The Chairman’s Christmas Message

Posted by on Dec 20, 2021 in Chairman Charley | 0 comments

Merry Christmas Folks! Thanks again go to Former Branch Secretary, Dave Rowson for the article below. It is a mish mash, I think you younger ones call it a “mash up” nowadays, of the last few away days, as Spurs, Brighton and Citeh all basically merged into one. The MPO has reserved “Publisher’s Notes” on the text, but unlike the Editor of “We’re not Leeds – WE ARE LEEDS” , nothing “pervy” has been taken out!

The influencer

Since The Chairman’s arrival on social media, that fateful day 23rd April 2018, when Dave Rowson setup his Facebook account with him at the Swan on the Stray, the world has changed for ever.

Taking to Facebook like a duck to ice skating, The Chairman soon got to grips with growing his followers. Indeed, he soon got to grips with a particular follower, a lady who sent the kids out and invited him around for some tuition in IT. Telling Rouse this story at the Knaresborough bed race in June, Rouse said, “bloody hell, been on Facebook for years, nowt like that has happened to me!!!”

He had a few teething problems getting used to Facebook etiquette at first, re sharing (posts not the lady above). He nearly got himself threatened to be blocked by a few folk, and he also continues to like all his own posts. He has now steadily built his followers to the 5k limit, and now operates a waiting list system, on a “one in one out” basis. Average waiting time for men – 18 months, average waiting time for women – 18 seconds. Running the operation from home on his iPad, he has to take a break from proceedings when out and about, and carries his traditional Nokia brick phone, he’s no plastic fan taking pics in the ground! He assures us though that his brick phone is in constant contact with the control room at home letting it know his whereabouts.

Publisher’s notes – it’s technically called a “candybar” phone as The Secretary has a Nokia 3210 that still works and the MPO still has a functioning Nokia 6700, all classics of their time!

We first noticed the impact of The Chairman’s arrival on T’internet, when he began asking Dave to check him into pubs on away trips. Arriving in a town at 11am and the pub quiet, once Dave checked him in, the pubs always got far busier for knowing The Chairman was in attendance, (not that they had just opened). The presence of The Chairman attracted folk from far and wide to the town and these specific establishments ( according to The Chairman’s infinite wisdom ). This also happens coincidentally, on an evening out in Harrogate. You go out at 5pm, all’s quiet, by 9pm or 10pm its heaving. Below we see a graph of Charley’s impact on the footfall of his chosen venues, next slide please. As you can see this is proven by the analysis of the branch’s top scientist, the Membership Officer, Mr Roy Flynn.

However, it has now gone way beyond this, and the knowledge that his reach expands to his Chinese 8 million followers, has made him one of T’internet’s biggest influencers.

Pop stars now seek him out to promote their tours. He is in regular contact with Hazel O’Connor, Thereza Bazar (Dollar), Susanna Hoffs (Bangles) and now Anita Doth (2 Unlimited). However, when asked about Kate Bush, one of his favourite songstresses, he says ‘no, she doesn’t run her own account and she’s a bit of a nutter in real life’.

Publisher’s Notes – in defence of Kate Bush
1) Kate Bush has brought out a new book, published in November 2021, and she is happy to leave her music as her preferred way to communicate.
2) A bit of clarification of the difference between a “fruit” and a “nut”

His opinions of Kate Bush notwithstanding, The Chairman is now adamant he can make or break venues or individuals based on his T’internet influence. Several bars have suffered as a result of not allowing him entry on a Saturday night, I think as they are worried about being swamped and not having enough staff on (it’s the only explanation as they sometimes still let the rest of us in).

Warm drinks at football –  Bring Back The Bovril!

The Chairman’s power has most recently been demonstrated when on the way to Brighton, The Chairman began a conversation about drinks in football grounds and specifically warm drinks in winter.

The Chairman told us that his favourite warm drink at football was Bovril. However, he recounted a trip to Everton 21st March 1991, a night match second leg of the final of the ZDS Cup no less.

Publisher’s Notes – ZDS Cup was a tournament held between 1985 and 1992 when English clubs were banned from European football because of some very poor behaviour on Belgian soil by some scallywags (checked – I’m allowed to use this term). Younger readers – look it up, a very inglourious part of Liverpool’s history. 

