It’s that time of the season again, time to get quizzical, quizzical. Think Olivia Newton John in her leotard, leggings and headband on Eggheads. Actually, on second thoughts, let’s not.

The Annual LUSC quiz is a tradition that goes way back. In the 80s, there used to be inter branch quizzing galore, with many references to quiz teams in pubs far and wide across Yorkshire, mentioned in our branch meeting minutes. Not so many moons ago, I remember going to one at Headingley, where the top teams from LUSC quiz were invited to face the cleverest Leeds Rhinos teams. Our branch fared quite poorly in that one too, but it is the taking part that counts!

Sadly now, there is but one main event and it was hosted in The Eddie Gray Suite, in the (Magnificent New) East Stand last night (Thursday 23rd February 2017). Bizarrely enough, when I normally check in at Elland Road, every individual part comes up on my phone, apart from the Eddie Gray Suite, maybe Google Maps have the hump as well.

So the branch entered 3 teams. The newest entry ( The Grumpy Whites) made up from the wise heads of Dave Rowson, Karen (Abbott) Webb, John Webb and the youngest brain of the night, Garforths very own hot shot, Sean Hunter. The Deputy Yates (Jolly Whites) team of Andy Yates, James Proctor, Callum ( Marseille 2nd biggest city in France) Brook and late arrivee Paul ( Smuff) Smith made their second appearance, and the usual doggedness of Geoff Thrush, Mick Barker and The Secretary and The MPO dared to sit where no one else would – right by the window overlooking the car park! True to form we nearly missed the first question as we were too distracted trying to think of the word for fear of heights. We settled for Vertigo Sufferers as the team name, as none of us could remember acrophobia. It’s a good job that wasn’t one of the questions, as we would have got it wrong! Harrogate Acrophobics saved for next season then, unless of course we get there as early as Deputy Yates did, in which case we will pick the lower seats nearest the food.

The MPO would like to extend thanks to the Leeds United catering service for the fabulous pork pie, peas and mint sauce by the way. Andy (I think) the catering manager said that the pork pies were only put on as an after thought, as their planned offerings were un-named meat and potato and cheese and onion pies. Thank goodness someone had the foresight to source the pork pies. You cannot beat a pork pie, mushy peas, gravy and mint sauce for a pub quiz. Admittedly, never had that combination with a bottle of Valpolicella but it’s Thursday, why not?

Last season Geoff, Mick, The Secretary and The MPO vowed to do some revision to prepare, like we do every season actually. And, like we do every season, we arrived at the quiz still not able to put names to current squad numbers between the 4 of us. Shoddy! Sure enough round 5, squad numbers! And not just this season, but promotion winning seasons too. So, after an excellent first two rounds start, the Harrogate Knights sank further into the mire with every Leeds United question fired at us. I can’t speak for the other two branch teams , but save the question of David Batty’s two shirt numbers, we didn’t do very well. The round was soundly topped off with “what was Harry Kewell’s number?” . We answered 666, correct answers on a postcard please…

The “general sport” round flummoxed us too, our answer to “Who is the England rugby union captain? was an inspired Donald Trump, again, incorrect, but good choice I thought. Luckily enough the combination of The MPO remembering that Beth Jordache buried Trevor under the patio in Brookside and Geoff Thrush recollecting how unfairly Gareth was beaten into second place by Will Young meant that the Harrogate Whites managed a joint 4th spot highest ranking, with the other two in the not too shabby 9th (Grumpy Whites) and 10th (Jolly Whites) places out of a possible 16 ( I’ll check that up and correct as necessary). Had The MPO not over-ruled Geoff over his knowledge of the Metropolitan Line and Mick Barker had insisted more vehemently on his 1980s info, we may have still achieved joint 4th, but at least Mick remembered Richard Naylor put a brace past Yeovil.

Our thanks to the above-mentioned for their attendance and of course to the LUSC for their organisation and Leeds United for their hospitality. Roll on next season, let’s try to start reading up sooner and get those squad numbers in our heads. New branch motto viribus unitis (thank you Dave Rowson for that little nugget) and to finish with Olivia Newton John..