Deadly Submarine

"Tranmere will never be able to compete with Liverpool and Everton. They're like big liners like the Queen Mary, but I see Tranmere as a deadly submarine." - Johnny King 1993-94

Monday, September 04, 2006

The sadness of life and death

This has been a bittersweet week with more bitter than sweet.
While personally I have experienced pleasure through the success of my beloved team and have continued to enjoy my life going drinking and playing football, I have to pause for a while to think about two men who have tragically passed away.
One I didn't know well, one I didn't know at all, but both brought me joy and were unique characters.
The first is Paul Rice. I know my publicity for this blofg is rubbish and few people read it but this will be waiting in the archive for those visitors who will care about it.
Paul has long been the voice of Tranmere Rovers. A caring man who was once in hospital radio as I understand it, he became the official match commentator for Rovers' own matchday videos, the tapes which are sent to news agencies, other clubs and are sold in the club shop.
He became a cult figure nationally when ITV made their ill-fated stab at turning the Football League into a major digital TV draw.
Gabby Yorath (as she was) and her team of sycophantic panting ex-footballers picked up on the commentary on the tapes they received from Prenton Park. Paul was never one for airs and graces and his passion for the club made his commentary more than slightly partisan and his eloquence and accidental swearing resulted in the most entertaining commentary I have ever heard.
He died on August 27 and will be sadly missed by his family, friends and supporters of Tranmere Rovers.
The other death is more high profile. Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter. I am no environmental expert but I love wild animals and Steve Irwin has for many years given me infotainment giving me a perspective on animals I never previously had.
His infectious enthusiasm and skill in handling animals in their natural habitat was inspiring and taught me that some of the world's fiercest creatures should be respected but not feared and that sometimes it is your fear that encourages them to strike.
Little of this information is useful to me in Birkenhead but I always harboured an ambition to go to the Australia Zoo and see him giving one of his feeding-time talks. I wanted to speak with him to learn what makes him tick.
Sadly I will never be able to do that as he died on Monday, September 4.
Ironically he was killed, according to reports, by a stingray barb. There is uncertainty as to whether it was an attack or an accident as far as I can make out but what is certain is it killed him bcause it pierced his heart. A few centimetres either way and he would have survived another encounter.
It is a great loss to Australia Zoo, Australia as a nation, wildlife TV (Which is now left with idiots like Nigel Marvin or the always brilliant but ageing David Attenborough), and, if I may be so bold, the worlds, which has lost a great character and the one man I think would be able to make most of the world sit up and take notice of the protection of our wildlife species.
Of course the loss will be felt most by zoo staff and his family Terri, Bindi and Bob. Though you may never read this my thoughts are with you and I hope you can recover to keep Steve's wonderful enthusiastic legacy alive and continue to present conservation in a way that makes people truly care about it the way millions of us cared about Steve.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


I'm still not sure any Tranmere fans have found their way here yet but I went to my first home game of the season on Saturday where we beat Yeovil 2-1.
I can't complain because our goals were well-worked and came from midfield, something I am not accustomed to after last season.
However, I was concerned that I got a crick in my neck from watching what sometimes looked like an enormous game of tennis. Ronnie Moore is getting the team to gel quickly and says he wants to use the wings and play attractive football like his mentor and football legend Johnny King.
I am not sure whether this is him or the players but they seem to have confused attack and penetration with long ball hoofing - something Oldham fans warned us about Ronnie's style of play.
Having said that we have two wins, a draw and just one loss this season and it is early days so I can't pick too much. After all, Brian Little really was shit, favouring defending draws and playing crap Conference-level players like Jennings and Harrison.

An Apology.....

This is for my people (all two of you)
I am sorry I have been away for so long but I don't know whether I'm coming or going recently. Between travelling to London, attending two weddings, changing jobs while being used by my company to fight fires all over the place, I have let the blog slide.
I have also had little to complain about, although this doesn't explain the week-long bout of depression I have suffered to date.
Now I can bitch though. I have not only managed to pick up a grade one Medial Cruciate Ligament sprain but lucky me I got mine in a two-for-one deal. Walking is a chore but I'm still playing football despite the advice I should rest for as fortnight. I have to play because I am about to become an uncle (hopefully tonight!) so the father of my forthcoming nephew or niece is currently on paternity leave from the Beautiful Game. If I don't play we will be too short of numbers.
Needless to say my injury has made me inconsistent, scoring in one game only to miss a bagful of open goals in the next, but I still have eight goals in four games to my credit.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Catch up....

I've not posted for a while so a quick round-up of my thoughts (Parental advisory - not suitable for children under 12:
A) Zinedine Zidane was a disgrace for his sending off but I would have done the same and to be honest, the second phase of the World Cup was shite and Zidane's headbutt made the final a classic, if a tragic one.

B) Humidity is a bitch. It has had a major effect on my football team - the less fit of the two who play each other every Monday. It is partially our own fault because of said fitness but I intend to remedy this in the next fortnight.

