Edition No . 29 . 2011/2011
News from The Members
News from Motspur Park
OTA AGM – General Secretary’s Report
Welcome to this issue of the MM. I must have done such a good job as guest editor last time round that I have been given the job again. If you believe that……… I had hoped to complete this issue before Christmas, and then by New Year, however a couple of late articles resulted in a slight delay, but I hope you will find it worth the wait.
The world of the Old Tenisonians Association goes on, the same issues rear their heads (do issues have heads I wonder) and the same people share the running of the organisation. It all sounds quite dull really, lucky we all have exciting lives to lead away from the OTA!
Now I am sure you have been waiting for the editor’s round-
I have Derek Baker to thank for the following:
The following questions were set in last year's GCSE examination.
These are genuine answers from 16 year olds (I assume none from Archbishop Tenison’s!)
Q. Name the four seasons
A. Salt, pepper, mustard and vinegar
Q. Explain one of the processes by which water can be made safe to drink
A. Flirtation makes water safe to drink because it removes large pollutants like grit, sand, dead sheep and canoeists
Q. How is dew formed?
A. The sun shines down on the leaves and makes them perspire
Q. What causes the tides in the oceans?
A. The tides are a fight between the earth and the moon. All water tends to flow towards the moon, because there is no water on the moon, and nature abhors a vacuum. I forget where the sun joins the fight
Q. What guarantees may a mortgage company insist on?
A. If you are buying a house they will insist that you are well endowed
Q. In a democratic society, how important are elections?
A. Very important. Sex can only happen when a male gets an election
Q. What are steroids?
A. Things for keeping carpets still on the stairs
Q. What happens to your body as you age?
A. When you get old, so do your bowels and you get intercontinental
Q. What happens to a boy when he reaches puberty?
A. He says goodbye to his boyhood and looks forward to his adultery
Q. Name a major disease associated with cigarettes
A. Premature death
Q. What is artificial insemination?
A. When the farmer does it to the bull instead of the cow
Q. How can you delay milk turning sour?
A. Keep it in the cow
Q. How are the main 20 parts of the body categorised (e.g. the abdomen)?
A. The body is consisted into 3 parts -
Q. What is the fibula?
A. A small lie
Q. What does 'varicose' mean?
Q. What is the most common form of birth control?
A. Most people prevent contraception by wearing a condominium
Q. Give the meaning of the term 'Caesarean section'
A. The caesarean section is a district in Rome
Q. What is a seizure?
A. A Roman Emperor.
Q. What is a terminal illness?
A. When you are sick at the airport.
Q. Give an example of a fungus. What is a characteristic feature?
A. Mushrooms. They always grow in damp places and they look like umbrellas
News from The Members
Dickie Turner has sent me a report of his recent holiday cruise, I have to warn you that it is not for those with a delicate constitution, and shows Dickie in a completely new light. So here goes:
Firstly, I need to say that what you are about to read is not for the faint hearted. Any of you with a nervous disposition should transfer to the Disney channel right now.
It is also not intended to be read by any females. There are a couple of slightly sexist bits and also it could, with the wrong (or right) imagination get a bit risqué.
On my recent travels I have besmirched the good name of men in general and Old Tenisonians football club in particular.
After reading my story (and it will take you five minutes of your time) I do hope that some of you will sympathise with me and indeed some of you may even empathise with me. However I do hope that you will all find it within yourselves to forgive me, I was a man under pressure and made the wrong decision, that’s all.
I am not a blogger, face booker or twitter (although I am certainly a twit) so this is my chosen method to tell my story. And while I am not any of the above I am certainly a quidnunc, and I have also in my time been known to turn hearsay and rumour into saga and legend (although we have all done that haven’t we?). As my story unfolds II will also tone down my sesquipedalian tendencies for those of you who are not quite as erudite as what II am. I also make no apologies for naming names (of which some of you do not know personally although you will all have friends among you who you will be able to relate to). It would of course be churlish of me to protect the innocent as in any tale worth telling there is always some collateral damage and there is certainly some here.
Caveats over, on with the story
As some of you may know for the last couple of months II have been holidaying on a very large cruise ship sailing from Sydney via the far and middle east back to Europe and finally Southampton (the gateway to London -
In the evening though the ladies come alive when the two separate dance floors and the disco opens. Every night after dinner (once the alka seltzer has taken effect) you see them sitting at the bar or on the edge of the dance floor sipping martinis saying to anyone who will listen it's what he would have wanted'. The few single men on board enjoy rich pickings especially the ones who can dance (can you rumba? well choose a rumba from one to ten) like me.
At this point I need to point out that my missus is an early to bed early to rise lady while I am not. by 8.30 she is safely tucked up in bed with a good book (it's more fun than you!') while I, the great dickdisco (one word -
However for you all to understand the bitter details of my story I need to go back a week in time to the regular deck side Olympics of which I entered the deck decathlon. Ten gruelling events to test the strongest of us. There were a dozen or so of us intrepid adventurers ready to go where no holiday maker should. To dig deep into their souls to win a gold chocolate bar. However it wasn’t the prize of course, it was the winning. It was the winning. There were three men and nine ladies and I felt quietly confident as I was the youngest competitor by some 15 years and after the first three days I was handily placed just outside the medals slot in fourth place. I didn’t want to steam into the lead straight away in case it demoralised the lovely, sweet innocent old girls. Yes I know, I have always thought of others. It is a weakness in me.
On the penultimate day (there I go again, sesquipedalian -
The final day dawned and I was feeling good. Three more disciplines to go. 'Countdown', 'the weakest link' and the deck 2 mile marathon. Although I was confident I didn't do too well in countdown. I’m sure my ones were harder than everyone else’s and I also think some of them had a bloody calculator (although I couldn’t prove it). However I got on the score sheet and I was still leading. Going into the weakest link though I felt very sure I would do well as I felt my general knowledge would certainly be up to scratch. So we all got in a big semi circle and most of us got our questions right and a couple were complete morons and the judge said ' who is the weakest link? '. I could not believe my eyes. Everyone had voted me off. The cheating, conniving old basta -
However when I had calmed down I saw that if I won the marathon I would still get the gold. I was still in it.
