The Dentists Diary – 428th

And so it begins!!

“I’m really looking forward to tomorrow and seeing how the players go, but also because I can’t wait to watch some live rugby again,” So said our Coach on Saturday and it mirrored I think the thoughts of many FC fans who made their way to Doncaster yesterday.

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It was certainly good to be on the road with the FC Faithful again and great to see so many friends and familiar faces as we all set off on the sojourn that is the 2015 season. What will it hold for us all? Well in fairness there were few real pointers in these 2 games, but then again we didn’t really expect there would be, did we? However that said it was all really heartening, full of hope and great fun. There was some super rugby on show and with the exception of a shoulder injury to Jordan Rankin it was a great afternoon out. In fact as far as entertainment and satisfaction in a first run out is concerned, the fans, Lee Radford and the Club, could not have asked for more. So here I am in the car coming home, laptop on knee, trying to make some sense of it all!

It’s certainly been a week of tragic happenings in France, which have overshadowed everything else, but I guess whilst never trivialising those awful occurrences and feeling for everyone involved, it’s always good to have some semblance of order back in our lives and so it was that the new Rugby League season began on a cold and blustery afternoon in Doncaster.

Earlier in the day Mrs R and I set off with two bags stuffed with flasks of Coffee and soup, some sandwiches and of course scarves, gloves and hats. It was cold but far from unbearable and I was particularly impressed at half time when the owner of the Doncaster Club thanked all the Hull fans for turning out, as a crowd including in excess of 1000 of the Faithful, sat in the East Stand. What a great Stadium it is and how it would suit us, there was no queuing this time around and everyone moved smoothly through the turnstiles, while thankfully this year, the tea bags didn’t run out either!!

There was also more good news for, ‘Dan, Dan the Fanzine man’ with his new publication selling out its first print run before the game and doing it in just 10 minutes. He’s got more on the way and they’ll be on sale on Sunday around the KC.
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Adam buys the new fanzine before the game. I’m told he only had £1-50p on him and had to borrow the other 50p!!! Which, I guess, only bears out what they say about royalty never carrying money around with them!

The game against Doncaster really did look a big ask as they fielded their strongest 17, while we, with the exception of Green, Watts and Feke, fielded a team made up of under 19’s and fringe first team youngsters. Would they stand up to the challenge; we shouldn’t really have worried, because it was a fine game to watch which saw us take a lead give it up and then win with that most rare of happenings, a drop goal. That final action from Abdull spawned a few sarcastic boo’s from the crowd, but it’s all about raising confidence amongst the players and you only do that by winning. It was both a victory and I guess a moral victory too, (if you see what I mean), because it was not so much the win but the manner of it against senior Championship opposition.

A lot is made of game management by our Coach, but it was that for me that spoiled a good display. Interestingly enough it wasn’t the youngsters led brilliantly by Abdull, Fash, Turgot and Harry Tyson Wilson that were at fault, but rather soft penalties in even softer positions by players like Arundel and Green who should know better. That heaped pressure on our line when it didn’t need to. However that apart we saw some great rugby and some good tries as well as some really resolute defence against a much bigger Doncaster outfit. For me young Curtis Naughton had a stand out game and he can kick goals too. Playing at full back he certainly dominated under the high ball and has good feet and a real turn of speed. I really do like the look of him!

With night drawing in and the seagulls circling the second game started soon afterwards as the players of both Hull and York had warmed up off the field to speed things up. From the first minute the intensity and passion of our performance was light years ahead of the pre-season games last year. But how long would it last and how easy has it been in the past to drop the intensity and start ‘having a go’ yourself when we are well in the lead? That didn’t happen at all and a high level of intensity and team play was apparent throughout!

We were told that some of the players would have benefitted from a full pre-season and that soon became apparent when Sa went on the rampage down the right and had the audacity to take on and beat the York winger on the outside. He looks a different bloke altogether and stayed out wide in the centre to wreak havoc every time he got the ball. He’s not an out and out speedster, although his pace has seriously improved, but for me his direct rampaging style really causes problems for defenders.

