The Anonymous Widower

Mel Hopkins

The Independent also had the obituary of Mel Hopkins.  He was not a lucky footballer, as he suffered a broken jaw in a rather freak accident which kept him out of the Spurs double side of 1960-61.

He was incidentally one of my father’s favourite footballers and I can remember seeing him battle with Stanley Matthews, when Stoke were the visitors at White Hart Lane.  I think this match must have been between 1962 and 1964, as Stoke weren’t in the First Division until 1962 and Hopkins left Spurs in October 1964.

With Pele turning seventy today, it is interesting to note this from Stanley Matthews entry in Wikipedia.

He played his final competitive match in Brazil in 1985 at the age of 70. He damaged his cartilage during the match. “A promising career cut tragically short,” he wrote in his autobiography. During his career he gained respect not only as a great player but also as a gentleman. This is exemplified by the fact that despite playing in nearly seven hundred league games, he was never booked or sent off.

Is there a player currently playing in the Premiership, who hasn’t been booked? Let alone in say a hundred games!

October 23, 2010 Posted by | Sport | , | Leave a comment

Austin Mitchell Prepares for AV

I found this piece in The Independent, as I travelled towards Leicester. A snippet in the main article was headlined “A1 Austin takes no chances” and it described Austin Mitchell’s preparations for alternative vote.

In Australia, they call it the donkey vote. Faced with a long list of candidates to be listed in order of preference under the AV system, voters start at the top and work down.

Next year, there will be a referendum on whether to introduce AV to British elections and it was noticeable that two members of Labour’s national executive whose names began with W lost this year, The Labour MP Austin Mitchell is taking no chances. “When the system comes in I will change my name to A1 Austin,” he told MPs this week.

I know Australians, who are very intelligent, but I can understand some of their thicker countrymen voting in that way, just as I can imagine some of my countrymen.  Perhaps we should put symbols by each candidate to indicate their party!

We could perhaps use one of Mrs. T’s handbags for the Tories and perhaps two aircraft carriers for NuLabor.

October 23, 2010 Posted by | News | , | Leave a comment

Dullingham to Nottingham

I actually left fromy my local station at Dullingham, rather than my return destination of Newmarket as it was easier to get to at 9:15 in the morning.  The cost of the return ticket is the same at £27.65 from both stations, so ticketing was not a problem.

To get to Nottingham was a double change at both Cambridge and Leicester.  This is one of the problems about getting trains from East Anglia to the rest of the country.  Nothing is ever straightforward unless you drive to either Ely or Peterborough first and I can’t drive at present.

The second problem is that the East Anglia to Midlands and North trains are just too small.  The train was very crowded all the way to Leicester from Cambridge, but luckily I had a seat by the window.  After Leicester I was in one of the larger Meridean expresses to Nottingham.

Everything otherwise was fine and I arrived in Nottingham just a few minutes over three hours after I’d started my journey, which was as should have been expected.

The only problem I had, was that the station information at Leicester wasn’t up to the standard I usually find and I could have missed my connection, if I hadn’t guessed right.  It probably wouldn’t have been serious, as there are quite a few trains between Leicester and Nottingham.  But what if I’d been going the other way, where missing the connection would mean a sizeable wait.

I’d never been to Leicester on a train before today, which is surprising, as in the past I’ve used trains to quite a few cities in the Midlands.  I sometimes wonder if I’ve got a thing about the city, as it was one of the last trips C did by train for her business.  She had just finished the radiotherapy for her breast cancer and had gone there by train and she then took a train to London to see a friend sworn in as a judge. Except for the odd trip to London, I don’t think she ever went on a train again.  I also remember that I’d been to see Ipswich lose at Leicester. the day before she told me, that she had breast cancer. So perhaps it is a town for me to avoid!  Although they do have a Carluccio’s there now, so at least the food will be good.

October 23, 2010 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Happy Seventieth Birthday to Pele

Pele is seventy today.  I hope this inspires some of today’s crop of footballers to not only play better, but be better sportsmen and people as well.

I’m sure all of my generation remember the iconic photo of Pele and Bobby Moore

October 23, 2010 Posted by | News, Sport | , | 1 Comment

Off to Nottingham Today

Ipswich are at Forest today and I’m going.

It will be a train from Dullingham to Cambridge and then I change at Leicester for Nottingham getting there just after three hours on the train.

Coming back is again about three hours with changes at Ely and Cambridge from where I’ll get a taxi if I’m tired.  Or I might go to Carluccio’s for supper and then get a taxi home.

It all depends on how  I feel after the match!

October 23, 2010 Posted by | Sport, Transport | , , | Leave a comment