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A Football Ballad: The Wellingboro Cup

A Football Ballad: The Wellingboro Cup

Confusing Victorian newspaper reports make it difficult to know if the Wellingborough Cup was a real cup competition or merely a name for the games that took place between Reading and Swindon in the late 19th Century.

This poem was published in the Reading Observer on the 5th December 1896 and details Reading’s 2-0 victory over Swindon Town at Elm Park. Swindon had beaten Reading 4-1 only a few weeks before so were clearly expecting to turn over their hosts once more.

Like many sports journalists of their era they link Reading to biscuits, their nickname being the Biscuitmen due to the large Huntley & Palmer biscuit factory that dominated the town.

The ballad was signed off M. so the identity of the poet is unknown.

A FOOTBALL BALLAD
THE WELLINGBORO’ CUP

When Swindon journeyed up
For the Wellingborough Cup
The hopes they entertained were far from small
Of a re-invite to sup
On some biscuits broken up,
but they didn’t, didn’t, didn’t, after all

On the splendid Reading ground,
With an eager crowd around,
The Swindon ‘lads’ did face the local men
And each combination found
That the other’s play was sound,
Tho’ they tried, and tried, and tried, and tried.

And the friendly fight was waged
While a chilling caster raged
Which blew and cut such capers with the sphere
That, howe’er the shots were gauged
It was hard to get them “caged,”
And the minders had a lighter task to clear.

When the cheerers-on of Reading,
In some “whispers,” wide and spreading,
Said “Reading, Reading, Reading, show our skill!”
How their forwards, neatly threading
Thro’ the Swindon ranks and heading
Did strive, and try, and struggle, with a will!

Thus in turn each team the other,
Their opponents, tried to smother,
Till Hadley scored for Reading number one,
And “Georgie” got another
Just to match his football brother,
And then, and there, and so, the “Town” were done!

When the Soton cracks arrive
In our busy Berkshire hive,
How the folks will flock to see, from far and near!
For Reading the will strive
To a greater win contrive
And they’ll do it, do it, do it, never fear!

For, when Swindon journeyed up,
In the Wellingborough Cup,
The hopes they entertained were rather tall,
Of a sitting down to sup
On some biscuits broken up,
Yet they didn’t, didn’t, didn’t, after all!

From the excellent British Newspaper Archive.

 
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Posted by on May 31, 2018 in Poetry/Fiction

 

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League One 2012/2013: Players who started the first and last game of the season for their club


The following list shows the players who started the first and last league games for their League clubs in the 2012/2013 season.

  • Stevenage (8) – James Dunne, Luke Freeman, Marcus Haber, Darius Charles, Chris Day, Mark Roberts, David Gray and Bondz N’Gala.
  • Carlisle United (7) – Liam Noble, Brad Potts, Lee Miller, James Trevor Berrett, Danny Livesey, Matthew James Robson and Paul Thirlwell.
  • Crawley Town (7) – Nicky Adams, Josh Simpson, Billy Clarke, Matthew Sadler, Paul Jones, Dannie Bulman and Mark Connolly. 
  • Hartlepool United (7) – Andy Monkhouse, Jonathan Franks, Simon Walton, Sam Collins, Scott Flinders, Neil Jeffrey Austin and Peter Hartley.
  • Leyton Orient (7) – Dean Cox, Lloyd James, Kevin Lisbie, Jimmy Dean Smith, Gary Sawyer, Jamie Jones and Nathan Clarke. 
  • Tranmere Rovers (7) – Jean-Louis Akpro, Andy Robinson, Liam Palmer, Danny Holmes, Zoumana Bakayogo, Ash Taylor and Ben Gibson. 
  • Brentford (6) – Harlee Dean, Clayton Donaldson, Shaleum Logan, Simon Moore, Toumani Diagouraga and Jonathan Douglas. 
  • Doncaster Rovers (6) – Chris Brown, David Cotterill, Robert Jones, Paul Quinn, Jamie Paul McCombe and Tommy Spurr. 
  • Notts County (6) – Alan Judge, Jeff Hughes, Yoann Arquin, Gary Liddle, Bartosz Bialkowski and Dean Leacock. 
  • Preston North End (6) – Nicky Wroe, Keith Keane, Jack King, John Mousinho, Paul Huntington and David Buchanan. 
  • Yeovil Town (6) – James Hayter, Edward Upson, Marek Stech, Luke Ayling, Sam Foley and Dominic Blizzard.
  • AFC Bournemouth (5) – Charlie Daniels, Marc Pugh, Shaun MacDonald, Tommy Elphick and Simon Francis.
  • MK Dons* (5) – Antony Kay, Dean Peter Bowditch, Daniel Powell, Luke Chadwick and Darren Potter. 
  • Scunthorpe United (5) – Jimmy Ryan, Mark Duffy, Sam Slocombe, David Mirfin and Tom Newey. 
  • Walsall (5) – Adam Craig Chambers, Jamie Paterson, William Grigg, Nicky Featherstone and Dean Holden. 
  • Crewe Alexandra (4) – Byron Moore, Max Clayton, Ajay Leitch-Smith and Harry Davis.
  • Sheffield United (4) – Harry Maguire, Kevin McDonald, Michael Doyle and Neill Collins.
  • Swindon Town (4) – Raffaele De Vita, Alan McCormack, Wesley Foderingham and Joe Devera. 
  • Colchester United (3) – Magnus Okuonghae, Marcus Bean and Brian Wilson.
  • Coventry City (3) – Adam Barton, John Fleck and Richard Wood.
  • Oldham Athletic (3) – Lee Croft, Christian Alexis Montaño Castillo and Jean-Yves Mvoto.
  • Bury (2) – Mark Hughes and David Worrall.
  • Shrewsbury Town (2) – Luke Summerfield and Chris Weale. 
  • Portsmouth (0)

Not one player who started Portsmouth’s first game of the season also started the last game of the league season. This perhaps demonstrates what a turbulent season the club has had. The club didn’t even have the same manager for their first and last games of the season.

 
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Posted by on May 5, 2013 in Club, Statistics

 

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League One Champions 2011: Huddersfield Town


The following tables show the number of points earned by teams during 2011.

As there are three teams promoted and four teams relegated from League One, seventeen sides spent the entirety of 2011 in the third tier. Of these teams it was League One play-off finalists Huddersfield Town that ended the year with the best record. It was only everyone’s favourite franchise MK Dons that won the same number of games during 2011.

It’s been a year to forget for the Saddlers as Walsall finish as the worst team to spend the whole of 2011 within the division (though Notts County lost the most games during the year). It’s notable that the side with the most draws in 2011 are the side with the best average points per game total, Huddersfield Town (20) and the team with the second most draws are the side with the worst average points per game total: Walsall. Each statistic tells its own story, it’s for you to unpick the bones from that one.

League One: Calendar Year 2011

League One: Calendar Year 2011 (sorted by average points per game)

If you add all of the sides that have spent any time in League One during 2011 it’s 2010/2011 runners-up Southampton who have the best points per game record. It’s probably worth mentioning that despite teams such as Southampton, Brighton and Sheffield United only spending half a year in League One, Huddersfield still end the year as the side that lost the fewest games (only two during 2011). Relegated Swindon Town finish rock bottom of the table after being relegated and are now looking to bounce back from League Two at the first attempt under the stewardship of Italian nutball Paolo Di Canio.

League One: Calendar Year 2011 (sorted by average points per game)

 
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Posted by on January 7, 2012 in Club, Statistics

 

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