Halloween Hee Bee Gee Bees

Posted by on Oct 20, 2020 in Blog | 0 comments

Ladies and gentleman – I give you the fabulous Mike Myers. Plus, if that wasn’t enough to give you the Halloween hee bee gee bees, I am even going to add that amazing intro to John Carpenters’ classic 1978 movie Halloween

but that Silver Shamrock clip from Halloween III Season of The Witch? That’s a step way too far for any child born in the 70s.

In previous seasons, Halloween is about the time where the jitters start. Owners start to get itchy feet and those managers who haven’t had a particularly good start to the season begin to get that horrible creeping sensation on their necks, that maybe something just isn’t right. Of course the tell tale sign is normally when the Chairman does an interview on the telly and claims that the manager has the full backing of the Board. In that, they want to see the back of him! But because of the delay to the start of the season because of bat flu, some might be spared their blushes, at least til Christmas. However, it’s hardly much Saving Grace is it?

This was our own club BB (Before Bielsa), happily not any more. Since the collective stroke of genius that was Radrizzani + Orta + Kinnear +/- ? Christiansen for bringing in some players in which led to Bielsa watching us? (who knows??). Whatever combination of events led to Marcelo Bielsa taking an interest in us, we were lucky. Lucky that he was tempted by what he saw. He must have seen something in us. There must have been something that made him see that we had potential. At 65, he’s hardly a spring chicken is he? But he’s no old warhorse like Warnock either.  In all this time he has been at ER, why hasn’t anyone asked him why he chose us? Or have they and he just hasn’t said or he’s sworn people to secrecy? There’s no doubt at all that he chose to come to us. Yeah, Victor Orta might have put the feelers out, but as the old saying goes, you can take a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink it.

Bielsa is like one of those clever neighbourhood cats. The ones that just turn up because they know they’re gonna get fed and fussed after. The ones that everyone from the post office to the pub knows. Children, adults and the older ones, all see it and give it a pet, and people will feed it but no one actually knows who owns it. It will come and do what it wants to do in your garden, because he knows it pisses you off and he loves it. But he’ll come and wind his way round your legs til you feed him, because he knows you will and if he doesn’t like the food, he’ll go elsewhere. He’ll even have a kip on your chair or ride the bus until his stop, and then he’ll wander off. Like Rudyard Kipling’s Cat That Walked By himself, as those people who stop and ask if he wants a lift to Thorp Arch know, Bielsa Walks By Himself and all places are alike to him (if you didn’t do it in English at school –  read it)

Back to the Horrors of Halloween, it wasn’t so long ago when we were going through managers like it was going out of fashion. Bat flu has extended the lease of life to some of the more fortunate, but there’s no doubt at all, with current standings, courtesy of bookmakers.co.uk, Agent OGS is in the running.

But which Charmed One would take his place? Pochettino? Or would they try to resurrect Fergie? Now that would be a proper horror show. Let’s hope that the Scum Board are so eager not to lose face that they keep Ole Ole for a bit longer.

There’s no doubt at all that not having fans in the ground has made a massive difference, and perhaps that is the key to PL and EFL managerial survival. Maybe that’s why they are keeping us away. If there had been a full crowd at Villa park with 3,000 away fans would 7 had gone in without a car radio being chucked at Martinez? Would Spurs have slotted 6 in Salford before a load of prawn sandwiches had been hurled at Son? Mind you, not having a crowd didn’t help Sir Ferme LaBouche the Forest manager, considering that celebration when they beat us last season, you’d have thought that they got promoted, won the PL, the European Cup and secured InterGalactic Peace in that 90 minutes. I won’t even mention Derby…. Please note, I know his name is Sabri LaMouchi but those of you who know a bit of French, will understand the comparison that I have drawn.

However, even though we haven’t played 6 games yet, the excuse generator has  already been hard at work. I rarely watch any pre match build up on SkyTVisf**kings**t, basically because I cannot stand Jamie CareerScouser’s drawl. It’s like that Cerys from Catatonia, whose accent became even more annoyingly Welsh (sorry Taff!) after she got famous from 1997’s Mulder and Scully. I’ve met a lot of people from Livarpool in my lifetime, and none of them sounded like that. It’s how people who aren’t from Liverpool wind Liverpudlians up by putting on a Scouse accent. Dreadful!