It was a very cold night and the Chairman wanted his favourite Bovril drink however, on getting to the refreshment stand, it had sold out of Bovril (bumper 12k crowd) asking what they had left to drink, he was offered a Slush Puppy!!

Rouse then recalled one of the first Sunday games we played, was away at Hull in the 80’s. Taking advantage of not playing on a Sunday morning he had gone all “Promotion Klich” and got totally hammered (doesn’t need an excuse now not playing, Rouse not Klich). Nearly sleeping in, and missing the bus, he ran it back home to get the tickets, but on arrival at the ground, no tickets were required so they could have been left. He says the only thing that could remove the hangover was the chicken soup served in the ground. Spookily I am sure these were Klix instant soups and used to have machine at office where Rouse worked.

Publisher’ Notes – you can still get these at Nissan Sunderland for a bargain 55p according to Top Gear

Anyway, The Chairman decided at Brighton there should be a “Bring Back The Bovril” campaign for football grounds, and that Leeds United Supporters Club should champion this under the “Get It Back at Elland Road” campaign.

On the trip to Chelsea, he informed us that he had been in touch with Bovril via Facebook and suggested they return to football grounds. Instantly, it seems his influence once again paid off, as at Manchester City on the Tuesday they had reinstated Bovril in the ground.

So, I am sure there will be a tidal wave of Bovril across the country now in football grounds.

If you need anything promoting contact The Chairman on Facebook, (not you Rooney, Derby can @@@@ off!). You would need to be the right sort of approach to get on The Chairman’s radar anyway, possibly a sales cougar?

I bet you’ll have a Bovril now!!!

So, if you want to grow your brand or want a brand destroying, check-in with Chairman Charley. (Now there’s a thought, ‘Evening & Merry Christmas Prime Minister’)

The Chairman’s Christmas Message

Merry Christmas from the Chairman, hope you get something in stockings this Christmas too!!

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Easing The Chairman’s Pain

Posted by on Dec 1, 2021 in Chairman Charley | 0 comments

It’s been a while since the last Chairman Charley, I’m sorry to say. The Chairman has been getting a bit uneasy about the lack of news to keep all his followers updated, but hopefully this chapter will go a bit of the way to easing his pain.

Thanks to ex Branch Secretary and now published author, Dave Rowson for the text. This Chairman Charley is bound to be a lot better than the usual tat that I do.

Cars pains

The Chairman has had a few difficulties lately, namely the breakdown of the trusted motor that took him down to Luton and back in 2019. Dave and Entertainment Secretary, Andy Yates, still talk fondly of that memorable trip. Most notably the “Keep death off the road – drive on the pavement” moment when The Chairman mistook a flower bed for a roundabout on the way to pick up Ripon Kev (HUNTY to his mates) on that very foggy morning, and ended up on the pavement.

traffic incursion!

After that little mishap though, he was the model driver, and did a sterling (Moss) job the rest of the journey.

who needs to look at the road whilst driving? I’m The Chairman, I look where I want

The Chairman’s car, by the way, you’ll be pleased to know, has been fixed and is all present and correct. Luckily when his car broke down, he was literally outside the garage. When the recovery man turned up declared that the clutch was D.O.A, he asked Charley where he wanted the car taken to for repairs. The Chairman pointed across the road, and said, over there. It was the shortest trip to a recovery garage the mechanic had ever undertaken. You know The Chairman – always glad to be of assistance.

Spurs pain

Unfortunately, his car was the least of his worries on the way to Spurs the other week. The major concern was his body letting him down. Rest assured, ladies, that department is OK, the issue was more to do with his left arm.

trying to mouth to mouth resuscitation on  an arm with assistance from cider

The Chairman informed us that he had got a bit of a bad back, and had tried some Deep Heat to no avail, so he decided to use some Voltarol. Since then, his left arm had been aching and giving him grief. It wasn’t only his arm that was giving him grief, as Spurs hailed the return of our driver Jonathan. The usual front of the bus banter of “It’s not a bus – it’s a coach” (now that could be a good title for a book) , had already begun when he may have took umbridge when Dave might have suggested that the coach was a little late to his pick up stop outside Halfords.

In response to this banter, the banter further ensued when The Chairman drew the comparison to Star Trek when Sulu and Chekov sat in front doing the driving, with the main characters sat behind them in chairs, telling them what to do.

