Posted: 3/4/2017


       CHAPEL ALLERTON is an eclectic suburb of Leeds with Chinese, Indian, Turkish, Barbecue, Mexican, Thai, Fish & Chips, Tea and Coffee houses, bakeries, fishmongers, greengrocers, pubs and Chapel Allerton library which I visit many times a week to read the newspapers and borrow books. At a nearby three floor pub/restaurant THE WOODS I joined the crowd for an Evening with Anthony Clavane as part of the Leeds Jewish Literary Festival  MILIM.

         Anthony is a local born and bred Leeds lad, big fan of Leeds United and everything Yorkshire, who now lives with his family in Essex. He is a writer, author and raconteur and now a part time lecturer at Essex University.

          A prolific author and playwright,  his three books have been major sellers. The first was PROMISED LAND: A NORTHERN LOVE STORY about United and more. (Sports Book of the Year) .  DOES YOUR RABBI KNOW YOU'RE HERE about Jewish footballers in England and his own school experiences where the head teacher banned football, confiscated and trashed their football, then their tennis ball, then their apple and finally his mates played air football !  After the synagogue it was off to Elland road of course. During the very successful Don Revie era three of the six United board members were Jewish'  including the very influencial Leslie Silver.

          His most recent trilogy work A YORKSHIRE TRAGEDY is sport mixed with politics, social history and sadness about the decline of the major Yorkshire football clubs in Leeds, Huddersfield, Bradford, Sheffield, Barnsley, Rotherham, Hull and even more so the decline of the pit village Rugby League clubs in Featherstone, Wakefield, Castleford and elsewhere. Very well researched over two years of travel in God's County and the troubled times at Headingley, home of Yorkshire cricket. An awesome cover photo from KES the 1969 Ken Loach drama set on a school soccer pitch in Barnsley

           I also went to watch his stage play Promised Land, set on the terraces of Elland Road and PLAYING THE JOKER about the legendary RL TV commentator Eddie Waring. Both very entertaining.

          Talking about ABBA... i'ts nothing to do with Swedish pop music. The FA hosted the 131st  International Football Association Board (IFAB) annual meeting at Wembley Stadium this week to discuss changes and hopefully improvements in the Laws of the Game.  One change is in the taking of penalty kicks to decide a game. Evidently 60% of shoot outs are won by the team that takes the first kick. We have ABABABABAB.. and maybe more, as alternating teams take kicks. Now its going to be ABBA ABBA.... etc... GET IT???

         The Board has also approved plans to introduce rolling substitutes and sin the lower levels of football. Sin bins will be allowed for yellow card offences in youth, grassroots and disability football starting in June. The IFAB will also allow individual national federations to decide how many substitutions to allow at lower levels, but not at top flight and senior international level. Check with for more information.