Doing The 92

My name is Steve Hall. I am a Brit who lives in Spain and who loves football.

In 2010 I cycled to all the 92 football league clubs in England and Wales. I set off in May and finished on 23 September 2010. I was met with almost universal kindness, hospitality and friendship.

I had great plans for retracing the route in 2020/2021. Sadly Covid and then a long spell in hospital scuppered my plans. (See www.theshirt2010.co.uk/uncategorized/jigsaws ) I will soon announce a new trip.

Please check through the site to learn more about the project, the people involved and how you can also help and get involved.

Thanks

Steve

DoingThe92

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Justin Foote

Charlton v Gillingham

My friend Jim at Gillingham Legends kindly sent me details of the amazing efforts of fellow Gills fan, Justin Foote.
Justin has been a huge supporter of Prostate Cancer UK, a cause close to my heart. I am delighted to share his upcoming fundraisers.

After a successful marathon walk with Sky Sports Presenter Jeff Stelling back in September 2019, I have now signed up to complete the following marathon walks in 2021 supporting Prostate Cancer UK..

Jurassic Coast Challenge (42km) – Starting at Poole Harbour then along the spectacular Jurassic Coast through Lulworth Cove past Durdle Door and all the way to Weymouth – Saturday 22nd May 2021 ✅ 

Kent County Cricket Club- A walk from Rainham Cricket Club (Kent) to the St Lawrence Ground in Canterbury when Kent host the Sussex Sharks in the 20 / 20 Vitality Blast (Sunday18th July 2021). ✅

London Stadium Walk (42km) – London Stadium walk from Millwall, to Chelsea to QPR finishing at Tottenham Hotspur with Sky Sports Presenter Jeff Stelling (Saturday 4th September 2021). ✅

Gillingham FC to Charlton Athletic FC (45km) – Starting from the Priestfields Stadium, I will be walking to The Valley home of Charlton Athletic in time for kick off at 7.45pm (29th December 2021).

Easter 50 Challenge- A walk that was planned for Saturday 10th April but unfortunately had to be postponed due to the Government Guidelines. (To be Re-Arranged for Easter 2022)

Thames Path Challenge (50km) – Taking on England’s greatest river, we head upstream from Putney Bridge past Hampton Court to Runnymede of Magna Carta (September 2022).

Why I’m doing these walks??

In June 2020, it was thought that I had possible low level Prostate Cancer after a routine Blood & Urine Test at the London Bridge Hospital.

In addition, a very close friend who’s like a dad to me has been diagnosed with Stage 4 Prostate Cancer and want to further awareness / essential funds to help beat a disease that cure kills 1 man every 45 minutes in the UK and would really appreciate your support in a bid to fund research to change the game and stop Prostate Cancer being a killer.

Please check my website for more details

Kind Regards

Justin 

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Mat Guy

The book is available through Waterstones, Amazon, Book Depository and all good bookshops.

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Brentford 2022/23

ICONIC FIRST PREMIER LEAGUE HOME KIT EXTENDED THROUGH 2022/23

Club to roll over Umbro home kit to next season

Obviously, I am very interested in shirts and the shirt culture but I do think that some clubs are abusing their fans by issuing five, six or more shirts every season. I was, therefore, delighted to get a newsletter from Brentford expalining that they are going to retain the 2021/2022 shirt for next season. That gets my total respect. They say,

“Brentford’s first ever Premier League Home kit is to get an extended life as we can confirm we will continue to wear our current red and white striped home kit again next season. The iconic shirt was worn as we kicked off the Premier League season with a memorable win over Arsenal and Sergi Canós was bedecked in red and white stripes as he scored the first top flight goal in front of a full stadium in England for almost 18 months in that same game. The shirt from that never-to-be-forgotten first night will now also be our first choice kit for the 2022/23 season.

Jon Varney, Brentford FC Chief Executive, said: “Respectful, Progressive and Togetherness are our three core values at Brentford FC, as many of our fans know. We also believe in football being affordable for our fans and are aware of the need for the game to become more focussed on sustainability. As such, when we discussed the idea, everyone at the Club was fully behind it.

“Whilst it is not normal practice for Premier League clubs to roll a kit over for two seasons, fans have told us that they would be in favour of the savings that a two-season shirt would provide. This season, our membership of The Premier League means that the income we receive from broadcast and commercial partnerships far outweighs the income we can generate from retail, therefore now is the perfect time for us to try something different without it having a material impact on our revenue.