Warp factor 8 Johnathan – aye Captain

The Chairman must have been in some pain as he curtailed his pubstop early, returning to the coach as he was in agony. He was offered a massage in a local establishment on the way back to the bus, he says. But he assured us that he turned the offer down.

In the ground, he managed a smile for the camera though. Well there was a lady involved!

After visiting the shiny stadium in a shithole of an area, The Chairman’s pain seemed to be getting worse on the return journey. The on board doctors of Rowson and Smuff PhD, MFI, GPS, MD 20/20 were suggesting a heart attack or stroke. The MPO suddenly paid attention as we were nearing home and said “I thought you were just taking the piss! I would have taken a look if I had realised. Is it swollen?” The reply “Are we still talking about the arm”. Well you can see why, the MPO thought he was joking, can’t you?

On the return to Harrogate, Sulu and Chekov were suitably concerned enough to divert the bus to Harrogate Hospital, and he was delivered to the door of A&E.

Brighton. A story of snow, wind and pain.

Storm Arwen meant a 7 hour picturesque trip down the M1 with jack knifed lorries and snowy diversions a plenty. Fortunately, this gave The Chairman plenty of time to tell us stories of his time in the NHS whilst nursing his pain. When a patient kicks off in the waiting room and gets thrown out, you know it’s not going to be a good night.

When it was The Chairman’s turn to see the out of hours GP, he got sent to wait in an empty room. There was a desk in there with a phone on it, but no doctor. After 30 minutes of waiting, the phone rang and The Chairman eventually decided he best answer it. It was the GP! The Chairman remarked that he could have gone home and they could have rung him there. Dave is not sure if the GP had asked him to put his arm in the air like the Swedish phone engineer in Stockholm in 1984, but it was diagnosed that the arm pain was due to the reaction to the treatments he had applied to his back. He was told not to do it again, and was given painkillers for the bus to Brighton.

After the pubstop in Lewes, we hit the Amex stadium and the sniffer dogs weren’t much cop as they didn’t sniff out his painkillers. The Chairman’s pain was further eased again, when he was plied with alcohol from Kirsty Palmer from Keighley again. She had given him some Capri-sun at Scum and now she gave him vodka and coke. Having a lady trying to spike him in the grounds this season is something The Chairman can cope with, and he has taken to singing the Patrick Bamford song to Kirsty. For inclusivity, he also had a picture taken with a bloke too.

Inner Circle pains (as opposed to inside leg pains)

For the journey home, The Chairman gave us news of his latest entry to his Inner Circle. Contacted on facebook by his first girlfriend from New Park Primary School, she is planning a visit from her Australian base to the UK. After seeing the A&E visit on facebook, she contacted The Chairman to say she wished she could be there to take his pain away. He also informed us he had received other feedback suggesting things he couldn’t do to himself but insisted it’s his left arm and he’s right handed – clearly no Ronnie O Sullivan. (Just would like to point out here, that these words belong to Dave Rowson – NOT the MPO).

The Chairman is now trying to work out how to be in pain when she visits. He rejected a proposal to do the Escape To Victory keepers broken arm, and possibly, as she has been in Oz a while, is going to claim that an escaped snake bit him down below and the poison needs removing.

But Ladies you ease The Chairman’s pain ( I have no idea what that means by the way – it’s what Rowsey wrote)

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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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Doub-Hull Troub-Hull

Posted by on Mar 7, 2020 in Chairman Charley | 0 comments

The trip to Hull was full of reminiscence due to the presence of an old branch member Mr Reynard, seated far too near to The Chairman for comfort. This sparked various memories from trips of old, with the Vesta meal discussion making it’s second appearance.

For your own information, seeing as The Chairman’s audience has been waiting for his verdict…. yes the Vesta Paella was just as tasty as it was 30 years ago. Obviously, it isn’t paella from 30 years ago, as that would probably (like Kiko’s verdict) taste quite awful by now, but as a bonus, it may have sprouted it’s own strain of vacuum packed super penicillin antibiotic.

I digress, the verdict is in, and the modern day equivalent of Vesta paella- tastes as good as it did way back when The Chairman was much, much younger and hadn’t even heard of Just For Men. He will be having his Vesta Chow Mein soon.

Running Away In Rome

The Chairman: Remember that time when I thought we were being chased by that mob with knives and we all ran out and left Stella in the bar?

Q: There wasn’t actually a mob though, was there?