Bobby Tyson Wilson didn’t look out of place at all in the exalted company and had a really big game at prop. Sneyd will have benefited from the run out, he’s so clever with ball in hand and one amazing sixth tackle kick to the wing saw Talanoa pluck the ball from above his head at full pace and cruise in; we have a proper half back at last!!! Pryce impressed me with his energy and work rate too. Not as conspicuous, he got through a ton of tackling and was organising the line throughout the game.

Ellis also warrants a mention because he looks so fit, as fit as we have seen him, while Minnichello, who was introduced (and took up a position in front of the FC fans to a massive cheer) in the second half loved every minute of it, One barn storming run had the crowd on their feet and his constant rapport with the spectators guarantees that he will be a massive fans favourite. Boy he’s a tough nut! It was rumoured in camp that following the pre season build up, Shaul was third choice full back after Rankin and Naughton, but ‘cometh the hour cometh the man’ because yesterday Jamie Shaul was simply imperious.

Afforded a bit more room than he would usually get by the York defence, he ran riot from the moment he came on for Rankin and his final try from a kick through was a joy to watch. He scored a hat trick and my pal Adam commented, (and it pretty hard to believe for anyone who wasn’t there, I’m sure but) he actually looks to have got a bit more pace. It’s impossible to mention how many times he got in the clear through pace and good feet and he ran 70 or 80 yards on several occasions on a great afternoon for the youngster. Rankin’s injury however was the only cloud on the horizon, he was unlucky and it’s a blow. His arm and shoulder is damaged and he will go for a scan today (Monday) but the Club hope it will be a case of weeks rather than months. Let’s hope it’s not that bad!

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We have to give him time, but he’s going to be so good! Sneyd really impressed me!

So, good fun but as I said at the beginning there is little to be gained or indeed to point the way from such an opener, except I guess to say that if you were there then Rankin’s unfortunate injury aside everything went well. In fact it went so well compared with last season’s pre season games that you had to feel heartened at the end. There was more urgency, vim and vigour than we actually saw in some of our Super League games last season, as we watched Hull run through their plays and dust off some cobwebs. However most of all for this fan it proved one thing and that is that now with so many young guns coming through we have cover, and quality cover, right across the park. It means nothing if we don’t perform from Huddersfield onwards, but it’s a start!!!

It was not an afternoon devoid of a bit of humour either and I even heard a guy behind me complaining about Gareth Ellis and Adam Pearson ringing lapsed season ticket holders to get them back on board. He said, “I got mine on the first day and no one rang me up, that’s not fair!!” I don’t think he got it really! The Stadium made us all very welcome, although the refereeing was for me a bit iffy, as I guess it is in these games, but all in all I had a great afternoon, which, although I was worried about the cold and back to back games, flew by.

One sad point was the guys from York who were under the stand collecting signatures for their anti-York Council petition and collecting for their ‘fighting fund’. Poor buggers I really felt for them and of course in the words of Bob Dylan, ‘There but for fortune go you and I’

That situation at York interested several of you after I featured it in the last Diary now seems, to have worsened. You’ll remember that The Knights left their home at Huntington Stadium at the end of the 2014 season and were due to share Bootham Crescent with the city’s football team until a new community stadium, being built by the council to house both professional clubs, is completed in two years’ time. However, talks between Chairman Guildford and the council on a short-term lease broke down before Christmas and last Wednesday Sarah Tanburn, the council’s interim director for city and environmental services, said they would not now be resumed.

