Est 1875

The Association of former pupils of Archbishop Tenisons School

Edition No . 26 . Winter 2007.


Letter(s) From Reader(s)


Cricket :

And Finally:

Hi everybody! I do hope that this issue of the Mumblings will come as a pleasant surprise to you. It is not too long ago that I pressed the send button on the e-mail thingy and breathed a huge sigh of relief as MM25 started its journey to you, via Brian Lester and Alan Baker. I thought that my stint as Editor of the Mumblings was at last finished. So why are you reading this now? Well pull up a chair, make yourself a cuppa or pour yourself a glass of your favourite tipple and I’ll tell you.

Firstly, thanks very much to those of you that contacted both Alan and myself to thank team Mumblings for their efforts. The letter that really made me stop and think was from Davey Orchin. Dave English had just dropped me off, quite late, on our return from Mick Keating’s annual golf tour to the Emerald Isle. After telling Joan all the news over a cup of tea, I settled down to read David’s letter, which had arrived whilst I was away. Dave seems to be leading a happy and hectic life down in Seaford, Sussex, doing a couple of voluntary jobs, playing bowls and enjoying a few pints of Harveys’ whenever the opportunity presents itself. Whilst Dave told me he doesn’t miss London at all, he regularly returns, as a Millwall season ticket holder.

However, what shone through the letter was David’s absolute pride and pleasure in being an Old Tenisonian and the part that the Mumblings had played in keeping him in touch with what today’s active members are up to. Whilst allowing him to wallow in the nostalgia that letters and articles from earlier times evoked.

I have to say that David’s letter made me feel a little uncomfortable that the OTA committee had not been able to identify, cajole or coerce anybody to takeover the armbands and eyeshade that are integral to the job of Editor of the Mumblings. David became the focus of my thoughts on the matter. I did not want to let him, or any other like-minded Tenisonian, down. So I tried to think about the matter in a different way. In the increasingly busy world that some of you inhabit, to take on additional long-term responsibilities is not an easy ask. Though it might be possible to identify a number of individuals who might be able to produce and edit just one edition and thus the concept of a ‘guest’ editor was born.

The next night was coincidentally the OTA AGM. There were just six of us there (shame on you) with apologies for absence from five more. When it came to discussing the Mumblings I put forward my idea, which was warmly received by my five colleagues, one of whom immediately volunteered to produce an issue adding that it would be nice to have at least one Mumblings containing correct spelling and grammar (Et tu Brian).

So the Mumblings is not dead! Long live the Mumblings! The new President and his committee, who and which is the same as the old President and committee, hope that there will be several of you out there who would like to have a go at producing one solitary issue. I bet there must be a few of you out there who fancy a go. Of course you will need a computer and the internet and all that stuff, or perhaps a John Bull printing press. It would be for the committee to feed any guest Editor with any copy from Sports Clubs, School and Association news etc; leaving the Editor to be both as personal and focused as to his or her (why not) choice of content. Well anyway, that’s the idea and I thought that it was only right for me to present it to you in this edition.

Ground Company News.

Firstly, on behalf of the Ground Company Council of Management, may I thank all of you that have responded so generously to the “Tractor Appeal”. Your donations have allowed the Ground Company to continue to run its business in a fairly normal fashion, with no loss of services to the School, the Old Boys or any other users. We still have a debt to service but thanks to you it is considerably less than it might have been.

Perhaps the most significant news we have from the Ground Company is that we have had an approach from a building company to develop the old ‘tennis court’ area, behind the goal. The developer seems confident that he could obtain the relevant planning permission. I’m sure some of you will remember that the Ground Company itself applied for planning permission several years ago. Our application was rejected at that time but we have been informed that councils are now far more receptive to planning overtures, as there is such a housing shortfall around greater London.

This is, of course, very exciting news but these things tend to take a long time and none of us should get ahead of ourselves. The Ground Company may even have to put itself further in debt if we are to afford the professional fees that will naturally be incurred in such a venture. Keep your fingers crossed for us and we will do our best to keep you in touch with developments.

To help the Council of Management in this and all other matters we are delighted to have persuaded John Pearce, Chairman of the Football Club to join us.

From: "Mike Myerson" <myerson@allegro.com.au>
To: "Alan Baker" <alanbaker13@hotmail.com>
Subject: Re: memories are made of this
Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2007 21:52:26 +1000

Dear Alan and Vera,

Many thanks for forwarding Bob's " last " Motspur Mumblings. There are not
enough lifetimes to do everything one wishes to do so we have not yet made
it to an Old Boys re-union.

We were able to chaperone Mickey Brown and Janet around Brisbane when they
visited in February which was most enjoyable. We would be delighted to do the same for you and Vera at any time. (Don’t answer the door for a couple of months Mick, the Browns are back again!)

Some of the old guys who remember acting at OT may be interested to know that at the moment I am appearing in Oh What A Lovely War at the Gold Coast Little Theatre. (I expect all of Mick’s former school team mates will remember him spouting his lines from whatever his current production was, normally after a glass of beer too many. I particularly remember his ‘Noah’.BB.)

For my sins I play the MC, a Drill Sergeant, a French Officer, 2 British Generals and a soldier in the trenches. As an old musical hall star yourself, you will appreciate the sense of nostalgia and fun I am having.
Believe it or not, we do a 4 week run of 4 performances per week and have an audience from all around the world each night paying 10 pounds a ticket !!. Trouble is it is all amateur so I won't get back for the cricket season this year. Still, one must always have a dream. Next Ashes visit perhaps. The current series against WI gives me some heart.
Very Best Wishes,
Mike Myerson

From: "Roger" <rpc@nexcon.co.uk>
To: <alanbaker13@hotmail.com>
Date: Wed, 20 Jun 2007 12:55:09 +0100

I would like to add my thanks to Bob Blewer for the Motspur Mumblings edition he has lovingly produced.

