Posted: 12/30/2008


       Chippenhead Town's aptly named striker DAVID PRATT, made history at the weekend when he was sent off at Bashley FC in the Southern Gas Soccer League, 7th tier of English football, after only THREE SECONDS. He came in hard on Chris Knowles of 'The Bash'. Town's motto is 'Pride and Passion' but 'The Bluebirds', founded way back in 1873, went on to lose the match 2-1.  The previous record was held by Guiseppe Lorenzo of Bologona against Parma in Italy in 1980, sent off after 10 seconds.

        Sensational affair at The Boleyn Ground, home of West Ham United. After 79 minutes the home team equalized in the 79th minute after which Jamaican Ricardo Fuller of Stoke City slapped his own captain Andy Griffin and received his marching orders from the referee. The Potters lost 2-1 to a late goal by Diego Tristan for The Hammers in the 87th minute. Manager Tony Pullis' team lost their third match in a row, and their second red card in as many matches.

        Leeds United, under new manager  Simon 'Larry' Grayson  are unbeated in the two games since he has been in charge following 5 straight defeats. A late equalizer on Boxing Day earned a 1-1 tie with League leaders Leicester City at Elland Road, and then a come-from-behind 3-1 victory at Stockport County. A sublime goal by England U 21 star Fabian Delph has been marred by a charge of drink driving by a player linked with Manchester United and other Premiership clubs.

       Up at St. James' Park on Tyneside, Liverpool trounced the Magpies of Newcastle United 5-1 (it could have been 10). Star of the show was team captain and midfield dynamo Steven Gerrard who scored a brace. After returning across the Pennines he stopped off at his Lancashire mansion before joining 5 mates for a late night at a club in Southport, 20 minutes from home. At 2.30 am, he and his mates were arrested after an incident at The Lounge Bar that saw a 34 year old DJ taken to hospital with a cut face.

        The mates were taken to Southport police station which soon attracted lots of media. 23 hours later Gerrard was released from his cell on bail after being charged, along with two others, of assault and affray, and will appear in court in late January, 2009. The Liverpool captain, with 70 appearances for England, earns about $250,000 a week, plus maybe as much from off the field endorsements, and has been part of a campaign to reduce youth crime on Merseyside and went to Buckingham Palace to receive a medal from the Queen of England.