This post is not football related at all. It’s just a palace to put the pictures of the Penguin statues that I’ve taken pictures of. My friend Gordon picked me up at 9:30am and we went off in search of them.
Gordon’s stapled most of the ones in Dundee, I saw 3 or 4 a few weeks ago while travelling to Ninewells Hospital for the mri Scan on my back. This trip was to capture the ones in Broughty Ferry, Kirriemuir and Brechin. I was needing to get out and moving again to build up my strength and muscle tone. I came back sore and more exhausted that I though I would. We never walked particularly far and had a few breaks travelling in the car between towns.
when I won the raffle for the front of the home shirt for Berwick Rangers I always intended to give it to somebody to whom it would benefit. Northen Soul Kitchen were the lucky recipient. This lead to some good publicity for them and for the football club. All good stuff. I was later interviewed via Skype for a segment on BBC look North. I managed to bumble through this although it was at the peak of my back pain at the time and I was on morphine tablets! One of the interesting questions/discussions we had (can’t remember if this was aired or not) was the fact that I had given it to a local community project. I never really though much about it, it was always going somewhere like that. But the interviewer did mention that it would make a nice piece on the news. It was a local Concern and would bring club and community closer etc. The interviewer mentioned that this was so refreshing in the current shirt sponsorship climate where most of the premier league teams and championship teams were now sponsored by betting firms. And the two biggest (arguably) teams in Scotland Celtic and Rangers are also sponsored by betting firms along with Motherwell and Hibs.. They also play in a league system sponsored by Ladbrokes, compete in the William Hill Scottish cup and the league cup sponsored by betfred. I never thought much about this but having just looked this up it’s actually quite staggering the number of teams sponsored by betting firms. This is by no means an exhaustive list ther will be others out there too.
Premier League Teams With Betting Shirt Sponsors
Bournemouth – Mansion 88
Burnley – LaBa 360
Crystal Palace – ManBetX
Everton – SportPesa
Fulham – Dafabet
Huddersfield – OPE
Newcastle United – Fun88
West Ham – Betway
Wolves – W88
Championship Teams With Betting Shirt Sponsors (LEAGUE SPONSORSHIP SKYBET)
Aston Villa – 32Red
Blackburn – 10Bet
Birmingham City – 888sport
Brentford – LeoVegas
Bristol City – Dunder
Bolton – Betfred
Derby County – 32Red
Ipswich – Magical Vegas
Hull City – SportPesa
Leeds United – 32Red
Middlesbrough – 32Red
Norwich – LeoVegas
Nottingham Forest – BetBright
Preston – 32Red
QPR – Royal Panda
Stoke City – bet365
Swansea – BETUK.com
the away started out for me at 9:30am as my dad came to collect me. I still can’t drive because of my back/leg/painkillers. My wife (Ruth) was going off to Loch Lomond for the great swim series a swim in open water followed by a run so I couldn’t bug her to drive. So my dad picked me and the dog up and we headed back to my parents house to leave the dog with my mum for the day. A bacon roll later and we were on the road. We arrived in Berwick about half twelve and then popped into see my in laws (I had left my flat key at home and my dad’s “flat key” want the key for the flat). They have a key so we got that, popped back to Spittal to the flat before venturing out to the promenade for ice cream and a bit of dolphin spotting.(no dolphins to be seen). I managed the walk to the promenade, a bit sore but the goal of an ice cream spurred me on. Ice cream dispatched (with the tradition ice cream headache for me) it was back to the car and off to the ground.
The wee bar at the ground is actually quite handy for folk like us arriving early, a bit of banter is always nice. I dropped off a St Andrews Berwick Rangers Supporters teddy which was given the name David. I hope this doesn’t cause me confusion in the future. While at the bar i received a message to ask if I could record the game, Alan the regular cameraman was off watching his son play cricket. So I trotted/hobbled off to get the camera. This worked out well anyway, it allowed my dad to gain early access to the chip van to get his chips and curry sauce before the turnstiles opened so he was first in line.....
well I was hopeful for this game, I had my bet on a Berwick win/draw so at least hopeful of a point. I don’t know why, Annan gave us a thumping in the cup and Cowdenbeath gave us a thumping last week. I guess I was hopeful of the team getting into gear and producing a performance like the one at the Stirling game (2nd half anyway). We did have chances in the game, a goal ruled offside that I’m not so sure about and a couple of decisions that went against us (Annan keeper punching our player and not the ball is one example). But at the end of the day it was still a 3-0 loss. I think it was down to the inexperience of the players so that is why I’m still hopeful. Hopeful that they will get it right in the near future. I have heard some fans criticise the team for being crap and I think this is harsh, yes we could be better no doubt but the club simply don’t have the money. That’s not the players fault or the managers. Robbie has done what he can to get players in with a reduced budget from previous seasons. Why didn’t we keep player x,y,z form last season? Well the sorry truth is we couldn’t afford to. The budget was cut so much we couldn’t keep the players we currently had so sadly they had to be moved on. Even some of the players that remained came back on reduced terms. This meant plundering the junior leagues and this is not as easy as people think, especially as a lot of the junior teams can pay more in players wages and offer less travel. I think people lose sight of the fact that Berwick are a part time team and train in Edinburgh. It’s quite a commitment training twice a week and playing every weekend. Chuck in a few midweek games for the cups and postponements and it can take it’s toll. True it’s the same for other clubs in the league but Berwick seem to be a bit of an outlier in this respect.