I especially enjoyed Albie’s recollection of Chris Wellman scoring his ton against the Old Boys on the Oval, even though I was one of the bowlers who failed to get rid of him. Even though this happened 51 years ago, I have clear memories of that game. We knew that when I came onto bowl Chris would try cart me for four. I had played the two previous seasons in the School team with Chris. We were right and he mistimed it with an easy catch to mid off where Harry Throrogood dropped it. It was the only chance he gave. Spinning a ball on the Oval was not nearly as easy as Lock and Laker made
it look.

My Memories of school are mostly to do with sport, and Cricket in particular. The School had superb grandstand views of the Oval. In those days, Surrey were winning the Championship six years on the trot, with Peter May, Lock, Laker, Surridge, the Bedsers all performing for me to watch for free. Provided I could manage to spend a great deal of time glued to the window, without being punished or being thrown out by the teachers. I remember a batsman from a visiting County team pulling a short ball and then there was chaos, no one knew where the ball was, until Lock with a great
big smile on his face produced it from his pocket, he had superb reactions.

We used to do selection for the Old Boys at the school and then dash over to the Surrey Tavern for the odd ale or three, and in those days some of the Surrey players used to come into the Surrey Tavern. Lock, Loader the Bedsers etc, would have a drink with us and stand and chat about Cricket. I am still waiting for it to be the Bedser's round, everybody else bought their round but never them. Lads as young as 11 and 12 used to wait at the pub door for autographs, and to get these from the Bedsers they used to be told to carry their cricket bags to the Oval tube station. It took two or three to carry
these bloody great big bags. These were the days when not too many people owned cars.

At this point I would like thank, very belatedly, Ken Peet and Dennis Bartlett for all the lifts they gave me to Cricket and Football.

Perhaps a new Editor will appear over the horizon, and we can dig deep into our memories of when we used to go on Easter football tours. Well football was given as the reason for a nice long weekend. Four games in four days, running on just alcohol. Selection for the third and fourth game was traditionally done on the morning of the game, by Jamie (the then groundsman) and myself, and it consisted of walking around the hotel knocking on doors, any slight response (even please go away!) meant someone was still alive and therefore playing. I remember one year playing the first three games, and
then being lazy and picking myself as goalkeeper for the fourth game.

Roger Parker

Cricket Club Captain’s Report.

The cricket club has had a very difficult year due to a shortage of players at times during the season. We knew at the start of the season that it was likely to be tough but injuries to key players, a spate of weddings and other engagements made it much more difficult than expected. The unfortunate thing was that the second eleven had to abandon two fixtures near the end of the season and both teams played with only 10 players a few times. The consequence was that both teams finished at the wrong end of the table.

Despite all these problems, the players who turned out each week were magnificent. It would have been very easy for them to be disillusioned and demotivated. This was not the case. Everyone tried really hard and some results could very easily have gone the other way. The big bonus was that some second eleven players got their opportunity to play in the first team and did really well. James Varney (Reg!) as an example bowled exceptionally well and showed great team spirit. Reg came to us from the school and encouraged one of his schoolmates (Andy) to play for the club. He is doing well in the second eleven and is showing good potential. Charlie Hubbard played in the second eleven and was opening the bowling each week. He took plenty of wickets and has the potential to play first team cricket. We also had the benefit of a South African mate of the Butcher’s (Johan Kriek). Johan fitted in magnificently as a wicket keeper/batsman and got better and better as the season went on. Unfortunately, it looks likely that he will be returning to South Africa to work shortly. We wish him well whatever he decides to do.

As ever, the Committee worked tirelessly throughout to make the best of a difficult situation and deserve much credit for their efforts. We had the best teas in the league and had a lot of fun. The recent AGM was well attended and the club is determined to do better next year. We clearly need more players. If any readers know of any cricketers who might want to play next season, please let me or Micky Vaughan know and we will arrange for them to come to cricket nets (Sutton Grammar School) in the winter.

Jim Butcher
Club Captain

2nd XI Report

The 2ndXI started the season with a lot of enthusiasm with some new players, sadly that optimism evaporated with several injuries and unavailability in both XI’s.
The spirit of the side showed all season, with some dogged draws against the odds. Paul Powell, Mick Vaughan, John Munden and Barry Mercer all scored fifty’s, and Neil Osborne frustrated many attack, however the lack of consistency was as ever, a problem and no one scored runs on a regular basis.

The bowling was steady, led by James Varney, Andrew McNestrie, John Munden and Dez Emanaus. Barry Mercer’s injury meant his bowling was sorely missed. Charlie Hubbard was a good addition to the side, bowling extremely well for his age in an adult side. Jack Sadler another colt, performed well when he played.
Troy Webster kept wicket competently in his first full season.
The bowling missed Paddy Blewer, who did play, but was unable to bowl. Newcomers Sandip and Santosh played well, when they were available.
Unfortunately, with players going up to the 1st XI to cover injuries, it was the second team that suffered most, and received one or two heavy defeats as a result.

The dire part of the season was making the league record, for the wrong reasons. Another 10 man side, dismissed on a wet wicket at Ewhurst for just 18!
In August, for two consecutive weeks we couldn’t even find 10 players and had to concede the games, for which we were not popular with the league!
For most part the season was enjoyable, and with a full, fit squad hopefully will prosper much better next season.

Micky Vaughan.

Oh no!

As I write, it’s a lovely autumn day but listening to the radio, a dark cloud descended as I heard that the Streatham Locarno (now Caesars) is to close. It is unlikely that many of the people reading this will have not have strutted whatever stuff they may once have had at this legendary venue. Radio presenter Robert Elms (a close friend of Gary Kedney), whose parents met at the Hammersmith Palais, wondered what percentage of Londoners owed their conception to liaisons formed at the Locarno in the South, the Hammersmith Palais, west, Tottenham Royal, north and Ilford Palais in the east. Well, anybody want to own up?

