Edition No . 28 . Spring 2009.
News from The Members
News from Motspur Park
OTA AGM General Secretary's Report
Welcome to this issue of the MM. As the guest editor for this edition I am looking forward to all those journalistic cries of "hold the front page" or for something to report that will go down in journalistic history like Watergte or even Monica Lewinsky. Motspurgate doesn't sound quite right somehow, it will only make readers think of the swinging bits of metal at the entrance to the sports ground. And I cannot imagine the OTA President getting up to mischief with a Ms Lewinsky lookalike.
Do you watch "Have I got News for You" on the BBC? It was compared by a very competent person (I think his name was Angus Deayton) but after (another) scandal he was replaced by a series of guest presenters and to my mind the programme was never as good again. I hope the editing of the Motspur Mumblings does not go the same way, at least not while my nimble fingers are in contrill of the kiyberd!
Now, what of world news? We are all aware that the world is only part way through a serious recession, with numbers of pounds or dollars that I for one can't begin to understand. Where did all that money go? Where does the Government's investment money come from? I don't see much of it! But I am sure that nice Mr Brown and that nice Mr Darling have it all under control, don't they? The banking crisis and the world’s current economic state were explained to me quite simply, in terms of the participants at the G20 summit, and with no intention of racial bias:
* You have two cows.
* You sell one and buy a bull.
* Your herd multiplies, and the economy grows.
* You sell them and retire on the income.
* You have two cows.
* You sell three of them to your publicly listed company, using letters of credit opened by your brother-
AN AUSTRALIAN CORPORATION:
* You have two cows.
* You sell one, and force the other to produce the milk of four cows.
* You are ******* surprised when the cow drops dead.
A FRENCH CORPORATION:
* You have two cows.
* You go on strike because you want three cows.
A JAPANESE CORPORATION:
* You have two cows.
* You redesign them so they are one-
* You then create clever cow cartoon images called Cowkimon and market them worldwide.
A GERMAN CORPORATION:
* You have two cows.
* You reengineer them so they live for 100 years, eat once a month, and milk themselves.
A BRITISH CORPORATION:
* You have two cows.
* Both are mad.
AN ITALIAN CORPORATION:
* You have two cows, but you don't know where they are.
* You break for lunch.
A RUSSIAN CORPORATION:
* You have two cows.
* You count them and learn you have five cows.
* You count them again and learn you have 42 cows.
* You count them again and learn you have 12 cows.
* You stop counting cows and open another bottle of vodka.
A SWISS CORPORATION:
* You have 5000 cows, none of which belong to you.
* You charge others for storing them.
A CHINESE CORPORATION:
* You have two cows.
* You have 300 people milking them.
* You claim full employment, high bovine productivity, and arrest the newsman who reported the numbers.
A NEW ZEALAND CORPORATION:
* You have two cows.
* That one on the left is kinda cute...
Perhaps the sporting scene will brighten things up a bit. I was lucky enough to be at Twickenham to see England's fine win over France, that first, early try certainly got the supporters fired up. I was also at Chelsea to see the 4-
It is a funny old world!
News from The Members
Some of you would have heard that Alan Baker has been unwell recently and spent some time in hospital recently. I'm happy to report that he's' back home and I understand very much on the mend.
I have received an e-
I was just sitting at home in Sydney surfing the Internet when I came across the OT's website, and logged in to read Motspur Mumblings. What a blast from the past ! Great to read of so many of my old school friends and Old Boys still passionately involved in the Association. I immediately saw your name as current President, Bob Blewer as past Editor of MM, my old mate Micky Vaughan involved with the 2nd XI Cricket , references to Alan Baker, John Halsey, Barry Mercer and Alan English, and comments from Mike Myerson about the touring pro, Micky Brown (who didn't come and see me in Sydney, alas). I haven't lived in UK since 1978 (moving to Sweden at first, and then Australia in 1983), and haven't been back to Motspur Park in over 25 years. It's interesting to read about plans for the old tennis courts area -
32 Edgecliffe Esp.,
NSW 2092, Australia
Thanks for that Will. David Ferguson was in touch towards the end of 2008
I am currently running, well not really I'm paddling or rafting the only man made whitewater rafting centre in the UK which I, whilst acting as co-
I've attached a leaflet and whilst I've kept this short I'll dialogue with you if you think there may be an interest with the Old Boys!!
I have David’s leaflet in an e-
Next John Adlington has been in contact with Mark Bostridge who is the son of OTA member Les. Mark has provided John with an article he wrote for the Guardian back in 2006, and John thought the MM readership would be interested. So here it is with permission from Mark, but don't tell the Guardian or else I might only be fit for the job of selling it on a street corner.