So we all moved upstairs to the top deck and then, quelle horreur (bit of Spanish for you all) I saw that they (the bloody judges) had allowed some of the other competitors to use their motorised wheelchairs. It was a disgrace. The ducking cheats. It was like being up there with Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton. What chance did I stand?
So I came fifth and skulked about a bit for a few days feeling sorry for myself. Beforehand I had told anyone that listened that being an Old Tenisonian meant that I was a fit athlete always ready to go and ready to win. A couple of my fellow competitors tried to console me but it was to no avail. Some of the old girls asked me 'what was the name of your football club again' but they were being facetious. It hurt.
So a few days later I was moping around the dance floor practicing my cha cha feeling sorry for myself when I started to realise that I had built up a bit of a reputation as an athlete and competitor among the dancers and drinkers (I could have said movers and shakers but I’d be taking the piss -
So that added to the rest of my package became a considerable force.
And my package is great
Now all of you know I am a very attractive boy, tall dark and handsome, but for those of you who have not seen me in a while my recent nose job, eye job and face lift have put me into the stratosphere when it comes to looks.
Many people have commented on my striking similarity to the great George Clooney and although I would modestly agree there is a resemblance I would go further and say that I am slightly taller (when I wear my lifts) and possibly more handsome than the aforesaid George.
Now I know what you're thinking. Dickie is indeed a work of art but George Clooney?
No you planks, I said George Cooney. The guy that works on the fish counter at Asda in Roehampton. A good looking lad if ever there was one and I can confirm the ladies go mad for his winkles.
However it is not enough to have the looks. You need the lines. The words. The bs
For my sins, I believe in playing the percentages a la Keith Pickersgill (think Alan Birchenall with a big belly). On tour and at home he would walk up to girls in bars, one after the other, pinch their bums and shout simultaneously in their ear oi oi. He reasoned that when he found the one girl that thought that was hilarious he was in like Flynn. Of course he had to endure countless knockbacks and slaps but when he found the one, happy days.
My modus operandi (bit of Greek for you) is similar but I go for a more subtle approach less physical, more verbal.
Anyway last night I was flirting with the old girl that I had beaten in the semi final of the wrestling (the one that had to go to the sick bay -
So we made our way back to her room and it must be said it took a long time. We had to use the special lift because of her walking frame (she had a wheelie one so I don’t know what she was complaining about).
When we finally got to her door she hit me with the question that would change me forever.
'Would you like some mother and daughter action?'
Now when it comes to carnal matters (matters of a sexual nature -
So when the question came, I had the reputation of our club at stake, I thought what would the skipper say. And the answer would be yes please.
So when she asked me as she was fumbling for her key (a touch of the old arthritis in her fingers) 'would you like some mother and daughter action', I replied in a flash, 'yes please'
So with a twinkle in her eye and a spring in her step (I think) she opened the door and shouted,
'Mum, wake up, we got company'
At that, I can’t deny it, I ran like the wind, got to my room and locked myself in the toilet.
I have let us down
The football club is a laughing stock
I hope you will find it in your hearts to forgive me
It could happen to any of us.
All my love and see you soon
Thanks for that Dickie (I think!). Now Alan Baker has had a good idea for involving the readership. Why not have a go? I cannot promise any prizes but who knows you might get published in the next edition:
For my birthday last month, Vera bought me a fascinating book The England Cricket Miscellany (published in 2008 by Carlton). One of the features was a fantasy team for each of the counties, selected from players past and present.
My Surrey selection was: -
Hobbs, Edrich, May (Captain), Barrington, Stewart AJ, Hollioake A, MacIntyre (W/k), Lock, Laker, Bedser AV, Loader. [I saw a good deal of all except Hobbs].
I was not too far away from the book's selection, which had an extra batsman (Thorpe) instead of the all-
The book also went for Strudwick as wicket keeper (I never saw him keep, but I saw him many times at the Oval when he was official Club Scorer in the 1950s (his fingers were worse than mine!). The book also went for Arnold rather than Loader: I have no argument with that.
Anyway, I digress. My point in mailing you was that selecting my Surrey fantasy team led me on to indulging in selecting an OTA fantasy team. I ended up selecting a First Eleven and a Second Eleven (from players who played during my time of playing for the Club (1958-
I thought that you might offer an invitation to Mumblings readers to send in (e-
I am very sorry to have to report on the death of Ken Langford, following illness. Ken was a stalwart of the football club for many seasons and played several seasons for the cricket club. He was also President of the OTA in the 1970s. Like many Old Tenisonians of that era I always thought of Ken as a true gentleman and a good friend.
Ken’s wife Anne has written the following:
‘Ken had suffered several serious illnesses in the past ten years, from which he has bounced back in fine fettle. But on 1 May 2010 he had a stroke affecting his right side and speech. He made a little progress with excellent treatment at Weston Hospital, but later lapsed into a coma. He died peacefully on 14 June.
The church in Cheddar was packed for the service of celebration of his life, with Old Boys, work colleagues and many, many friends. We were pleased to see Alan Baker. Bill Gonella, John Bolwell, Stu Courtney, Brian Carlisle, Mick Patmore (our best man) and Roger Parker who read a tribute. It was fantastic.
Ken and I enjoyed 44 years of happy married life with our two sons, granddaughters and extended family. He was a good man – we miss him’
Thank you for that Anne.
Bill Gonella (whom I understand is not enjoying the best of health himself) has written the following tribute.
Ken Langford 1937 – 2010
Ken Langford was my friend. I knew him for over fifty five years.
We first met when I joined the Old Boys Association. Ken grew up in Vauxhall Buildings in the shadow of the well known gas holder to the side of the Kennington Oval cricket ground. It was therefore a short walk to the school where most of us pupils would spend far too much time watching Surrey monopolise the County Championship, when the teachers were not looking at us. This must have influenced Ken’s lifelong love of the game. He was an aggressive, opening, fast bowler, good batsman, but not over mobile in the field as I recall!
Ken was also an excellent footballer, representing the OTA first team for many years as a goal scoring inside forward. As a member of one of the lower teams I was aware of his reputation, but was sure he was not aware of me. How wrong I was. Standing waiting for a bus one evening after work I was surprised when he stopped his car and offered me a lift. During the journey he invited me to join him for a drink in his local pub, with other players, which I did, and our friendship grew from that day on.
