Posted: 3/8/2010
Title: FAT RASCALS, NON HAIRY BIKERS, GRASS ROOTS

Blog:                                                                                                                         

       I love to go to farmer's markets world wide, be it Bergen, Seattle, Nimes, Helsinki. It's always a great sight and smell and nice stall holders to talk to about their cheeses, sausages, cakes, fruits, clothes, wooden toys and more.

      Yesterday it was in Leeds and I bought myself some fresh food. I love the Fat Rascal and bought one for 90p. It's a sort of huge scone or rock cake with all sorts of good things in it such as currants, sultanas, lemon and orange peel raisins. Also the last couple of weeks it has been grass roots football, away from Old Trafford, Wembley and San Siro. Last Saturday I walked down Cemetery Road to Horsfall Stadium, the home of Bradford Park Avenue. They used to be a famous Football League club with the immortal Len Shackelton, but have since suffered hard times. With local ownership and business sense CEO Bob Blackburn, V.P. Kevin Hainsworth and others are leading the way back to the promised land. With 14 wins out of the last 16 matches they are 5 points on top of the Unibond Premier League, with promotion to The Blue Square Conference in sight.

      It was bitterly cold, and a pitch inspection was necessary before the referee would let play commence on a still trecherous surface.  There opponents Stocksbridge Steel were tough but unfit and one defender was built like a lava lamp. After half-time it was easier pickings for Avenue, who won 2-0.

      This weekend, I was at Sheffield FC, the World's Oldest Football Club, and I hadn't been there for 5 months due to the weather playing havoc in Britain's worste winter for 30 years. First stop was the kiosk for a Pukka pie, mushy peas and gravy-Oh!, how I had missed that treat. Then a chat with dapper chairman Richard Tims in his smart ratter hat. The home team must have got out of bed late and were 2-0 down before a second half fight back and a goal that just wasn't enough to share the spoils. They are however still in second place in Unibond League Division South.

     Bravo to a couple of young Altrincham FC fans, Dan Martell (21) and Niall Flynn(18), who cycled from their homes in the leafy lanes of Cheshire to FC Wimbledon in South London to support both ALTY and raise 1,500 for The Children's Adventure Farm Trust which is sponsored by A.F.C.  The two were introduced to their team prior to kick-off. The result was 1-1.

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