She said, “It is with deep regret that the Council finds that it no longer has confidence in the working relationship with Mr Guildford so is unable to enter back into negotiations with him on the Community Stadium development. We share the fans’, players’ and staff’s disappointment and frustration that an agreement could not be reached with Mr Guildford, during the last two years.” Meanwhile, the Council insists they remain committed to the success of professional rugby league in the city and will press ahead with the nine long-term partners in the stadium project, excluding the City Knights. Guildford told the York Press that he would be seeking legal advice and claimed there was a conspiracy to force him to hand over ownership of the Rugby League Club to York City Football Club. It’s all a real mess and as I say, horrible for the fans.

So what else has been happening? Well in a week when Rovers went off to exactly the same hotel we had used in Portugal, (sad or what) this week the signing of Stuart Howarth came out of the blue and was hailed as a bit of a disaster by many of the ‘pundits’ on RL fans, in fact they were joined by one or two Salford fans offering their ‘two penneth’ as well. I’ve got to admit that I can’t say he has ever impressed me on the occasions I have seen him play, in fact if I have a memory then it would be that he always looked a bit ponderous at dummy half. However, he has plenty of Super League experience having played four seasons in the top flight with Wakefield, St. Helens and Salford and indeed he played captain for Wigan Academy before that. In fact according to some records he has played well over 120 games in Super league, but you have to ask why didn’t any of his three previous Clubs want him? As for the Salford fans, well the more they poured cold water on the signing the more I wondered if he might just do well. ‘Me thinks they do protest too much’, (Ha, ha). For what it’s worth after watching him yesterday he looked far from out of place at acting half in the Doncaster game and although obviously not match fit, he showed some really good touches.

Talking to the Club I think he came for a trial, looked handy and has been given a chance. I’m told he is getting ‘pea-nuts’ on a short term rolling one year contract. Look folks, we have to be realistic here because what we have signed is a third choice hooker and it’s a scenario whereby for a change, if we have an injury there, we won’t be shifting people about and using a half back or worse.

I spoke to a few players last week and asked about Cunningham and they all agreed that he is doing really well and is a much improved player, who is training hard. One even said that he certainly has a point to prove” and he showed that against York I thought. Quite frankly if Howarth is any good and we are to play rotating hookers from the bench, then we certainly need the cover, but I will reserve judgement on this one. Still it’s good to see we are being proactive before problems strike rather than reactive after they have occurred. If it comes off, fair enough, if it doesn’t there is little lost really so we’ll just have to wait and see.

Richard Whiting has worked so hard to get fit for this last weekend’s first friendly, but in the end he just fell short, with the Coach and the medical staff feeling that he had to get another week of strengthening into his arm before he returned to the fray. I said last week it’s still likely that he will have to play a couple of rounds at Doncaster to get back on song, but I hope he does get back because he’s a genuine guy who, when fully fit, makes things happen when a lot of others can’t. His words this week about what it means to pull on the irregular hoops were inspiring stuff and I just hope he gets fit again and returns to weave that unassuming, yet game changing magic. When he re-signed for the FC in 2013, I reported in here that he said, “This is my club, it’s my home and I’m proud to represent Hull FC”; that’ll do for me and I hope he gets back fit soon!

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Now, it’s always sad when a player retires, particularly when it’s an enforced early retirement and so I was sorry to hear that ex FC winger Kirk Dixon has retired immediately from rugby league, just a month before the start of the new Super League season, because of a serious neck injury. You know I always liked him when he was at Hull FC and watched him a lot at Brantingham playing for the Academy and I don’t know what happened between our Club and the player, but he didn’t seem to fit into Peter Sharp’s plans and he was soon off to a career at Cas where he played 141 games and scored 63 tries (some of them real brave efforts, often against us) and where he also kicked 304 goals.

Back in his early days Hull-born Dixon played through three Super League seasons for FC, when he was in and out of the first team, playing 17 games and scoring 6 tries before moving to the Tigers where he was a real favourite, particularly when his side had a great season last year and reached the Challenge Cup Final. I liked his strong running and never say die attitude, he was never a world beater but a really good Club man and a real ‘trier’. My comments about him won’t suit some FC fans, who never rated him, but he was an honest performer and after a neck injury meant that he would have to have an operation and be out for 6 months, at just 30, he has made the agonising decision to chuck it. I wish him well as I’m sure a lot of Castleford supporters do too. He’ll leave a hole at Cas. and I can only hope that the future holds a bit more luck for him!