Unfortunately, I had already had my tea on Monday, so I was a captive audience with my cuppa and packet of “perfect for dunking” Foxes Viennese biscuits. I didn’t want to get the remote covered in tea, so I was subjected to Jamie’s whining about how Dick Van Dyke getting injured and Scum and ‘Pool dropping points last week, meant that “all that would be needed was 90+ points this year for the title” and “the bar is being set really low this season”. It’s as if winning the league is a done deal. It’s as if winning the title for the first time in 30 years, with a lot of help from VAR, automatically entitles you to a winning run.  Maybe Jamie and Jimmy know something we don’t?

What I do know is that until we get back into the stadia, the results are going to be skewed. Like all Leeds fans who have the luxury of attending games home and away (I say away hopefully!), the atmosphere that we generate has a massive impact on our players and the opposition team. We ARE the 12th man. We are part of the backline in defence and the extra 5 yards at the front. We are the extra man in the wall and the extra height at the corner. We are the extra last ditch block in the box and the extra man hitting on the break. In the battle between Leeds Fans v Halloween Hee Bee Gee Bees. Leeds fans would win.

Football is nothing without the fans. Roll on November 9th.

Halloween (1978) - Photo Gallery - IMDb

Thanks to IMDb for the image

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Mick Punt RIP

Posted by on Oct 17, 2020 in News and Events | 0 comments

Today is the day Leeds United as we know it came into being 101 years ago. So it is poignant that on the day we celebrate the birthday of our Club, that it is the day I pay tribute to our mate, Mick Punt, as Leeds United is thing that brought us together.

Mick was Leeds through and through. His first game was in 1964 and he watched his beloved Leeds from behind the goal in the Scratching Shed until the Kop opened in 1968 and he moved there and has been there since. Even as he got older, he still preferred to watch his games from behind the goal.

Apart from one match in the Dark Days of the 3 day week during the power strikes back in the 70s. It was the Cup game against Liverpool and Mick’s boss had kindly said that anyone who had a ticket to the game could have time off to go and watch it. Mick climbed the tree at the side of the Peacock to watch the game which was all fine and dandy until the next day. As many people are aware, the Daily Mirror had a back page photo spread of fans who had tried to see the game, and Mick was there in the picture sat in a tree. His Boss wasn’t very happy about that at all, and when he quizzed Mick about it, Mick just said, ” I just told you I was going to watch the game”. Not much got past him.

Mick’s favourite player was Billy Bremner and his favourite game? The 7 – 0 against Southampton.

Mick started travelling with our branch in 2009. Curly Chris introduced us, saying that he knew “3 good lads who just wanted to go watch Leeds”, and that was that. Another reason that he started coming on our coach may have been that trip they had to the play off final against Watford in Cardiff. Steve remembers how on the way back their coach driver got lost and they ended up sat at Cardiff docks. The driver managed to turn the bus round but somehow managed to lose a bit of the back of the coach, and the passengers helpfully got off to retrieve the pieces for him. He also managed to hit the curb going over a roundabout in a journey home reminiscent of the film Speed. When they stopped at the services, they found out that the drivers’ manager had been on the phone and had sacked him halfway back. no wonder they started travelling with us, nothing like that ever happens on our bus!

Mick’s regular travelling partners were Steve Orchard and Paul Scott, and they were nicknamed the “Shaw Survivors” after the branch inadvertently stumbled into “Defend Shaw Day” prior to our FA Cup tie at Oldham Athletic in November 2009. This was one of The Chairman’s poorer pub stop suggestions.  However, considering their first game with the branch was our infamous trip to Crewe (yet again another of The Chairman’s brilliant ideas!) via Sandbach on 21st March 2009, where we found ourselves sharing the town with 250 Boro fans en route to Stoke, it could have been worse. The Rozzers ordered us to stay in one pub, which was duly noted with all due respect as everyone just went for a wander anyway.

Whatever life threw at Mick, and there have been a fair few obstacles, if Mick could physically get to a game, he did. Despite all his health problems, he made the trip to Arsenal in January – and back! He was never any trouble on the bus, and always happy to have a sit and a chat with anyone who wanted to have a beer and set the world and Leeds United to rights.

