Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Your History’s No Good To Me - kokomo

“F*ck off Chelsea FC
You ain't got no history
18 leagues and 5 European Cups
that's what we call history” The Kop.

History, eh? The last bastion of the embittered fan. It certainly is a great history, that is if year zero was when Bill Shankly strode across the Pennines in 1959. Back then, no-one thought about whether they walked alone or not.

So what do we call history? Manchester United? Pah, another post-war myth. The establishment, Royal Arsenal? Hah, a pox on your nouvelle 1930s boom. Notts County, Everton, Accrington?

Having shunned the new fangled professionalism of the 1880s, Sheffield FC remains the oldest football club in existence.

In May, 1857, local cricketers, William Priest and Nathaniel Creswick, were feeling the aches and pains of early season rustiness. They concluded that the late night drinking sessions weren’t to blame, and that an organised winter sport was needed. Unlike most pub brainwaves, this one stuck out as being; a) a good idea, and b) something they followed up.

Five months later, as the East India Company was being overthrown in Dehli, Sheffield FC was formed. Being the only club, there were obvious advantages and disadvantages. As Max von Sydow knew, you need an opposition. Initially, members split into different teams, and representative games were played between married men and bachelors, professionals vs the rest.

But the best bit of being the first, you get to make up the rules. And we have Sheffield FC to thank for a number of today’s customs: corner kicks, throw ins, free kicks, floodlights, a crossbar, and, most spectacularly, heading the ball. Famously, when Sheffield ventured down to the Oval, the London gentry were reduced to fits of laughter by this practice. Rumour has it that Creswick wanted there to be daylight for a player to be called offside, while Priest wondered what you were doing if you weren’t interfering with play.

Only two clubs have been awarded the official FIFA order of merit; one is Real Madrid, the other is Sheffield FC.

They have never recaptured the glory days of 1904, when they won the FA Amateur Cup. However, they have returned to rude health in recent years. Currently celebrating their 150th year, they sit 10 points clear of Retford United in the NCE Premier Division (a notable league - it has seen Socrates plying his trade there in recent years).

They could be the only team at this level with replica shirts, at the seemingly optimistic price of £36.95, though the home shirt is sold out. This entrepreneurial spirit has enabled the club to buy its own ground for the first time ever, the Stadium of Bright. They draw a few hundred, mostly glory supporters, as they top the league.

Sven-Goran Eriksson, Michael Vaughan and Sepp Blatter are all members. The club also runs disability and even a women’s team; sadly for Sepp, they sport a baggy short.

The new ground is in an affluent area, in keeping with the game’s middle-class roots, but when they play local rivals Brigg Town (est. 1864), a familiar refrain can be heard from the famous grassy mount behind the goal:

“F*ck off Brigg Town FC
You ain’t got no history
A couple of drunk cricketers in a pub
Now that’s what I call history.”


fred said...

Nice history, Kokomo - but I get the feeling I've read this before.

offside said...

This is soooooo gonna turn into a Liverpool thread. Just watch it.

MotM said...

You know I have a feeling that I've read this before, however prior to posting I checked back as best I could and I couldn't see it here. If so, can someone tell me in these comments and I'll remove it.

This guest editing lark ain't easy - yet another debt we owe to Ebren I feel!

nestaquin said...

Thanks Kokomo, living on the other side of the planet where discussion of English football history is about as welcome as a snakebite, I found your article interesting.

I was a little disturbed with the crowd chants. Do people allow their children to sing them? And if not, what is the appropriate age to join the choir?

The beginning of Australian football history is remarkably similar. At the same time, some cricketers from Victoria and one in particular who was raised among the originals (I'm sorry I cannot recall the details) decided to play a winter sport to stay tuned.

A game was invented using the basics of an indigenous sport called marn grook. Today it is religiosly followed by millions. Something about monkeys, geothermal pools, potatoes, dirt and washing is bubbling to the surface of my mind but I have no time to ponder, dinner's on the table.

BlueinBetis said...


