Sunday, 30 November 2008


Double shattered!. No sleep at all last night, a combination of too much caffeine in the system and a new duvet that pushed the room temperature up to around melting point. This morning I dropped my son off at football with his Grandad, the girl's stayed at home with Grandma and my wife and I drove to the club for a bit of lunch and to listen to the 3rd round draw. Along with a few of the lad's and their partner's we all waited in anticipation...... "Number 56...Torquay Utd "............, Come on Ray Clemence say Man Utd, come on Ray say Arsenal,............"will play Blackpool". I never really took to Ray Clemence and I can see why now. It could be worse though, it could be away to Blackpool!!. Joking aside it's not a Premiership club which everybody had hoped for but it is a game that we can win, for now though it goes well and truly on the back burner.

On returning home it was time to get serious. Out came the Christmas decorations and for the next 3 hours we set about the house in true Christmas spirit. The Christmas CD went on, the baubles were thrown all over, each room had the 'Full Works', and that many lights have been rigged up that Dan ( next door) will have to do a full safety check ( He's a Fireman!!!) before they are turned on !.

Time to Chill out in front of the TV now, and it's a BBC 2 fest. I'll be watching The Long Way Down, Top Gear, Louis Theroux and then Match of The Day.... if my wife let's me. Very Doubtful!.


Saturday, 29 November 2008

Home Time

Shattered!!. A great victory today, beating my old team Oxford 2-o and with 10 men. We were a bit tentative in the first half but scored a good goal before the break, unfortunately we also lost Roscoe Dsane to a harsh sending off. But with 10 men we rolled the old sleeves up and actually looked the more dangerous team in the second half, topping of a great display with a second goal to win the game. Well done to all the boys, they gave it everything, and along with some good tactical decisions it was a well deserved result.

We certainly needed our fan's today and they didn't let us down, great support in freezing conditions!!!. I think I tempted fate in last night's blog, talking about scoring an own goal in an F.A cup tie. It nearly happened again today, I was trying to defend a cross and headed the ball towards goal, but Scotty Beavan made a good save and it was panic over ( that's what keepers are paid for anyway!!).
What with the own goal scare and nearly walking out with Matt Green' shirt on before the game it was a relief to be sat in the changing room after the game, victorious and with the right shirt on!.
I am now sat watching X-Factor with an ice pack on, the kid's are playing junior monopoly with their grandparents and we have all just destroyed an indian takeaway and a few bottles of red. Bliss!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.


Friday, 28 November 2008

Big Money Round?

It's the evening before the match against Oxford, the second round of the F.A Cup. We need to progress to the 3rd round where hopefully a big club awaits and some much needed ££££££. I have played in lot's of F.A cup ties over the years, lot's of highs and some lows.

High's include goals for Grimsby, Northampton, Hull, Plymouth and Brentford and other's!!!, and low's include a goal for Man Utd. Yes I did say a goal for Man Utd, it was during a great cup run with Northampton. We had beaten Rotherham away in the 4th round and were drawn to Man Utd at home. The club actually made over a million pounds from that cup run. Unfortunately I scored an own goal, just after half time and at 1-0 down, against the current Champions. In over 600 games it was, and still is, the only own goal I've scored!. A viewing audience of 60 million worldwide, about 30 family and friends at the game and a party arranged for the night.... brilliant!. I couldn't wait to do the press after that game.

The only good thing that came out of the game was that I gave Nicky Butt a bit of a slap for a late challenge. Another moment in the F.A cup, this time enoyable, was a goal I scored (In the right end this time!) at Reading in the 3rd round. We were losing 1-0 when in the last few minutes I managed to smash one in the top corner. Off came the shirt, I ran around the goal and celebrated in front of about 4 thousand travelling fan's. My brother was in the crowd that day and he said it was a great buzz when the goal went in as a bloke who jumped on him to celebrate had a Hargreaves shirt on, they did sell one that year then !!!!.
As I have said before though it is a great chance for player's to appear on Match of The Day. I will have to try and locate those old VIDEOS some day!.


Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Toddy's Blog

When Greavsie asked me to do this I was so happy to say yes .....

So were do I start, what a crazy and life changing week. I would first like to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for the support I have received it has touched me in so many ways. I don't think I have ever had so many frogs in my throat and I don't mean the ones out of water......

I will say this I have grown up so much in the last few days, it has made me realise so many things about life that normally I would take for granted. Believe me if everyone realised that one phone call could do this they would most probably look at life with a whole different outlook .

The club have been amazing and have helped me in so many ways already. I have the best Manager a player could wish for and his class backroom staff with him. A Physio who has not left my side, and who will be a big part in getting me healthy. A keeper coach who does just about everything at the training ground...... And Northy for winding me up all the time about the Welsh.

The lads have been a great help in keeping me smiling, not with their banter as it need some work especially Greavsie’ ha ha. On a serious note they keep me going and are true friends......

With the support I am getting from everyone around the world I hope and believe I will be back on the pitch in a yellow shirt very soon!

Chris Todd

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Another day at the office

Super quick blog as very busy today. Training this morning was excellent. The lad's came in after a few day's off and really put it in. We had a keep ball session that was fiercely contested, then we went into a game. It was played at full tempo with tackles, shot's and header's flying in. The morning session was rounded off with a few sprints, all the boy's being flat out at the end. Then it was into the gym for a blast on the weights( All the best with the golf tomorrow Kev!). I have to say the attitude of the whole squad was spot on, that's the way we all want it to be for the rest of the season, a togetherness and team spirit that will hopefully carry us through.

I'm thinking about having Guest blogger's on and it may start tonight, as well as this throughout the course of the next few weeks I will be giving you a little bit of info on each player i.e loves, hates etc so watch this space. Speak soon.

No guest blog as kids have gone to bed and my wife is online job hunting (again!!)

News Flash. On to tonights tennis now - Game, Set and Match Chris Hargreaves 6-2 6-2, 18 court violations shared between two players including 12 uses of bad language, 4 volleying of tennis balls with feet and 2 cases of clothing abuse (Dan). See you next week mate with a new racket.


