Terrace Thoughts 31, 17/05/2019

Having upset a number of pedants with my comments last week, I’m sort of going to ignore the financial chaos which is engulfing so many clubs this close season and will instead focus on the Summer HUFC Quiz and some Poolie memories – starting this week with Jimmy Douglas.

But first, three quick comments:

1. It is always the fans that suffer – so is there a way in which an Ombudsman type of service can be introduced?

Just as Ofwat and Ofcom are supposed to protect consumers, could something similar be introduced for football? An agency of some form designed to protect the supporters from mercenary (or misguided) owners. I don’t know – as soon as I write this as I think, ‘how can anyone police the owners who are clearly flouting fit & proper rules, the principles of good corporate governance, etc.’ But something must be done.

2. I do fear for a domino effect this summer – once one club fails because of owner created debt, or HMRC uses the ultimate sanction – then the furore of the first failure will quickly pass and it will be weekly tale of clubs going to the wall. I do so hope that I’m wrong.

3. This should remind us all of the need to support our local Supporters’ Trust!

Righto. Up – Stop – Down! How may ex-Hartlepool Grammar School pupils remember that introduction to the physics of motion? And what has that got to do with Pools?

But first, the answers to the first part of John’s Summer HUFC Quiz:

1. Which legend made his debut in October 1999 in the FA Cup 1st round match v Millwall?

H’Angus The Monkey – and I’ll raise a glass to the memory of Paul Mullen. I had the pleasure of meeting him a few times – what a Gent – the all-time best Poolie?

2. Which club did manager Len Ashurst take over when leaving United in 1974?

Gillingham

3. Which other ex-Pools manager worked there?

Neale Cooper (2005) – why did he leave us, why did he go there, what went wrong??? But he’s still a hero.

4. Who took over from Vince Barker as Chairman in 1984?

John Smart – history hasn’t treated him too well, but shouldn’t we always be thankful for the fact that he kept Pools alive?

5. In 2004 which player was called up to the Wales squad but sadly got injured prior to the match?

Eifion Williams – what an awesomely great player he was. And what a shame that he never got the chance to represent his country at senior level. Another one of my heroes.

How did you do? I thought that #1 and #4 may be challenging, but seemingly not from the folk that I’ve talked to. So, here’s the next batch of questions:

6. During the 1974 League Cup run Pools drew with which three current/ former Premiership teams?

7. In 1986 which team was locked out of their ground and played at the Victoria Ground instead?

8. In 2006/07 how many games did Pools win in a row without conceding a goal?

9. Which team did Pools beat in the 1905 FA Amateur Cup Final?

10. Who was the leading scorer in the 1979/80/81 seasons?

Answers to these, and the next five questions, next week.

Up! Stop! Down!

So, a ‘thing’ moving in one direction must stop before it goes in the opposite direction. A basic law of physics?

So, back in 1967 I sat in front of a Poolie legend who, at the front of the class, sitting on the Master’s desk, had our total attention with a coin – he’d throw it up and shout ‘Up’! And then a moment later,’ Stop’. Then, ‘Down’! He’d catch and then look at us all, ‘So, did you see it stop?’

The coin had to stop before it changed direction. And all we first years at Hartlepool Grammar School who couldn’t see that the coin stopped before reversing were, well, stupid. And didn’t we all say that we’d seen it stop?

The teacher in that Maths class was ‘Jimmy’ Douglas. A great teacher. Almost fifty years later and I remember those lessons. It took me two attempts to pass ‘O’ Level Maths. Great teacher; poor pupil. I eventually became a professional accountant: thanks Sir for teaching me that it wasn’t all about the numbers.

So, James Stewart Douglas, a centre forward who had been born in Sunderland in 1941, and this is a point which always gets to me – he was only in his late twenties when he was teaching us – but in our eyes he was middle aged! He joined Pools from Washington Mechanics in October 1962 – he was a student at a teaching training college in Sunderland and so was never guaranteed a regular starting position. But Jimmy played for Pools thirteen times during the 1962/63 season, notching against Doncaster Rovers (A), Mansfield Town (A), Gillingham (H) and Doncaster Rovers (H).

Up. Stop. Down.

I remember the phrase. Not sure that I ever understood it. Never saw him play. But Jimmy Douglas was one of my first Poolie heroes.

And I won’t go into detail about Jimmy’s theory about the ever stopping Deltics on the East Coast Mainline – well, every time they hit a fly………….right, stop, left…………………

And now to my quick final points….

1. Is it all over for Bolton Wanderers? If so, who really cares about clubs who claim to be ‘the oldest’ or the ‘senior team in Nottingham’?

2. I’ve learned that life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes.

3. I’ve been following the crazy developments at Gateshead all season and the situation is now beyond belief – so much so that I hear that Ben Clark was a favourite for the manager’s job at Darlington. Ex-Poolie Ben could do so much better – but he would do a fantastic job for the guys over there, despite their rugger boy problems. And I wish Ben (in particular) and Darlo, every success next season.

4. And it’s not just Gateshead! And Ebbsfleet. And Notts County. Good luck to the supporters of Oldham Athletic – and another reminder, have you paid your HUST subs? – https://trustoldham.co.uk/open-letter-to-abdallah-lemsagam/

5. John’s football website of the week – https://www.football365.com/news/unfit-and-improper-the-calamity-of-football-league-owners – thanks to John Cooke of HUST for bringing this to our attention. Worrying. How long have we got as followers of lower league football? Will our children have to rely on a diet of Premiersh*te?

Pip Pip – Up Stop Down

John

1 Comment

  1. Jimmy Douglas was either a part timer or an amateur & scored on his debut. I left the Grammar School on 1966 so missed his maths lessons. Earlier in 1963-4 another part timer or amateur in Terry Francis scored a hat trick on debut. If I remember all 3 goals were set up by Amby Fogarty (still our only full international) who was playing only his 2nd. game.

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