Before promoters discovered disco, they had to pay proper musicians to play dance music. Often two bands a night would play at these venues. After the first set, the stage would revolve to reveal the second band seamlessly taking over from the first band. This was before my time of course but those of you that remember those days may well have seen my late Uncle John, who led the second band to Bob Miller and the Millermen at the Locarno and to Joe Loss at the Palais. Presumably, not on the same night. Peter and Geoffrey Leberl’s dad also played at the Locarno.

It must have been around the late sixties when a few of us would occasionally go to the Locarno. After closing time, naturally. The way I remember it was that the men inhabited the bars and would occasionally take a walk around the dance floor perimeter, gandering groups of girls invariably and famously dancing around clusters of handbags. Towards the end of the evening panic would set in. First the bars would close, which was bad enough, soon to be followed by Englebert’s lament. The Last Waltz, a terrible song but slow enough for even the most inept of us to shuffle around to, always assuming you could find a girl who hadn’t already been stamped on in the rush.

Now it seems that today’s young people prefer to stay in their pubs and bars until the early hours, drinking themselves insensible. They will never know what they have missed and another part of our lives and heritage is going, going…..


Mick Keating’s Golf Tour to Athlone. July 2007.

I have been very fortunate that firstly Gary Kedney then Jeff Lamb have written comprehensively of the goings on the Taewd Society’s (a wholly owned subsidiary of the OTA) annual tour. This year, not knowing there would be another Mumblings, I did not commission anybody to write about this year’s tour, so I’m afraid it's me again.

The stick started to fly the moment we got on the coach at Dublin Airport. Terry Smith, for it was he, told Jeff Lamb that his last tour report had been turgid. Being greatly experienced in these matters, Jeff did not respond on this occasion but what was interesting was that perhaps half of our party had never heard the word ‘turgid’ before. Like a kid with a new toy, the half of the party who had never heard the word ‘turgid’ started to include the word at every opportunity. ‘Tel, do you think my Guinness is a bit turgid?’ ‘Tel, have a look at my cornflakes, I think they’ve gone turgid.’ ‘Bit of a turgid putt you’ve got there Tel.’ Etc.etc.

You may recall hearing of the stringent fine system put in place by “Taff” Evans and a couple of other like-minded fascists. The tour starts on Thursdays but “Taff” was not arriving until Saturday but he did not let that stop him. Mick Keating’s phone rang. It was “Taff” saying he wanted Blewer fined for whatever jacket he was wearing. Mick looked round. “Taff, he’s not wearing a jacket.” “What’s he wearing?” Mick turns round again, “A pink jersey”. “Fine him!” says “Taff” and thus it continued.

This year’s competition was reduced to only two rounds to enable the short tourists i.e. those who could not join the long tourists until Saturday, to compete. Co-incidentally not one of the short tourists (Evans, Kedney, Tonks and it was great to welcome Ronnie Byrne, in a none playing capacity) is over 5 foot 9 inches tall. Somebody suggested that this might favour the high handicapper as it would be possible for them to have two good rounds but the chance of a high handicapper putting four good rounds together was remote. And so it proved, the winner being Terry Smith playing very well off 28.

Our evenings centered on a couple of boozers in Athlone, one of which claimed to be the oldest in Ireland, a claim made by at least one pub in every town in the country. Gerry Reardon took the train from Dublin to join us on Saturday night and it was great to catch up. Gerry is not drinking quite as much these days and it certainly showed towards the end of the evening. The ‘oldest ‘ pub had some great music for those of the ‘diddley-dee’ persuasion.

Our awards dinner on Sunday night was somewhat delayed, as the hotel had no record of our reservation. Having spent vast amounts of cash in the bar over the previous few days, we were not best pleased. Mick Keating wisely chose Gary Kedney to go and remonstrate with management. Gary came away with all sorts of concessions and I was only slightly surprised when he returned without the deeds to the hotel in his pocket.
At the end of our meal, Mick Keating gave out the awards and as you might imagine, Terry Smith accepted his with all the grace of Arthur Scargill receiving a surprise visit from Margaret Thatcher at teatime.

Another great tour with Mick’s organisation first rate. I am already looking forward to next year, if I can afford to go. After another abject golfing performance on my part, Dave Woods suggested a change of equipment might help, what with golfing technology having changed so much over the years. After one outing, my new sticks seem to bare a striking resemblance to the old ones. So thanks for all your help Dave!

Golf – closer to home.

I’m delighted to report that Bob Daws has volunteered to organise a Golf Day, open to all, next April 2008 after the clocks have gone forward. Bob has suggested the Bletchingly Club as a reasonably placed venue, just ten minutes from junction 6 on the M25. Bob played there recently with his own club and was made to feel very welcome. They had tea/coffee, bacon rolls, a round of golf followed by a light lunch of ham egg and chips for about £40. So if any of you fancies a day out with both old and new friends, do give Bob a call. Home 0208 393 4981 or mobile 07726777806 or e-mail randj-daws@talktalk.net

I have one supplementary golfing question. Before they step on to the course in their golfing designer chic, what do the professionals wear? Are they chauffeured to the course in three-piece suits or do they wear jeans and tee shirts? Anybody know?

Ground Company Quiz.

1. Alan Ayckbourn is the artistic director of the Stephen Joseph theatre. Where is it?
2. In which forest would you find the Rufus Stone?
3. Which country produces the wine Tokaji?
4. What was the date of the Gunpowder Plot?
5. Which sport must be played right handed?
6. Chinook is a computer programme that is said to be unbeatable at which game?
7. In the Bible, what was a publican?
8. Who composed the music for the film of the Dambusters?
9. On the Monopoly board, which property would you find between Trafalgar Square and Leicester Square?