F*ck 'em all,
F*ck 'em all,
Man United, Arsenal, Liverpoooool,
'Cos we are the Chelsea,
and we are the best,
We are the CHAMPIONS,
So f*ck all the rest.

There said it. Before BD.

Very nice. I've not read it before. If that helps.

offsideattherescue said...


leave it on. Greengrass is just messing with your brain. There's a very good reason why some of us have a sense of déjà vu (excuse my French).


it reads even better the second time!

fred said...

If my memory serves me correctly, Sheffield FC were among the first English bandy clubs.


fred said...

B&B -
ah, a Chelsea fan!
And I thought all along you were Man City.


andrewm said...

nesta, when I go to see my local team everyone laughs if a kid comes out with some abuse, usually their parents as well. What is the world coming to eh?

Interesting read KK.

nestaquin said...

My Nan had a catchphrase when baffled by the ignorance of others, 'each to their own, pet, each to their own.' I think it served as a defense against dementia and Alzheimer's.

She lived to 96 and the last time I saw her she took all my cash in a cribbage game. To this day I regret not taking up her 'double or nothing' offer.

Avarice stole memory from me that day. I've never forgotten the lesson it taught.

kokomo said...

ah yes, deja vu for some of you! this is a very abrdiged version, some interesting things that i have left out:

The 'Sheffield Rules' also included defenders being able to catch the ball, and being allowed to push forwards off the ball - there is apparently an unconfirmed link with aussie rules football here.

Sheffield FC also lent a lot of players to Sheffield United, but they never wanted to go professional. There were 15 clubs in the sheffield area, within 5 years of Sheffield FC, meaning that sheffield really is the home of football.

And the new ground - 'The Stadium of Bright' is for real - it is paid for by the Bright Insurance company, and is modelled on Benfica (not sunderland).

the oldest football ground in the world is also in Sheffield - Hallam Fc play at it, and it has been around since 1860, and has a nice set of twin towers.

marcela said...

Nice one, kk.
I enjoyed it again! :)
I also REALLY loved your beatles song one, and posted a very late comment. FYI

roofus said...

I'm a late comer to the GU sport blog, and hence just missed out on BB, but I was very interested to read the previous BB winners and the articles posted here. Have to say that I'm in agreement with the many of you who have said that the standard on here is often higher those selected for publication by GU.

Quick question, sorry if I've missed the answer elsewhere - is everyone free to submit articles for publication here, and what are the posting rules/standards, and selection criteria?

Thanks, R.

andrewm said...

Roofus, welcome to Pseuds.

Our esteemed editor Ebren is a bit busy at the moment, so I believe, so I'll answer on his behalf (I wish I could say I'm sitting in Pseuds Towers and Ebren's gone out to interview someone, but alas no).

Ebren welcomes articles from anyone that are in any way related to sport. As many as you like. He may hold back on posting them for a few days if he has a lot, but they will appear eventually. I don't think there are any selection criteria as such.

If by posting standards you mean "What's an unacceptable comment?", nothing gets deleted and while most people tend to praise the articles I know Ebren would like more debate as to their true merit, so be as critical as you like.

Send to pseudscorner@hotmail.co.uk

greengrass said...

Andy -
your last sentence was way off-topic,
considering we are on a history blog; please ban yourself.

Roofus -


pipita said...

And to think we argies always tell the uruguayans that their two world cups dont count because they were obtained in pre-historic times...Koko, this latest piece of yours further confirms my fears that you will soon become totally desinterested in Liverpool and football all together

roofus said...

Thanks for the welcome guys.

I'm going to have a crack a writing something in the near future when I get some time and find a subject on which I think I can be at least slightly interesting.

In the meantime I shall continue to reading the quality efforts that are posted and add the off comment here and there.

Great work from everyone so far, keep it up!

mimi said...

You all know I am pretty ignorant about football, and all I know about Sheffield is gleaned from Sean Bean's film but that's about the other lot, isn't it?
Thanks koko for an informative piece. I knew nothing, now I know a bit!

roofus said...

