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15 January 2010 ~

Notts County chief executive Peter Trembling hopes that supporters will take a break from fretting over the club's financial situation to come up with suggestions for a new theme tune for the team to run out to. Songs nominated so far include: Where Did All The Good Times Go (Donny Osmond), Promised You A Miracle by Simple Minds, the Chiffons' Sweet Talkin' Guy (Talkin' Sweet Kind of Lies) and, of course, the Theme from Shaft.

Badge of the week
Another griffin. Many clubs use a lion or an eagle but some with a classical leaning go for the griffin, which gives them the best of both worlds. Then the clubs that have opted for either a lion or an eagle look on jealously and wonder why they weren't told about fabulous beasts of myth and legend. Of course, griffins aren't taught in schools anymore as they don't fall under Literacy, Numeracy, Science or Good Citizenship. Perugia's griffin, however, is not the type of creature you might describe as Fabulous. It looks more like the type of griffin who has tried to get into an off-licence at 3am by slamming their shoulder repeatedly into the glass door and bawling imprecations at the proprietor for closing so early. He will then try to ponce a cigarette off the arresting officer. Perhaps the population of Perugia are not concerned with over-protective health strictures about binge drinking and benders – it may well be the stag-and-hen party capital of Europe – in which case their crest is a welcome antidote to all those smug, teetotal robins, lions, knights and dragons. Cameron Carter

from Andrew Duncan
"With online and automated purchases the days of queuing up outside ticket offices are long gone. So well done to Liverpool for organising their FA Cup fourth round tie so promptly. This message was sent out before Wednesday's home defeat against Reading."

As a valued member of the Auto Cup Scheme, we'd like to confirm details for the following FA Cup match:

FA Cup
Liverpool v Burnley (4th Round)
Saturday 23rd January 2010. Kick Off: 12.45pm
The Ticket Office will begin taking payments for the above game from Thursday 14th January.

Getting shirty
Notable kits of yesteryear

Lincoln City home, 2000-01
That respected repository Yahoo! Answers tells me that no team wearing stripes has won anything of note since 1936. While this may be a slight exaggeration, a feeling of sartorial inadequacy certainly pervaded Sincil Bank during the 1990s. Regular kit changes from pinstripe to thick stripes to one stripe suggested that Lincoln City were actually ashamed of their stripes, but weren't quite brave enough to go the way of Scunthorpe or Barnet and change their home colours completely. Despite noble efforts at classic stripes in 1996-97 and 1999-2000, for the 2000-01 season Lincoln finally abandoned the stripes and settled on red-and-white quarters instead.

It's not a bad effort really, if quarters are your thing. The sponsor's name (a French engineering company) is pleasingly framed by the horizontal black lines, and unlike the previous season's shirt, it comes with a proper collar. No, the only real problem with this shirt is that the fond memories for it are not to be found in Lincoln, but Wycombe. This design, identical but for the badge and sponsor, was the one worn by Roy Essandoh et al as they put out Leicester City at Filbert Street in March of that season to reach an FA Cup semi-final against Liverpool. Lincoln's version of the shirt also made it to within one game from the Millennium Stadium that year, but was dumped out of the LDV Vans Trophy in the northern area final by Port Vale. Harry Winckworth

Buy this shirt and hundreds of others at Classic Football Shirts

Overcome with excitement at Villa's end-to-end goal in their League Cup semi-final win over Blackburn last night, the author of the Daily Mail's online commentary got a little confused over dark-haired midfielders wearing the No 6 shirt.

from Chris Nicholas
"While John Terry and Frank Lampard earn their mega money on the pitch, behind the scenes at Stamford Bridge, staff frantically go about their business in the knowledge that one slip could end their time at the club – as I discovered when working there as a temp. One student employed in the club shop was summarily sacked after an undone tie caught the attention of former chief executive Peter Kenyon, who dismissed him by simply saying 'Just go home'. Meanwhile, Arjen Robben was all too keen to flash his cash before his departure to Real Madrid, giving £20 to another member of staff for simply holding his luxurious leather jacket for five minutes."

from Andy Northcott
"Dariusz Kubicki will be delighted to know that someone on Wikipedia still thinks of him occasionally."

This week in history ~ Division Three, January 15, 1921


The new national third division comprised 21 clubs from the Southern League plus Grimsby who had finished bottom of Division Two in 1919-20. At the end of this season, another 20 clubs joined and the third level was split into two sections, North and South. The League kept this structure until the creation of Division Four in 1958-59.

Crystal Palace went top through their win at Millwall and remained there for the rest of the season, taking the title by five points from Southampton. Their Scottish striker Jack Conner scored the only goal at The Den and went to be the division's top scorer with 29 goals.

Among the distinctive names playing this season were: Zilwood March (Brighton), Bertie Menlove (Bristol Rovers), Tommy Talks (Grimsby), Prince Blott (Newport) and Billy Tout (Swindon).

Only the champions were promoted, with the one-up system retained when the division was regionalised. Plymouth, runners up to Southampton in Division Three South in 1921-22, finished second for six successive seasons; they finally won promotion in 1929-30.

One of Brentford's goals in their win at Gillingham was scored by Irish striker Reg Boyne, a new signing from Loughborough Brush Works who was playing his only League season. Gillingham finished bottom with Brentford directly above them but both clubs were allowed to keep their places without being put up for re-election.

Merthyr Town were League members until being voted out at the end of 1929-30. They went out of business four years later. Their successor club, Merthyr Tydfil, formed in 1945, are one of three Welsh clubs in the English non-League system, along with Newport County and Wrexham.

Stickipedia A mine of information constructed from sticker cards

Jamie Pollock, Middlesbrough Merlin Premier League 96
"The trouble with me is that I'm a fat bastard." So said Jamie Pollock in WSC 117 (November 1996). The beefy former Middlesbrough midfielder was speaking from his new home in Pamplona, northern Spain. Pollock had just signed for the local club Osasuna on a Bosman free transfer and two cousins were staying at his hotel room, unofficially, to help him settle down. In his conversation with WSC's Phil Ball, Pollock reflected on the fact he had left behind a drinking culture at Middlesbrough: "That's what I've come for – some discipline." He lasted just two months in Spain, however, returning home with Bolton shortly after the article was published. Pollock had played for England Under-21s while at Boro but that proved to be the peak of his career. After spells at Manchester City and Crystal Palace, he retired due to injury aged 27 in 2001.

Tubby players used to be a common sight on English football grounds. Indeed, Man City striker Francis Lee was evocatively described as a "chunky raider" in one football card collection of the late 1960s. During the 1990s, however, some managers – though Bryan Robson may not have been among them – began to take note of theories about diet and nutrition that had been common currency in other sports for decades. Lately there seems to have been a regression, with the Preston forward pairing of Jon Parkin and Neil Mellor among several players who are clearly carrying some extra lumber. Unless it's due to their glands.

from Jonathan Paxton
"Regarding last week's Stickipedia. I know you may have missed either if you blinked (maybe both in one blink) but Brian Kidd had spells managing AFC Barrow and, for four games, Preston North End meaning his doomed Blackburn adventure was not 'solitary'. Equally successful it would appear, though."

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