Another sample of questions, one from every round of Alan Baker’s excellent annual quiz. This year was the tenth year of the quiz, which has now raised somewhere in the region of £4000, everyone of which is crucial to the Ground Company’s efforts to serve the School, the Old Boys and its other users. Plenty of the people who were there on Friday 23rd November will have been to the previous nine and I feel certain that many would not want to miss any in the future. Alan’s handling of proceedings is central to the evening. His unfailing good humour, spiked with a touch of mischief in the presentation of the questions he has worked hard to source, is simply excellent. Aided and abetted by Vera (food and scoring), a brace of Carols (raffle), Ron Forest, whose data collection was considerably more secure than HM Government, with Paul Kain and Neville Perkins handling the bar, this is indeed a Carlsberg quiz team. Probably. (Tragically, Ron Forest died just a couple of weeks after the quiz and Alan Baker offers a brief obituary later in this issue.)

The evening raised a bumper £550 and Alan would like to thank all of those who supported the raffle so generously. For the second year running, Susan Johnson’s Wallington Eggheads were victorious, once again beating the Byrne/Smith/Moriarty/Hind team who in turn were ecstatic to have beaten the failing/flailing Blewer/Brown/Simmons team.

1. Scarborough.
2. New Forest.
3. Hungary.
4. 1605.
5. Polo.
6. Draughts
7. Tax collector.
8. Eric Coates.
9. Fenchurch Street Station.

150 Club Results for 2007.

March June

Special: £50 No.53 R.Huntley Special: £50 No.38 C.Mannion
1st £25 No.74 A.Baines 1st £25 No.66 E.Mercer
2nd £15 No.28 A.Baker 2nd £15 No.46 B.E.Lester
3rd £10 No.41 S.Mannion 3rd £10 No.130 M.J.Brown

September December

Special: £50 No.54 S.Mitchell Special: £100 No.19 D.G.Baker
1st £25 No. 63 D.Bryant 1st £25 No.91 R.A.Daws
2nd £15 No.124 Mrs.J.Daws 2nd £15 No.123 E.Mannion
3rd £10 No.84 B.E.Lester 3rd £10 No.2 K.Joiner

Thanks to all of you that continue to support the 150 Club, every little helps. Unfortunately the Club is way way short of 150 members and even more disappointingly there are still many Old Tenisonians who do not support this simple and inexpensive method of assisting the OTA in an ongoing fashion. It also has to be said that there are very few of todays active sportsmen who have joined the 150 Club. To those of you reading this magazine who are not members, no matter what your individual circumstances are, surely £1 per month is unlikely to break many peoples bank. If you can, send a cheque for £12 or multiples thereof to:

Mick Keating
58 Feering Hill
C05 9NL

Mick Keating has been administering the 150 Club for a very long time. He has got the members of his golf society to join up to 150 Club and many of his work colleagues but feels that the efforts of the OTA generally, to fund the Association, are short of what they might be.

In the early part of 2007 Mick&Taff arranged a dinner and dance to raise funds for the Club. It was so poorly attended by our members, that Mick has decided that whilst he is prepared to continue his stewardship of the 150 Club, any additional efforts to raise funds can be better directed to a more deserving charity. The evening itself was considered a great success by those that went (I unfortunately could not attend.) but if the members of the Club who will directly benefit from Mick’s efforts can’t be bothered to make an effort then we don’t deserve him in any case.

Change of address:

Presumably, in his efforts to stay one step ahead of the authorities, Alan English has moved. Again. To:
11 Wheeler Way
Isle of Wight
PO37 7HF

Mr. Ronald L Forrest - Chairman of the Sports Ground 1996-2007

It is with great regret that we report the sudden passing in December of Mr Ron Forrest, who was a member of the Management Committee of the School Sports Ground at Motspur Park for almost twenty years and its Chairman for the past eleven years.

Ron’s son Peter attended Archbishop Tenison’s School and it was as a member of the School Parents Guild that Ron was first elected to the Sports Ground Management Committee.

As a Chartered Surveyor with McAlpines, Ron brought an invaluable expertise to the management of the sports ground. Never was this more evident than in the days following the School’s decision in 1996 to withdraw from any part in the management of the sports ground. Ron became Chairman of the Sports Ground at that stage and through his wisdom and experience developed a team which ran the ground in a businesslike and professional manner of which he was justly proud.

Ron was a great supporter of the Old Tenisonians’ Association and was frequently to be seen at Annual Dinners. However, it was his independence from the OTA, which gave an essential balance to the work of the Sports Ground Company, which it will be almost impossible to replace.

The Sports Ground and the OTA has lost a great friend.

Alan Baker.

Keith Cathcart.

It is with a heavy heart that I am writing this obituary of my lifetime friend Keith Kennedy Cathcart. Keith was born on December 29th 1945 in Forest Hill, London, and passed away on October 9th 2007, aged 61 years. The cause of his death was a sudden, unexpected heart attack and he died instantly.

I first met Keith at Tenisons in September 1958. It was my first week at school and Keith was just beginning his second year. We hit it off and remained very close friends for the next 49 years. In his early years at Tenisons, Keith was regarded as a bit of a lad and was caned more often than most of us managed to eat a school dinner. He was sent home from ATC camp in his fourth year for smoking in public, which didn’t please his father very much, as he was an ex RAF man and expected better from his son and heir. After a severe talking to, Keith decided to buckle down and concentrate more on his schoolwork. I clearly remember the day, when I was in 5a when Mr Bates (Basher Bates to the initiated) came into the form room and said” Boys, there’s hope for you all, Cathcart has just passed O level Geography!”

Keith and I were in the sixth form together. He did A level Geography and Geology and passed both. He was an excellent pen and ink artist and his Geology note books were a sight to behold.

Keith was never much of a sportsman at school, but was a good swimmer and was very keen on motorsport. This translated itself into a lifelong love affair with motor cars- you name it, Keith had it-Bentleys, Rollers, Ferraris, Astons, Porsches, Jags, Mercs,etc,etc.
I recall one occasion when he and I had a drive in his beautiful Aston Martin Lagonda Drophead, and he managing to spin it on the roundabout in front of Buckingham Palace. Those were the days!