So who has been the best trainer in closed season? Well should we be surprised in the answer to that? I guess not really! However this week our Coach said that he thought that better times are ahead thanks, in part, to the man he calls ‘Benjamin Button’. Gareth Ellis is only two years Lee’s junior but trains, it is said, with the energy of one of the juniors. Radford said: “We call him Benjamin Button because he defies science with how he approaches training ever day. On day one he blew everyone away with regards to the testing and he’s carried on that way.” Hollywood superstar Brad Pitt played Button in the 2008 film about a man who ages in reverse and Radford is certainly convinced 33-year-old Ellis is also trying to reverse the ageing trend on the rugby field. He said: “I sometimes think I will pull back on him in training and be smarter with the activities he does. But he gets offended when I tell him. He’s an old man but his body is as fresh as ever. He’s got that inner drive that you’d love to put in everybody. It’s great to see and it has a knock-on effect on the squad.” I don’t know about you but the thought of a fully fit Ellis still really excites me and he looked great yesterday.

Saturday 14th February is a date for your Diary when we will all be looking for a ‘St Valentine’s Day massacre’ when the Under 19’s start their League campaign at Bishop Burton against Salford. The team are then away for a month, before the season progresses home and away towards the first Derby against the Dobbins on Saturday 2nd May at the same venue. Yesterday proved without doubt that we have a really exciting Under 19 team this year and we should see some good rugby as we did last year. Plus, as was the case last year, when perhaps the rugby is not so hot, then the Pie and Peas will again, I hope, be outstanding! Let’s hope we get better weather though as I remember my pal Dan who never misses a game saying last August that he’d got soaked every home game up till then. So I’ll be getting to Bishop Burton as often as possible and I would suggest you go along and have a look, because it’s a good afternoon out at just £2 for none pass holders and free for the rest of us.

Last week in the Diary I had a rare old go about young (Home Alone) Gareth Westmorland (who Rovers wouldn’t allow to go to camp with them), creaming his jeans in the HDM and as always I will continue to pass on my thoughts, musings and rants, good or bad, about how I think the press are treating the Club I love. This week I turn my attention from the local hacks to the National Rugby League Press and some rather unexpected revelations about the coming season and the involvement of Hull FC. Under a big picture of a KC try celebration the caption read, ‘Will Hull FC be celebrating after the Grand Final’ as Martyn Sadler the Editor of Rugby Leaguer commented on our chances next term.

He said, “Then there is Hull FC who I really would like to see challenge the big Clubs once again. Will Hull continue their perennial half back problems with Marc Shneyd and Leon Pryce on board? I hope not because I’m tired of seeing the Airliebird’s as also ran’s and I’m sure their long suffering fans feel the same. But with a galaxy of bright young stars forcing their way into the team in 2015, could this be their year or will it just be a season too early. I will enjoy finding out!”

Sadler went on to comment on Ladbrook’s odds on the Challenge Cup and concluded that, “at 25/1 on Hull FC I really think they aren’t a bad each way bet”. Then further on one of our arch nemesis’s ‘Judas One’, Garry Schofield said in his ‘10 wishes for the Season’ that, “I want my old Club Hull FC to finish in the top 8 at the very least, but ideally quite a bit higher. A Club of that size shouldn’t be languishing in 11th place and it is time they put themselves back on the rugby league map” while in the same paper Joe Westerman was voted in second place behind Sean O’Laughlan for readers loose forward of the year. So a few more positives in the media this week and analysing how they treat us, is certainly an interesting exercise.