I managed the filming with a combination of kneeling on a chair whilst using a walking stick and the camera. My back was a bit stiff but my hamstring was giving me grief. Still job done. Just the manager interview to do and I could sit down while doing that. All filming done I dropped off the cameras memory card at Alan’s house so he could edit the footage and we were off home.
I won’t make the Albion game next weekend. I will be in Berwick for the food and beer festival. Really hoping for 3 points against Albion, they are yet to pick up any points and at this early stage of the season it could prove to be quite crucial at the end of the season.
Berwick Rangers were kind enough to give Northern Soul Kitchen (NSK) a shirt to hang up in their cafe. I also received one too as part of winning the shirt sponsorship raffle. I collected mine on the opening day of the season. I knew NSK would be better with the shirt mounted so a quick look an amazon and a frame was purchased. £36.99 but an amazon deal had it at £26. I thought it would be a bit poor but it’s actually quite good! I would certainly buy another for shirt auctions etc.
Getting the shirt.
i probably should have collected the shirt when I picked up mine, but I wasn’t really thinking. But an email and Dom emails back with it’s location and Ian Beresford brought it to me at the Cowdenbeath game. (Thanks). The frame had arrived earlier in the week and Iwas keen to get going. It took longer than it should but I’m still hobbling about so I had to take my time and stop every so often but I need to start moving and getting my strength back so I might as well do something useful. I combined shirt mounting with some of my exercises. Must have looked quite odd if anybody was watching. The shirt was mounted and perhaps I should have spent a little more time getting the creases out but I was getting tired and a little sore. Still I think it came out ok.
well that’s a game to forget about. Absolutely stuffed by Cowdenbeath. 4-0, 2 goals in each half. This wasn’t a game where we were desperately unlucky, it was a game where we were desperately poor. I had to get my wife to drive me to my folks where I would meet Gordon and then my dad would take us to the game. It’s about a 30 minute drive so not too bad. We arrived in plenty of time as usual. It was Gordon’s first trip to Central Park and his first Berwick game of the season, it might also be his last......
Not much to as really, well not much i want to say rather. For the first 20 minutes neither team really looked particularly comfortable but I though Berwick would settle down and we would net a couple of goals. Well that was a mistake. Cowdenbeath scored with a close range free header and then a few minutes later scored again. This time Berwick failed to clear the ball on the wing, seemingly forgetting the basics of football. The ball was put into the box where the defenders stood still looking at it and allowed Cowdenbeath to have 3 cracks at scoring. 2-0 half time. We all hoped that Robbie would really give them what for in the half time talk and the players would emerge ready to battle and claw back a draw. Well this never happened. The 3rd goal was proper school football. Every single Berwick player was in the box for a corner, every single one. I dont know what they were thinking, even if the cleared it (which the did) the ball would go to a Cowdenbeath player (which it did) and they would be on the attack. The clearance was a scramble in the box, too many bodies trying to get the ball. When it was cleared it fell to Scullion the ex Berwick defender who took his shot and it was deflected in. The Berwick keeper had no chance in such a crowded box. The fourth goal I can’t even remember, I’ve had to ask Gordon on Facebook messenger to remind me. He’ll be at home now getting his dinner and I can’t be bothered waiting for his reply to add it here*. A red card a piece rounds out the game as the clock ticks down to the final whistle to one of the poorest games I’ve seen Berwick play. The only highlight was collecting a shirt to frame for Northen Soul Kitchen to hang up in their cafe.
*The guy broke through the almost non-existent defence and curled it round Brennan inside the far post- Gordon.
it’s been a while since I last posted. I usually try to do a post per game but I’ve not quite managed that. I did manage to get to the opening game of the season thanks to my dad driving me down. I’ve hurt my back (although it has manifested itself as leg pain in my right leg). Today I received a call back from the Doctor to go over my MRI results, they had to be reviewed by a Neurologist hence the 4 week wait. The Doctor said the Neurologist noted bulges or compressions at right L5, Left L4 and nerve impingement at right S1/S2.
The Neurologist wants to see me in the clinic (based on these results and they don’t know I’ve been visiting a Chiropractor). The Doctor is going to send a note to say I’m improving a great deal.