The Name of the Game
Standing, aged four years old, with my father on the terraces at Millwall football ground in south-
It used to be said that anyone who thought southerners were soft should witness Millwall at the height of a match. The Den, the club's home for most of the 20th century, was infamously one of the most feared grounds in the country, and its address at Cold Blow Lane aptly summed up the intimidating bleakness of its location amid industrial wasteland and a disused railway embankment.
Millwall songs celebrate football for the common man in references to beer and jellied eels; they also leave no one in any doubt that Millwall are a force to be reckoned with (F*** ‘em, f*** ‘em all/United, West Ham, Liverpool/Cause we are the Millwall and we are the best/ We are the Millwall/So f*** all the rest).
A rough and terrifying place for a father to bring his young son, and part of my lifelong resistance to football no doubt stems from my attendance at those early games. But what I didn't understand, until comparatively recently, is that in taking me to watch his old team, my father was introducing me to a significant piece of his past, and to a family tradition that resembled a kind of tribal rite of passage.
According to David Beckham's father, the moment every dad dreams about is when his son first shows an interest in football, and they get to kick a ball about together. This is an understandable exaggeration on the Beckham senior's part, yet there remains an underlying truth about the conventional bond forged between father and son over a game of football, whether as participant or spectator.
It was important to my own father, and I believe that he regretted, however fleetingly, its absence in his relationship with my brother and me, his sons by his first marriage, and that this feeling was at its most acute when I, the elder, was a child. My ball-
My father's response to this could be unkind. He liked to draw attention to my effeteness and the idea that football prowess was somehow equated with masculine performance by calling me girls names such as Princess. I was too much the nerdish bookworm, not enough the roaring tearaway. A part of him was disappointed and genuinely mystified at the way I'd turned out. But when my brother reached a similar age and was showing signs of developing the same mould, his attitude had relaxed. Disappointment was replaced by bemusement, and by pride in a different measure of performance, academic attainment.
But football still mattered to my father. The game symbolized for him the working-
I had also been dimly aware, confirmed by one old photograph in a family collection, that my father's grandfather on his mother's side, my great-
He would be difficult to miss. John Tiny Joyce was a great hulking bear of a man. I look at him, standing four-
“Who that saw Tiny Joyce between the posts for Tottenham will forget his burly figure, wrote a journalist in one fan magazine. Weighing about 16 stone he must have appeared a forbidding figure to onrushing forwards, and the more so when he advanced up the field to obtain possession of a ball that was running loose in the penalty area.”
In the game that was stronger on the attack, and had still to develop a defensive mentality, Tiny Joyce's finest hour was at Tottenham in 1914 when he became the first goalkeeper in the history of that club to score a goal. His most widely reported appearance occurred a few months later, during a tour of Germany, when the hostility of the German crowd broke out into violence and Joyce had his head cut open by a brute who hit him with an umbrella to the applause of the other onlookers”.
Joyce's career had begun in 1893, in the industrial heartlands of the Midlands and the north where football was emerging as the sport of the newly leisured working classes. It ended, shortly before the second world war, at Millwall, the club for which he'd played almost 300 games, and for which he served for many years as assistant trainer.
So it was family loyalty that led my father to drag me along to the Den when I was a child. But there were other more complicated motives at play. Like many others who have aspired to something better and possessed the drive to achieve it, my father remained deeply ambivalent about the working-
“Are you coming to see your grandmother?” he would ask me. And I could tell from the lack of enthusiasm in his tone that he no more wished to take that journey from our affluent suburban home into the urban wilds of New Cross than I did. Football provided an uncontroversial meeting-
I have a similar ambivalence about certain aspects of my father’s character. He was lovable because of his innate generosity and warmth, and because he never denied his children anything that it was within his power to provide. However, his temper, though he always immediately regretted its power, could be violently explosive, and some of his opinions, forcibly expressed, made him seem like a dyed-
Although they're probably completely unconnected, I can't help but see his less attractive qualities as a product of the football culture in which he was raised. But then I have such a simplistic view of football anyway. Today, if I'm forced to watch a game, I'm always struck by football's brutalism rather than the harmony that's said to exist at its centre; by its pointless competitiveness, instead of the air of camaraderie.