Monday, 24 November 2008

Today I tried to go shopping with the girls, my Wife and Daughter, but again I failed. Fiona wanted to buy a few things so I entertained Hatty but I was beaten both mentally and physically. Physically, 10 yards of being in her buggy and it's "Shoulders Daddy, the old body starts to creak after carrying 'H' for 30 mins. Mentally there are only so many shops you can be led into and asked "What do you think about this one, is it really me!!!". Harriet tried her best as well, she entertained the Xmas shopper's by waving and dancing from inside the window displays but after an hour ( and that included coffee) we were both broken so we abandoned ship and returned home, leaving Fiona to shop and relax! for a few hours.

I was asked recently by a friend if I wanted to try the Paris- Dakar rally. As much as I want to it's difficult while I'm playing football, and judging by Charlie Boorman's ( of Long Way Round) retirement in a recent rally due to a broken hand (he fell off his bike) it's pretty dangerous too. The journey is mammoth, around 5 thousand miles, and dangerous, this year's rally was cancelled because of the danger in Africa, it will now take place in South America in Jan 2009. As with all the adventures that I fancy doing they are firmly on the back burner for a few years yet ( hopefully!!). It doesn't stop me plotting and planning though, Everest, the London Marathon, the Amazon, even surviving an afternoon's shopping with the girl's are all challenges ahead!!!.

One adventure that may not take place is a one that another friend of mine recently completed. The annual Mont Blanc 100 mile run is not one for the faint hearted. It basically is a non stop, yes non stop, run over ridiculous terrain ( mountainous) in as quick a time as possible. Rob completed the run in around 40 hours, he said he was hallucinating towards the end and that stopping for a drink 6 or so miles before the end was a big mistake. The last few miles, up hill, took about 7 hours!!!. A great achievement and a very emotional finish I'm sure for him and his waiting family.


Sunday, 23 November 2008

London Town

At the final whistle in yesterday's match against Woking the general feeling in the changing room was one of frustration with a 2-2 draw. Before the game we were confident we could win and at the end of the game we thought we should have won. Obviously at half time and at 2-0 down a draw would seem like a good result, but we were that dominant in the second half that it felt a bit disappointing that we hadn't taken all 3 points. I spoke to Phil Gilchrist their manager after the game and he was more than happy with a point !!!. The ground pretty much felt like it had been taken over by Torquay fan's which again was a massive bonus.

So the with the game over the squad travelled into London for the annual ( if early!) Christmas 'Do'. It was back to the hotel first though to change into the dancing old gear !! . Once the boy's had showered and shaved it was straight to the tube station and into Covent Garden. We spent a few hours there before heading to 'Clubland'. First it involved a quick taxi ride to the Met bar on Park Lane ( I'll come back to that), then onto another club back in the West End. Most of the lad's were already queuing when our taxi arrived. The queue was big, it was cold so...... why not!. Yep I nipped to the front of the queue and began the 'Blag'. Our names had been put on the guest list but when I asked the guy's at the door it was a negative, it may have been the sight of 10 or so of the lad's at the back of the queue 'livening' proceedings up that suddenly erased the names from the list. Time for Plan B, "Come on, the lad's have travelled up a long way, don't let them down, we will be little angel's in there", smile and wait....... The 'Rope' was lifted and to the annoyance of the freezing hopefuls in the queue the boy's marched past and into safety!.

As usual the clubs were a frenzy of celebs, wannabes, and footballers. Understandably there weren't many takers for the first round!. The remaining kitty was swallowed up in minutes rather than hours due to the price list at the bar!. It was that bad that the bar staff gave you a tissue and a get well soon card after each order. It could have been much worse though. As I said earlier we had already been to the Met Bar, kindly sorted by 'Hells Bells', but it was early and a bit quiet in there so we moved on. But I had told Damo, Kenny, Bri and Shaun we would meet them in there only remembering when I received a text from Damo saying he had just come round after paying 50 pounds for 4 drinks!, smelling salts anyone!.
Back to our watering hole and one of the lad's was having a bit of banter with a couple when the guy said " Tell you what I'll get a bottle eh, then you get one OK ". The waitress came over and beamed " That's 400 thanks". Shoulder officially dropped at that point!. Don't mess with bottles of Crystal is the lesson there !. It didn't stop plenty in there though, there were that many ice bucket's with sparkler's it was like firework night. What with the Ice sculpture and the chocolate fountain the credit crunch was nowhere to be seen!.
I have to say though I love London, the sights, the restaurants, the buses and black cabs and the town houses in squares overlooking little parks. I know for a day trip or a weekend it's a novelty but I think I could live in London quite happily as long as I had a few million in the bank!. The ideal scenario is a home in Devon and a pad to crash in London for the odd blast!. But for now it's the odd day or evening like last night.
A great laugh, a little cameo role by Phil Mitchel, a ten man race on rickshaw's and a faultless man marking display by one of the lad's and the night was over. Is that the alarm clock we've only just got in !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.


Friday, 21 November 2008

Here we are again a another hotel, another away game, and hopefully another victory.
The journey was, as per usual, horrific. Dave our lovable driver took us to London via Bristol Northampton ,Cambridge, and a small B road that he discovered not yet even on the ordnance survey map. Suffice to say the lads entered the hotel still in their sitting position having consumed 15 tins of travel sweets each!!!. Normal service is resumed though, yes my roomy is on the trip, and his cards skills haven't improved.!!!
We are thinking of having an 'eat off' next week. The three main contenders being Michael Brough, Scott Bevan and Steve Adams they have all shown, in the last 24hrs, extordinary appetites. Stevie Adams in particular, his 'Sport Billy' bag contains a surprising quantity of snacks! Three hours into today's journey he produced a whole cooked chicken!!!

Got to get some sleep now so speak soon.


Thursday, 20 November 2008

What A Week

What a week it has been. 'Toddy's' news was a real blow and obviously nothing is more important than his recovery. He was cheering us on to victory on Tuesday evening, a victory that has broken records and put us to the top of the league. Although by recent standards we didn't play that well the result was never in doubt, the only thing in the minds of the player's and the management is that of trying to win games.
After my last two season's in Football I won't be making any predictions, all I will be doing along with the rest of the lad's is aiming to give the club and it's supporter's what it deserves which is league status.
OK for now I will sign off as I am taking my eldest Daughter Issy to athletics, Cam my Son is sat next to me shattered after covering some serious ground in a school match, as well as throwing a few 'Cryuff's', step overs and 'chops' into the bargain ( yes I know he is my son !). Harriet is 'helping' with the tea and my Wife is giving me the glare because I'm sitting down, so as the Governor of California would say "I'll be back" .