Football at that time meant drinking at the ground or a local after each match or training session and quite often continued at someone’s house when the bars closed. Usually this meant adjourning to Ken’s home where I became friends with his parents and three brothers. This practise was extended with the annual Easter Margate festival where we played a game on each of the four days holiday. Ken was rarely available after the first night, citing a bad headache to cry off, but he was always ready each night in the bar for the singsong.
At one of these evenings Ken asked if anyone would accompany him hitch-
Ken married Anne at about this time and the cricket matches took on more of a social aspect, as more of us tied the knot, especially when our children came along. As Ken was by now not able to play to his own exacting standards he took an increasing interest in the administration of the different sports, to which he brought a high degree of excellence using his experience in the insurance industry.
A number of insurance companies benefitted from Ken’s hard work and enthusiasm. I’ve never met anyone who found insurance so interesting. It was therefore fitting that when the Phoenix decided to relocate to Bristol that Ken, Anne Andrew and Stephen were able to take advantage and move to Cheddar, where they soon immersed themselves in village life. In fact as I understand, they became well known throughout with their work for the Cricket Club, Golf Club and W.I. Even the local radio knows ‘Anne of Cheddar. They have also taken a keen interest in several visits to Twin Towns on the Continent.
Our families have continued to meet regularly, usually to see in the New Year, so the friendship has not diminished despite the hundred or so miles between us. His favourite saying whenever he met a new acquaintance was ‘he’s a smashing bloke’.
Ken was a smashing bloke, a wonderful friend and I for one will miss him terribly.
Thanks very much for that Bill, I am sure your sentiments are echoed by many Old Tenisonians and I wish you all the best.
More sad news I am afraid, as Brian Brearley died in November. I have been in contact with Brian’s daughter Sue who wrote the following:
Thank you for your thoughts and for the football memories -
Dad's death was unexpected -
I will look forward to seeing Motspur Mumblings -
Thank you Sue, John Adlington attended Brian’s funeral and has written the following:
Brian Brearley 1931 – 2010
Brian was born on 20th June 1931 at Camberwell where he grew up and eventually followed his brother Maurice into Tenison’s, in 1943. At the time the School had been evacuated en-
I first encountered Brian during my first year at Tenison’s at the School v Old Boys annual match at the Oval, when this rather large player bent down in the slips and obliterated the view of the Vauxhall end, much to the mirth of us first-
When I left school and joined the OTA I played football with Brian in the third eleven. Brian always played at centre-
Brian has been a member of the OTA for over 60 years and always held the Association in deep affection.
I last met Brian at ‘School Dinners’ five or so years back and he was in good form and pleased to see so many old mates.
Brian died on 24th November 2010 after a very short illness. His funeral took place on 8th December at the Church of St Mary the Virgin in Horton Kirby where he had been a member of the congregation for many years and had planned his funeral service. Unfortunately due to the frozen ground he could not be buried after the service, I’m sure he would have seen the irony in this!
Brian was a lifelong supporter of Millwall Football Club and his daughter Sue has taken his blue and white scarf and tied it to the grave marker. He was eventually buried on 14th December.
Our condolences go to his daughter Sue, her sister and his grandchildren.
John Adlington – 17 December 2010.
Thanks John. Harry Waddingham (who was head of Physical Education at the School from 1946 – 1959) has also written about Brian Brearley in a letter to John Adlington:
……..It occurs to me that perhaps you may feel inclined to pass a copy of this letter to the Editor of the Motspur Mumblings – for I knew Brian Brearley very well indeed and I may well be the only remaining member of staff who does remember him.
Brian and I had exchanged Christmas cards for many years and I became concerned when his card did not arrive this year.
I am always saddened when I hear that a boy who I once taught has passed on.
Brian and his older OT brother were large, heavily-
Some years ago an article appeared in the Mumblings in which I described a momentous combat in the boxing ring between Brian and his erstwhile good friend, a boy named Brooker. Happily they remained friends during their time at school
Brian always struggled to keep fit and to keep his weight down. To this end he had an exercise bicycle in his home, on which he registered the mileage that he would have accomplished if he had actually ridden on the road. From time to time he would write to me and tell me that his mileage to date was equal to cycling to Barcelona and back.
As we all do, Brian had his problems, but he was always good humoured, friendly and a cheerful boy; a character of his time, a good Tenisonian and well worthy of any tribute that we can give.
Well done Harry, I am sure many OTs will share your fond memories of Brian Brearley.
Finally in this very sad section of the Mumblings, Bill Giles the former history teacher at the school died early in 2010. Father Peter Stone gave the following address at the funeral service on 24 February 2010.
Thee, God, I come from, to Thee go
All day long, I like fountain flow
From Thy hand out, swayed about
The opening verse of one of the less frequently quoted works of the priest-
What we know, personally of this, helps us to appreciate the qualities so evident in Bill’s life. Born into a family with close military connections he learned – early in life, the virtues of self-
His career was overtaken by wartime service in the Royal Air Force as a physical education officer. During this, he spent two years in Rhodesia on the staff of a flying training group. He returned to this country, to Torquay – thereafter being posted to the 2nd Tactical Air Force – serving in Holland, Denmark and – eventually – Germany. It was during this period that he married Joan at Stoke Abbott in Dorset, in November 1944.
On demobilisation, he returned to teaching at Hornsey, continuing to live with the family in Eltham. He also continued to play rugby, captaining his school’s old boys side.
In 1948, he moved to Archbishop Tenison’s Grammar School near Kennington Oval – as assistant history master to the redoubtable Edwin Birchenough. In due course, he succeeded him as Head of Department, in a widely welcomed appointment. It was at Tenison’s on becoming chaplain in 1963 that I first met Bill.
As a teacher, Bill was scholarly, methodical: both demanding and very supportive of his pupils. I met one of those pupils last week. He was taught all the way through school by Bill up to, and including, successful application to read history at Keble College, Oxford. That pupil is now Bishop of Ramsbury (in the Salisbury Diocese). Bishop Stephen Conway especially asked me to express his deep gratitude to, and respect for Mr Giles, as well as indebtedness to him. He is sorry that his commitments prevent him being here today.