Fate had a happy ending in store for my father. For the last 20 years, he was married, second time around, to a beautiful ex-
News from Motspur Park
Bob Blewer has provided an update on the Sports Ground Company:
Through the efforts of groundsman Alan Landymore and various contractors, we are still doing our utmost to provide the best sports facilities for the School, the Old Boys and other various users that our limited budget allows. In spite of our best efforts to build a contingency reserve into our balance sheet, we are finding it increasingly difficult to do so, therefore almost every penny we receive in rent is spent in our attempt to maintain and improve the sports ground.
Last years largest additional expenditure went on the complete refurbishment of the ladies toilet facilities. Many Old Tenisonians might wonder why we would choose to spend money on something which is hardly ever used. Granted that during the week and on Saturdays during the winter, the ground is not inundated with the fairer sex but on Sundays when we entertain many younger users, it's not just the dads that are on football duty. Mrs. Sims, the Headteacher at the School and member of our Council of Management, felt very strongly that these facilities should be updated. I believe that many of our wives, girlfriends, partners, mums and occasional grans will be delighted that Mrs.Sims went in to bat on their behalf.
The winter has not been too kind either to our users, all of whom lost a few weeks sport, or to the fabric of the pavilion. We have twice had to patch the roof, which is the original and therefore over seventy years old. At this stage we cannot run to the cost of a new roof (about £5,000) but as I write, it is a lovely sunny spring day so lets hope we've earned ourselves a few months respite.
About ten years ago the Company made a planning application to Merton Council to build on the area of land adjacent to Arthur Road. The local residents mounted a very strong campaign to halt our application. Neither did we have the support of the focus of the Charity, the School itself. Needless to say our application failed and so we were forced to carry on running the ground on limited funds.( To see the difference that untold funds might make, take a walk to the far side of the ground and look over the fence at Kings College, Wimbledon's ground. Their groundsman has two assistants and unlimited machinery and resources. )
Just short of a couple of years ago Alan Landymore was approached by a local developer who expressed an interest in the aforementioned parcel of land. Unfortunately nothing came of this at the time but it did give the Council of Management the opportunity to approach the School to see if they would now have any objection to the development of this area. We explained that any monies accruing from such a sale, ought to secure the future of the sports ground, with considerable improvements to the facility as a whole. The School, through the Chairman of Governors, gave guarded support for our project and understandably wanted to be kept in touch with any progress. This we have done at every stage and are currently awaiting his response to the most recent developments.
In spite of the economic downturn, the developer has maintained his interest and has given us a verbal offer. We are consulting with many interested parties and advisors and whilst we hope that a positive outcome is possible, it is far too early in the process to dream of all weather pitches, floodlights, a new roof, or even a new pavilion.
During all of this, our Treasurer and Ground Manager, Alan Baker, was diagnosed with cancer of the bowel. David Sadler and Geoffrey Leberl immediately responded by volunteering to take up some of the duties which Alan would normally perform. Prior to going into hospital Alan spent a lot of time on Ground Company matters, he has made it easier for the rest of us to carry on, during what we all hope will be as brief an absence as possible.
Whatever happens at the ground in the next year or so, it should prove to be very interesting but we all are old and ugly enough to know that nothing worthwhile ever comes easy. I hope you believe this work is important, if you feel you would like to contribute to it, please feel free to send a donation to our Hon.Treasurer, Alan Baker, 13 St.George's Road, Wallington, Surrey, SM6 OAS. STOP PRESS: our roller for the cricket square has just become unusable, so we need to find another £6,500 (!!). Grant funding from Sport England is being sought, but YOUR cheque would be an enormous help.
Sports Ground Company
Now I have tried, without much luck, to secure reports on the 2008 – 2009 football season. Only Paul Barrett from the third team and Dickie from the first team have responded:
Well as captain of the 3rd team we started the season in high hopes looking to maybe get into a cup final and win our division, as the new team in the club I must say we have been made to feel very welcomed and I thank all concerned for that. Well to the season -
Paul Barrett captain and manager of the 3rd team. Oh 1 last thing big big thanks to Angela ur a star.
Thanks for that Paul and for the positive comments about the Club.
Dickie has forwarded his latest blog
Final blog of the season for me and I can't say I'm sorry
Firstly a big big well done to Sam second team who although he wasn't there in body he was I'm sure there in spirit willing his second team to a mighty 3-
No game for the thirds but a fourth place finish looks certain for you now Paul. I know you will be disappointed with that but I think you should be proud of the way your team played this season and to have two clubs first teams in your division is hard enough but i know also from last season how strong a club Economicals are so really it hasn't been too bad. Only four weeks ago you thought you could do it and that is a testament to how hard you work for your team and how hard your boys play for you. I am sure this will not be the last time you hear this but I am as pleased as punch you have done so well and am also absolutely delighted you are with our club. I hope you stay. You and your team are a credit to Tenisonians.