Just a few short words on this evenings activities. I played tennis with Dan (Next door) again tonight, come on you know I'm going to mention it. It was tough, I was feeling tired and stiff, Dan had just been fighting fires for a few days!. The score is not important Dan, it's the taking part, it's the banter, the fun. For the record, sorry again mate, I managed to scrape through in a close 6-2, 6-2 victory.
I had 1 court violation for volleying (with my foot) a ball over the fence and onto a roof, after a bad shot. I also had 4 court violations for offensive language as did Dan!.
On the whole it was a good game and as I said earlier (as long as you win!) it's all about the taking part, the banter and the fun!.
See you on court next week mate if your still talking to me.

By the way is that Timmy Mallet I see in the jungle!!. I met him after a game at Oxford of whom he supports. As I'm sure you will see Timmy is as mad as a box of frogs but can he win it ?, if old 'Biggins' can anyone can ( It's very doubtfull though!).


Tuesday, 18 November 2008


Today as you may have heard the Football club called a press conference.
Present were Chris Todd, his Mum and Dad, partner Gemma and daughter Amylia. Also there were the Chairman, Manager, Chief executive and myself .
Chris announced that he has Leukemia. This, he explained, had only been discovered on Monday when the news was broken to him. 'Toddy' went on to explain a bit about the illness and his plan of attack. Further tests are to be done on Monday to find out more and to decide what form of treatment he will need.
Together with his Dad Steve he broke the news to his team mates before last night's game which was obviously distressing and a real shock for the boy's. It was surreal walking into a slient dressing room, usually the stereo is blasting and the mood is high, but for a while it was very quiet. Through 'Toddy's bravery in talking to the lad's and Paul Buckles' words afterwards we all knew the job in hand had to be done and it was. Tim Sills asked me in the warm up if he thought lifting 'Toddy's' shirt up would be appropriate and it was totally. It was fitting that Tim scored and raised it aloft.
Today, as with last night, Chris Todd showed he is a true man facing up to it, joking about it, and wishing the best for the lad's.
I have always had so much time for 'Toddy', he is a good laugh, as brave as a lion and a proper mate, the only thing that let's him down are his crazy tattoos, highlights and dress sense (only joking mate, can't wait to see Saturday's outfit!!!!).
As he said today, and last night, he will deal with this illness like he has everything in his life fighting all the way. I've no doubt 'Toddy' will beat it and soon be destroying people on the pitch again like he has in the past.
I actually phoned Chris on Monday night only 20 minutes after he had been told, my timing has always been shocking, he was very quiet and I'm not surprised. To be sat there watching TV one minute and then to hear you have Leukemia the next is not a normal experience but I couldn't think of anyone stronger to deal with it than Chris Todd.
To Chris, Gemma and Amylia, Steve, Julie and the rest of the Todd Clan.

We love you to bit's mate and you know our thoughts are with you and your lovely family.
See you soon
Greavsie and the lad's.

Monday, 17 November 2008

Top to Bottom

Top plays bottom tomorrow night as we host Lewes. On paper these games look easy but I can tell you there not, Lewes will be scrapping for their lives. A victory for us would be just as important as it would against a team at the top. We will need to be on our toes big time when that whistle goes tomorrow. It always feels like a really long day when you play an evening game, it's a relief when finally the kit goes on and the warm up starts. The day of a game and the day before a game feels much different to a normal day in that your mood changes and things become a bit more serious.
The other difference being that when my mates are preparing to relax for the weekend or chill out at night I am going to work, work that is stressful and emotional and tough at times but work that I know I am very privileged to be doing.

I almost can't find the right words tonight. This isn't because there are no anecdotes or stories to tell or that I'm tired or fed up. The reason is that I was told something tonight that shocked me in a big way.
Early this evening I travelled to Plymouth to listen to a speech by Rob Walker a Freelance Sports Commentator. He has reported for the BBC1, BBC2, Channel 4 and Setanta. Most recently he was the sailing reporter at the Olympics and last Saturday you may have seen him commentate on the David Hay fight. I could talk about Rob all night he is a real character, in tonight's speech his passion and enthusiasm about his Media career and life shone through. It was great to speak to him briefly beforehand about Football and Boxing and I look forward to meeting him again.
After listening to his inspirational and motivating words I jumped in my car to drive home. I made a quick phone call before I set off and bang..... the words I am now struggling to find are about that conversation with a Friend. I can't talk about it but what I can say is that in my life and probably many others we worry about jobs, contracts and money, we get stressed out with the kids or argue about bills. The thing that we take for granted is our health and our families and to get home and hug mine and tell them that I love them couldn't come soon enough.


Sunday, 16 November 2008

Family Fortunes

I mentioned in Friday's blog that during the long journey to York we played a 'Legendary' game of Family Fortunes. Tim Sills the games master brought along the FF board game, the two 'Families' were picked and soon it was hands behind backs, fingers on buzzers and those famous words "We surveyed one hundred people" kicked off the game.
Family one consisted of Woods, Hargreaves, Benyon(someone had to have him!),Mansell and Brough.
Family two consisted of Sills, Nicholson(those two were a banker to be on the same team),Hodges,Beavan and Adams.
Nicky Wroe was the host, Bob Monkhouse , Les Dennis or Vernon Kay whoever you prefer.
And so we started "Steve meet Lee".... "Hi Steve".. "Hi Lee". "Name something you can read" etc etc. The early rounds were fiercely contested , then we came to 'Big Money' which we decided both teams would play in.
Family One chose Hargreaves and Woods(we have experience and are sad enough to still be watching Family Fortunes on a Saturday night!!!!!).
Family Two chose Hodges and Adams( purely for banter).
'Woodsy' went first while I put on the headphones and went into the booth(coach toilet!). He did well, a few top answers and a good score. I followed and I've got to say was a bit nervous facing 'Bob', but it went well and we a decent score had been set.
Now up stepped Lee Hodges to face the questions, here we go ;
1. Name something yo can play by yourself , you said "Cards"
2. Name something you can polish, you said "Shoes"
3. Name a pet that is easy to keep, you said "Dog"
4. Name something that might follow the word 'Don't' you said "Do that"
5. Name something a boss may give to an employee, you said "A pay rise"
The lads gave a small ripple of applause and the score wasn't bad.