There were two other areas in which Bill made significant contributions to Tenison’s. The first was his enthusiastic command of the School unit of the Air Training Corps. This was one of the jewels in the crown of school life: widely supported by boys and also by other members of staff who acted as instructors – all of whom took great pride in it. The second contribution lay in his election as chairman; and also as one of the first two members of the common room to be elected as staff representatives to act as observers at meetings of the Governing body.
On his retirement in 1977, he and Joan continued to live in Eltham where they played a full part in the life of the parish church. Those who visited them at 43 North Park, recall their gracious and generous hospitality – and their beautiful garden. Retirement also enabled them to make more frequent visits to Joan’s parents’ home in Dorset. Joan’s health deteriorated. Bill looked after her devotedly until shortly before her death in 1999. He lived on alone in Eltham until 2002, when he joined Peter and Val at Kingston Langley. In April 2009 he moved to Ferfoot Care Home in Chippenham where he was both well contented and extremely well looked after.
We return to that verse of Gerard Manley Hopkins. We do so because we are taking our part in a Christian funeral service. We remember Bill, we give thanks for him, but we also pray for him. He was a practising Christian, acknowledging that the vicissitudes of his life were lived out in the glow of the presence of Almighty God. His long life was enriched and deepened by those words of our Lord which we heard in the lesson. ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life’. In other words: life is a journey, a pilgrimage in our Lord’s love and with his help. For Bill, the opening words of our poem ‘Thee God I come from, to Thee go’ were a reality, and he lived his life accordingly. His faith and his temperament combined to make him and exemplar of the true Christian gentleman. It is as such that we remember him, we give thanks for him and prayerfully commit him to the nearer presence, and vision, of God.
I am indebted to Alex Robb for providing this copy of Father Peter Stone’s address and indeed to Peter for allowing it to be reproduced here.
The NHS has been in the news a lot lately, I am indebted to a correspondent for the following extracts from (allegedly) real medical records. I will leave you to make up your own minds.
o Examination of genitalia reveals that he is circus sized.
o The patient has no previous history of suicides.
o Patient has left white blood cells at another hospital.
o Patient's medical history has been remarkably insignificant with only 11kgs weight gain in the past three days.
o She has no rigors or shaking chills, but her husband states she was very hot in bed last night.
o Patient has chest pain if she lies on her left side for over a year.
o On the second day the knee was better, and on the third day it disappeared.
o The patient is tearful and crying constantly. She also appears to be depressed.
o The patient has been depressed since she began seeing me in 1993.
o Discharge status: Alive but without my permission.
o Healthy appearing decrepit 69-
o Patient had waffles for breakfast and anorexia for lunch.
o She is numb from her toes down.
o While in ER, she was examined, x-
o The skin was moist and dry.
o Occasional, constant infrequent headaches.
o Patient was alert and unresponsive.
o Rectal examination revealed a normal size thyroid.
o She stated that she had been constipated for most of her life, until she got a divorce.
o I saw your patient today, who is still under our car for physical therapy..
o Both breasts are equal and reactive to light and accommodation.
o The patient refused autopsy.
o The lab test indicated abnormal lover function.
o Skin: somewhat pale but present.
o Large brown stool ambulating in the hall.
o Patient has two teenage children, but no other abnormalities.
News from Motspur Park
The sports ground at Motspur Park is still very much as it always has been, there has not been much progress with the development on the old tennis-
I know that the football club has struggled away from the pitch So serious have the issues been that the club has had to provide a range of undertakings to the League, some of these are in my view very draconian!. Glen Cain Dickie Turner and John Pearce are heading the new OTA regime, with support from various playing members. I have not managed to get to the ground to find out what is going-
Dickie Turner has penned the following
It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. Old Charlie really knew how to turn a phrase didn't he?
As reported earlier, by January 2010 the first team were cruising their division. Top of the league, unbeaten and top of the goals scored column in the whole 9 senior divisions. Only 2 teams in the entire junior and senior league (over 300 teams!) had scored more than us and one of those teams was our very own 6th XI (Jez's cricketers). The 4ths, 5ths and 6ths were all top of their respective divisions and although the seconds and thirds weren't doing too well we as a club were all very optimistic particularly as apart from the 4th team consistently winning trophies (Another year, another trophy...... how can we stop McCarthy and Smith winning trophies year after year? -
And then, one crisp February afternoon two incidents occurred, one in a 4th team game and one in a 5th team game which were the straws that broke our camel’s back. Now I wasn’t aware that our particular camel was under any pressure but in fact we had been creaking along upsetting our opponents, referees and the league for quite a few seasons. On that February day, one of our 4th team attacked and indeed 'beat up' an opponent on the field. On the same day after our 5th team game a couple of our boys chucked hot tea over a referee’s car to express their unhappiness at the game and his decisions. The league had had enough and wrote to us the next week and accused us of all sorts of misdemeanours.
The list was full, comprehensive and shocking. And I quote just some of a two page letter......
Over the last 5 seasons the club has accumulated 28 (twenty eight) sending off or misconduct charges, the majority of them involving violence, abusive or threatening behaviour. In addition.....numerous complaints about the behaviour of Old Tenisonian sides, this season alone we have had four cases of violent conduct (head to head butting etc) dealt with by the AFA. Furthermore there have been a number of other reports of unsavoury behaviour...with 2 of the sides (Spirit of Football) marked 5.13 (4th XI -
As most of the league are aware, certainly the southern clubs in the league, the management of Old Tenisonians are dominated by members of the 4th XI (operating as either the 3rd XI or the 4th XI) who over a number of seasons have always sought to ensure that their team plays well below its standard, thereby causing imbalance within the club and the league, with higher sides struggling because they are out of their depth'
Furthermore the 4th team has consistently and persistently been the side which generates the most complaints -
We have severe concerns about whether Old Tenisonians can be considered a ' football club' in any sense that the vast majority of the league would recognise it. It appears to us that in actuality, the club is being run as a franchise with one or two new clubs joining each season with no apparent vetting or interest in discipline or competitive balance'
There was more but I’m sure you get the idea. It was a truly terrible read.
