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12 June 2009 ~

Still no public comment from Kevin Bond four days after withdrawing his libel claim against the BBC over the 2005 Panorama documentary, Undercover: Football's Dirty Secrets, which alleged that several well-known football figures accepted illegal payments from agents. Sam Allardyce, the only manager accused in the programme, also threatened legal action but has yet to follow it up. Harry Redknapp, who was shown having one inconsequential conversation with an undercover reporter, subsequently declared that he was "one million per cent innocent". He refused to talk to the BBC for a while afterwards but has since relented. Bond was sacked from his coaching role by Newcastle after the programme was broadcast but has now rejoined his old Portsmouth boss, Redknapp, at Spurs. Perhaps, like Harry and Sam, he just wants to get on with his life.

Badge of the week
Now, after last week's lacklustre affair, we're back with a dream of spiced winds and piracy on the Spanish Main. One can almost hear the creaking boards of the poop deck, the rolling shanties of the leather-skinned crew, Today's Menu being chalked on the chef's board. Pirates, of course, were not the romantic figures we all think of: many left the education system early and carried knives and one should always consider their victims and the victims' families. Cork Hibs are not longer with us but their badge is an absolute belter and immediately has us wondering who is on that ship, what cargo does it carry, and who resides in the twin towers and where do they shop? Those with close observational skills will note that the towers are both hoisting the Jolly Roger, which would signal to all passers-by that the Pirates are at home. If the flag were not raised, anyone wanting to see the pirates would have to either leave a note or simply keep sailing and call back later. A magnificent badge, with a creative use of perspective on the ship to give the illusion of it turning into the islands. I wouldn't have personally lasted two days on that ship but I still really want to be on it. Cameron Carter

Got a free weekend coming up? The Football Supporters' Federation Fans' Parliament for 2009 takes place on Saturday June 20 in Newcastle (if they can find room among all consortiums supposedly bidding for the club).

Getting shirty
Notable kits of yesteryear

Luton Town home 1981-82
For just £349.99 you can add some extra realism to an impersonation of either Mick Saxby or Clive Goodyear. They were the only players who wore this No 5 shirt for Luton as they went up from Division Two. Mick Saxby got a bad injury against Crystal Palace in October 1981 and never played for Luton again, though he turned out briefly for Newport and Middlesbrough. Clive Goodyear spent two seasons with Luton in Division One before moving on to Plymouth and Wimbledon. Luton played in white shirts with black shorts for most of their history until a drastic revamp in a previous promotion season, 1973-74, when new manufacturers Admiral brought in orange shirts with two navy blue and white side stripes, and blue shorts. The white shirts returned when Luton switched to Umbro five years later but orange has featured somewhere on their kit in almost every season since.

Buy this shirt and hundreds of others at Classic Football Shirts

from Terry Clifford
"One of the teachers in my sixth form in the 1970s was an Aston Villa fan. Once he told us how he'd got the chance to meet some of the team before a match, thanks to a friend who worked in local radio. Goalkeeper Jimmy Cumbes, he told us, had been especially friendly. A couple of years after hearing this story I met Jimmy at a supporters' do and mentioned something to him about that game. 'Oh yeah,' he said. 'The main thing I remember about that day was this bloody fool hanging about beforehand – we couldn't rid of him for ages.' I considering passing this on to my teacher but I quite liked him and decided not to – even if he'd laughed there would have been a flash of pain in his eyes."
from Tom Lines

"New Tranmere boss John Barnes is rumoured to be about to appoint Jason McAteer as his assistant in a partial reformation of Liverpool's infamous 'Spice Boys' that will doubtless take the Wirral by storm. But it's clear from Jason's Wikipedia entry that not everyone holds him in such high regard."

WSC Trivia ~ No 67
There was a photographic studio on the floor above WSC's previous office. It was bad enough that most of their work seemed to involve models in high heels sashaying about to a soundtrack of AC/DC. But the worst time of the year was when pictures were taken for children's clothes catalogues. Creepily angelic-looking kids with their pushy parents would gather in the courtyard outside to be snapped in the latest range of duffle-coats and wellies, then they'd go up to the studio and spend the rest of the afternoon jumping in the air. Several pairs of small feet landing on the floor sounded like thunder. We used to joke that one day someone's foot would come through the ceiling, then it actually happened. Sadly it wasn't a child model, or even better one of their parents, but a workman trying to repair damaged floorboards. Aside from fixing the hole, the studio's owner recompensed us with a four-pack of Carling Black Label which stayed in our fridge for three years.

Stickipedia A mine of information constructed from sticker cards

Robson, Spartak Moscow Russia Football 2000
Brazilian Robson Luis Pereira da Silva was the first player from outside the former USSR to make an impact in Russian football. He arrived with a group of compatriots in 1997, at a time when clubs backed by a new breed of wealthy owners began to import players from South America and Africa as well as other parts of Europe. In recent times some established internationals such as Vagner Love have moved from Brazil to Russia but Robson was quite obscure having played for eight, mostly minor, clubs in six years before moving to Moscow. He stayed with Spartak for five years, winning three titles, and there was speculation that he would be capped by Russia but nothing came of it; he later spent three years with Lorient in France before retiring in 2005. A Spartak team-mate of Robson's, Cameroonian defender Jerry-Christian Tchuisse, was selected for the Russia squad although he finally opted to play for Cameroon. Some reports at the time suggested that racism was a reason for him not playing for Russia, although it was also said that Tchuisse had chosen not to represent his adopted country. Tchuisse is still playing in the Russian league whose current imports include Australian midfielder Luke Wilkshire, once of Bristol City, and Brazilian winger Baiano who has one international cap, for Bosnia, where he spent two seasons.

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