Up stepped Stevie 'Ghoul' Adams, an intelligent lad and a real gent.
"Steve, Lee did well you need 97 to get the big money.
1. Name something you can play by yourself ................"Football"!!!!!!!!!!!!!.
2. Name something you can polish ............... "A bald head"!!!!!!!!!!!!.
3. Name a pet that is easy to keep............"A Biro"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.
4. Name something that might follow the word 'Don't'.............."Cry"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.
5. Name something a boss may give to an employee................"A bottle of wine!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

The 'Buzzer' we used nearly ran out of batteries it was pressed that much, and for only the second time in 'Family Fortunes' history there was 'surprisingly enough' no score.
Stevie let's break the answers down. Yes if you like playing one player football, shaking your own hand at the start and celebrating with your 'mates' when you have scored then no problem!.
If you lose your hair in a few years and want to get the old pledge out then cool!. If you are a little bit sensitive at the moment and think ' Don't cry' is appropriate that's fine. If you had your own business and wanted to give one of your staff a nice bottle of Claret, great . But if you think that an easy pet to look after would be a 'Biro' then I think we have got some serious issues!!.
In your defence mate you thought it was 'Pen' not 'Pet' and so I suppose 'Biro' would be a good pen to look after!!.
It just shows you the pressure that these Game shows can inflict on people, in fact on a recent TV edition of Family fortunes when asked " Name a part of the body you can open" the panicked celebrity contestant answered "*****"........ Say no more !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.
Stevie be prepared next week Tim is bringing Mastermind!!!.


Night Shift- Again!

Just returned home after a long trek back from York. It is 1.05a.m, all is quiet, I cannot sleep so it's time for late night TV and a few words on the blog.
A great result first and foremost, York hadn't lost at home this season. The team played very well and were rewarded with a big victory. Although the journey back was long the banter was high quality, helped by a refreshment break mid-way!. To have as many fans at the game as we did was a real boost, winning was the least we could do!. The fact that it didn't rain must have been a bonus as well, uncovered away stands are not great!.
We looked a little bit different today due to our enforced 'shorts' change. The ref seemed to think our light blue shorts clashed with York's dark blue shorts so something had to give. Instead of the home side changing to their away shorts as we had no spare set they 'Kindly' lent us their youth teams away shorts!!!. Great effort with the old psychological games but it turned out that York beat York today. It didn't bother us at all, in fact we had a good laugh in the changing room watching some of our lad's squeeze into those claret bad boys. No names mentioned but there were a few toffees being eaten in those shorts!
My Mum and Dad were at the game which was great as was my old mate Michael 'Slipmat, Chatty' Chapman. Sorry I couldn't stay over you guys but you know what it's like, a wrong move at this point could result in warfare at home, couple that with the fact that the cost of a flight back had doubled it was always going to be 90/10 against. I knew I should have booked that flight on Wednesday instead of trying to be clever and chancing it !!.
I'm suddenly extemely tired, my body is rejecting all form of movement and I can hear someone stirring upstairs, I have to blog off. Please tell me 'Hatty' hasn't sensed I'm home because if she has I am facing a night of torture!. 1.45a.m and out.


Friday, 14 November 2008

Children In Need

I am relaxing my hotel room in Leeds watching Children in Need and thinking ahead to tomorrows game against York. An important game that we are of course looking to win.

I now have a new roomy in tow, with Chris Todd still injured and Wayne Carlisle on the treatment table I welcome the latest victim, Michael Brough, with open arms.
'Broughy' is a top lad who is obviously disappointed that he is not in the team at the moment. That aside he is still as committed as ever in training, and fully behind the lads who are in the team. 'Yep tea would be lovely Broughy - thanks mate!'

The trip up was a usual very long and very hot. We came by stagecoach and by the end of the journey there were parrots flying down aisles. Needless to say Nico has now gone for a refreshing shower!
Our on board entertainment consisted of a legendary game of family fortunes and the very long discussion regarding Elliot Benyons' mental state (it's unstable!!). I will reveal more about Family Fortunes at a later date.

This evenings meal at the Hotel was pretty good, a roast dinner followed by a bowl of Rennie's- looking forward to breakfast!!

PS Cam and Issy put those sweets away and stop driving mum mad.

Love you crazy lot, see you soon and as Del Boy would say ..... Bonjour


Thursday, 13 November 2008

First Installment

Super quick post for now as time is of the essence. My Wife has gone out, as soon as I arrived home in fact!, and the children have destroyed the house so it's mayhem in the Hargreaves household. Harriet has just thrown a milkshake all over and is throwing tennis balls at me, the tennis balls were a recent purchase for yesterday's game between me and Dan(next door) and the score 6-0 6-1, sorry mate I had too get it in !!!!!!!!.
Isabella is at athletics at 6.30 but is currently making 'Potions' in the bathroom. Cameron is at football at 6 but has currently got three TVs on the go and I am currently trying to make a snack for them all while trying to find a black sock, a pair of leggings and my phone which 'Hatty' has been using!!. Got to go it's all kicked off upstairs, excuse me while I go and batter the Kids !!!!.

Second Installment

OK home now at 9.15 so a bit more time to blog. Had training today in what has to be said were torrid conditions. Any more rain and we are going to have to train in Tesco's car park. The mood in camp is good, in fact Scott Beavan and myself are considering an approach from WWE wrestling. Our 'Pumping iron' obsession has finally been recognised so don't be surprised to see a new Tag- team on the box. 'Tarzan' and the 'Beavanator' are coming soon!!!!.
Obviously we are focused leading up to the York game, a game that brings back memories of last seasons semi-final. No doubt it will be a tough test but we will looking to win and keep up the momentum. I actually made my F.A cup debut for Grimsby at York........ 19 years ago!. I was 17 yrs old and full of it!, I'll take the same scoreline a 2-1 victory with both goals coming from a short(ish) haired lad called Chris Hargreaves. To be honest the time actually has flown by in my career and would I change it......Absolutely!.
I would have stayed in and watched Match of the Day on Saturday nights instead of partying like Liam Gallagher, I would have stayed at some clubs for longer instead of making rash decisions, I would have left some clubs earlier instead delaying decisions! and I wish I knew then what I know now. I think that's all called experience though and for now I will settle for success on the B-roads!!!!!!. I am going to have to go now as Danger Men: Red Arrows is on channel 5 and I need to take in some more facts.


Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Fight Night

I drove in to training yesterday with Chris Todd. We got talking about Joe Calzaghe's fight with Roy Jones Jnr in New York on Saturday night. A great victory for Joe especially after he had been Knocked to the canvas in the first round. Toddy's brother James has turned Pro and is now Boxing under Enzo Calzaghes gym, a massive step towards making a name for himself. James was actually there on Saturday to watch the fight, in fact it turned out he was sat in the second row at the biggest fight of the year, not bad eh!.
It gets better, James was reading some programme notes when he looked up and turned to the left.....he was sitting next to Coleen Rooney. He then turned to the right and hello Mr Ricky Gervais !!. He turned round and clocked Danny De Vito!!. You know what its like, you've gotta be seen in the right places!!!.
James was telling his brother about all this and asked 'Toddy' why he hadn't answered his phone on Sunday morning. 'Toddy' explained that he had fallen asleep, a bit of a shame really especially as James said that Joe wanted to speak to him after the fight, Chin up !.
When I was played for Oxford Jim Rosenthal kindly gave me and three of the lads tickets to watch Calzaghe in Manchester. He was fighting Kessler in what turned out to be a very tough fight, it went the distance and involved a lot of blood.
On arrival at that fight we were approached by one of Jim's P.As who walked us into the massive M.E.N arena. To our shock we just kept going until the lady stopped and said "There you are lads" - we were front row!. So here we all were, me and the lads, Phil Taylor, Lennox Lewis and Amir Khan all mucking in on the front row!!!!!!!!.
Joe Calzaghe won and deservedly so, it was crazy being that close to the action, you could literally see the fear in the fighters eyes. I think it must have helped him no end me shouting "Stay on your feet Joe, jab, jab!!".
A great night though. It must have been brilliant for James in Madison Square Garden on Saturday night, then mixing it at the after party with the 'Big boys'.

Back to business and James first fight is at the 02 arena on Saturday the 6th of December, one for the diary.
All of the Todd's are decent boxers, even Mr Todd is considering a kick Boxing career. On a recent stag night out for Toddy's other bro Liam, a mad man pulled out a blade and threatened the whole group of lads. Up stepped Todd senior who in a flash had floored him with a Kung Foo Kick, go on Toddy's Dad!!!.
It turns out the mad man in question did have a knife, a butter knife!!!.
He may have to serve a few years inside for trying to 'Spread' the lads!.

Back in Swansea, where home is, the Todd clan have been in a few scrapes. The highlight for me being the Christmas fancy dress night out that ended in a brawl. Some of the local bouncers tried to exert some unneeded force on the Todd's. It must have been a great sight seeing Mrs Claus, an Elf and Rudolf the red nosed reindeer all getting stuck in.

Chris is a great lad, the sort you would always have in your team, unless it was a quiz team !. Sorry mate but the Blueberry shout yesterday was special, I just don't think Blueberry phones are out yet!!!!!!!.

Anyone interested in sponsoring Chris Todd's brother James please contact the Herald Express
Sports Desk.


Remembrance Day

The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. This marked Armistice, the end of the First World War. Today to honour those who died in both World Wars and those who have died in action for their country since we hold a 2 minute silence at 11 a.m.
Both World wars cost the lives of more than a Million British men. The facts about these wars are unbelievable. During the infamous Battle of the Somme British casualties totalled 420,000, on the first day alone 1st July 1916 there were 60,000 injured and 20,000 dead. This was the worst single day in British army history.
When the battle was finally won in mid November Britain had suffered nearly half a million casualties, all this to gain 5 miles of land !. Germany had 650,000 casualties and France 195,000.
The Second World War was was far more devastating in loss of life.
I was looking at some information about this War yesterday and the figures are truly shocking.
Lithuania , Latvia and Germany lost more than 10 percent of their population. The Soviet Union and China both lost more than 20 million lives and Poland lost nearly 6 million, 16 percent of their population. The Holocaust alone resulted in the deaths of 6 million Jews.
The 2nd World War, the 'Total War' involved 55 countries and between 1939 and 1945 a total of 72 million people had lost their lives.

It makes grim reading I know but the freedom we have today is down to these young men and women who suffered beyond belief.
Hatty has just jumped on me and given me a big smacker and hug, a nice way to end the blog I think.


Sunday, 9 November 2008

So it's Oxford or Dorchester in round two of the F.A Cup. Could be better, could be worse but it's at home meaning we have a great chance of making it to round three and a potential money spinning tie.

Yesterday started early as normal but for different reasons. My wife wanted to do a car boot sale with a friend so it was up with the lark and off for her. As soon as the door closed Harriet arose shouting "Wheres my mummy?", it was 6.00 a.m.
I actually attended the one other car boot sale my wife did but was that traumatised I had to leave early. Queuing to get in, a ridiculous start time, crazy people attacking the car as you park up and that's before you get to the selling!.
While I was there a woman approached us and picked up a pair of jeans , she haggled my wife down from around £10 to probably us paying her. That same pair of jeans that I was forced by my wife to drive all round London to find, it was for a club function at Brentford, that same pair of jeans that cost more than a flight to Spain, by a long way!.
It's mayhem at car boots you end up taking £1 for everything, "How much for your car?, I tell you what I'll give you a quid pal!".
Saying that my wife made a small fortune yesterday. In the first ten minutes she was offered £30 for a bag of jewellery by a Man but a Woman next to him said "I was here first will you take £80".........the man didn't get it!. The rest of the stuff in the garage can go but there's that much in there it would take months of car boots, so bigger garage it is then !!.
Yesterday I joined thousands of people all over Britain. Yes 'tidying the garage' has replaced going out with the lads to watch the footy or taking the motocross bike out. It involves shuffling around the garage in a bad mood and coming out 2 hours later having achieved nothing!.