'off comment' should probably have read 'odd comment', but maybe it will soon become apparent that I was right first time.

andrewm said...

GG, I don't want to ban you, but you're begging for it :o)

Ebren said...

Roofus - Ebren here.

Andy is a little generous on the selection criteria. We will not print crap. That said we have a very narrow definition of crap, and most things that are not rants or are at least amusing rants or slightly original make it.

Hope that helps,


mimi said...

ebren: are you enjoying Scotland? We've had a positively summer's day here in the far north. Hope it's been nice down south!!

andrewm said...

Ebren, good point. In all honesty I'm so used to seeing good articles on here it didn't occur to me you might be receiving rubbish, except for the one I sent you of course :)

mimi, where are you getting this weather from? It's freezing in Edinburgh. What's more, that cat I told you about is here again and has just taken a chunk out of my hand. Cheeky little so and so.

greengrass said...

andy -
OK, Modfather, I'm quaking!
I only made a suggestion - I even said "please", quite an effort!
If, however, you choose to get heavy, I feel compelled to remind you that there are ways and means.
Why, for instance, would a lovely little moggy suddenly take a chunk out of your hand?


mimi said...

andrewm: it's well known that Edinburgh always has crap weather. It was one of the downfalls of my relationship with an Edinburgh-dweller. We here enjoy the best of Scottish weather, and I swear to you, it has been HOT today. Re the cat: have you tried the old tin of tuna divertissement? They usually fall for it and spend at least an hour after eating licking own paws. But never be deceived. Small Scottish cats may look fluffy and sweet, but all have the black heart of Stalin embedded in their souls!

MocneJim said...

I'd love to say it was a bag o'shite but really enjoyed it in a crawly-bumlick way.

I think, koko, that you write eloquently without being too glib, have a hint of humour, a sound knowlege and a decent pace.

Sounds like we're all off to Scotland. The Isle of Jura for me on Sunday for the research I need for this story(ies).

The major problem so far is that my fucking language is just too cunting appalling fer a kids footie book.

At a guess its gonna turn into a book about kids football (with not much football content) for adults. Er, like, if anyone cares or owt.

Lovingly yours

Jimanory xx

PS you reckon 4 or 5 bottles of malt for a four night stop over in a Scottish bothy?

andrewm said...

GG, we were having what I thought was a "play" fight, I put him in a gentle, playful headlock which he could easily have gotten out of if he'd wanted to, and then he attached himself to my hand and couldn't be removed for all of two minutes.

mimi, I actually like the weather here, but then I'm just the moody wannabe-existential teen who never grew up.

mimi said...

mocnejim: language is what you make of it. See the Michael Vaughan transcripts for foulness.
andrewm: threaten small cat with a visit from Mattie Hayden! And come visit the Riviera of the North. You'd never believe you were still in Scotland. We have a micro-climate here which any geographer finds it easy to explain. I just enjoy it!

fred said...

Andy -
tell him if he does that again, you'll ban him!


bluedaddy said...

GG: "If, however, you choose to get heavy, I feel compelled to remind you that there are ways and means.
Why, for instance, would a lovely little moggy suddenly take a chunk out of your hand?"

See Voldegrass, I told you I noticed the dark side on your CD. (I did like it BTW)

Spookily I am also in Scotland (in Da Burgh in fact AndyM) this weekend for a friend's stag do. Tell truth I am a little afraid as I cant remember when I last got seriously lashed two days on the trot (christmas doesnt count as that is more drip-feed drinking where you never really feel pissed).

fred said...

BD -
spooky place, Edinburgh.
Maybe if you have a few whiskies before the stag night it will help you endure the ordeal.
Watch out for small, cuddly cats!


mimi said...

i'm suddenly very glad to be too far north for a sudden visit from all you lads on the lash!

Zeph said...

Andrewm, I think what you're describing is actually a feline form of sport. This cat is obviously trying to improve its gnawing average. Does it also practise the more complicated form, which combines clamping the jaws on the human hand while kicking vigorously at the human arm with the back feet? If not, it soon will...