Mick will be missed by all of us in his extended Leeds United family, but he will be missed the most as a best friend, partner, father and grand father to Sue, Matt, Jo and Ella, Daniel, Isla, Caitlin and Brandon.

RIP mate.

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6 out of 3

Posted by on Oct 2, 2020 in Blog | 0 comments

Who would have thought that at the start of the season? 6 points out of 3 games?

I’ll tell you who, NOBODY apart from maybe the bloke who won that £122 million on the Euromilions the other week.

When the fixtures came out, we got dealt Livarpool away as our opening fixture in another continuation of the summer’s Universe of Alternate Roald Dahl, typified by “Tales of the Completely Expected aka Stories of The Blatantly Obvious”.  It was hardly surprising at all that we would find ourselves at the end of 90 minutes plus the necessary injury time required to achieve the “correct” result, 12 inches or at least a misplaced foot (or arm), away from a deserved draw from that game. Enough has been said already about those penalty decisions. In reality, it doesn’t matter what we think, once that final whistle is blown, that’s it, game over …….. unless of course you are Scum, it’s the 100th minute of the game and you were promised 3 points. Harsh? Never.

Our next game against the might of that dedicated follower of fashion, Scott Parker (and his jardigan) and the Capital’s second favourite club, Fulham was another 7 goal thriller in the end. But them, T’Blades and Livarpool for our first 3 games, for me spelled potentially the worse start to the season we could have. It could only have been made even worse if we had got Everton away as well. Our top flight bogey team. Some wise person will dig out the stats but it’s something daft like 11 wins in 52 visits to Goodison in the last century. It’s never been a good hunting ground for us. We last won in 1990, I think.

Why Worry? And I don’t mean the opening track of the Dire Straits album Brothers In Arms. Why? Because barring injuries, Fulham and T’Blades had that lethal combination of players who always score against us. Mitrovic, that McBurnie bloke and Billy ‘Blades 4eva’ Sharp. Whilst Bielsa knows his craft, this isn’t something that Marcelo could beat with just good football. This is jinx, bad hoodoo, bad vibes, witchy craft stuff. You may laugh at my superstition, but how many of you had a panic when you saw Wilder bring on McBurnie and Sharp? Admit it, ALL of you. I saw that subs board go up, saw them lining up on the touchline, and it was squeaky bum time. As for the Fulham game, admittedly we scored some damn fine goals against Livarpool the week before, but when Koch took the hit for another dodgy penalty, the only thing going through my mind was Groundhog Day.

But it’s all behind us now. 6 points out of 3 games. Brilliant. An average of two points per game will see us in Europe. Dare to dream? Yeah, we dare. It’s like standing up and flicking the V’s at the Premier League. Something you see in the movies, triumph over adversity, but we have to be careful. Bielsa needs to tread carefully.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, the old cliche (as opposed to Klich), EVERY game will be a Cup Final in this league. Especially this season, the first season back in 16 years. There’s the usual “Dirty Leeds” nods to battles of old at ER and the odd away (Stamford Bridge – Ken, and I don’t mean the one near York in 1066), but this season there is the Bielsa factor. Since we got promoted, every pundit has said that Bielsa is THE coach of all coaches. The “One”. Mourhino was the “Special” One, Guardiola the “Focused” One, Klopp the “Chosen” One who finally got Liverpool the title after 30 years, Frank the “Fat Cry Baby” One and finally Ole, the 100th minute winner One. For you older readers, I know that at Newcastle at some point, Kevin Keegan, Kenny Dalglish and Alan Shearer were called The One or at least The Messiah, but I can’t seriously think about Steve Bruce without seeing Robin Williams as Mrs Doubtfire, so I’m not going to digress further.

As I said, every pundit has talked up Bielsa as the man that everyone has learnt from. But frankly, up until he joined us in 2018BB (Before Bielsa), I can’t remember them ever saying anything of the like. Can you? When they were talking about Guardiola, they just went on about how well he did at Barca. Pochettino, rarely was he ever mentioned in dispatches saying that Marcelo had taught him everything he knew. I know I am a sceptic and I always see the worse in people, they don’t call me The Anti Altruist for nothing.