There is no doubt in my mind that we as a club have been cheating for years. I said as much in my article in MM 28. What I didn’t realise what that most of the southern clubs were aware of this' too. We as a club were called to a meeting of the league in March and had to explain our actions. And more importantly plead to stay in the league. We as a committee agreed with the league that the 4ths and 5ths should no longer represent our club. We had to see the rest of the season out with no more major incidents -
We then had to go before the entire league in June and explain our actions and tell them what we intended to do to right all the wrongs that had happened in the last five or so years. We stated our case before the judges of the committee and a jury of our peers (a representative from each of all the other clubs in the league (over 100 clubs in total) and then we had to endure a vote to see if the other clubs would give us a chance. The league needed a 2/3rds majority to say goodbye to us but we must have said something right on the night (or we have a lot of old friends) because the vote went 88 -
Well I am pleased to report that the light at the end of this long tunnel is now showing and we believe, albeit cautiously, that we are on the road to recovery. We have instituted a new, real belief in the spirit of football. A common argument by some of our old managers and players was that we are Tenisons, no one will ever like us and it doesn’t matter what we do, we will always be marked badly. Well luckily Sam and Jez's teams blew that argument out of the water. Their SOF marks at the end of the season were truly remarkable for two teams that each won their divisions comfortably. The first team marks at the end of the summer were 8.10 and the fourth team marks were 8.55 making an average of 8.32. Those two marks would have put us at the very top of the league tables for sporting behaviour.
We at Archbishop Tenisons Old Boys Football Club now treat our opponents with respect and decency and we are all working non stop to make sure that our opponents are not worried about coming to Motspur and being threatened or intimidated.
Although there is no doubt that we are on the long winding road to recovery, with some great youngsters who believe in our cause, there is one thing that bothers me slightly. There is also no doubt in my mind that we deserved to be brutalised by the league over those spring months. The letters and threats from the league committee came thick and fast with every week’s post bringing the next wave of threats and accusations and I can tell you it was a hard time for all of us on the football committee.
The one thing that bothers me slightly. and I know I am being stupid, and probably too sensitive, but.... when I look at the gallimaufry of lumpenprole that is the Old Tenisonian footballer and then I look at the arriviste effete on the league committee I wonder if there is a class issue going on as well. I know that doesn’t give us an excuse. It would be insulting to suggest that. But I believe we do have to work a little harder. I know you the casual reader will be wondering what I am talking about. Well, I'm not sure myself but hear me out. The League Secretary's club (who we felt enjoyed his role as judge and potential executioner just a little too much) is UCL Academicals. Let me repeat, The University College of London Academicals. I never played against them when I played for Tenisons. And then another committee member is from the LSE. Yes that’s right, The London School of Economicals! Maybe we should call ourselves Old Tenisonicals? I never played against the LSE either. When I look at my lovely, lovely boys in the first team, I am not sure we could pass a GCSE between us. Yet those two clubs have a yearly influx of bright kids (young men) with well paid jobs who I have no doubt represent their colleges with pride. To my knowledge we haven’t had an old schoolboy play regularly for us for some time, and on the odd occasion when they do come down to play we don’t charge them any subs but they struggle to pay the fare to Motspur anyway. Somehow we must address this anomaly. Whatever it takes, and I believe it is crucial to the well being of the football and cricket clubs, we must do it. And finally on that subject I wonder if any of those Academical or Economical boys wear tights, gloves or snoods on the pitch?
So I expect some of you will be shocked and probably dismayed at the way our football club has strayed off the straight and narrow in the last few seasons but I can assure you all reading this that we are going to fight (in the nicest possible way) to restore the good name of the School and that we intend to compete hard and fair for the heritage and the good name of Archbishop Tenisons, the School that has the very proud record of being in this football league for over 112 years.
You will all be very pleased to hear that just 10 days ago (end Dec 2010) the new club and team marks have just been released and that we as a club are now in 27th position out of 100 clubs, a fantastic improvement you will all agree. I personally will not rest until we are in the top ten of the league and I believe it will happen sooner rather than later.
One of the reasons i have penned this missive is just to invite you all to a game at Motspur this season. Some of the names we hear about are legendry in the clubhouse and we would love to entertain all of you that once played and represented the club in the last goodness knows how many years. Wouldn’t it be brilliant if you could all come on the same day, watch a game and have a drink in the old school bar?
You can check on all our teams progress from 1st's to 4ths by going to www.amateurfootballcombination.com and going to the Results and Tables section. The firsts and seconds are both doing well in their respective divisions and although the thirds and fourths are fighting relegation battles there is a good sprit in both teams. The first team still have to play Old Dorkinians (P9 W9) at Motspur. That will be a great game.
And finally i want to assure you all that the chairman, secretary and all of us minions at the coalface of the committee are working tirelessly to make our club revered again for all the right reasons. We will not let you down.
Old Tenisonians 1st XI – Last 18 months.
Whilst playing for the 2nd team (08/09), I got to know Dickie Turner quite well, keeping in contact about how our respective team at Tenisonians were getting on. I had played for Dickie in an end of season fixture whilst he ran the 4th team (season 07/08) and after the game Dickie said to me, I want to run the first team next year and you will be my captain. I must have played well in the game. Dickie did go on to run the 1st team and despite only 4 or 5 regular players, challenged for promotion in division Intermediate South until the final weeks of the season. He clearly did well, with limited resources at a time when no one else wanted to step in and run the 1st team. I did not join him as captain that season as I was playing with some friends in the 2s and felt I should remain loyal to them as they wanted our side to continue. (Yes I know, this is not how a club should be run). In that season (08/09), I played a couple of games for Dickie when the 1s were short and the 2nd team did not have a game. I got to see that there were a couple of excellent players in the 1st team including Lee Cooper (forward), Maciek Abramowski (forward), Matt Sellick (centre midfield) and Michael Turner (centre back). At this time, the 2nd team I was playing in were struggling to get XI players every week and I was not enjoying my football. I new that the core of players in the 1st team, combined with the core from the 2nd team would make a very strong side.
I told Dickie and my friends that I would not be with the 2nd team the next season (09/10) but I would be playing in the 1st XI and I wanted to help make that team the strongest in the club (as it should be). One of my friends Paul Shipp (Midfield/Striker) who was by far the 2nd team’s best player was also not enjoying his football and wanted to join me. Two other players I convinced to join were Dan Pascal (centre back) and Dean Lewsey (defence / midfield or goalkeeper). I remember talking to Dickie on the phone after his 1st team had lost to Woking in that season saying, whatever you do, convince Lee, Maciek, Matt and Michael to stay as we will have a great side next season! Luckily he did.