The Chairman: No, but I thought there was and I just ran out

Q: Had you been drinking?

The Chairman: We were buying bottles of wine for 40p

Q: It was possibly something else?

The Chairman: But I honestly thought there was a mob after us, I had to escape

Q: Had you been drinking all day?

The Chairman: I thought we were going to get stabbed, but when we realised we left Stella in the bar, we sent you back in for him

A: Really brave

The Chairman: It was the big escape from Rome

The Banterzone

The Chairman: This is the “Banterzone”

Q: Eh?

The Chairman: The Banterzone, where anything goes. We talk about everything here. This is where it’s at. These seats, the Banterzone

Q: Like what?

The Chairman: Anything. Anything goes. It’s the official Banterzone.

You know when you’ve made it

The Chairman: Remember when we were young, on a night, you used to go out to a club and order food in a basket.

Q: Food in a basket?

The Chairman: Chicken in a basket. You knew when you made it when you ordered chicken in a basket. Everybody would see you and think “yes, he’s made it, he’s ordering food in a basket”

Q: Eh?

The Chairman: Everything in a basket, even soup in a basket. Yes, nights at the Gallop Inn and chicken in a basket.

Q: You never had soup in a basket then

The Chairman: Didn’t need to, you know you’ve already made it already with chicken in a basket

Lucky Shoes

The Chairman: These are lucky shoes

Q: Eh?

The Chairman: These shoes. Very lucky. We haven’t lost in these shoes. 100% record

Q: Did you get them from the Lucky Shoe Shop?

The Chairman: I got them from Sports Direct

Q: Does that make them lucky?

The Chairman: They’ve been very lucky. I got them from Sports Direct £20. Very lucky shoes


……… Somewhere there is a clown with very cold feet… alternatively:

thanks to googleimages for the picture



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Cooking with Stella

Posted by on Jan 8, 2020 in Chairman Charley | 0 comments

We’ve all done it.

You’ve packed your football bag for the day. You’ve got on the train, stacked everything on the table and posted the obligatory photo of your efforts on social media along with your train and match tickets. Got your cards out and settled down with the two Stella four packs that you bought for a bargain 8 quid at Asda. These might see you through the long trip to Barnsley, along with that crate of Dark Fruit your mates’ mate brought along. You pull the first can off those genius plastic rings,which David Attenborough will kindly show you again six months later, decorating the neck of a baby dolphin, crack it open – job done.

The equivalent in Scotland, is you’ve packed your bag, drunk all you can on the train, got off the train, stashed your bag with the leftovers behind the big bins, in the usual spot to pick up after the game (austerity hurts) you know who you are Inverness One(!) ….. and the day begins.

Anyway, you get home 16 hours later, unpack your bag and in the bonus gift that just keeps giving, after that two -one win that day, you find two tins of Stella stuck to a Mars bar wrapper and covered in crumbs from that lonely packet of the multipack mini cheddars, that was attached to the inside of the pack, and burst when you opened it.

It’s happened to us all. Probably to everyone who has ever bought a multipack of mini cheddars, blasted glue gun sticking the top one to the packet, but a rare treat for someone to find two cans that got missed though.

So what to do with the two cans? The discussion on Saturday was not led by The Chairman. He was too busy trying to get comfortable on (and off) his seat whilst singing along to “Linger” by The Cranberries intermittently. He appeared at one point to be, what can only be described as, scaling the mountainous peaks of row 2 which he was sharing with Ex Secretary Dave Rowson. After all that effort, which was basically the equivalent of consecutively conquering Everest and K2, The Chairman finally got sorted and fell asleep. It was deemed too harsh to disturb him after that momentous feat.

The answer? Harrogate’s equivalent to The Jamie and Jimmy Friday Night Feast on the Pier –

Sunday Morning Leftovers Club with Mick and Johnathon.

Q: What would you do with two cans of warm Stella then?

A: Have ’em for breakfast.

Q: Probably make your cornflakes at bit soggy?

A: Try them with your Weetabix then

Q:  It’d make a right mess, fizzy Weetabix, bits floating everywhere.

A: No, put the Weetabix in a bowl, crack open a Stella, chuck the Weetabix, drink the Stella

Q: You could try and cook with the Stella?

A: It’d explode if you put it in the oven

A: No, cook with it, like in a recipe, with food. Bet Mary Berry could do it.