After school, Keith and I both went to Kingston Polytechnic (now, University), he doing Law and me Economics. He left after one year, as he found the pace of academic life too constraining, and he joined the advertising business. After I graduated, I too joined up with Keith, and we worked together for about one year, before he decided he wanted to become a property developer. In fact, Keith remained in the property business for the rest of his life.

During the period in the advertising business, Keith met his wife June, and I met my wife Toos. I was the best man at his wedding, and he was best man at mine.
As you all know, Keith was a very sociable man, and there are many OTs who would remember many an occasion in his company when the drink and the conversation flowed. In these circumstances, Keith only ever did things to excess! Keith’s relationship with his many OT friends was always very important to him.

Almost everyone I’ve spoken to since Keith’s death has spoken of Keith as being a larger than life character. He was not only physically large but his personality was one to match his size.

In the years since Keith and I went our separate ways, career-wise, we kept in close contact, as did our families. In May 2007 Keith and I took a journey down memory lane together, and we re-traced our steps and re-visited Sitges, where he and I had spent several holidays together before we got married. It was a very nice experience, although the character of the town had changed dramatically since 1970, both in it’s size and It’s clientele, as it is now the Gay capital of Europe!

Keith was a real character, liked a good laugh, and for those of us who knew him, he was someone who added another dimension to our lives. Keith will be sorely missed but fondly remembered.

Keith was married in 1973 to June, and he leaves three children, Simon, Emma and James and five grandchildren.

Eddie Boyle.

I knew Keith only vaguely at School but was fortunate enough to become a friend in the late sixties through our joint membership of the Wednesday night Crown & Greyhound/ Old Tenisonian drinking club. A body of men I have mentioned in previous issues. We all grew up, married, moved; got proper jobs and went our separate ways. Sadly, for many years, the only time I might run into Keith was at an Old Boys dinner and dance. Subsequently it was Ed’s School Dinners that Keith was a regular attendee and every year he would greet me and others, not with the firm handshake, which is the common currency of our Association but with an all enveloping embrace and often a snog. I’ll miss him.

Keith’s passing, however, makes me realise once again, the importance of School Dinners. An opportunity once a year to renew all those old friendships which we can so suddenly be deprived of. Ed will soon be contacting you about the details for this year. I suspect they will be largely similar to previous years. The date, Friday 11th April. The venue, St.Georges Hotel, Langham Place. The cost, £26 of the best-spent pounds you could ever imagine. If you have not been before and are not on Ed’s database, you can write to Eddie Boyle at: -

Old Rose Cottage
65 High Street
TN16 1RE or phone Tel No. 01959 562888 or e-mail EddieBoyleNLP@AOL.Com

I am also very sorry have to report the death in the first week of the New Year of Janice Moore, wife of our former teammate, Jon. Janice had been ill for some time and will be greatly missed by all who had the privilege of knowing her. Many of Jon’s old teammates from both Millwall and Old Tenisonians, were present at her memorial service held at The Medway Crematorium, which was barely big enough to hold the number of people that wanted to pay their respects to a special lady.

I have also learned of the death of Wally Goss. Wally worked tirelessly for years for both the AFA and the FA. His work with the AFA bought him into contact with the Old Boys League (as it then was) and it was Wally that presented Old Tenisonians Football Club with a certificate from the FA to mark our centenary back in 1998 and which hangs proudly in the pavilion. The following year he was instrumental in securing a grant from the FA to aid the Ground Company in their efforts to renew the drainage at the ground. BB

Football Club
Over the last few years the Football Club have been lacking in all sorts areas, discipline, finance and general organisation. Glenn Cain has let me know that on the League website, you can find marks given for various performance aspects as correlated by the AFC. Many older members would be saddened to see how far we had slipped over the years but I’m delighted to be able to report that having reached rock bottom, The Club have turned things around and are showing massive progress in all areas. There is still a way to go but if the Football Club can maintain this progressive trend, we will once again have a Club we can all be truly proud of. Credit must go to Angela Coll, who in her first year as Secretary has done a fantastic job, Chairman John Pearce and Kevin McCarthy, together with all the skippers and committee members.

1st XI
This year’s first team are made up predominantly of last year’s second team and hence this year was always likely to be difficult with them moving up a division into intermediate South. Having said that the team has responded well and, with a few new players, the team holds steady at 6th in the league only losing 3 of its 11 games. Indeed, prior to their 2 recent defeats the team were unbeaten in the league for 7 games albeit managing to draw rather than win the majority of them. This spell included some thrilling encounters notably a 4-4 draw against Chislehurst Sports club where the team came from 3-1 down at half-time with only 10 players on the field (due to an injury rather than any sending-off) to be leading 4-3 due to 2 goals from their inspirational captain Matthew Sellick. With seconds to go they were only denied a brave victory by a last gasp Ronaldinho style free kick from the opposition. During this period the team managed 20 odd goals with Alan Hale and Sean Lacey weighing in with several of them but perhaps the most pleasing aspect was the 4 clean sheets they achieved, something unheard of in the results for this team last year. Stalwarts from last year, Dan Willis, Will Newts and Chris Thornton have been near ever-presents in the defence and this is reflected in the results. A mention should also go out to Jake Hickie who has been inspirational in the centre of the park and played every game for the team this season. Apart from his footballing abilities, Jake also has to run about 15 miles a game being the only player under 25 and not the wrong side of 30!!

Some of the other key players remain from last season including Gareth Parry, Neil Dann, Andy Oko, Kev Sellick and Rob B. These have been supplemented with some good players, new to the club, including Duncs, Lee (scoring for fun when he makes an appearance), Steve Thomas and Gary Baker. All have done a great job in key positions. We've also had the reappearance of some old boys in Tworty and Big Dom who've recently managed to tear off the shackles put on them by their recent child production activities. Consistency of selection has still been a bit of an issue with stag do's and weddings abounding but the team has been able to adapt fairly successfully each week maintaining a core of regulars and has played some really good football at times.
The keeper position has been a bit of a millstone around the neck for the team with no fewer than 11 different people having played between the sticks already this season, with some seriously 'mixed' results. However, this is hopefully all in the past with the signing of a 'proper goalie' in Jon Davey who is now playing regularly for the team and is proving a solid presence at the back of the defence.