Last night I went to see the new Bond film. I was literally man marked at the cinema for the whole night, firstly in the queue to get in. A couple were that desperate to get to their seat that I may as well of given piggy backs to both of them. Calm down the trailers will last half an hour anyway!.
Then in my seat the bloke next to me was leaning that far across his seat into mine I thought about offering him my jacket to rest on. That one didn't last long though!!!!!!.
The Film was good, Bond escaped from the baddies, fell from a plane 10,000 feet into a crevasse and fought like a trooper but his collar was still always immaculate, he could fall into a rubbish tip and come out with a dinner jacket on, that's why he's James Bond. I was a bit disappointed with the villains in the film though, no dodgy teeth, bowler hats, piranha fish or spikes in boots anywhere to be seen.
I also know that you were in there last night, you know who you are!. I'll give you a clue, the heating was a joke, I lost around a stone in weight watching the film, people were dropping like flies in there, even the chair tapper behind us stopped tapping to take his shirt off!.
Yes Dave(our driver) it was you, somehow you got into the building and turned the heating up to Volcanic, nice one!.


Remembrance day

Today being Remembrance Sunday we honour the millions who lost their lives in WW1 and WW2. This morning I was reading an article about Clara Woodroffe, the mother who lost three of her sons on the battlefields of World War One. Only one of Clara's four sons survived because he was too old to fight. Her youngest son Sidney sent this letter to his mother from the trenches.
"Dearest Mother. Here we are in the jolly old trenches !. Thank goodness we are getting out of them tomorrow night . That will make nine jolly days of it, thanks very much. For one thing I shan't mind getting my boots off and changing my socks!.
"Hooray too for a wash all over in ( possibly!) warm water. I should like to go to a nice farm well away from the sound of guns and racket and miles away from this ghastly gas ".
Sidney never made it home he was 19 .
Clara's second youngest Kenneth 22 sent this letter dated Boxing Day 1914.
" I am in a billet which is the only room left in a completely shattered village about 900 yards behind the trenches. Really mother, you people in England should just see what all this means. The church is in ruins, graves are blown up, the school is blown down and you can see the desks
and books standing all ready for lessons. I had my first wash this morning since last Sunday. Everything is plastered in mud, I wonder if you would recognise me if I came home now, I doubt it".
Kenneth was killed during the Battle of Aubers Ridge.
Poignant letters that must have been extremely hard and upsetting for their mum to read.

Conditions in the trenches were said to be that bad that during floods the soldiers were shoulder deep in water
These two boys graves were never found along with 359,150 others whose battlefield graves were lost in further fighting. A total of 658,700 British serviceman lost their lives in World War One alone.
Clara's other son Leslie lies in a grave in France. All the boys received honours. Sidney the Victoria Cross, Leslie the Military Cross and Kenneth was Mentioned in Dispatches.
Clara lived till she was 89, a tough lady who suffered terrible grief but who it was said took some comfort from the medals of her boys.

On Tuesday we have Remembrance Day again for those who are honoured in both the 'Great War' and the 'Total War'.

OK I know Life has to go and until Tuesday I will stop talking about War.
In Tomorrow's blog I will talk about the 'standard' Sunday and car boot madness but for now it's
Roast Beef, Yorkshire Puds, Roasties, mash, a few veggies and lots of gravy. Followed by sticky Toffee Pudding. Then it's Bond, James Bond, about £15 worth of plastic pick & mix, and a few litres of flat coke. If anyone throws popcorn I am liable to snap!.


Saturday, 8 November 2008


Torquay 2 Evesham 0. That's what the papers will say tomorrow morning, although credit to Evesham who really gave it a good go. We certainly were not at our best today but the F.A cup throws up shocks so the important thing was that our result wasn't one. I am watching today's F.A cup highlights while typing away and as usual there were teams that came unstuck.
Let's hope the 2nd round draw is a good one. The player's need to test themselves against teams in higher divisions, after all that's where we as a club want to be.
Financially it goes without saying that a home and away tie against a big club and big crowd would be great.
All that said promotion is the main aim as far as I am concerned.
Short blog today as I'm in a bad mood, a combination of tiredness and frustration about today's game . A big thanks today to all our supporters , much needed support today on a difficult day.


Friday, 7 November 2008

F.A Cup

Time for the F.A cup again and we are all looking forward to tomorrow's game against Evesham. They will be coming down to Devon full of confidence meaning we must be on our toes to avoid any problems. It is important to the club financially, and to the players it's always a great way of appearing on Match of The Day!.

I took the family to the Fireworks at Plainmoor on Wednesday, great spectacle and a big turnout, but please no shouts of 'best display of the season' . The Hargreaves clan are going to another display with friends tonight so the kid's can have their fix of sparklers, toffee apples and toys which break as soon as they get them home.
Unfortunately I been banned for having fireworks at the house. The last 2 years have been close shaves for different reasons, I admit there may have been a few slight safety breaches. One year when I had lit the new 'turbo rocket' it dislodged and flew past the kids about a foot away, the children loved it but my wife didn't as it found it's way into the house through the patio door!!!!!!!!.
The second incident was just bad luck, a combination of high winds and three of our guests finding a bottle of Absinthe. Consequently I am banned from lighting anything this year, my wife even raises an eyebrow when I light candles at home but she can rest easy as our next door neighbour Dan is a fireman, winner!!!.

Happy Birthday to Raith Gwinnet, 18 this weekend . He brought a great selection of cakes in this morning , it put Toddy's 2 for 1 Mr Kiplings effort to shame. Raith is a top lad, he takes a bit of a battereing but it's all in good faith, a few square meals and he will be fine!.


