The ‘Football Family’ really does care

Nick Cruwys

After a Watford fan, Nick Cruwys, was attacked by rival Wolves fans in an unprovoked attack, a disgusted Wolves fan opened a ‘Go Fund Me’ page in order to bring some decency back into football. An initial figure of £1,000 was set as the target to raise. That figure has now been surpassed  many times over as football fans, irrespective of allegiance, and members of the general public respond with kindness to a situation that was born out of nastiness and hatred.

As of 8p.m. on the 15th March, the fundraising page for Nick Cruwys has raised exactly £37,752.

Gender doesn’t stop you being recognised as a legend

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And neither should it.

Birmingham City have inducted a new player into their ‘Hall of Fame’ to sit alongside luminaries already residing there such as ex-stalwart and 23-cap England keeper Gilbert ‘Gil’ Merrick and Britain’s first £1m footballer Trevor Francis. After collecting her 100th England cap, Karen Carney was honoured with her photograph being added to the wall of past heroes in the ‘Legends Lounge’ as St Andrews. She was introduced to the crowd at half-time where she was given a framed certificate confirmng her as a veritable Birmingham City legend.

Carney was skipper of Birmingham City Ladies who took last season’s Women’s Super League by storm, being pipped to the title despite having a budget and resources dwarfed by rivals such as Manchester City and Chelsea’s ladies teams. Carney joined Birmingham City Ladies at the age of 11 and made her debut aged 14; her first international cap coming at the tender age of 17 in a 4-1 victory over Italy in 2005.

Good on you Birmingham I say.

Vultures will circle even when the body isn’t a body

Mowatt

Clubs lower down the league ladder will always be like small fry when Premier League teams come a-buying with their riffling chequebooks. Suddenly, when a player sparks and starts to stand out from his teammates, then the Premier League alarm bells start to ring. This is par for the course, nature of the beast if you will.

This is what is happening at Leeds United, a team who looked nailed-on relegation certs at the end of 2014, but whose changing formation and fortunes in 2015 pushed certain players to the forefront of attention. Suddenly, Leeds United Academy products like Lewis Cook, Sam Byram and Charlie Taylor are being seen as ‘Prem targets’ by quivering Leeds United fans.

One of these is Doncaster-born Alex Mowatt, whose goal-scoring feats (8 goal joint-top scorer at the club) and dead ball prowess has catapulted him into the limelight with the national press rumour-mongering that Liverpool are preparing to launch a summer transfer bid thought to be in the region of £5m.

To a team like Leeds, riven with a £22.3m deficit and Football League transfer embargo, £5m is seen to be a figure that might tempt the club hierarchy to ‘cash in’ their chips and sell Alex Mowatt.

Inventing transfer rumours might just be the next way of winning games

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When a striker can’t score, that’s like having a bucket with a hole or trying to push wet spaghetti up a hill; futile and pointless in the extreme. A striker that doesn’t score has usually been either: a.) taken to one side and given a boost in confidence with a ‘word from the management’ or b.) given a new training regime in the hope that goals flow from training pitch to match day.

However, it seems that the latest ‘trick in the book’ that works may well be the old ‘transfer rumour and is he/isn’t he routine’. It certainly worked in the case of Blackburn’s Jordan Rhodes. Rhodes, who was last season’s Championship Silver Boot, behind Ross McCormack, was suffering that old chestnut ‘loss of form in front of goal’ and was relegated to a bench place in recent games. This led to rumours surfacing up on Teeside that Middlesbrough were interested in taking the prolific Scot on loan for the rest of the season. This led in turn to a vehement denial from Blackburn’s manager Gary Bowyer and three subsequent goals from Jordan Rhodes in the two games since.

Norwich are also interested in Leeds’ Mirco Antenucci – watch this space.

Health and Safety has gone mad in Suffolk

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Fearful of a Noel Hunt shot going anywhere other than the goal [allegedly], Ipswich Town have decided to ban children under the age of 5 (and their accompanying families) from certain levels of lower tier stands.

The old chestnut of ‘creating a safer experience’ and ‘improving match day experience’ have been rolled out to force these children and their families (76 under-5s have season tickets) into designated ‘family areas’ in certain stands designated for that purpose.

Understandably, families that might be affected by this decree have issued grumblings about it with their accusations of ‘health and safety have gone mad’ being countered by Ipswich Town with the decision being ‘a response to the danger [of] footballs being hit into the crowd.

I suppose the change is to avoid instances like this.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZHkIaN7kaI]

All Ipswich Town had to do was insist that families with children under-5 sit within 5 yards of the goals. That way they’d be safe from errant Noel Hunt shots.

Disclaimer:

This isn’t a pop at Ipswich Town – more gentle japery at Noel Hunt who couldn’t score for Leeds United