Before the 2009-
The season started, we had a squad also made up of a couple of school boys Dickie used to coach Blair Francis (midfield) and Erenis Gjuriqi (midfield) who, particularly the latter, would prove to be invaluable as the season went on. In our first game we stuttered to a 2-
From the Quarter Finals onwards, the LOB Cup provided us with our most difficult games of the season. Luckily we were drawn at home every round. We thrashed a poor but nasty Woking side in the 4th round 9-
The season ended with a presentation at the club house, where the team served committee members and OTA senior members dinner. Dean Lewsey was awarded Managers Player of the year, Matt Sellick Players Player of the year and Erenis Gjuriki received a trophy for young player of the year, all three players thoroughly deserving their awards.
This season 10/11 is half way through. We find ourselves 2nd in the league (Division Senior 3 South) behind Dorking who are currently unbeaten. We are aiming to win the league but have had some difficulties this season with players. Rory Parsons our great goalkeeper has had to give up playing due to work commitments and we have not found a replacement. Dean Lewsey is playing in goal but only every other week as he too has work commitments. As a result, we do not always have our strongest XI available. When we do, we will fancy our chances against any team, as we proved against Bromlians last week with a 5-
So the future is looking brighter for the football club. The 2nd team are also doing very well, currently top of Div 2 South. The club must now try and push the better players in the 2nd team to want to play for the 1st team to make them even stronger next year. This is something that I would like to see in the next few seasons, players form the 1s and 2s moving between sides depending on performance, form, ability etc though it can be difficult especially when players are playing with their mates. Again we will see…..
OTFC 1st Team Captain.
1st Team Manager’s Report. 2009/10
As it was Sam’s first report for MM he asked me to look it over and make sure it was up to scratch. I’m not sure what my qualifications were for doing that but having read it, my initial thought after seeing all those spelling and grammatical errors is that the future of our nations children are in great hands, what with Sam being a Schoolteacher an’all!
However the real point I hope to make is that ‘Stepover’ Sam is being very, very modest. I was away for three months of the 2009/2010 season and it was in fact Sam (and with a little help from a very vocal Terry Smith) who managed, picked, mollycoddled and breast fed the team through the sharp end of the season.
The honours won would be great in any season, but the ‘extras’ made it a truly remarkable season for Stepover (he always tries to get one in every game) and the chaps.
The league playing record was P 22 W 20 D 2 L 0 F 87 A 16 Pts 62. The team was the highest scoring team in the whole of the eight senior divisions and only 2 teams scored more in the whole of the leagues 24 divisions (and one of those unbelievably was our remarkable team of cricketers, (Jez’s fourth team!!!).
We won the London Challenge Cup scoring 19 goals and only conceding 4 in the whole competition from first round to the final.
But the biggest achievement was without doubt our ‘spirit of football’ score. For those of you that are not aware of this new thing in our league, each team and club are awarded marks out of ten at the end of each game by their opponents and the referee. Our combined average score was 8.17 which was the eighth highest score out of the eighty eight teams in all the eight senior divisions but of the seven teams that scored higher than us, a couple were relegated and most of the others were in mid table ignominy. So although we were competitive and we won, we also tried to play the game in the way it was supposed to be played, the game we all dreamed about when we were children. The first team played fast attacking football always trying to score more goals than the opposition, winning showing humility and on the odd occasions in two other cups, losing with good grace.
Sam is a great, great captain who loves the club and looks after not only his own players but is always the first to offer his services to other teams if his team are not playing. I would urge all you football lovers out there to come and watch him play, maybe even take a walk around him and although its been mentioned that we’ve seen milk turn faster than Sam, you will not be disappointed should you venture out to Motspur this current season, surely the field of all our dreams.
Sam, you can be very proud of your season’s work. The club and I are proud of you too.
Thanks for your report Sam and for Dickie’s follow-
After last seasons disbanding of the 4th team due in no small part to a lack of Spirit of Football, I accepted my part of the blame and decided that I owed the club a season of selfless responsible behaviour.
Firstly It was decided that It would be advisable not to play for the foreseeable future-
As the majority of the team were in their early 20s I was hoping to win as many games as I lost, pay our way, adopt a good spirit of football into the team and as long as we did these things it would be a good for the team and the club.
We began with 4 pre season friendlies which would indicate what our aspirations were for the season. Our only setback was against a Meads team who play 2 divisions above. Our team of avant garde, carefree, rather lazy, talented, disparate but talented young men approached the league campaign with relish.
This was soon to turn to dismay -
The next game proved to be a turning point -
We then played a very rough, naughty Royal Bank of Scotland team who tried to kick us off the pitch whether the ball was there or not. At half time, bruised and battered we had a narrow lead but the players were moaning about the intimidation and the tactics of the oppo. I told them to go out in the 2nd half and work hard to ensure that we all wanted the ball on all occasions to show that we were unconcerned and not intimidated. No retaliation would be acceptable, extreme restraint was to be shown. We won 5-
I was then to have a huge slice of luck-
I particularly admire the fact that there are no " stars " in the team and no one is bigger than the team. They have mixed together very well and work for each other.
With the new players quickly blending with the others we have gone from strength to strength winning our last 9 games, 2 or 3 of which have been against supposedly stronger opposition. In our last game before Christmas we played St Marys -
We won 7-
We can be a joy to watch. Aside for one or two old heads, the rest of the squad are 21-
We are fortunate to have so many technically gifted, fit young players who love to play attacking football from all areas of the pitch. Opposition teams are finding this mixture very difficult to deal with.
I have purposely not singled out any individual in the team as they all have an equally important role to play, something they are starting to understand that is vital in any team that prides itself on team spirit and the success that this can bring.
Originally it was thought by some members of the committee that it would be difficult for the team to behave themselves in the difficult circumstances that the club finds itself in but they have shown that the faith put in them was well served.
I would like to thank Dickie and Sam from the 1st team for not interfering with the team unless absolutely necessary. I appreciate it.