Hopefully 2008 will only bring good times on the pitch, the good form will return after the mini-slump and the team will climb back up that table.

Cheers, Kevin Sellick

Thank you very much Kev’. I know you and Matt are pretty new to this captaincy business but somebody should have told you that team members are only allowed to get married at the end of the season. If they play cricket as well, then I think there may be a window of about a week or two at the end of April. I’m sure the girls will understand! Tee hee. BB.

2nd XI
The 2nd XI has started their second season with the club (let me just explain that this team previously played their football with Old Meadonians but finally saw the light. Ed.) and have enjoyed the friendly atmosphere, good facilities, extensive support from all the
other teams and excellent club spirit since they arrived. A good first
season last year saw them promoted from Div 2 South to Div 1 South. However,
this season has started indifferently, already out of both cups, one of
which (AFA Junior) they felt they had a good chance in, especially after
last seasons good cup runs.

Captain Sam Davey thinks the team will challenge in the league and finish
near the top, but a few wins are required to get the campaign back on track.
The indifferent start can be put down to a number of reasons, the main ones
being their outstanding keeper from the last 3 seasons - Kevin Bosher can
now only play occasionally due to a change in jobs. Also a few of the elder
statesman in the squad - Gary Chequer and Falcon Nicholson have had to call
it a day. This had meant the side have struggled for players most
weeks and every week they have put out a different XI.

There are some key reliable players who consistently maintain their
excellent standards every week. Dan Pascal a solid centre back who is very
strong, marshals the back four. Paul Shipp, ex Charlton trainee and England
schoolboy is at the centre of most of the attacking play and is always
looked upon to create chances for himself and others. Peter Collins who sits
in front of the back 4, and despite being old enough to be the grandfather of
some of the younger players in the squad, still has the legs to get around
the pitch, winning possession with strong tackles and then retaining the
ball. Luke Allum was the player’s player of the year last season due to his
excellent work rate and tough tackling in the centre of midfield.

A new player has been bought in - Ben Mankelow, who can play in any position
and influence the game. His early season form has impressed everyone in the
team. However, the team are searching for a couple more players
to strengthen the side and help them push towards the top 3.

Sam Davey.

3rd XI Report

Another year, another trophy. Can you imagine the scene at the League Committee AGM at the end of last season? What do we do about Old Tenisonians? How can we stop McCarthy and Smith winning trophies year after year? They are getting older; surely they can't keep on doing it.

Well what the League did in their inimitable fashion was to promote the old 4th XI up 6 divisions in a brazen effort to stop our success. It was a sad day when I had to tell quality PONA's (Players Of No Ability) such as, Richard Masterson, David "Taffy" Evans, Dave Noble, Ben Tucker (he took it so badly he left the club and went to waste his time at University) and John Pearce, they were no longer wanted. Unfortunately, we were short the first week up front, so Pearcey had to play and like a bad penny he has turned up every week since.

The biggest loss was the fantastic contribution Richard Masterson made with the kit. We now turn up like ragamuffins, kit not clean or ironed, balls not pumped up or washed. In short it's a disgrace and I would like to thank Richard for all his work over the last 2 years in this field.

As usual the same old phone calls came, "Can I play for you? I haven't felt the feeling of winning for such a long time. Can I come back?" and so from the 30 or so people who asked, Smithy and I settled on 2 average players to try and strengthen us. Have they done that, probably not but hey!!! In addition we took a ball playing midfielder from the old 5th's however he didn't want to play so "Ronnie" Byrne begged us to take Richard under our wings which we duly did.

If only we could have got hold of him at an earlier age, we could have turned him into an excellent PONA, however he isn't far away. The other bit of good news was James coming back into the fold after breaking his leg last season. As the games continue he is getting stronger and stronger and is becoming a valuable addition to the squad.
On the playing side we have performed very well, at the time of writing this and having turned down the England job the 3's as they are now have played 9, won 8, drawn 1 and lost 0. We are top of the table and still in the LOB Cup where we play Old Haberdasher's. Now correct me if I am wrong here but did The Two Ronnie's ever play for them (Think about it)?
Below I list the Christmas Awards for the team so far.

Best Pass of the season so far; Tony Andrews (Life member of the PONA Society)
Best Goal of the Season so far; Mark Said
Best Defensive display of the season so far; Kevin McCarthy
Best Goalkeeping display of the season so far; Terry Smith
Best Player of the season so far; Kevin McCarthy
Worst Pass of the season so far; Mark Booker (See Tony Andrews)
Worst Goal given away in the season so far; Mark Booker
Worst defensive display of the season so far; Mark Booker
Worst player of the season so far; Mark Booker (An honourable mention here must go to John Pearce).
Best contribution to a season; Micky Walton (See Tony Andrews) for being injured all season.
Congratulations to everyone so far and let's hope we are still at the top come the end of the season.
Kevin McCarthy

4thXI. (Diary of the season so far.)

When I first mentioned to Taff a year ago that I would love to run the bottom team in our club so I could get the occasional game (at the ripe old age of 52) I only had a two caveats. One was that I would be picking my own team and therefore not be interfering with the previous year’s teams. The second, was that because the team was going to be made up of a few old mates of mine and I was pretty sure we would be hopeless. I insisted that our new team would be in the very bottom division of the old boys league, the largest league in the world. The real reason was slightly more personal though – my son Michael had said that as he and a few mates were finishing university and were thinking of joining Old Latymerians because they wanted a game of football in London on Saturdays. Well having played Latymerians many times over my long and distinguished old boys career (25/30 trophies in 15 years) and indeed for my school between 1966 and 1971, I knew I wanted him to come to Tenisonians and play proper football. The real stuff, growling, looking after your mates and winning. I was determined there would be none of that ‘after you Claude, no after you Hugo’ that I had seen him play at the posh private school that was Latymer. No complaints about the school, teachers, friends and his academic work and everything else mind you – a great great school – just don’t expect Latymer to win any trophies out on the pitch).