SkyTVisf**kings**t / BT / BBC pundits are deliberately placing Bielsa on a massive pedestal, in the hope that if he falls, the crash will be calamitous. They are setting him up to the scale of Christ The Redeemer proportions, desperate for a Pompeii like catastrophe. They want a Leaning Tower of Pisa style toppling, but given that the Leaning Tower has been leaning for the last 840 years and has STILL not fallen over, Lineker is in for a long long wait. I would say that his hair will turn white, but it has already.

The rest of it?

Well, the transfer window is still open as I type. I said after the Liverpool game that Koch just needs time to bed in. There was never any way that he could do a Ben White and just slot straight into the team. Ben White was the Player Of The Season for me last year. Absolutely outstanding. We need to get him back when Brighton give into us after Christmas, and just hope to God that he hasn’t lost any of his fitness in between times. The fact that the season ended and then there was such a short period in between to get everyone training together after all that booze eventually got out of their systems after we got promoted, doesn’t help. They haven’t played properly as a team sufficiently. Then again, 6 points out of 3.

Goals? Patrick is on fire. 3 in 3 games. I can’t help thinking that the good start to this season and pretty good end to last, has been helped by the lack of whingeing from the stands. Like Chris Wood proved in his last full season with us, he can score goals. He just needed the crowd to get off his back. I’ll repeat what I said in a previous blog. If he was tattoed within an inch of his skin, had a ponytail and was knocking off Scarlett Johansen, Margot Robbie and that one off Game Of Thrones all at the same time, you still wouldn’t like him, because he’s a bit posh. Numpties.

Domino's Pizza Boxes | Fast | Standardized Work | Overproduction |Lean  Blitz Consulting

thanks to below for the picture of what I will be eating tomorrow before the Citeh game


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Jeff “let’s just have one more in here” Radcliffe RIP

Posted by on Sep 25, 2020 in News and Events | 0 comments

Jeff Radcliffe sadly passed away in the early hours of the morning before Leeds United were due to play Liverpool their first game in the Premier League for 16 years. As Jeff would say “bugger it”.

I have thought long and hard about how Jeff would have liked me to write his story. There are many, many tales of his exploits, most of which we would have been reminiscing over at his wake, but we can’t, because we’re not allowed to. So, thanks to John Farrell, Taff, Crawford and The Secretary, I have put this together, and I hope Jeff would have approved.

After waiting all this time to see us play in the PL, we finally got promoted (even though we never got to see the last few games) and on the morning of our first game back in Division One, where we belong of the game, Jeff ‘s time honoured tradition of “let’s just have one more here” was thwarted by the Grim Reaper . Let’s just be clear about this, Jeff was not seen off by the bat flu. For a start, bat flu would not have got within ten foot of Jeff’s carefully controlled constitution. Thanks in part to a dedicated lifetime of  smoking and drinking, bat flu would have stopped in it’s tracks and run off in the opposite direction, shrieking in terror at what was in Jeff’s blood stream. Jeff didn’t mess about with white and red blood cells, Jeff’s defences were provided by alcohol and nicotine.

As part of his rigid health regime, keeping his body and soul in tip top form, Jeff’s pre match haunt these last few years was near the butter section of the Queens Arms Carvery on Harrogate Road . He would occasionally enhance his butter based brekkie with a bit of bacon and sausage, but as we all know, everything tastes so much better with butter. His Saturday morning trips to ER would begin with the 36 to the Toby Carvery at Chapel Allerton for his rendezvous with those little gold wrapped blocks of delight, followed by the bus into town to The Templar. Because neither Taff, Crawford, Dave Poole nor Ellie were any good at directions, more Sherpless than Sherpas, Jeff eventually decided that forking out for a taxi was the best option to save his legs, and the only sure way he could actually find his way to the Golden Lion for a decent (cheap) pint of sovereign. He would sit and marvel at the lunches produced by John at the pub, especially the chicken dinners, even though he had munched his way through his daily calorie intake just a few hours earlier. He always liked the Golden Lion ….. and it’s prices when it was his round. After the game, they would head off into town to the Three Legs where Jeff would often be found chatting up the fairer sex, before a return back to HQ on the 36.

