Thursday, 18 May 2017

Scotland the Dave

If you live anywhere near where we live here in sunny Guiseley and have nothing to do this Sunday morning/early afternoon, I have just the thing for you.  

My old pal Dave 'Paddy' Sherrard (above) is bringing his young rugby charges down from Hillfoots RFC in Scotland to play our boys at Aireborough. 

Here they are.

And in true Aireborough spirit, we're planning to make a bit of a fuss of them.

It's the first time Aireborough has hosted a touring junior club and everyone is rightly very excited about the whole thing.  

So here's what's going on.   

The 40-strong Hillfoots squad are due to arrive at Nunroyd Park no later than 10am.  This is the precise moment when our bagpiper and cornet player will miraculously appear.

At around 1020, Aireborough players across all age groups from the Micros (Under 6s) upwards will congregate in front of the clubhouse in one group behind the flag of St George.  The Hillfoots boys will gather up alongside them behind the flag of St Andrew. 

And led by Bagpiper Jason, they will march - accompanied by familiar tartan tunes - to the main pitch for the pre-game formalities. Namely the anthems.  Hell yeah.

Both groups will again line-up behind their respective flags.

Then Jason will play Flower of Scotland in honour of our guests, all of whom I'm assured have learnt the words.

Next up will be 12-year-old Finn McQuaid (from good Irish stock) who has kindly agreed to play God Save the Queen on his cornet for us as the host club.  I will be VERY disappointed if the collective singing of our mums, dads and players isn't heard several miles away.

The players will then break-off into their individual teams with Aireborough's Under 10s, Under 11s, Under 12s and Under 13s taking on their Hillfoots counterparts at 1030. 

But the other Aireborough boys will not be left out.

Thanks to the ingenuity of the club's junior coaching coordinator Kris Brook, other rugby-related activities have been laid on for them including rugby rounders, rugby netball, kick tennis and rugby golf.

And are we stopping there?  Don't be silly.

Instead, it will back down to the clubhouse (Jason and Finn will have gone by then but I'm happy to whistle as we process) for barbecue and live music - possibly in the car park if the weather is good.  I've even heard rumours of a raffle. 

Most importantly, we want as many people as possible to come along and enjoy the fun. You don't even have to know anything about rugby.

To illustrate, despite the fact that he's leading the Hillfoots tour and is a fully-qualified rugby union referee, I can tell you without fear of contradiction that Dave knows absolutely about the game     

Indeed, he doesn't seem to know that he's not really Scottish and actually comes from Portrush.

What he will learn on Sunday, however, is that he's buying the first round.

I hope to see you (and your family) there.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Celebrate (this party's not over)

Greetings, dear readers. Did you miss me? Sorry? 

Well I kind of missed you, which gives me the moral high ground.

I've been away, you see, back to my native land.  There were some sporting events on and I thought it best not to miss them.

First up was the Irish Cup Final.


Sadly my beloved Coleraine lost 3-0. 

But, well, we made the best of it.


Next up were the North West 200 motorbike races, which I go back for every year.


That's Guy Martin you can see above during Tuesday's practice session. He's on the telly quite a lot drinking tea.

I got so close to the action because my mate John made me an official marshal for the day.  


I've never felt so important. Me and the lads, like.


You may have noticed that the weather was good that day, as it was for most of my 10 days and nine nights on the Causeway Coast.


This demanded a celebration.


But, come race day on Saturday, the rain came.


Of course it did. But the racing was still great. 

Which was surely a cause for another celebration.


I'll be back over again soon.

When I look forward to a celebration.


I'll think of a reason nearer the time.


And, who knows, I might even squeeze some work in.


Monday, 1 May 2017

Vicky is a wimp


A big day in our house yesterday when our very special friend (and Jamie and Charlotte's godmother) Vicky came round to officially switch on our new patio heater.  All three bars of it.

And how the crowds cheered. 


The occasion was all the more significant for the fact that Vicky actually travelled all the way from Hong Kong simply to perform her civic duty.

She's been working over there since the start of the year and seems to have found her feet very swiftly.


Well, I say that.

Since Vicky's been away, I've been a tad concerned that she might lose her legendary ability to party.

So Vanessa put her to the test.


Nope, it's gone.