Well done to Terry who in Kevin's absence steered the side to a great eight goals over two games in what are always tricky double headers. Next week its another tough one against Sheen who I seem to remember got a bit lively and physical last time so you will have to be at your best to win and then its the big one on the Wednesday night. As Glenn has said please can you tell us where the game is as I know a lot if us will come down and shout you on. Good luck to the fours!
And I've been saying this for the last few weeks but well done to the fifths on confirming their runner up spot. There is no doubt in my mind that the annual Tenisonian manger of the year award should go to the two of you boys. Like Paul third team I am sure you will build a dynasty there for a few years to come. Well done both of you. I salute you.
And finally my team. As usual short again but this time I had paul third team to help me and I asked him for their centre forward Deon. Now you will all know him off the pitch with his constant mischievous smile but let me tell you that is how he plays on the pitch. Oh and by the way he is top top quality. First ten minutes two chances two goals. He really has the lot. He leads the line. Wants to score but will hold it and bring other players in. Three of our 'regulars' ''shouted where's he been all season''. Finally the chance taking goal scoring centre forward we've needed all season. If he had played when we were bubbling he had got ten a game. Lucky lucky Paul third team. And here's another great great thing about him. He comes up from Portsmouth to play!!! Ducking hell let me say that again. He comes up every week from Portsmouth to play. Anyway he ended up with a hat trick and to be fair their mob weren't as bad as two of the teams we've recently lost to. He made a big big difference. Paul too did well for us but the other thing that should be mentioned was that Peter Watson scored a great header form a corner which was virtually the last touch of the game. I wonder if he is the oldest player ever to score for the first team?
As for us we will finish either fourth or fifth and on reflection that isn't too bad really. Up to February i thought we were going to win it but three defeats out of four put paid to that. We are currently top scorers in our division with 69 goals which I am equally proud of. I wanted to play fast attacking football and if I had a centre half and a centre forward (oh for Paul Kent and Deon) we might have won the double and not Pegasus. The team that will win our division, Pegasus, also won the London challenge cup on Saturday so for me it really is just another nail in my Tenison coffin. If the club could put out a team then we are easily as good if not better than Pegasus.
The highlights of my season were certainly the comprehensive thrashing of Woking, Paul Kent showing why he's the best player in the club, watching Alex the Real Madrid boy play for us and finally this Saturday watching Deon play with a huge smile on his face. I also took a great deal of pride from Rafa and Paul Shipp representing the league team as well as watching my son run his heart every week for the cause. And also making two or three new friends who I hope I will see for many more years to come (which surely is the whole point of amateur Saturday football).
As for the low lights almost too many to mention starting with Alan Hale refusing to play for the first team after a 9-
I wrote before at Xmas (and indeed upset a few people) when I said that we no longer have a football club but five individual teams playing under the Tenison banner. I've seen nothing to change my mind in the last four months of the season.
I feel sure that unless we get a strong first team out next year the football club will collapse under the strain and it is something the committee (whoever they are) will have to address asap. If the new incumbent cannot get a strong team out and every team has to move up a level and all teams start getting beaten on a regular basis the players will soon get demoralised and turn up even less than they do now. The discipline side will get worse as the defeats roll in and finally we will struggle to get three teams out the following season. And that means less revenue for the club. Some people may think they are harsh words but it is better that I say it as I see it and hopefully be proved wrong than say nothing and watch the whole house of card tumble.
I believe the only answer is a football supremo who is respected by the whole club and has the whole clubs interest at heart and not someone who is interested in individual glory.
I do hope the team can continue in some shape or form next season and I am sure I have left it in a slightly better shape than I found it. If only because of the new shirts. I have also taken the liberty (and of course the next manager may change his mind) of arranging a pre-
Good luck to all of you next year
Similarly it has not been possible to secure a report from the Cricket Club. I do know that the new season is about to start and the last contact I had with the cricketers found them in a buoyant, if not optimistic mood. Recruitment prospects were hopeful and I understand indoor nets have been popular.
Here's to a good season. I am sure you will be most welcome if you spend a summer afternoon watching cricket at Motspur Park
At the risk of boring all my readers, I do not even have a golf day to file a report on, this issue of the Motspur Mumblings is going down hill rapidly, I hear you cry.
The OTA Committee
The OTA's AGM was held a little later than usual in October of 2008. The General Secretary's annual report for the year follows.