C) Ronnie Moore has his work cut out at Tranmere because despite his nine signings he has strikers who still look too rusty, Steven Jennings who may be the worst player ever to wear the jersey, and a second 11 who allowed themselves to be beaten by an impressive-looking Vauxhall Motors.

D) I am not really into Big Brother but there is a bird on there at the moment called Jane who, if I was locked up with her , I would gut and drain her blood in the diary room to ensure she was dead. She is the type of woman who typifies the failures of Britain's education system.

anyway, I hope to soon boost my visitors significantly but for now, to the one or two who read this, buenos noches.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

The Big Fight...Live

So tonight, after all the bluster, Danny Williams, who proved last time that you can't cheat and win a boxing match, let Skelton walk the rematch. Skelton didn't cheat this time but while he maintained his weight, the usually immobile Williams came in two stone HEAVIER than usual. He was never going to get the one-punch victory he was after and the tactic was a folly.
Oh and Amir Khan won his eighth fight with his sixth knockout. Not unexpected. Thankfully he looks like he has listened to his trainer and is taking care of business rather than doing a Prince Naseem and setting the world alight for a brief period before becoming too showboatey and turning into a bloated has-been. That was a shame because I enjoyed watching Hamed.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

The new season is almost upon us....

One day to go until Tranmere begin their preseason programm away at Heswall. Forget what has become a turgid World Cup (although I hope Ronaldo is suffering, being beaten in the semis and having his escape plan ruined by the Real Madrid elections!!) this is what it is all about. Ronnie Moore's men turning out and taking us to glory.
I predict, although I'm not too good at this, that we will finish in the top two. Bear in mind this is before I have seen the team play and I reserve the right to change my mind with no acknowledgement that I was ever wrong.
I am as optimistic as when Little first came, in the days when we all thought he was taking us in the right direction before he sold the family silver (Taylor) and replaced it with expensive base metals (Summerbee, Raven, that shit keeper from Wolves who doesn't deserve to have his name remembered) Because we will have paid them all a pretty penny in wage contributions to come here.
Now we enter a new and hopefully long successful era. Remember to get as many people to Vauxhalls next Friday as possible because Rivacre is a nice ground and it's only right that we should support a fellow local club.

The season is coming....

Monday, July 03, 2006

Pain game

Beckham played for five minutes with a torn achilles, he even sprinted around - it puts my rather uncomfortable injury into perspective.
I remembered his performancve when I decided to stop umming and aahing and decided to swallow it and play tonight.
I'm glad I did. Despite the pain and the hindrance to my running I performed well in goal keeping a clean sheet and when I did finally come out I maintained my goalscoring record, not with a clasic goal, but every one counts. That's 10 in 10 and I am now hoping I can encourage the heel to heal so I can give a good performance next week and do myself justice.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Moral Question of the Week - Water Shortages

I'm not an environmentalist or a green campaigner. In fact I love my car and all the great things industrialisation gives us. But I do have a thought.
Water shortages and hosepipe bans are becoming more widespread each summer. Most people who can be bothered to speak about it blame 'Global Warming' the big bad monster of the environmental campaign.
No-one has considered my theory however - bottled water. Water, like all things bulk purchased by supermarkets, is stored in vast quantities in warehouses. There are hundreds of companies bottling billions of gallons of water each year some of which will sit in warehouses for six months before it is drunk and passed back into the system.
At school many moons ago I learned that water was a cyclic thing, ie it rains to fill the rivers and lakes, it evaporates into the sky to become clouds and rains down again. What we drink is eventually passed - we all know how - back into said cyclic system.
Now however we are taking an enormous quantity of water out of that system for months. That must be having an effect. If anyone finds this blog and wants to add their views or expertise please feel free.

Blood on the gym floor

Sometimes I am too clumsy. In the gym on my quest to lose the excess weight I piled on once I got a car and stopped playing Sunday League, I get into the pool today to do a few lengths.
Everyone else can do this without much trouble, I however have to catch my heel on a ridge on the wall of the pool, ripping a sizeable chunk out of my foot in the process.
As it wasn't bleeding I proceeded with my exercise but the second I got out the blood began to flow and I was followed into the changeys by a trail of red, in a sort of macabre Hammer Horror-style Hansel and Gretel manner.
I'll strap it up and still play footie tomorrow though. For the first time in eight years I have found a vein of scoring form and I ain't interrupting that for nothin'!
PS In case anyone was confused yesterday, my rant was not through some love for Manchester United or Wayne Rooney, I can't stand either of them. My point was solely that there are certain ways of behaving. Almost everything I know about right and wrong I learned from football (apart form the stuff I still get wrong) and all I ever want is to see players behave correctly, like McAteer in the playoffs when he wanted to come back on despite his head injury and ended up in tears. That is what football should be like, not shafting your team-mates, regardless of which scum you play for.