The Dentist’s Diary – 679th

Welcome to another addition of the Diary as we hear the announcement that providing the idiots behave themselves and the virus continues to subsided, we will be starting the season again in early August. 

There is still no news of relegation, but as I said this time last week with no home advantage for any teams and a curtailed season and perhaps some new temporary rules as well, it simply has to be scrapped this year. Now I guess we await news of when the players will be back in training and thus when the furloughing process will cease and the club will have to find the full wage bill again themselves. 

That for me with games behind closed doors generating no income, is the dangerous time. I expect several clubs to suffer a lot then and we can only hope that they all make it through. We have made it clear that we won’t be signing anyone until the new year, which points to a situation that is only going to get worse before it gets better. 

 As for the Championship and Division One sides, well they can’t make their minds up what they want to do with the poorer clubs wanting to cling to furloughing as long as possible and the more ambitious lot baying for a return of the fixtures and promotion to be retained.  It looks to me that its stalemate there and one wonders how exactly it will be resolved. 

So, we’ll just have to wait and see, but for now I would like to take you back to the serialisation of the books and to happier times back in 1983/84 when we were in the middle of a purple patch, although it has to be said looking back, a time too when the cracks were starting to show. I hope that you find something to enjoy.

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The Dentist’s Diary – 678th

Well here we are again as the weeks speed by and I guess it  look as though the season will resume behind closed doors in mid-August, so we still have a couple of months to wait for some action to take place and you have to wonder how long it will be left before training commences and indeed how the clubs will get on, once the furlough scheme starts to unravel. 

I’ve been hearing from quite a few of you and everyone seems to be coming to terms with the ‘new normal’ we are all facing up to and when there is anything concrete and worthwhile to discuss or report, I’ll try and discuss it here.  In the meantime,  for now let’s go back to the crazy life of a fanatical FC fan as this week the serialisation of the books see us revisit a fantastic John Player win against the Dobbins with the late, great, Ronnie Wileman taking centre stage, that amazing drawn Final of ’82  coming as it did amid the Falklands conflict and the unrivalled spectacle that unfolded 18 days later at Elland Road, and of course we win the Championship for the first time since the 1930’s but we start we me back at the Council were business at the City Hall continues to expand. 

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The Dentist’s Diary – 677th

Well another week goes by and in some ways it seems to all go on and on, whilst in others it seems to just fly by, but alas we still seem to be no clearer with regard to getting back to a time when Rugby League in this country will return. 

We already knew about Albert Kelly departing for his homeland and so, when that ‘broke’ this week, it was old news really, but I would repeat what I said two weeks ago, that with him and Ratu leaving, we have probably lost our two most exciting players. Both have that X factor, so sadly missing in the modern stereotypical game and they can turn a match around in an instant. They are crowd pleasers and the sort of players that people will pay to see. You need such individuals in your team and to lose two at one go is a real blow. On another front, after we had decided to reduce the length of the season, there is now talk of rule changes for the rest of this campaign which are all fine, as long as we dispose of relegation, but, for me, pretty unfair if we don’t. 

As Andy Last said this week the changes such as the ‘six again’ rule and even the possibility of getting rid of scrums to stop unnecessary contact, will open the game up and make for very exciting, fast, high scoring encounters. Actually, I was slightly disappointed with his attitude to open exciting rugby, but I agree that those changes will do nothing for clubs who have built their squads around a long arduous season, played under the old rules, which benefitted more the traditional game. 

If these changes are to be applied, as I say, we have to forget about relegation, for to impose such changes on clubs without disposing of it, will leave the game open to calls of fowl at the end of the season and perhaps even, challenges from Super League Clubs. It’s OK for soccer to continue with relegation and promotion, as their seasons are almost over, but we are only a quarter of  the way through ours and to radically change ‘the goal posts’ at this point in the process and yet keep relegation is, I believe, a completely different situation.

However, as I always seem to be saying these days only time will tell, so next up we move onto the lockdown induced serialisation of the books, as we move into the second volume ‘Going Down the Boulevard’ and the exciting times that were the 80’s. The defeat at Wembley to the old enemy is past and we move into the new decade full of hope, growing attendances and regular additions to the squad, although as you read on you’ll discover that all was not sweetness and light behind the scenes; in fact far from it. So, although it seems almost impossible that we have reached the 12th instalment, here we go again and I hope that you find something to enjoy, that will bring back the memories. 

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The Dentist’s Diary – 675th

Well another 7 days go by and it seems this difficult and at times baffling situation just goes on and on. 

I know we are lifting the restrictions but it’s hard to see when we will ever see rugby league back to normal again. I have watched a bit of the NRL and have to say that I like the new 6 tackles rule for infringements at the play the ball, but overall their administrators and indeed their government seem to be so much more organised than we are. However even they are doubtful about getting fans back into the grounds again, although with their saturation TV coverage and the money that  the Clubs get from that, attracting crowds back to the game seems to be a long way down even their agenda at present. 

It was sad this week to hear of the death of a real stalwart of the RL fans message Board and a reader of the Dentists Diary, Chris Jones, AKA Chris28. He was a guy that I was in contact with quite a bit over the years, a great person  and a real good ‘died in the wool’ FC fan. He had been ill for some time, but it was still a shock when I heard the news and my thoughts go out to his family and friends at such a difficult time. As another true fan passes on R.I.P. Chris28.

On another tack I bumped into Steve McNamara the other day in Beverley where he was out for a bike ride. He stopped for a chat and told me how tough things were during lock down in France and how he had to drive across the country to get home to England and have special papers, tests etc to get back. It was so good to talk rugby again, although he, like all of us, was unclear as to what would happen and when it will come to pass. As I have said in here many times I really do fear for the game, still, it was great to chat to Steve and I wished him well for the future. 

So back to the serialisation of my story of Hull FC, as it enters one of the most exciting times we have seen in the last 60 years. As I said before, these are not the final drafts which are with the publishers, but are some pre-proof copies of my own, so I apologise if they are a few mistakes here and there, but I hope that you finds something to enjoy. 

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