“All of our kits have been in high demand this season, but our home shirt has been particularly popular. We placed additional orders upon our promotion to the Premier League and have stocked up ahead of Christmas. This decision allows us to maintain higher levels of stock and helps improve both availability and delivery times for those that wish to buy a shirt which will now be relevant beyond the end of this season.

“We also think this is a step in the right direction to help the environment a little. It can only be a good to reduce kit cycles where circumstances allow, and we will continue to work with Umbro to make sure the production of our kit is as sustainable as possible. It is only a little thing, but we believe it will help.

“We know some of our fans enjoy having three new kits every season and may be concerned that they have less choice. The kit reveal is always an eagerly anticipated event and each season we wait nervously to see the reaction of our supporters. For those fans keen to purchase a new shirt each season we can confirm we will have a new away and a new third kit for the 2022/23 season. We hope the new away shirt design will excite our fans who remember the 80’s and early 90’s, whilst the new third shirt is designed very much for the future!

“I would like to thank Umbro for their support of this idea and also Hollywoodbets and SafetyCulture whose commitment to multiple-year relationships have made this opportunity possible.

The red and white shirt, as well as our yellow away shirt and our white third shirt, is available now. Priced at £49 for adults and £38 for juniors, you can also personalise your shirts with Premier League letters and numbers as well as the Premier League sleeve badge for an extra £17.”

Buy your shirt here

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John Pender

John Pender

I was disappointed to hear of former Burnley captain John Pender today. Sadly, he has been diagnosed with motor neurone disease. John played in two promotion campaigns and 1992and 1994.

The club issued a statement, “We are all saddended to hear of theJohn’s MND diagnosis. We are all with you, John”
John also helped Wigan Athletic to win the Third Division title in the 1996/97 season. Wigan said ” We are saddened to learn that former Latic John Pender has been diagnosed with a form of Motor Neurone Disease. John’s family are asking for your help to assist John’s quality of life and to help provide him with further support.”

A JustGiving page has been started. I have copied, “John Pender a footballer and captain to most but also a Husband, Father, Grandfather and Friend and he now needs your help! John dedicated his life to football and played for Wolves, Charlton, Bristol City, Burnley, Wigan and Rochdale.

Burnley’s captain from 1990 – 1994, who some of you might recall as ‘Captain Fantastic’, and the only Burnley captain to ever go up the Wembley steps as a winner, called Turf Moor his home for more than five years and made over 170 appearances for our club.

Joining the team in 1990 ‘Pends’ as fondly known by fans and teammates captained the team and winning a promotion at Wembley was a childhood dream come true for John, for the Clarets and all the Clarets fans.

Since John’s time as a footballer, he continued to work hard for his family, raising 4 children, who are all Burnley fans alongside John and his wife Denise.

Unfortunately, 2 years ago things turned for the worse for the Pender family and John started to lose his balance, fall over and struggle to use the left-hand side of his body. Things progressively got worse and after a lot of falls, John was ultimately diagnosed with a form of Motor Neurone Disease.

John is now fully reliant on his wife for all his needs and is fully wheelchair bound.

John’s quality of life is unfortunately rapidly declining, and we would like to ask for your help to assist with John’s quality of life, increase his comfort and experiences while he still has the chance to do so. John committed his whole life to football, in particular Burnley, so we ask that you, as the Clarets, Charlton, Wolves, Bristol City or any football fan alike get behind Captain Fantastic, one last time so we can, together, help John improve his quality of life, comfort, and experience.

Burnley being so close to John and his family’s hearts we will be walking up and down Pendle hill on 15th January 2022 in our Burnley kits! everyone is welcome to join us and to raise awareness for MND.”

Please consider donating at JustGiving

John Pender – Charlton

John Pender – Wolves


John Pender – Wigan
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Jari Litmanen

Jari Litmanen


Just in from my friends at COPA

Earlier this year we launched a football shirt in collaboration with the ultimate Number 10; Jari Litmanen. He also signed a shirt, and we can give that special piece away to one of our followers on social media.

For a chance to win, go to our InstagramFacebook or Twitter page and follow further instructions there. We will announce the winner via our social media channels next week!

Good luck!





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Simon Harris


Simon Harris – Man Behaving Dadly

Social Media Celebrity Simon AKA as “Man Behaving Dadly” wrote today of a fantastic initiative that apparently the Premier League has turned down.

” In their infinite wisdom, the Premier League has decided to block an idea from top-flight clubs to all wear away kits on Boxing Day and raise money for Shelter, a homelessness and housing support charity.