Jeff always had a way with the ladies. There are many photos of him in their company boogieing the night away. In Torquay at a pre-season friendly, John remembers looking all over for him in some bar at 3am , only to find that he was having a whale of a time on the stage, dancing with some nice young ladies. Jeff was really enjoying himself, only to find out later that the “young ladies” were in fact a group of transvestites on a night out. On another long away, they had gone into Leeds to meet up with Steve Rankine before joining the Bradford Whites bus and Jeff got talking to 2 lasses. Jeff took them aside and cheekily said ” come with me, I’ll give you the ride of your lives ….. I’m off on a coach to Yeovil”.

From what I can gather, bearing in mind that this was a long time ago and John Farrell’s memory of it may not be as clear as what it could be (not due to tobacco either as he doesn’t smoke!), Jeff started watching Leeds United in the promotion season of ’64. Jeff was at the Cup Final against Liverpool in ’65.

Like most in the early days, Jeff just paid on the gate, but when we were forced to get season tickets, Jeff watched Leeds United from all over the ground from his seat, initially in The Captain’s Corner,  then the Kop and later on in the North East Corner. He also loved travelling to pre-season friendlies to Ireland and Scotland, and got to as many as possible. In the year we first qualified for the Champions League, Jeff went to every single game, mostly in the company of Messrs John and Jim Farrell, Harrogate’s own Three Musketeers.

On his 60th birthday, Jeff, John, Jim and Chrissie’s (Jeff’s sister) husband, Tony all went off to Limerick to watch Leeds play in the pre-season friendlies. The four of them and Chrissie were found in the Waggon and Horses most matchdays, or rather outside having a smoke. Jeff had always wanted to watch Leeds United play at the Bernabeu. This pinnacle was reached when Leeds played Real Madrid in March 2001 in the Champions League 2nd group stage, he stayed in Madrid for four days and loved every minute of it.

In one of his infamous pre-season irish tours, John recollects that they had stopped in some digs in a small town on the train line to Dublin. They left the hotel at 9.30am to catch the train. On the way to the station, Jeff spotted a friendly publican having a quiet fag outside his pub. He stopped and asked him what time the pub was open. The man said 12.30 but you can come in and have a quick one whilst you wait for the train. 6 hours later they eventually emerged to go catch the train – in Jeff’s immortal words  “we’ll, just have one more in here”.

Jeff’s unerring sixth sense of finding decent pubs came to a fore at the play off final against Donnie in 2008. They had hired a minibus and Jeff was in the front seat. Those of you who can remember that day and haven’t erased it from your memory, will recollect the huge queues on the M25 because of the roadworks. They decided to get off the motorway and head to Rickmansworth and get the train in from there, despite the fact that none of them had ever been there before. As they came off the slip road, Jeff said “go left down there, it’s the Golden Lion”. They all looked at each other and decided not to argue with him and turned duly left. And there was a pub! It was called the Golden Lion! They had one in there and got back on the minibus and miraculously Jeff did the same again and again, leading them to 5 pubs in total, en route to Rickmansworth to catch the train. They were all amazed at Jeff’s unbelievable insight into the pubs of Greater London, until he fessed up and produced a Wetherspoons map! Jeff also introduced the branch to Beckenham WMC at the Crystal Palace game when we got back into the Championship. It was adjacent to Selhurst Park, and was favoured by ourselves and a number of other branches due to the friendly welcome by the locals, cheap beer and good company, with the odd barbecue thrown in for good measure. All thanks to Jeff ,who was duly rewarded by free drink all day by the grateful committee.

The Secretary was occasionally joined by Jeff in the home end at away games, especially if tickets were in short supply. This had mixed results as you can imagine. Away at Exeter City in Division 3, all was well until Jeff needed to visit the facilities, as you do. The next sighting of Jeff was as he was being led down the side of the pitch towards the visitors terrace by a helpful steward, having asked for directions to said facilities in a broad Yorkshire accent, thus blowing his cover and failing to convince said steward that he was actually a cider swilling local yokel from Devon. Whilst The Secretary stayed warm and dry, 8 inches of rain fell during the game on the uncovered visitors end and by the time he got back on the coach, Jeff resembled a drowned water vole. However, he cheerily said it had not stopped him having a fag at half time.