Thursday, 6 November 2008


I have just been watching Sky Sports News and the Managers of the month were being announced. League 1's award went to Paul Trollope at Bristol Rovers. I was at Northampton Town with 'Troll' and he is a great fella. At first the fans at the cobblers were hard on Troll but true to character he carried on doing his job and deservedly won them over. When Colin Calderwood took over the club it suddenly became ultra professional and myself and Troll thoroughly enjoyed playing there in our last season, and but for the most bizarre decision by a referee that I have ever seen in football we would have been rewarded with a play off final, and the way we were playing probably promotion.
I was surprised how soon 'Troll' committed to management because he was very fit as a player but the opportunity arose and he took it. With the help of Lennie Lawrence he has done extremely well with a tight budget. In fact when we played rovers in pre season troll was saying he had no assistant, no youth team and no physio and with 30 players looking at you for guidance its a big ask. But he has a good manner about him and I think he will do very well.
I have certainly had a broad spectrum of Management styles over the years having worked with 18 or so managers!. All managers have to be motivators, it just depends on your style.
At Brenford Martin Allen had a fearsome reputation but he was actually just very committed and he certainly got the best out of his players, whether it be John Salako or a 17 year old trialist. We had a great season the year I was there finishing 3rd at a club that had been tipped for relegation. Martin always looked after the players, we had a great trip to Dubai that Christmas, what goes on tour stays on tour! . Had the commute of 5 hours a day not have been killing me I would have stayed. Colin Calderwood was milder but no less committed.
Then you have the old school style such as Alan Buckley and Jim Smith. I was with Alan at Grimsby and West Brom and if I had a spare week there would be many stories told. Maybe another time.
I had plenty of run ins with Jim, we certainly had our differences but it did make me smile seeing the old cigar smoke wafting down the team coach after games win, lose or draw.

Here at Torquay Paul Buckle is also a real motivator. He has created a great work ethic, he is approachable as a person but also has the respect of the lads as a manager. Training is very good, everything is done very professionally and we are all striving for the same thing.


Wednesday, 5 November 2008


Day off today so a few of us players visited South Devon College for a bit of rehab/massage. Pete Morgan and his team battered and pummelled us, in a good way. I was fortunate enough to have a massage with Mel who is incredible, real tears to the eyes stuff but very very good. We are treated really well at the club and between Damien and Pete and the rest of the sports therapists the care is excellent . Thanks also to Gareth, Jen, Tammy, Amanda, Jodie and Charlotte who all pop into the club from time to time to give their help.
I met my wife and the 'Beast', she is a very pretty beast!, afterwards and while my wife bought a few things I took Hatty to a play centre to eat and dominate the place. It's always the same in these places and today was no exception . Hatty was playing and laughing as normal then while she was resting another fellow player moved in for the kill. He thought no one was looking so he started launching plastic balls into Harriet's face from around 1 foot away. At first Hatty smiled, she was either thinking it was a game or was thinking is that all you've got pal it's gonna take more than that to defeat me. On about the 15Th strike to the face I had to step in and give the young lad the death stare which had immediate effect.
I looked round to see where his Mum or Dad might be. I found them when the boy in question had run back to base crying 'she hurt me mummy'.
His Mum who was elbow deep in Now magazine shot up to 'protect' the 'poor baby' and came over and spoke loudly " Try to play nicely everybody otherwise someone will get hurt!!!!!".
The only chance of her boy getting hurt was if one the many missile's thrown were to ricochet of Hatty's face and roll onto him rendering him poleaxed!.
It wasn't long before the Mum was again eating the pages of Now magazine while the boy was ramming kid's at top speed with a baby walker. We are all blinded by the love of our own kids though and I'm no different in fact on one family holiday my boy had managed to tame a real 'Beach bully' after days of being battered. Cam had him floored, he looked up at me for instructions and the words that came out of my mouth were truly shocking "Finish him". True to form the sand was displaced into the lads face and we walked back to our sun loungers victorious. That really was a massive one off though honestly!!!. It's knowledge not power, that's the way forward.

I'm not feeling great at the moment , I would never admit to man flu but something has got me and my body is rebelling today as I also got another big bang in the ribs last night . Whenever you don't feel great or have a 'knock' as a player your mood changes a bit, it really is 'Bear with a thorn in his paw stuff ' so do not approach or try to feed as it will pass.
Really bad nights sleep as well. I finally nodded of about 3 and the kids started getting up from about 6.30. I don't know what's going on with my pillows at the moment but I'm having a real crisis. I must have lost my normal combination of 2 identical soft pillows during a house move but at the moment 1 pillow seems like a leaflet and 2 pillows seems like I'm resting my head on a Cow!.
Fireworks tonight, come on!!!!.


Christmas Lists

It's 12.15 a.m I have just returned from the game against Weymouth, it's all quiet here so I thought I would take the opportunity to type away!.
The game went well, a very professional display, a clean sheet, 3 good goals, job done now onto the next game. Again thanks for the support tonight, on a weekday and with work tomorrow it's obviously a big ask so we all really appreciate that.
I was a bit reflective last night, the children had decided to write and post to Santa their Christmas lists. As they were busily writing away I was watching the news , the crisis in Congo was on, basically tens of thousands of refugees needing water food and clothing. Some families there hadn't eaten for a week !.
I thought to myself that I start having hot sweats if I haven't eaten for a few hours never mind a day or a week. Then there's the annual pilgrimage everyone makes to the supermarket to load the old trolley up for Christmas. A bizarre rumour usually starts somewhere that all shop workers are striking for a week so it's panic stations. The queues at each checkout are 20 deep and the trolleys are filled with 8 litres of coke, a 48 pound freak turkey, a 48 multi bag of crisps, a sack of potatoes , 12 loaves of bread, a torch, some candles maybe a flare and don't forget the roses, quality streets , nuts and satsumas.
Back to the lists and without me saying anything I think the kids had picked up on the news story, well the girls had anyway!. The boy was cracking on, his pencil was on fire. It was refreshing asking Harriet what she wanted, her list was as follows,
Some Baby bells(cheese)
Some hammy(Ham)
A warmy top
A lollo(lolly)
A fi-fi
Some milky
Hatty would be delighted if we just wrapped up a pack of ham and a six Pinter of milk!!!!.
It just comes down to food when your a baby. I'm no humbug I love giving out pressies but I definitely think we could survive without sets of bubble baths shaped as fruit or a Santa in a desert in a glass ball being fanned by a monkey!.

