Sunday, 7 July 2013

77 Years of Hurt- Not Anymore!

Congratulations must go to proud Scot, Brit and London resident Andy Murray, who won the Wimbledon Tennis Championship Men's Singles title this afternoon.

Fred Perry was the last British player to lift the trophy, seventy seven years ago.

Since then, UK tennis had failed to follow up Perry's achievement.
For around seventy of those years, they didn't even get that close.

I grew up in awe of players such as Borg, McEnroe, Connors and Lendl.
The top players were so far ahead of anybody British, it was inconceivable that we would get to see anyone from these shores challenging for a Major title.

In my youth, British players were generally considered massive over achievers if they made it beyond their first game on those well kept lawns at SW19.

Other than Virginia Wade, (who managed to grab the Ladies title in the Queen's Silver Jubilee year of 1977), British success at Wimbledon was a pipe dream.

We've certainly left the days of Buster Mottram and his ilk, a long way behind.

Well done Andy.

Scottish and British hero.

Hot Stuff

Welling United 0 - Charlton Athletic 5

So, blogging.
How does it go again?

After around 2 months without football, we reconvened at near neighbours Welling yesterday afternoon.

The sun shone, the beer was cold and the familiar faces were out and about.

The bus trundling between Charlton Church Lane and Welling was sweltering and I instantly regretted not bringing a hat with me.

I had plastered Bald Guyz sunscreen over my dome, relying on the protection for the day.

Despite it being advertised as sweat resistant, I wasn't quite sure it was up to the job.

Playing beach volleyball in Malibu is all very well but the product designers really should have given their guinea pigs a journey on the 486 going over Shooters Hill, on a warm day, inside one of TFL's ovens to really give it the once over.

It was good to bump into lots of familiar people and by the time we headed into Park View Road, over 2,000 of us were eagerly anticipating an afternoon of football again.

The usual game of 'Who He?' played at our Welling friendlies, wasn't really an option this time.
With only one trialist, it was a case of checking up on how many beers and pies the heroes we recognise from last season have tucked away over the break.

The days of footballers heading off for 5 or 6 weeks of excess, then coming back to pre season training to get beasted and sweat themselves back into shape must be a thing of the past.
After only one week back at the training ground, every single player looked ridiculously whippet like, (with the exception of the tubby 'keeper Welling brought on for the second half).

Even over their holiday period, it is clear that today's players have to take it easy and keep an eye on their diets.

The first half saw 3 goals from Pigott and one from Kermorgant.
Kermorgant was pulling the strings and set up each of Piggott's efforts.

My favourite goal was Kermorgant's strike which he skillfully managed to slice around the advancing defenders with the outside of his boot.

On the subject of boots, I'm about to have an old man grumble.

Back in the day, anybody not sporting 'proper' black boots would have been laughed off the pitch, swiftly consigned to the fancy pants Jessie category and promptly kicked into the stands for being some sort of deviant.

Alas, not today.

From our front row seats in the Old Stand at Welling, we had the most appalling view of the players footwear as they warmed up just (ahem) feet from us.

Only Johnnie Jackson came out of it with much credit as his boots weren't quite so evil looking.

Some of these players should be ashamed.
Look away now if you are easily offended.
Surely this madness has to stop?

The second half of the game was a much tighter affair with both teams changing their line up completely.

Welling deserved at least a goal but couldn't quite get the breakthrough their approach play merited.

The only goal of the second half was a late penalty, (an obvious hand ball despite the howls of protest from the Wings supporter sat behind us), tucked away by Danny Green.

Tubby got quite close to it but Green wheeled away in celebration to make the final score a rather emphatic 5-0.

It could have been worse for Welling as Hollands managed to hit the cross bar just a minute later when most people thought the ball was destined for the net.

The traditional amble across the playing surface, despite the best efforts of stewards who all knew it was about to happen, finished off a rather pleasing couple of hours.

It was then back to the pub, a couple more hasty beers before wandering down to the Thai Dynasty where we ate like kings, enjoying the dishes that kept on coming as we ordered and reordered.

A bus heading back towards North Greenwich was all that was needed to complete a top day and with the bus stop directly outside the restaurant door, it couldn't have been simpler.

A rewatch of Quadrophenia on DVD, was just the cherry on top to send me to bed smiling.

It's good to be back.