Now, last Thursday I went to the first Hull FC sporting memories event at Pearson’s Pub in Hull. A group of us are aiming to record for posterity fans memories of their association with the Club over the years as part of the 150th Celebrations. The Club through their Celebrations officer Ash Foster have purchased some professional recording equipment and the idea is for volunteers to interview the fans about their memories of the Club both on and off the field over the years. I spoke to a guy who played for the A team in the late 50’s and a lady who remembers having their Coach stolen on a visit to Featherstone. It was a bit of a dummy run to get everyone used to the equipment etc. but already we have some great stuff.

For me, it’s a great idea and a massive data base will be created to be lodged at the History Centre in Worship Street with many of the memories also included in a time capsule to be buried when FC Voices reveal the Boulevard Memorial stone later in the year. If you’re interested in being involved I’m sure Ash would love to hear from you, but if you just want to make sure your memories are included then these events will take place around the region throughout the year. The next one (and a date for your Diary) is on Thursday 12th February at the Kingston Boxing Club at Picky Park. Put that in your Diaries and come along if you can. I remind you of the date next month, but it’s a great idea and we’ll even be having one at the famous Drum and Monkey later in the year, so here’s your chance to do something that will leave a lasting legacy from the 150th Celebrations.

I see that Rovers finally got round to naming Mr. Campese as their Captain, they don’t do much right, but he fits the part exactly; battle hardened, a real youngsters hero and with only one leg, all he needs is the eye patch and parrot!!

What a great idea Bill Daltons Blog on the Club site is in this our special year. Entitled, ‘This week in ….’ it catalogues events that happened in the current week, in the past. It was good to read and to note that the fickle finger of fate was still pointing in the direction of the coaches even back in the late 70’s, when in 1977, David Doyle-Davidson was about to lead us on an almost unbeaten run to the end of the season and promotion and just 12 months later he was gone, having walked out over Christmas, saying that he had lost the confidence of the players. It certainly makes for interesting reading! Bill is a bloke that is a real unsung hero, our resident ‘Statto’ and someone who doesn’t get the credit he deserves for the hours he puts in keeping the Clubs records. It’s a good piece and a real companion to the celebrations, so I just hope the Club stick with this idea and keep it going throughout the year. Incidentally Craig Murdoch’s blog about his time with the Club that can be found on the 150th Anniversary site is worth a read too.

My quote of the week comes from footballer and now somewhat ‘fallen hero’ Dean Windass, whose comments in support of the name change, have certainly alienated him with a lot of the City supporters. He’s spot on with his knowledge of the game though as he said on Twitter last Sunday, “Whether you’re watching at the Emirates or listening at home – sing your hearts out for the lads and help them to all three points”; pity it was a Cup game Deano!

Well It wasn’t supposed to be a caption competition, but the picture of James Clark on Santa’s knee in last week’s Diary certainly got you lot thinking. Those comments that I can put in here included Max’s B’s suggestion of, “I usually say what would you like for Christmas and usually add….little boy”. While Billy Stenton suggested, “How much Chocolate James, I don’t know whether I’ll get them down the chimney!” and Harry O added, “What you got in your pocket Santa?” However Billy Spriggs and John G on the other hand….. thank’s guys for your suggestion but I can’t print that!!!

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I spotted this on E Bay this week. I’m never one to criticise anyone with a bit of entrepreneurial nous, good luck to the vendor as I’m sure he has good reason for selling. However I can’t help feeling a bit sorry for all those folks who queued all morning at the Boulevard that day FC Voices gave the seats from the old Threepenny Stand away; only for many to be disappointed when demand far outstripped supply and they went home cold, wet and empty handed.

Well the rumours circulating the message boards were wrong and the Challenge Cup is not to be sponsored by an E Cigarette Company but instead it is to be supported for three years by Ladbrokes the gambling and betting firm. There was some consternation about the E Cigarette stuff, but even if that was the case we have still come a long way from the John Player Trophy haven’t we? It’s the first time a betting organisation has sponsored such a mainline RL trophy, but it appears to be a good deal. I’m not sure how it will help but what I want to see is the competition treated with more gravitas by the media so that more interest is shown in it by the public. How we do that I don’t know particularly when we have the views of the muppets on Sky ramming ‘Scchhhhhuper league’ down our throats all the time and doing it often at the expense of the games oldest and for me most prestigious trophy.