The #NoHomeKit initiative would have generated an absolute fortune for this very worthy cause, so I guess we will all just have to do something about it online instead and hopefully make them see sense!”

So, in inimitable Simon style he has set a donation link on his Facebook page to raise money for shelter. For those who don’t know Simon he is despised by Nigel Farage and other half-lives for his outstanding work for good causes including raising more than £100,000 for the RNLI. Despite the fact that Simon is an Arsenal fan, I am delighted to support him and I have offered him an Arsenal shirt to raffle to raise funds.

Please check his Facebook page to see the whole story .

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Islington Corinthians

Around The World In 95 Games



Around The World In 95 Games

The amazing story of Islington Corinthians 1937-38 World Tour

A season-long round the world tour through Europe, India, China, Japan and the United States with 95 football matches along the way surely every footballer’s ultimate fantasy? And yet this extraordinary journey was actually undertaken, not by one of today’s super teams but more than seventy years ago by a party of British amateur footballers espousing Corinthian ideals.

Here for the first time is a full account of that astonishing enterprise, an event of real significance in the history of the sport which only now receives the recognition it deserves. Drawing on the reminiscences of members of the touring party and on contemporary press reports, this book invites a thorough re-evaluation of what was undoubtedly the greatest of the so-called ‘missionary’ tours.

But this is far more than a bare record of teams, dates and scores. The text and illustrations together form a snapshot of a different world, one which was about to be engulfed in war and disappear for ever. The players’ observations, sometimes startlingly candid, are very much of their time and provide an evocative and frequently amusing commentary on the progress of this unique odyssey.

Interesting facts about the Islington Corinthians

The Islington Corinthians’ are the only football team to be attacked by the British Army in the Khyber Pass.The Islington Corinthians’ are the only football team to be taken on an Opium Den raid by the Hong Kong Police.The Islington Corinthians’ are the only football team to be arrested for curfew violation in Japanese occupied Shanghai in 1938.The Islington Corinthians’ were entertained in Hollywood by the most famous movie stars of the 1930’s including David Niven, Victor McLagen and Hedy Lamarr.  

To learn more and/or order the book please visit  www.dognduck.net

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Bobby Moore Fund

Christophers, Kane and Pinero

Football Shirt Friday is back on Friday 19 November 2021

Join Harry Kane, Amy Christophers and Harry Pinero and support the Bobby Moore Fund this Football Shirt Friday.

Sign up and get your workplace, school or friends and family to wear a football shirt, share a selfie on social media using #FootballShirtFriday and donate to help tackle bowel cancer. 

Wear, share, donate.

Register here ….. full details here

Donate to Football Shirt Friday

The best way to raise money to tackle bowel cancer is to sign up to join the Football Shirt Friday squad, but if you don’t have a football shirt, don’t worry! You can still donate to help tackle bowel cancer. 

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A Sticker

The Sticker Team

A Sticker’s Worth 500 Words

When the Covid-19 lockdown started in March 2020 it forced many of us to finally sort out the plethora of boxes littered around our houses. For Manny Hawks that meant finding space for his childhood football sticker albums that he had never brought himself to get rid of. Without the regular captive audiences of his secondary school history classes he thought why not turn some of these snapshots into something else? With a bad pun, a picture of Wimbledon man Peter Fear and a blank Word document ‘A Sticker’s Worth 500 Words’ was born.

Within a month close friends Richard Allinson and Emlyn Jones began contributing their stories and the team was complete when Mat Jolin-Beech added his first post in May. 211 posts and over 60,000 views since the blog went live we’re still reminiscing on the greats of the game, the unsung heroes and just about anyone else who happened to turn out for Crystal Palace, Grimsby Town, Reading or Manchester United since the late 1980s. For every Roberto Baggio there’s a James Harper, for every Eric Cantona there’s an Ivano Bonetti. Whoever it might be there’s an old football sticker and a story or two for good measure.

We’re happy to do requests, particularly about any former star with an exceptional haircut, and are always up for a bit of friendly back and forth on our social media platforms of Twitter and Instagram as long as we can find a suitably classic adhesive image of the players of your choice.