So when Taffy told me in the summer that we weren’t in the bottom division, I must admit I nearly quit before a ball was kicked. How were we going to even draw a game with the fatties, oldies and no no’s (you know who you are – in fact some of you are all three) that I had accumulated in the close season. Even Michael and his friends Hugo (yes really!) and Anton (yes really too!) had never played against big horrible men. I genuinely felt we were going to have the worst season ever in the clubs history and I would be to blame. To rub salt into the wound, Kevin had arranged two pre-season friendlies for us and I deliberately didn’t take them. I didn’t want to demoralise the lads before the season started - it was bad enough me knowing they were hopeless let alone it being proved to them in friendlies.

So the big day arrived and we had fourteen players, some of whom I had never seen play. Unbeknownst (is that a word?) to me, the previous years fourth team had been disbanded and I was asked to take a couple of their players) and also four of my team hadn’t kicked a ball in at least three years! However there were some good points. I was told that Richie Masterson wouldn’t get a regular game with the thirds so I spoke to him and begged him to join me. So not only did I get a captain (who is also a close personal friend) who had vast experience of the Tenisonian ethic but also I got a very reliable player and (most importantly) a top-drawer kit man – it was something less for me to worry about. The only downside was….. I had to give him a game!!!

But I need to go back three months to start the story properly - I had become friends with a Polish man who worked with me, who is obsessed with football. Every day Rafa would come into work and talk about the latest games (not only the Premiership but all over Europe (Polish Sky is available to us all). So I asked him if he had ever played the game. He told me in his younger day (he’s only 30 now) he was playing at a high standard in Poland and he was a goalkeeper and that he was good! Well as all you managers know that is the hardest position to fill so I jumped on him straight away and told him he was changing his shifts and he was now playing football on a Saturday afternoon (you can do that when you’re the boss!). I must admit I couldn’t care less whether he was any good or not - he was 6’2’’ and he wanted to play in goal.

Terry Smith and I have a regular laugh over people turning up in all walks of life saying they are good at something when you know 99 times out of a 100 they will be useless. Well you guessed it - this was the one occasion when not only is he any good he is as good as any goalkeeper I have played with in my career (and I’ve played with a few over the last 44 years). Here’s the best bit though, sometimes he kicks the ball the length of the pitch to the other penalty area. So there’s none of that old toffee of throwing the thing out to the full back, playing in pretty diamonds and building up play - we kick as high and as far as we can and if he throws the ball to any one of our players, I fine him a fiver from his wages (that’s a weeks dough in polish money).

So onto the first game – Heathrow Seniors at home – bugger! A clubs first team. So we all turned up and as we walked onto the far pitch one of the third team (who were playing on the cottage pitch) marked my card. ‘They are filth especially the old one in midfield - he kicks anything that moves –we played them last year and it nearly turned into a riot’. What had I done exposing my quiet innocent son, his friends and my friends that I had talked out of retirement to this. Anyway my luck was about to take a turn for the better. At kick off time they only had eight players. Of course being the generous sort (by the way I was the ref too!) I delayed k.o. for fifteen minutes but they still started with eight. My initial suspicions were soon confirmed - we were useless! I don’t think at any time, we passed the ball more than twice in a row to our own team. After fifteen minutes we scored but it was like a kickabout in the park. No challenges from either team, certainly no quality and happily we went two up from a dodgy disputed offside (I was the ref) but more importantly they had the best chances and were being denied by Rafa. Well my decision to delay the k.o. went against me because at the start of the second half their three missing players turned up. So we started the second half 11 v 11 and sure enough they were all over us. They came at us like whirling dervishes but unbelievably Rafa was saving everything! Then, with 15 minutes to go Rafa got injured kicking another long punt. His calf muscle exploded and off he went. The subsequent reshuffle proved a disaster and we lost three quick goals to the tune of their team saying we were the nicest bunch of lads they’d played for years. I bet we were. We did however have one saving grace: in the 85th minute one of our midfielders actually tackled someone and conceded a foul! We were on our way.

The second game is easier to report. A few of my older friends said no thank you to me. They’d signed up for a stroll against other old has-beens and never ‘wassers’ and all of a sudden they are playing serious football again. We got a couple of new young ‘uns and went over to Sheen to play Fulham Compton. The last time I had played against this school was 10 years ago in a cup quarter final. Having known a few of them from my Fulham days I can truthfully report that 10 years ago, it wasn’t a game for the faint hearted, One of their players ended up with a broken leg (which certainly took the wind out of their sails) and I must admit I was expecting another rough game. This time however, we turn up with 9 men and go 2 goals down after ten minutes (they didn’t afford us the luxury of delaying the k.o. while we waited for the rest of our team (don’t worry – I learn quick). Anyway, unbelievably, with the help of John Coll and Pete from the third team who haven’t got a game and a new keeper called Dog (currently out on bail) we get back in it and with a bit of luck we could have nicked it (sorry for the pun Dog!). We certainly start to get the shape of the team right and I’m thinking, well we might not have the worst season ever.

As games three and four come along we really are getting the team right and with the addition of a couple more new players particularly a Polish centre forward called Magic we win the both comfortably. Unbelievable! I’m thinking I might apply for the England job only I don’t carry an umbrella very well – on the inner city council estate I was bought up they were items you stole and were either saleable commodities or weapons depending on the time of day!