When everyone had finished we put Santa's address on the envelope and prepared to post them. Great sight seeing them all beaming away posting their lists in their pyjamas. Let's just hope the credit crunch hasn't reached Lapland!.
I may read this blog in the morning and think 'wow delete, delete' as the old mind races a bit after games. I am now going to attempt to reduce the sweet mountain we still have after Halloween whilst watching late night TV.


Sunday, 2 November 2008


The apology is regarding blog;Rushden game.

I happened to mention that my parents were eligible for cheaper fares. It was a misprint , it was supposed to say cheaper shares, they are both keen stock market followers, my mistake.
My lovely mum Averil , have I mentioned the ex beauty queen title, is often having to dress down so not to upstage her friends and without bias is beautiful, funny and intelligent.
My Dad is my Dad, you know usual father and son stuff , don't mess with me or I'll break you son, a great man end of story.

I hope that has been cleared up, love always see you both soon.
P.S Keep up the good work Mark(My Bro) it will be worth it mate.

Onto to Football and we have a break from the league in order to play 2 cup games in 2 different competitions. Firstly we play Weymouth tomorrow night in what I'm sure will be another hard game. Not too far to travel though which is good for us players and for our fans. Then we face Evesham on Saturday who I'm sure will be coming into town hoping for an upset. These two games will be approached the same as any league game, we aim to keep our run going.


Winner/Coffee Time

THE HARGREAVES HOUSEHOLD HAS JUST GONE CRAZY. It was lost then it was won, a last lap victory to Lewis Hamilton, sport at its best . Even Harriet our 2 year old baby was jumping up and down shouting " Come on Hammy, come on Hammy". Massa was in tears, his team thought he had won it, but no it was Lewis at the death who took a great victory. 6.58 .

As mentioned in the last blog I have a few stories to tell about the time myself and my team mate Kevin Nicholson spent 'lodging' together last season. We had both just signed, my family were still in Northamptonshire and Kev's girlfriend in Derby. Initially we both joined Chris Robertson at a local Hotel, but after a few weeks we decided to move into Chris Todd's House, he was about to move out so it worked very well, or so we thought!.
The Hotel was fine to begin with but after a month of eating out and seeing the same four walls of your room the decision was made. Add to that the fact that Kev was still in his 'Dungeon room' and my Suite was roomy but minus 5 at night, it was time to go. I think Robbo stayed because he had negotiated a washing up rota in the kitchen!
Chris Todd's house was just what we needed. A base while we both house hunted and a bit of extra space as well as a cooker!. I had been used to full on days in Northants what with the commute to Brentford and then Oxford, as well as a soccer school and a new baby. My wife also worked full time so moving to this house and kicking back was bliss, I mean bliss while missing everyone!!!!!.
So mine and Kev's days together began. Training first followed by our daily trip to the shop where the 'big decisions' happened. What was for tea and could Kev force himself to have a pudding!.
Back at the house it would be a quick game of darts, pre dinner, and then the main event Gordon Ramsay eat your heart out. The food produced was top drawer although I thought you overdid the pasta a few times Kev!
Then the games began. I'm not talking PlayStation here, not my era too old, I'm talking psychological games. I learnt in the early weeks of Kev's loves and hates. The huge love of showering 3 or 4 times a day, the love of shutting doors and turning all lights off, the love but denial of chocolate, and the love of answering the phone.
And the hates, not showering 3 or 4 times a day, me driving with my knees, me leaving the lights on, me not shutting doors, me eating chocolate, me walking about naked, me swearing, me not answering my phone and anyone wearing dangly jewellery, yes can't explain that one!.
A special week for me began with a visit from Jenny and while Kev was upstairs setting up his 2 hourly shower routine I searched out the cold water tap under the sink. With Jens permission it was turned off and the nightmare started!. Kev would shout down that the shower was melting him while we giggled away like schoolkids. I would turn the tap on and off for a few Min's then leave it off. He would usually have to run a bath and wait an hour and a half for it to cool down. It would still be red hot though, Kev would return sweating, not good for someone who is shower dependant. I would then sneak it back on and shoot upstairs shouting down " Your not going to believe it mate it's fine now". There was even a few nights that Kev would have to go to bed 'dirty'.
I kept this going for a week but in the end it was breaking him so I stopped only telling him when we both moved out!!!!!.
We had the darts, the fine food, the shopping trips, the TV nights, then came a bombshell!. One afternoon Kev said shall we go for a coffee!!!!!!!!!!!.
Now we already looked like a couple but for a northern monkey and non coffee drinker that I was this suggestion was big. But I did it and I have to say it was good. A cup of coffee, maybe a cake and a read of the papers, relaxing was the way forward. We had the odd strange glance but otherwise it was spot on.
It had to come to an end though especially when Chris Todd took the TV and turned the heating off!. Our spouses had also made the move to Devon but we definitely learnt alot from each other during those times.
I learnt that you don't have to swear constantly, that you can answer the phone, that doors and lights can be shut and turned off and that being fully clothed is also good. I am now a better driver and a coffee drinker and for Kev?.
Well he can be found driving about naked and swearing in the middle of the day while leaving all the lights and doors on and open at home. So it has to be said we both benefited from the experience. Great days though Cheers Kev.


Saturday, 1 November 2008


Another good result today. Conditions were not great but after seeing out the first half against the wind we felt that we could push on in the second half and that's exactly what happened. Again thanks to all who came to support us this afternoon in extremely cold conditions. I'm sure you were all relieved to be getting in your houses and cars and thawing out.
It's a short blog today as my stomach is in turmoil, maybe due to the happy pills I have consumed today.
Our weekly huddle to announce any special news took place as usual. The announcement was a good one. Kevin Nicholson my shower loving team mate finally got down on one knee and asked/begged the lovely Jenny to be his wife. After a long delay, remember the strawberries Jen!, the answer was a yes. This follows the news that Kev and Jen are expecting their first child. So Lot's to look forward to including sleepless nights, no spare time, no money and the worldwide favourite the 'Headache'. Only joking, great times ahead. I can honestly say they are two of the nicest people you will ever come across, love you both to bits so huge congrats.
I will share some of the laughs Kev and myself had while 'lodging' together last year soon but for now Adieu.