Q: Can you imagine, Mary Berry’s next cook book, Cooking with Stella? Best seller, that one. And then do it on Bake Off

A: Eh?

Q: Can you imagine? ……. and for your showstopper today, Mary and Paul would like you to create a masterpiece with a crate of Stella, a four pack of Dark Fruit, two bags of peanuts and a multipack of mini cheddars. You have four hours. Begin.

A: That would be one to watch. Plus the Dark Fruit would be part of your five-a-day.

A: Dark Fruit does NOT count as your five-a-day. It’s never been near a fruit. The nearest it’s been to fruit is the word “fruit” written on the outside of the tin.

Gourmet dining with Stella not Vesta

Q: What could you cook with it?

A: Anything

Q: Like what? Coq au Stella – doesn’t have the same ring to it. Beef and Stella pie?

A: Beef pie with a Stella

Q: No, like a beef and ale pie, but with Stella instead of ale

A: Can’t chuck a can of Stella in with stewing steak, it’d all go fizzy. Taste bloody awful as well.

Q: Surely, there must be something you could do with Stella?

A: Yeah, crack it open and drink it.


Q: Best thing to eat on Sunday morning?

A: Leftover kebab. Got to be cold, straight from the box, on the floor by the telly, where you left it

Q: What if the dog has been at it?

A: Must have been alright then, if the dog’s ate it

Q: Nothing worse than waking up on the sofa, covered in takeaway from the night before

A: Better than waking up and finding a full KFC untouched.

Q: Eh?

A: When you wake up and find a garlic pizza bread with cheese, 10 piece bargain bucket and a mega mix tikka naan kebab that you ordered but fell asleep before you ate any of it.

Q: How does that happen?

A: If only I knew. Must have been a good night

Q: What do you do then?

A: Crack open a Stella

thanks to the gruaniad for the picture, which was the only place I could find a picture of those plastic rings!


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Hasta La Vesta – baby

Posted by on Jan 3, 2020 in Chairman Charley | 0 comments

It’s been a while but The Chairman was back on form at West Brom – or should that be Vesta Brom?

I think the discussion started when we were talking about how tasty ready meals used to be until the horse meat scandal broke, and how Ex Branch Secretary Dave, now doesn’t eat ready meals, because they don’t taste as good as they used to do.

For further info –  also see Dave’s video

Gourmet food in your cupboard

The Chairman: They were a classic them Vesta meals in the 70s and the 80s.

Q: ?

The Chairman: Remember? You could experience all the different types of food in the world, in the comfort of your own home? Vesta meals. What more could you want?

Q: Literally – EVERY type of world cuisine?

The Chairman: Yeah, you needn’t waste time travelling the world to eat good food. Every type of food under the sun. Just get it in a Vesta meal.

Q: Like what?

The Chairman: All sorts of food you could want. Curries, chow mein, paella, risotto. They did beef and chicken curry. Gourmet food in your cupboard. That’s why I ate paella in Spain, because I’d tried it in a Vesta meal.

Q: Not because that’s what you get in a bar in Spain then?

The Chairman: No! I was shown the way by that Vesta paella. All these people who haven’t had a Vesta meal – don’t know you’ve lived until you’ve had a Vesta meal.

Q: Can you even still get Vesta meals nowadays?

A: Amazon have them at £15, just checked.

Q: Fifteen quid for a Vesta dinner? Jesus! Better be good for that

The Chairman: Told you – classic meals worth their weight in gold

A: Hang on, Vesta beef curry £1.99 at Poundstretcher, easy cook, add water and simmer. Have you got a Poundstretcher in Harrogate?

The Chairman: Gourmet dinner coming up then


Find us the Crispy pancakes

Q: My favourite was those Findus crispy pancakes

The Chairman: Another classic, minced beef Findus crispy pancakes

Q: Did you grill them or stick them in the chip pan?

Q: Deep fry them? Who deep fried crispy pancakes?

A: You were meant to deep fry them in the chip pan, everybody had a chip pan in them days. That’s how you did your noodles in the Vesta chow mein.

Q: Really?

A: Unless you were posh and grilled them.

Q: I wonder if they still do them? Need to find some of them for my tea

A: No, they stopped doing them ages ago

Mr Rowson: Probably because of that horse meat that was making them taste so good.

photo courtesy of poundstretcher website





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