All of our posts can be found here: https://astickersworth500words.blogspot.com/

Join us on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/Sticker500

Check our our Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/sticker500/?hl=en

Some of our most popular posts can be found here:

Roberto Baggio – Il Divin Codino/The Divine Ponytail

Roberto Baggio: https://astickersworth500words.blogspot.com/2020/03/252-roberto-baggio-italy-panini-england.html

Big Nev – Neville Southall

Neville Southall: https://astickersworth500words.blogspot.com/2020/04/163-neville-southall-everton-merlins.html

David Batty

David Batty: https://astickersworth500words.blogspot.com/2020/10/197-david-batty-leeds-united-merlins-fa.html

Tony Yeboah

Tony Yeboah: https://astickersworth500words.blogspot.com/2020/04/127-tony-yeboah-leeds-united-merlins.html

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150 Years of the FA Cup


The Little Tin Idol

Charles Alcock & The Little Tin Idol

150 YEARS OF THE FA CUP 1871-72 TO 2021-22

The first FA Cup known as ‘The Little Tin Idol’

On the 26th February 1867, the London Football Association held their Annual General Meeting at the Freemasons Tavern in Covent Garden and were in complete disarray. There were just six attendees representing four clubs, all sat around the giant oak table. Arthur Pember, Ebenezer Cobb Morley and Robert Graham were attending on behalf of Barnes Football Club. Charles Alcock was there representing the Wanderers Club; Walter Cutbill was present on behalf of the Crystal Palace Club and William Chesterman had made the long journey south from Yorkshire on behalf of the Sheffield Football Club. This was probably the lowest point of the London FA’s short existence and to make matters worse Arthur Pember proceeded to resign as President.

Having created the thirteen original rules of Association Football in 1863, it seemed the FA’s work was done. Ebenezer Cobb Morley, the FA’s newly elected President, suggested the members should consider dissolving the Association forthwith. However, there was one gentleman sat at the table who was having none of this. This was to be a new beginning for the Association and the new winter sport of football was set to become the most popular sport in the land. The gentleman’s name was: ‘CHARLES WILLIAM ALCOCK’

Charles Alcock was just twenty-five years of age. He had learnt to play football on the muddy fields of Harrow School scoring the winning goal in the ‘Cock House Cup’ Final in 1859. Upon leaving school, he formed one of the first football clubs, ‘The Forest Club’, with his brother John Forster Alcock and another Harrovian, the Reverend John Pardoe. Despite now being married, Charles was playing football two or three times a week either for his own Wanderers Club or for other local sides. He was also a sports journalist working for ‘The Sportsman’ newspaper and was aware of the success of a knockout tournament, ‘The Youdan Cup’, which had taken place in Sheffield.

Eager to ensure that the London Football Association remained the ‘top dog’ when administering the English game and, conscious of the threat of the newly formed Rugby Football Union in January 1871, Charles Alcock announced:

“It is desirable that a Challenge Cup should be established in connection with the Association for which all clubs belonging to the Association should be invited to compete.”

Charles William Alcock, the great administrator,
sat in the offices of The Sportsman newspaper

So, on the 23rd October 1871, the first ever FA Cup draw took place. The competition would eventually feature just fifteen teams:
The Wanderers v. Harrow Chequers
Barnes v. Civil Service
Crystal Palace v. Hitchin
Donington Grammar School v. Queen’s Park
Royal Engineers v. Reigate Priory
Upton Park v. Clapham Rovers
Maidenhead v. Great Marlow
Hampstead Heathens (a bye)

The first ties took place on the 11th November 1871 and here we are, 150 years later, ready to celebrate the most famous Cup competition in the world. What happened in this tournament? Who would get through to the first-ever FA Cup Final? What were the rules? How did a team from Scotland and also a small school team from Lincolnshire, come to enter the competition?

And so, the inaugural FA Cup competition kicked off 150 years ago. It featured disallowed goals, late kick-offs, extra-time, replays, disputed decisions, cup-tied players and teams playing ‘ringers.’ This ensured it would become the most famous domestic Cup competition in the world.

To find out more read my new book:
‘Charles Alcock & The Little Tin Idol’
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Independently published (3 Oct. 2021)
Language ‏ : ‎ English
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 330 pages
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 979-8479058967
Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 12.7 x 2.11 x 20.32 cm
Price : £8.99 plus £2.99 postage and packing

Now available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle. For direct orders and signed copies, please email Ian Chester at: ianchesteri@btinternet.com

About the Author

Ian Chester is an independently published author whose writing experience was developed in the world of football fanzines, local non-league football programmes and magazines about living in France. Ian is also a keen historian and has had articles published in local history magazines.

Ian’s first book was entitled ‘The Green Toothed Witch and the Yellow Canary’ and told the story of his 5,560km journey around France following the 1919 Tour de France on the 100th anniversary of the yellow jersey.

His second book ‘Charles Alcock and The Little Tin Idol’ is a fitting tribute to the man who created the first-ever FA Cup 150 years ago.


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