Game five. Away to Meadonians. Always a battle. This is a big one for me. When you play up at the top of the league you relish a game (game? is that what it’s called?) with Meadonians. X certificate is how they used to be and I’m going there with kids so I’m thinking we will do well to get a draw there. Half time comes and it’s fairly even and surprisingly friendly. We’re not playing well and they’ve got two big black boys up front who are causing us trouble. Second half arrives: not only does there captain take the two forwards off to give his subs a full half he also takes their best defender off! I can’t believe my luck. And then even better at half time too my captain Richie cries off with an injury. We’re now playing with 11 men! We stroll the game scoring three but it could have been ten. I also wonder if our ageing captain coming off at half time with an injury is anything to do with our magnificent second half performance. I wonder if he’ll be fit next week?

Game six. Home v Economicals. Heathrow are top (played six won six but I know we’ll beat them next time) but Economicals are also unbeaten (played three won three). As I said we‘re starting to look good so I think this will be a real test of just how good we are. My only worry is that Richie has passed a self-governing fitness test. I ask him a dozen times if he’s ok and each time the answers the same. But I’m still quietly confident that we won’t embarrass ourselves so it’s inevitable that half our team turn up late and we are rushing to get out on the pitch on time. As the ref kicks off we are still getting into shape. First attack - we’re a goal down. It’s obvious after ten minutes these boys are different to
every team we’ve played so far. They’ve got the lot – strength, power, ability, nous and to cap it all they’re all young and fit. They would have given us a game ten years ago. I quickly decide that if nothing else we have to put Jay (our fittest player) to man mark their captain and best player and to stop him having the pitch to himself. We hang on and indeed start to get into it. For the first time this season I’m like Neil Warnock on the line – swearing at the oppo, ruffling a few feathers and winding my team up. Right now I don’t give a monkey’s about the spirit of football and I want us to get stuck into them. I’m not quite sure how my son is taking to seeing his dad shouting and screaming like a maniac on the line but I’m trying to get 100% out of my team. He’s having his own battle with their centre forward, so with a bit of luck, he’ll be too busy to notice. We equalise and I’m having verbal battles with a couple of their team telling them to shut up and stop moaning and all the while the young boys in the team are playing like men. I’m really proud of them. Even Richie was superb especially when he decided to come off and let another of Michaels friends Alistair (yes really again) have a go in the centre of midfield. And yes, you guessed it again Alistair gets the winner with ten minutes to go and even though they have a couple of chances our Polish version of Gordon Banks stands firm (Dog is back helping Her Majesty with a few inquiries and our boy is fit again after a three week lay off from work (on full pay of course – it might have been longer but I threatened to sack him if he wasn’t back playing against Meads!). the final whistle blows and for a lot of them its probably one of the best games they’ve ever been in. I tell all the young boys in particular to make sure they shake the hands of all the ‘oppo’ because in their amateur football careers they won’t play many great games like that where neither team knew who would win until the very last minute. The icing on the cake was when I went to congratulate the ‘oppo’ on the pitch (there’s no one more magnanimous than me when we win). A couple of their team said ‘We’ll see you at our place!’ and if you’ve played properly and been in those sort of games, you’ll know what that means!

Game seven. Home v Old Thorntonians. Quite simply after the lord mayors show. They’re not a bad team BUT we didn’t work, we didn’t compete and we didn’t take our chances. We draw 1 -1 BUT this is what makes me feel great. I couldn’t have dreamt of saying those things ten weeks ago. We’re a good good team. We could give anyone in our league a good hard game and I mean our league, not our division. I don’t say that lightly. Games eight and nine, comfortable wins. I’m starting to have selection problems!

Dec 13th Current table Heathrow Seniors P9 W7 D0 L2 Pts 21
Us! P9 W6 D2 L1 Pts 20
O Thorntonians P8 W6 D1 L1 Pts 19

Economicals P6 W5 D0 L1 Pts 15

I’m pretty sure Economicals will be champions but we’ll keep going for a European spot right to the end.

How sick do I feel now about those two friendly games when I didn’t prepare my team? VERY SICK that’s how I feel. It’s down to me –the way she talks when she’s spoken to down to me - oh sorry I lost my drift for a second there. The first two games, down to me.

Sat Dec 15th. And guess who we got next? Yes you guessed it again – Economicals away.
By the way were also still in the cup! It will take a good team to beat us.

Richard Cuthbert Algernon Peregrine Turner. Team Manager.

Thank you Dick. I’ve never had cramp in the eyes before. BB.

And Finally
The Associations annual awards have gone to Richie Masterson (The Alan Bowers award for services to the Football Club) and even though he has (temporarily, we hope) left us, Ed Farrelly has been awarded the S.E.Hinton award for his outstanding services, again to the Football Club.
Well I think that really is the lot. Its not just for you Davey O but it because you and a few other people made me realise, once again, that this magazine does serve a purpose and we all need to do our bit to keep it going for as long as possible. Our first guest Editor will be a former Editor, Gary Kedney. Gary has agreed to put together our next issue. The gap between Gary’s last issue and his next will be about 25 years, so he is bound to have plenty to say. But you must have yours as well! So please let Gary have anything you’d like to get off your chest, his contact details are below. If you would like to edit the Mumblings, even for just one issue, would you please let me know so I can prepare some sort of batting order.
One last thing. As you know, my old mate Micky Brown will have no truck with an English winter these days and has decamped to Australia for three months, returning, coincidentally, just in time for School Dinners. I think that Janet was hoping it would be all cities, Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane, etc.etc. but of course there are thousands of miles of nothing in between and it was in part of this nothing that they encountered an errant ‘roo. I understand that Mick’s treatment of the poor ‘roo was similar to his attitude to centre forwards in his playing days. Brown 1 Roo O.

BobBlewer Gary Kedney

16 The Byway 15 Sancroft Street
Sutton Kennington
Surrey SE11 5UG

Tel No, 0208 642 4750 0207 582 8858

e-mail: blewerfamily@aol.com gkedney@gmail.com