programme The Big Breakfast for 1995-96. In the summer of 1995 the TV show were looking to adopt a non-League club and contacted the Northern Premier League (NPL) to find out who the "worst team" in the league were. Having finished the previous season third bottom of NPL Division One, Workington were chosen.

Channel 4 launched their "sponsorship" on the evening of August 2, 1995, filming Workington's friendly with Carlisle United. Throughout the season, the club were given air-time on the Friday sports bulletin and their results were read out on Monday mornings, with the league table analysed. Channel 4 filmed two of Workington' FA Cup ties, including an 8-1 thrashing of Hebburn, with footage shown to breakfast-time viewers.

The management team and players appeared on the show and one of the presenters, Gaby Roslin, became an honorary member of the supporters' club; guest Robbie Williams even posed in the shirt for one of his calendar shots. Workington received no money from the show but they became a household name for millions of viewers. As they struggled on the pitch, however, their league position was shown less and less and interest dwindled. Workington finished the season sixth from bottom. Andy Ollerenshaw

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