The (Ladbrokes) Challenge Cup is steeped in history and how great it would be if we could mark our 150th year by winning it!! A long shot? Well maybe, but if anything should spur the lads on it should be the fact that to do it would make history in this special year and they would go down as immortal in the annals of the Club. We can dream at least can’t we?

Diary reader Bill Nelson stopped me in Marks and Spencer’s the other day and suggested that this year in Codgers Corner I should run a series of pieces highlighting the most significant games and the best players, in our 150 year history. I pointed out to him that even I hadn’t been around that long, but it seemed a great idea, so I’ll be off to the history centre to do some research in the coming weeks. However this week, by way of a starting point, I want to repeat the details of a game I attended and that I featured in here many moons ago. So, here to start a year of looking back and an occasional series of the games and players that benchmarked our history, is the one that gets the “It will never get worse than this” Award!! It’s a game that has gone down in the folk lore of Hull FC and it’s one that everyone knows about, but sadly for all the wrong reasons.

In the early 1970’s we were struggling badly and gates suffered terribly. So it was that on 14th March 1975 we played in front of just 983 fans in a league game against Huyton. This was officially our lowest ever gate at the Boulevard and proved a really low point for the club and the fans. Before the 70’s the previous lowest attendance was 1700 for a game against Doncaster in 1966, but then in 1971 we recorded 1243 when we took on Dewsbury and when 1430 saw us play Huyton. However the match I feature today saw us plumb the very depths of rock bottom.

We were of course a poor side back then and the success of the football team down the road, the demise of the fishing industry and general apathy towards the game itself, left us with dwindling supporter interest and on the verge of extinction. In fact some say to this day that if it had not been for the income from the Speedway Franchise we would not have come through that period at all and the Club would be no more.

The encounter with Huyton was a dire affair that matched our plight and the humiliation of a second defeat to the perennial whipping boys of the competition was almost unthinkable. In fact over on Merseyside before the game, the media were claiming that this was Huyton’s one chance that season to get a very, very rare away win and they were almost right.

Anyone who was there (and let’s face it by the glory days returned in the early 80’s, upwards of at least 10,000 of the ‘Faithful’ claimed that they had been there that day) will remember the shocking condition of the pitch. The shale from the speedway track was just starting to silt up the land drains under the turf and the whole playing surface was like a morass. On the terraces the red shale was everywhere and the whole place was covered in a film of muck! The problem on the field was that our pack was just too light for the conditions and we soon went behind to a shock try after just 6 minutes, the touch-down was scored by their star back Don Preston, who Huyton were soon to sell to Warrington.

We needed a response and it came from a dependable source, when some good work in the mud by the redoubtable Bill Ramsey put Tony Salmon through and he crashed over for Boxall to add the goal. The Sports Mail that night described this effort as Salmon ‘Barrelling over the line’. Back came Huyton and an offence against us (for 5 Hull players ‘laying on’ in the tackle) saw the Lancastrians goal kicker Watts make no mistake this time and it was 5-5.

It was then all crunching tackles and plenty of dropped ball from both sides until, ‘The Rhino’ Keith Boxall received an inside pass from our debutant scrum half Steve Lane and in typical fashion he shrugged off two tackles and blonde hair flowing, set off on one of those bullocking runs of his, which finished with him plunging over the line to restore our lead. So we were at least ahead at half time, but after the now mandatory changing of shirts at the interval, Huyton stormed straight back with a try from Prescott and a penalty goal from Watts.

