Summer Days

By mid July most discerning footy fans will have either had the family holiday or maybe still looking forward to it, if indeed one is planned. The season ticket sorted the fixture list scrutinised and maybe a peek at one or two of the 'friendlies' on offer. Ever budget conscious I have whittled down pre-season friendlies over the years but if one person deserved some patronage this year it was the 'Wylde' man. There is something about that first peek of a fresh new pitch, tempered with the smell of fresh paint. Hope abounds for the season to come. The relaxed relatively none combatant approach by both sides lends to a friendly laid back theme. Fans who by the middle of December would be multi layered and eyeing  their opposition counterparts  up with foreboding actually engage with each other whilst sporting the latest in summer attire and latest kit. OK we are not going to be playing Sheffield Wednesday competitively any time soon but I don't think from a fan to fans point of view it matters that much. How does the die hard Barcelona fan differ from the die hard Stalybridge Celtic fan ? I digress, back to Roger's testimonial. Ian Brown's excellent report told us all about the game and the personnel but having analysed the programme I spotted a couple of interesting things:

Roger's league debut for Wednesday came about in November 1972 when he came on to replace Dave Sunley. Apologies for readers younger than about 47 but County fans of some vintage will remember Dave Sunley with some affection as he played for us circa late 70's early 80's. I actually gave him a lift once when his top of the range Vauxhall Viva was in for a service. Wonderful memories of Dave getting a very late equaliser against Sheffield United at Bramall Lane in the FA or League cup around 1980 - if I remember correctly Martin Peters (him of England world cup final scoring 1966) played for the Blades that night. The game went to extra time and it all went pear shaped as we conceded 3 more.

In that same Sheffield Wednesday team photo (Roger's testimonial programme) I spy Alan Thompson who later became player/manager at County in the late 70's. In keeping with my 'Summer Days' theme one of the best games I ever saw was Reading v County at Reading's old Elm Park Ground - August, blazing hot, grass banking for a terrace, huge long drive, it ended up either 3-3 or 4-4 with Thompson getting a hatrick. This was for me County's golden period ! perennial re-election candidates, constant financial woes but something about that time for me lingers fondly in the memory, more to come in future blogs !!

My first introduction to Mr Wylde's skills were at Poynton Wreck in 1988 with the added bonus of a chat with Jimmy Melia. Ok nuff said.

When Ian asked me if I would contribute to the site he suggested that I might like to talk about referee's given my occasional outbursts in response to his match reports. I will hold on that one for the time being, well at least until the season begins but I have thoughts for other postings along the lines of: 'Why County and not the other Two' (you know who I mean)  'Where did all go right for Swansea, Wigan and Reading and so wrong for Darlington, Stockport and Rushden'  'Is Football outside the Championship a busted and unrealistic model' and '12 years ago and in 12 years time'

Bye for now

Adrian Caville

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