Try the tuna.

mimi said...

the tuna's no good if kitten is already going for the rabbit kick!

andrewm said...

zeph, that's his standard move, with the random gnawing of different areas of the arm, the paws clamped and the hind legs whirring, which I find is more playful. Today, however, he simply stood up and sank the fangs in to a worrying depth.

Never headlock a cat.

BD, watch out for the ghosts of Old Town. A spooky place indeed

mimi said...

andrewm: look at you enjoying something that feels like pain, to my brain.... and I'm happy when it rains ....
don't let the little fur get away with this. Rabbit kicks are not good!

MocneJim said...

Sorry to be an ignorant cunt but where are you?

I'm no help to you I'm afraid. Its more a kind of drip drip Christmas every day here and never a stag night if you know what I mean.

Speaking of stags did you know "Jura" means "deer isle"? Oo er missus

mimi said...

mocnejim: not that it should matter, but I am in the north of scotland - 10 miles due north of Elgin - that you might have heard of - 5 miles west along from the air base at Lossiemouth, and 10 miles east from Kinloss - which is the base that lost 14 airmen just for us it seems a few months ago.

guitougoal said...

mimi must be in coltfeld.

guitougoal said...

sorry,- Coltfield-

MocneJim said...


Course it matters. Nice to think about where people are an all that. Adds to the experience an' that wouldn't eveyone agree?

Well unless yer in Ryll on a wet bank holiday.......wi' Terry Christian stood next to yer and.... another Terry Christian stood on t'otherside, as a Citeh fan might put it.

mimi said...

Much as Terry Christian used to make me laugh - thank Christ he's no where near here!!
And btw, where are you? Mocnejim?

andrewm said...

mimi, I can't think of a Mary Chain lyric about cats, to my great disappointment.

I'm also struggling with my new article "Cats and Sport". My hand hurts too much to type.

BlueinBetis said...


I went to a wedding in Elgin, my cousin was based at Lossie, we went for a weeks holiday after, sampling the whisky and that, very nice. However, bearing in mind it was July mind. Twas proper chilly. The caravan was moving due to the evil wind blowing in from....the North pole, in July. You say it's hot and it has a Microclimate, that is what I was told too.

Lies! I tell you, the only people that were enjoying the "microclimate" were windsurfers in wetsuits, and the only thing "micro" was the tadgers of the men. Hot indeed. pah! I needed to replace my fillings, because of all the shivering. IN JULY!!

mimi said...

andrewm: Weird! Just thinking about you as I listen to Born Sandy Devotional. Not sure what you can do about cat hand injuries. Best to get the tuna out and distract Stalinist dictator with canned fish. I find it works most of the time!

MocneJim said...


Its getting late. Nuff said.


Sat in my room waiting for the missus to get home. Said room is in a three bed rented terrace in wonderful down town Bingley. Yes, as in "the Bradford and..." Not only is Bingley some arse in a bowler hat but is indeed a town in West Yorkshire.

I'll be glad to escape the town next week.

Sleep tight all
MJ xx

mimi said...

blue: you must have been here in an unseansonably bad year! Mostly we have wonderful weather from April to October. Of course, you were probably here the year my mother came to stay .....

MocneJim said...

Just before I go............


Well you were a bit narky about wondering where you were!

BlueinBetis said...

At least I developed a taste for the Ambrosia that is Malt Whisky, funny thing is that of all the whiskies I tried, Cardhu was the worst by far, and it's one of the best travelled. Tamdhu, accross the road, now that was good...I very nearly lied and went and did the tour again.

mimi said...

The best tour to do is Glenfiddich - not only is it free, and very interesting but if you tell them you're the driver you get a small bottle of malt to take home. Glen Grant used to be a good one, but I haven't been there since they were taken over by the Italians.

offsideinthehighlands said...


I hope you were properly shrivelled. Serves you right.

It'll be a wee dram of Macallan for me if we're in the Highlands. A Lagavulin, Laphroaig or Talisker if we're in the islands.