The Doctor thinks the Neurologist might still want to see me but we can see how it goes. He gave no real indication to when the Neurologist would see me, it might be a while.
The Doctor said to continue with the Chiropractor, especially if it’s making me better.
I don’t know what I would have done with out the Chiropractor visits, I would just be rolling around on the bed doped up to the eyeballs waiting.
I’m now down to visiting the Chiropractor every other day rather than every day.(as of this week).
My current pain isn’t anywhere near the level it was but I get quite severe pins and needles in my right leg if I stand for a bit or walk a few yards but I have to push on with it. That aside it’s the hamstring that’s giving me the greatest problem just now. I’m reducing my painkillers so they might be masking some of the pain in other areas.
I’m still very low on stamina and it’s an effort to walk 50 yards without stopping at least once but I’m working on that.(just have to go for a short walk and gradually increase the distance over time). I’m not quite at the stage to do any strengthening exercise yet and I still can’t drive due to my weakness/pain and the painkillers. This is the reason I’ve missed all the pre season friendlies and the betfred cup games.
As I said I managed the first game of the season but couldn’t make the trip to Hampden at the weekend. I’ll also miss out on the IRN BRU Cup game tonight against Airdrie. It’s a bit much to ask my dad to drive down mid week, he’s 80 now and it’s a late night getting home.
We will however make the Cowdenbeath game on Saturday. It’s about half an hour away and should be no problem. It’s a game I fully expect to get 3 points from. I know it’s early in the season but we need to be taking points from the teams who tend to be down at the bottom of the table to ensure we’re as far from the bottom as possible. It’s going to be another tough season but I think we have the makings of a decent team, a bit inexperienced but hopefully that can be gained quickly. All the boardroom shenanigans seem to have settled down fairly quickly and hopefully we can move in the right direction.
well my dad was eager to get to this game so he drove. I’m still knackered and can’t drive. It was a pain free journey for me, sitting down is fine for now. I have now pulled my hamstring but that’s another story.
We got to Shielfield for 1pm. We had hospitality as part of the shirt sponsor raffle that I won and I was to be presented with a complimentary home shirt. I hade a few things to drop off, cakes for Robbie Horns birthday, some lollipops to be distributed from the wee bar and a gift for Ailsa who runs the wee bar.
I said hello to a few folk, it was the first time at Shielfield this season because of my injury I never made any of the friendlies or cup games. It was a bit of an odd atmosphere after the recent issues with the board you couldn’t really expect anything else. We ventured up the stairs to the JB lounge and we had a table set out for us. We were give some drinks tokens but as my dad was driving and I’m still on pain killers we bought a couple of cans of coke and gave the tokens to Dave Spence to put them to better use.... we sat for a bit and then ventured out into the terraces. I was unsure what was happening with the shirt presentation but I’m sure something would work out (and it did). Again everything was a bit muddled due to the recent board room changes. I was presented with my shirt and my photo taken with the chairman. Then back to the stand for the game.
Well I had my £5 free bet on Berwick to win. William hill gave me 3/1 with boosted odds so that was a nice bonus. It was a bit of backs to the wall in the first half. Stirling started off pushing forward and it looked like they had scored as the ball was lobbed over Brennan and into the net. The linesman put his flag up for offside so a welcome relief. Stirling continues to press and had 2 off the post and 1 off the crossbar but Berwick held on to halftime with the game still goalless. We ventured back to the JB lounge for our halftime refreshments and then back out to the terraces for the second half.
The second half saw Berwick come out with more vigorour, I don’t know what the halftime talk was of if the players had some of the cakes I made but they were sharper and pressed Stirling. Berwick pieced together a few good moves and finally broke the deadlock in the 65th minute with a well worked move and Brown slotted home. Stirling had a couple of further chances in the second half but Berwick looked to be in control. Todd came off with what looked like a bit of a bad injury, being escorted from the pitch in a slow hobble with support from the physio and one of the coaches. Hopefully he’ll be back soon. He’s really come on and will be an integral part of the defence for this season. The game finished 1-0 and a valuable 3 points for Berwick. It’s a long way to the end of the season but you can’t ask for a better start. The next game is away to Queens Park, a difficult game and one I won’t be able to attend. The following week is against Cowdenbeath, I’ll make that one and hopefullly anothe 3 points. I know it’s early days but we need to open a gap and sadly for Cowdenbeath they are likely to be at the bottom of the table. Edinburgh City had a 4-0 win with ex Berwick striker Blair Henderson netting a hat trick. This may be the season that they come good, early days I know but a thumping of Albion who have just made the drop sends out a strong signal. I don’t know the makeup of the Albion team to be fair, how many players were retained from last season etc and I know the bottom of league 1 is not much of a leap from league 2 but 4-0 is a great result. It will be an interesting season, it always is and I’m looking forward to it.