General Secretary's Report for 2007-
It is quite difficult to compose an annual report when the last twelve months have passed without much in the way of any significant events to report on. But here we are and here is the General Secretary's report for 2007-
The management of the football club has again been more solid this year compared with the recent past. The OTA committee has been very pleased with the improvement and congratulations are due to all those involved. In terms of results the last season was as successful as was expected, with the first and second teams finishing mid-
The cricket club also enjoyed a fairly successful season with a number of new recruits to ease considerably the availability problems experienced during the 2007 season. Results were only average but it seems team spirit was excellent.
As Bob Blewer resigned as editor of The Motspur Mumblings. The OTA committee has accepted that future issues will each be produced by a guest editor, and the first of this series has been published and I think well received. Future volunteers will be necessary until somebody comes forward as a permanent editor.
I think that for each year that I have been general secretary Glen Cain has filled the role of sports club treasurer. This has often been a thankless task and Glen has shouldered his responsibility manfully, once again this year.
The Committee has met regularly during the year, under the chairmanship of Mick Vaughan.
The bar continues to be run by Paul Kain and Neville Perkins and the feedback is that they are still doing a thoroughly good job. SKY television has been installed in the club house, so our members and guests can enjoy watching the football on a Saturday evening whilst enjoying a drink at the bar, sounds good to me!
Eddie Boyle arranged another lunch in town earlier in the year, I understand attendance was up again, and all those there had an enjoyable lunch in very good company.
I should not forget to mention the OTA web site managed by Mick Vaughan. Once again this year, a number of former pupils have made contact after reading the web site, including one who has offered OTA members a discount at a white water rafting centre in Northamptonshire!
I should also pay due regard to Mick Keating and his excellent work in running the 150 club.
Relations with the school have not developed very much. Members of the OTA committee are invited to and do attend a range of formal functions at the school, but sadly we do not seem able to attract new members, although it must be said that both the cricket club and the football club have had current or recently left schoolboys in the teams. New ideas are needed here.
I apologise now for any omissions in this report.
I thought long and hard about repeating my regular appeal for a greater representation of the general membership on this committee. New faces are essential for the continuing development of any organisation, and the OTA is no exception.
That Gentlemen concludes the General Secretary's report for 2007/ 2008.
A slightly different approach to the quiz in this issue:
Are you the weakest link? Below are four (4) questions. You have to
Answer them instantly. You can't take your time, answer all of them immediately.
OK? Let's find out just how clever you really are.
You are participating in a race. You overtake the second person. What
position are you in?
Answer: If you answered that you are first, then you are absolutely
wrong! If you overtake the second person and you take his place, you are
Try not to screw up in the next question.
To answer the second question, don't take as much time as you took for the first question.
Second Question: If you overtake the last person, then you are...?
Answer: If you answered that you are second to last, then you are wrong again. Tell me, how can you overtake the LAST person?!
How are you doing so far?
Third Question: Very tricky maths! Note: This must be done in your head only. Do NOT use paper and pencil or a calculator. Try it.
Take 1000 and add 40 to it. Now add another 1000. Now add 30. Add another 1000. Now add 20. Now add another 1000. Now add 10. What is the total?
Did you get 5000? The correct answer is actually 4100.
Don't believe it? Check with your calculator!
And finally the Fourth Question: Mary's father has five daughters: 1. Nana, 2. Nene, 3. Nini, 4. Nono.
What is the name of the fifth daughter?
NO! Of course not. Her name is Mary. Read the question again
Somebody sent me an e-
I met this bloke with a didgeridoo and he was playing Dancing Queen on it. I thought, 'That's Aboriginal.'
This lorry full of tortoises collided with a van full of terrapins. It was a turtle disaster.
I told my girlfriend I had a job in a bowling alley. She said 'Tenpin?' I said, 'No, permanent.'
I went in to a pet shop. I said, 'Can I buy a goldfish?' The guy said, 'Do you want an aquarium?' I said, 'I don't care what star sign it is.'
I went to buy a watch, and the man in the shop said 'Analogue.' I said 'No, just a watch.'
I went into a shop and I said, 'Can someone sell me a kettle.' The bloke said 'Kenwood' I said, 'where is he then?'
My mate is in love with two schoolbags. He's bi-
I went to the doctor. I said to him 'I'm frightened of lapels.' He said, 'You've got cholera.'
I was reading this book today, The History of Glue. I couldn't put it down.
I phoned the local ramblers club today, but the bloke who answered just went on and on.