MotM said...

Surely there's no such thing as a bad Malt?

But the Macallan would be my favoured tipple.

I've done the Oban distillery tour a couple of times and it was excellent value. Also v. good was a tour of Martell's distillery in Cognac, a entire town that smells of brandy!

mimi said...

Seems to me that none of you have the geography of Speyside in your heads: easy to do 10 distilleries in one day, and we're laughing here cos Diageo has just announced that they're building a new one at Roseisle.
Andrewm: my small black cat is attacking!

andrewm said...

mimi, my nemesis was carried away by his owner, appropriately enough in a sort of cage. I'll miss him, but not too much.

Night all.

mimi said...

andrewm: you'll miss him more than you're prepared to admit. I bet you!

offside said...

Yeah, right, everybody just go to bed and leave me here on me own...

I hate drinking alone.

marcela said...

i'm sipping a laphroaig as we type, offside.

re cats and sport, andrewm, i was just watching some greyhound racing on tv. they sprint with every limb, so fast the camera seems unable to capture them vividly. i was literally just thinking: "cripes, those bitches look almost like cats".

i've often wondered what those whiskey tours are like.

mimi said...

Marcela: the tours are great fun. It would be my privilege to escort you through Speyside should you honour us with your presence!

offside said...


Ah! Laphroaig... that's a proper pirates' whisky. Usually a 10- year malt but have you tried the 15 year old version? Costs a small fortune but different kettle of firewater altogether.

By the way, I have a pack of the dark american spirit tobacco that you like and would gladly trade for the light blue, milder version (told you I was a wimp).

marcela said...

mimi, if i ever have an excuse, you're on!
any football stories with a south american angle we can exploit up there?

are you anywhere near caniggia, as far as you know?

Offsidesmoker, is the strong packet orange? i am still smoking aged gaouloises a rouler... also on the verge of being ready to trade for something blonde. ah, aging. don't you just love it?

talking about blue, malt, and fortune. i once tried blue label. it is a flavour i have never forgotten

offside said...


not orange, dark blue. I also have a pack of gauloise à rouler but it's safely buried at the bottom of the closet. It'll probably come in handy in a couple of months time when the tobacco supply chain breaks down again in the islands. Sometimes I think they wait until it runs out completely before ordering more, and then it takes ages to get here.

I've lived in Scotland but never went to any of the distillery tours. I usually just go to the pub and sample from the wide variety on offer.

marcela said...

@ March 27, 2007 10:13 AM
offside said...
"This is soooooo gonna turn into a Liverpool thread. Just watch it".

but it soooo hasn't!



offside said...

Indeed, it's turned into a cat-fight and whisky thread, which is a definite improvement.

bluedaddy said...

Mimi, I know exactly where you are. Spent quite a few childhood summers combing the Speyside roads in my Uncle William's Austin Cambridge (with red leather seats), eating pork pies and tomatoes and drinking tea from a flask (anything to keep warm - microclimate my arse. That'd be microclimate as in 'not as cold as the rest of the east coast of Scotland').

My mum was born in Craigellachie (home of the Macallan, malt fans), and brought up in Keith (which for confused non-Scots is a town rather than some child incubator with a dull man's name). It's bloody beautiful up there.

Anonymous said...

yes, it's (it is) bloody beautiful up there.
I think we should use the 3 quid in the PC kitty to buy suitable presents for Sean and Barry, then start saving up for a PC conference at that crazy pub on the Tongue road.


mimi said...

bluedaddy: no offence to your mum, but Keith is actually as dull a town as it is a man's name.
Has none of the fun in its name that a place down the east coast called Inverkeithing has - which provokes plenty of Kipling-esque jokes.

bluedaddy said...

Amen to that mimi. Dour (or doo-urrr I guess) is too shiny a word for Keith. Ma was working in Edinburgh by the time she was 17. Keith will get you on the road early in life I reckon.

mimi said...

bluedad: I love the idea of dour being too shiny a word!

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