I am sure that we have some really tough battles in the new year as there are 3 very good sides in our league but I have no doubt that I will remain very proud of all of them. So far it has been a joy to be in charge
Roll on 2011
At the annual AGM of the football club in the summer, Terry stood up in front of everyone, players and committee alike, and apologised for his part in what had happened in the last few years. Terry was gentle, apologetic and humble. It was genuinely moving.
He said he had not realised what was happening over the last five or so years and how the situation had been deteriorating and that he would do everything in his power to remedy the problems as the club that he loves and has been loyal to for nearly 40 years was under extreme threat of survival.
Terry was asked to run the new second team and he has approached his job with gusto and indeed some brilliance. In just 4 months he has built a fast attacking young team which I am sure will serve the club for years to come. I feel they will certainly be promoted and they may even get to a cup final this year. Bravo Terry!
Terry has asked me to ask if any of you would consider sponsoring his team, either for track/wet proof suits for the subs, or even the full team. The bulk of Terry’s side are currently unemployed but nevertheless they are managing to find the correct amount of money each week to pay in as subs. I know that a lot of you know Terry from his 39 year association with the club and if possible, why not get down to the club and chew the fat with him about when he used to be a mobile, ninety minute playmaker for the sides. Anyone recognise that? Or is he telling porkies to the youngsters!
Finally in the football section a fourth team report from Jez Borgust
'Team of the 2010's?'… where did it all go wrong??
What a first season, we won the league, made friends on the pitch with our brand of fast attacking football and off it with a growing reputation for enjoying a drink, in true Tenison tradition we were more often than not the last to leave the bar.
It's also worth noting that we completed the season without a single booking/caution and all the annual subs/match fees were collected with none outstanding! If it sounds unbelievable it was!! It was a privilege to Captain the side, well done to everyone involved.
Unfortunately no sooner than the 2009/10 season finished the promise began to fade, with players leaving for University, sadly retiring due to injuries, being promoted to higher sides, players not being available with work commitments and players unavailable for selection.
Unfortunately we started the 2010/11 season without 12 of players who brought us so much of the success last year.
The commitment of those who have joined and been available has be fantastic and we have enjoyed a good social side off the pitch. I hope that we'll be able to get some more players in the January transfer window and climb up the table. I feel sure if I could get a regular 11 out each week we'd win more than we'd lose.
We have struggled to get a side out this season, had to cancel games due to a lack of players and are close to folding. This season has been a tougher one than usual, the AFC promoted us 3 Divisions, that's the most of any team in the league, maybe a compliment or perhaps trying to
ensure our club doesn't go to the awards dinner to collect yet more trophies?
If the three division promotion wasn't enough the AFC also imposed another restriction on our club for its continued involvement in the league. Players are only eligible for selection who have been registered with the league 48 hours before kick off?!?! Clearly this was aimed at my side as it will only really handicap a club’s bottom team as there are no lower sides for us to pick from. Seems they have a vendetta against us? Anyone that's run a bottom side will know that you
often get a player in on Saturday morning to get you up to 11.
I have found this situation hard to put into words but found some quotes from Dennis Wise when he was Leeds manager and was deducted 15 points which sums up how our side feels at the moment; "It's laughable. Not only have they taken my arms and legs off, now they've cut my b***s off as well... It's just not funny at all. We'd like to know deep down the real reasons... I'm disappointed with the whole thing... Lovely. Thank you very much... It's so disappointing, but these players, are going to stick together and be strong... It's going to be very difficult. A lot of people want to see us fall flat on our faces and they've helped make the situation as well. So we've got to fight against it, pick ourselves up, dust ourselves down and get on with it."
Watch this space, we will give it a real go in the second half of the season!
Like Stepover Sam’s report Jez is far too modest about his achievements in 2009/10. Oh that some of our previous contributors to these football columns were as modest as these two youngsters.
The Fourth Team record for the season reads P18 W14 D3 L1 F92 A27 Pts65. Well they say that figures don’t lie but they don’t always tell the full story. The second highest goal scorers in the whole league. There were 321 teams playing that season. AND equally as important the team of cricketers scored 8.55 for the spirit of football, which was the sixth highest score in the whole league. It’s fair to say they were winning friends wherever they went, particularly in the bar, as I understand it. Well done Jez and the boys. Absolutely tremendous.
The OTA cricket club also fared badly in 2010. A number of regular first team players left the club for various reasons resulting in much weakened teams playing each week, and the loss of the second team early in the season. But a solution seems to be in hand and Paul Kain has written the following:
2010 Cricket Season Report
After the success during 2009 there were high hopes improving league places for both the 1stXI and 2ndXI for the 2010 season. However; this was only to be a dream as 2010 was more to survive ensuring we still had a cricket club. During 2009 cricket AGM news came through that Club Captain Jim Butcher had to stop playing due to injury and long term team player Grant Hubbard had made the decision not to travel many miles to play his cricket with the OTA including his two sons Toby and Charlie.
With other members going back to South Africa and Pakistan a total of 8 1st team players were to be missing for the start of the season.
Plans were put in place to recruit 1st team players without any success only to have more 2nd/3rdXI strength players in hand. For the first couple of weeks during the season there were two teams being fielded but very much under strength, once the club had to pull out of the 2ndXI game things just went “down hill” from then on.
The league allowed 3 games to be cancelled from the 2ndXI then making the decision to withdraw the 2ndXI from the league. Club captain Grant Walker became unavailable for ¾ of the season forcing Paul Kain or Chris Turner to captain the 1stXI under very difficult terms, however; true spirit of the OTA players turned up got beat heavy on the park but never complained staying back to share a beer or two.
On the playing front, batting was well supportive from Neville Perkins, Paul Kain, John Halsey and John Munden all recording 50’s in games. Bowling teams out was very hard work with James Varney taking most of the wickets. No players got into any league averages with the 1stXI being bottom of the Division 2.