Then it was down to ‘firebrand’ Mally Walker, who had come on as sub, to step out of a tackle and give a good switch pass to Salmon who ran over three would be tacklers, NFL style, to land up over the line, and with Boxall converting we were again in the lead. It wasn’t pretty but we were just about dealing with the conditions better than the visitors. As you looked round that day it was a sorry sight indeed as we played in faded cream and white shirts, on a bog of a pitch, in front of a pitiful crowd, and did it under floodlights that were put on at half time to show several bulbs out!

Some really sloppy play in the visitors half, when we knocked on 5 times in about the same number of minutes, saw us under pressure again and starved of possession, because of the absence of our usual reliable hooker Tony Duke, we conceded again, this time Trevor Lloyd went through three would be and tiring tacklers to scored with Watts again kicking the goal. So, it was all level at 15 apiece. Our tired troops raised their game again and in the last few minutes, laid siege to the visitor’s line. Then a rather fortuitous penalty for a head high tackle on Brian Hancock, saw Boxall stroke over a late, late penalty to get us back in the lead again. As Huyton peppered our line in the final minute, the faulty floodlights meant in the fading light it was almost impossible to tell who was who; so dark and dreary was the weather and the shirts. Then to our relief a massive and pretty ironic cheer went up as the whistle went and we had won…..just!!!! Some brave fans were over the fences and slipping and sliding to congratulate the players who in a bemused state, sort of celebrated!!!

That resume of that most famous of games I hope rings true to those of you who were there, and even for those who weren’t…………..but were, if you see what I mean!!! In our 150 year history it’s a real low point and one that hopefully those who were there, will never see again. For me, I think that any other senior Club would have probably gone bust well before gates fell below 1000 but it was a real tribute to the Board and faithful few supporters back then, that the Club kept going and without those off field heroes (and a few blokes on motorbikes) we would perhaps have nothing to celebrate this year!

It was great to see the new fanzine hit the street on Saturday as ‘Up the Cream’ made its first appearance following hard work By Dan Tomlinson and the editorial panel. I mentioned early how well it is selling and it’s certainly a while since we got our regularly shot of ‘In any Kinda Weather’ which was a great publication but this new effort is a good read and a really good stab at taking its place.

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There are amusing bits and some good writing and at £2 it’s well worth supporting if only to ensure it keeps going, because every Club well every one with a fan base like the FC family, needs just such a publication. Well Done Guys keep it up!! And everyone get a copy if you can, they are on sale at Advantage Sports in Savile Street.

Talking of Up the Cream!!!! I’m always amazed how Diary readers come up with the goods and I’m indebted to reader Derek Scott who answered my appeal from Kathy Kirk for a picture of the Up the Cream Cup and Saucer she spotted at a Heritage Day Exhibition a couple of years ago.

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Brilliant isn’t it!

So it’s that time of year again, when we all have to sit through the contrived, ‘Give us ya money’ Derby, that’s an annual pre season game that most fans don’t want to go to, but that, by the season comes round again, they find it hard to stay away from . As Millhouse once said in the Simpsons, “I musn’t not look, but I cannot avert my eyes!” If any Rovers fans reading this can’t seem to remember what the score was when the two teams met in the last proper Derby game, here, to jog your memories, is a number plate I spotted the other day!

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After yet another week of typically mundane local news and some high winds it’s been good to get back to some rugby again and a fine afternoon in Doncaster it turned out to be. But boy it’s been windy as this shot from Castleford shows.

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I remember queuing down there last year!

Still as I say we now move onto the first low point of the season and the Clive Sullivan Trophy! I think we’ll give it a good dig too! However in the mean time thanks so much from your support and for sticking with another Diary, for your encouragement and your mail and here’s to a big win next weekend!!

Keep Believing and just because it’s a Derby……….

COMEONYOUHULLLLAARRR!!!!

Faithfully Yours

Wilf

And Finally I found this on the Club twitter site and I ask the question what the hell is this all about? I’m lost I really am! Is it a bus queue??

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