On another equally wet occasion at Bradford City in the home end, splattered by incessant driving rain, the miserable stewards refused to hand out those free plastic ponchos. As the stand was roofless and The Secretary and Jeff were visually incapacitated, because they did not have windscreen wipers installed on their specs, they headed to the nearest ticket office to demand a refund. Needless to say, this request was refused and there was no option but to demand that the beleaguered ticket office staff ordered them a taxi to the nearest warm, dry pub. The ticket office were happy to oblige in order to get rid of the unwelcome noisy visitors and the rest of the game was spent in a nice, warm, dry pub. Once again, there was no stopping Jeff having a fag at half time.

The one thing that anyone who remembers Jeff will think of is his love of dominoes and cards. Sadly, dominoes and cards did not appreciate his love and devotion, and his fondness for those classic pub games was a love unrequited. In fact, in John’s opinion, Jeff was THE worst dominoes and cards player in the whole world. John recollects the day they travelled to Arsenal on the train. Jeff had bought a brand new set of dominoes and a set of cards for the way down. 17 games of dominoes and numerous card games later, he had lost every single game and in a fit of pique, chucked the whole lot, dominoes, cards, pens and paper, out of the train window at Crimple Viaduct, claiming that they were all “robbing bastards”.

On a personal note, The Secretary will miss his usual Christmas Day pint with Jeff.

Thanks for the memories mate. God Bless. Rest In Peace.

Jeff In A Pub – where else would he be? …. ok outside having a fag!

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Hasta la Vesta

Posted by on Sep 23, 2020 in Chairman Charley | 0 comments

The last Chairman Charley was way back at the Hull game in March. It seems like it was a century ago now. Back when we were able to enjoy an away day like normal civilised human beings, March 2020 BBF (before bat flu). So, this new season’s Chairman Charley comes from his seat at the Harrogate Arms, rather than Row 2 of the coach.  The musings last Saturday? Scott Parkers’ (lack of ) sartorial elegance and an update on the vesta dinners. It was hasta la vesta to both Scott’s rather disastrous choice of open, deep collar sweater and The Chairman’s supply of his favourite convenience food.

Fine Dining

Q: Guess what I did after the Liverpool game?

A: Had a load of cider, went to the chinese, got a special fried rice and beef chow mein, tripped up and threw it all over your car like you did last time.

Q: No, guess what I had instead?

A: What guess what else you threw all over your car instead of special fried rice?

Q: No, guess which Vesta delight I treated myself to?

A: I give up, just tell me

The Chairman: I had the beef curry. It was really nice. They are gaining popularity now you know, thanks to me. Can get them at Asda and Poundstretcher. Perfect post match food. The chow mein is very good and it cooks so easily, hardly any cooking involved.

A: Plus there’s the bonus that you won’t have the chance of throwing it all over your car on the way home.

Appropriate Pitchside Attire

Q: What the hell is Scott Parker wearing?

A: Eh?

Q: He looks like he’s just stepped out of a 50s clothing catalogue with that cardigan on

A: Eh?

Q: That thing he’s wearing on top. Look at the lapels on that! What’s the point of that?

A: Keeping him warm but allowing him freedom of movement?

Q: It’s pointless. That’s not doing anything. Better off just wearing a jumper. What’s the point of all those buttons?

A: To be honest, I’ve not really noticed

Q: It’s like what people used to wear in the 50s. Yes it was all the rage then, like smoking jackets and slacks

A: He’d look better if he turned up wearing a smoking jacket in the second half

Q: I bet he thinks he’s really stylish, but he just looks really stupid. You don’t wear that sort of stuff at football

A: Maybe he just wants to look smart for the cameras

Q: What looking clever in a cardigan?

A: Fashion forward 50’s football casual

Sunday morning 5 a side football

Q: These VAR decisions are about as much use as asking the bloke that was on the sidelines at 5 a side on Sunday mornings, who was too hung over to play because he’d been out all night, if it was a goal or not.

A: Eh?

Q: Remember? When we were at 5 a side and there was always one who couldn’t play and was just stood about? You used to ask him if it was a goal or not?

A: Really

Q: Yes! When you didn’t know if it was a goal, the one who was smoking always got asked it it had crossed the line?

A: Was there actually any point asking him, seeing as he was probably still pissed from the night before?

The Chairman: yeah, well. It would still be miles better than VAR now.

True True.

Men's shawl caridgan 50s | Shawl collar cardigan, Shawl collar cardigan  pattern, Mens shawl collar sweater

Scott Parker’s Guide To Pitchside Fashion Thanks to GoogleImages for the picture

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