As for 2011, after a meeting it was decided that unless the club can find a 1stXI there would be no choice but to leave the Fullers league and go back to joining the Ram league which would be a backwards step in the standard of cricket including away grounds. Once the season had finished we received a call from the Fullers League explaining our position for 2011, after explaining that the club will try to find a 1stXI the league informed us of Wimbledon Corinthians CC, a team playing in the Ram league winning the premier division but could not continue playing on their ground. After several meetings Old Tenisonians CC are joining Wimbledon Corinthians CC staying at Motspur Park to continue playing in the Fullers league. Corinthians will be our new 1stXI and OTA will be our 2ndXI, both sides strong enough to compete at the top of their leagues. The name as it stands hasn’t been confirmed but it is more looking like Tenisonians Corinthians CC.
It must be said a big thank you goes to the Fullers league for their support and for setting up our meeting to get the ball rolling to ensure this happened.
I guess sometimes you have to go through a bad patch to allow something very exciting to happen ahead of you, I to be honest thought it was the end of the OTA CC something which every player did not want to see.
As for 2011, our 1stXI are a very strong unit good enough to win promotion with the 2ndXI having players like Perkins, Kain, Halsey, Turner, Spence, Varney, Rhoden, McNestrie, Osborne, Mercer & Munden to name a few pushing for top place in their division.
So good times ahead this summer please come down and support the lads, even our new lads.
Thank you for that Paul, I am sure that I am not alone in wishing the cricket club every success for the 2011 season.
The OTA Committee
The OTA’s AGM was held September 2010. The General Secretary’s annual report for the year follows.
GENERAL SECRETARY’S REPORT FOR 2009 – 2010
It must be my age because the OTA AGM seems to come around all too quickly. So, another year has passed, and we have a new government and a continuing economic crisis neither of which is especially relevant to the OTA but perhaps should be recorded for posterity! Here is the General Secretary’s report for 2009-
On the sporting front the past twelve months have not been especially positive. The football club has had to deal with a number of serious issues raised by the league, and from the correspondence that I have seen appears to have survived in the league by a narrow margin. From my perspective as an outside observer it seems that the league officials have been very harsh on the OTA football club, and it is gratifying to have seen that the other clubs in the league have been more supportive than have a number of the league officials. The OTA football club is not a wholly innocent party however. I understand a number of fairly serious measures have had to put in place as a condition of continuing membership of the league and it will be imperative that these are followed to the letter this season. The only heartening side to all these problems is that the management of the football club seems to be responding in a wholehearted and positive manner and from what I have heard is operating in a more formal way. The OTA football club is well worth the effort, but it seems to me that the 2010-
The cricket club did not enjoy a very successful season. The optimism of 2009 soon evaporated in 2010 with the loss of several regular first team players, for a variety of reasons. The second eleven had to be withdrawn from the league very early in the season due to lack of players and whereas the first team completed its league programme it did not win a single game and finished a long way bottom of the league. I know the cricket club committee tried very hard to redress the sorry state of affairs but had a thankless task to raise teams, and I assume membership of the Fuller’s League will now have to be forfeited. I am not confident as to the future of the cricket section, there are several worthy members and it is sad to witness the club’s demise. As for the football club the support of the membership as a whole should be brought to bear in an attempt to support the cricket committee. As a stop-
The Motspur Mumblings has not been regularly published this year. Volunteers for the role of guest editor have not been forthcoming. After such a huge success in 2009 (I jest!) yours truly has volunteered to have another go and I expect to go to press next month, any last minute input from the membership will be most welcome. The good news is that Dickie Turner has volunteered to be the guest editor following the next issue. I should repeat what I said last year in that the Motspur Mumblings is important to the OTA as it is really the only medium which gets circulated to all the members.
The OTA Committee has met regularly during the year, under the chairmanship of Mick Vaughan. Once again Glen Cain has kept control of the finances and overall I believe the Association’s financial position is stable, but not flush. The new regime managing the football club seems to be more focused on the finances – which must be seen as a positive.
The bar continues to be run by Paul Kain and Nevil Perkins. Takings suffered over the winter due to the exceptionally inclement weather and I suspect have suffered further during the summer due to the reduction in the number of cricket matches. From correspondence I see that moves are in place to re-
Eddie Boyle arranged yet another lunch in town earlier in the year, I understand attendance was again at a record level, and that a good time was had by all those attending. The date for next year’s event has already been set as Friday 15 April.
Relations with the School have been steady rather than dramatic, perhaps that is the way it is going to be. Members of the OTA committee continue to be invited to and do attend a range of formal functions at the School.
I feel it important to mention the sad death of Ken Langford earlier this year, after illness. Ken was a former OTA President and a stalwart of the football club for many years, he also played a few seasons for the cricket club. He will be sorely missed as a good friend and a true gentleman.
I apologise now for any omissions in this report.
That Gentlemen concludes the General Secretary’s report for 2009 – 2010.
Brian Lester Honorary General Secretary
One more compilation of bons-
Have a history teacher explain this-
Abraham Lincoln was elected to Congress in 1846.
John F. Kennedy was elected to Congress in 1946.
Abraham Lincoln was elected President in 1860.
John F. Kennedy was elected President in 1960.
Both were particularly concerned with civil rights.
Both wives lost children while living in the White House.
Both Presidents were shot on a Friday.
Both Presidents were shot in the head
Now it gets really weird.
Lincoln’s secretary was named Kennedy.
Kennedy's Secretary was named Lincoln.
Both were assassinated by Southerners.
Both were succeeded by Southerners named Johnson.
Andrew Johnson, who succeeded Lincoln, was born in 1808.
Lyndon Johnson, who succeeded Kennedy, was born in 1908.
John Wilkes Booth, who assassinated Lincoln, was born in 1839.
Lee Harvey Oswald, who assassinated Kennedy, was born in 1939.
Both assassins were known by their three names.
Both names are composed of fifteen letters.
Now hang on to your seat.
Lincoln was shot at the theatre named 'Ford'.
Kennedy was shot in a car called ' Lincoln ' made by 'Ford'.
Lincoln was shot in a theatre and his assassin ran and hid in a warehouse.
Kennedy was shot from a warehouse and his assassin ran and hid in a theatre.
Booth and Oswald were assassinated before their trials.
Quite a bumper edition I think. Some trivia, some sad news and a feeling of optimism in the sports clubs, maybe? Yes the OTA goes on much as before!
Dickie Turner has volunteered to be editor of the next edition, so get your articles in early!
28 Pine Ridge
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