Friday, 27 February 2009

Marathon Man

A strange kick-off time, an old club, live on TV and I cannot wait. Yes we are in front of the cameras again in what is a tough game. Oxford have been on a great run of form but these are the games ,as a player, you want to play in week in week out. You have to try to enjoy you football otherwise it can drive you mad so no predictions, ifs and buts, crystal balls, tea leaves, or signs in your water!. We are going there after a solid weeks training and what will be will be. That is as long as we win of course!!!.
I popped in to Jodes salon for another short back and sides today - an inch off all round !. I am though, slowly but surely, preparing myself for the 'Big' cut. I am seriously considering getting the fleece sheared for the summer, the only thing that is stopping me at the moment is the fact that I want to run the London Marathon. The reason I need my hair long for 26 mile slog is all in my proposed outfit for that particular day. Running the Marathon dressed as Tarzan definitely requires long hair, so maybe I run it but tie in a haircut at the end of the race. There is also the small matter of the football season still to play out.
All these influencing factors are conspiring against me, sorry Jodie but for now it's still a pair of scissors and not a set of clippers.

At the club today we had a little bit of an 'old school' morning, doughnuts and tea before training accompanied by the odd story from the lad's ( Damien was on fire!) . Also knocking about was a programme with a picture of me in from 1990, which went down well for comedy value. Anyone with a Beatles haircut and shorts as high as a pair of Speedo's would sympathise with me.
It did get to me a bit though when one of the boys said that he was two years of age when that picture was taken, some were younger!. I told the lads the first fifteen years are the hardest, the rest is a breeze!. Once they start getting near me in Pre-season I'll start worrying!!!! ( Will power and the 'elbows out' technique gets me through!).
Anyway on the doughnut count we had most of the lads on one, Kev on a half, Mark Ellis on three and Tyrone last seen smuggling his fourth around the back of the changing room. Danny Stevens used his as an inflatable ring, one of the balls went into the dyke and so he jumped in to get it!!.
The 'Beavonator' just smelt his doughnut, 'Damo' just licked his and I think Elliot may have opted for the doughnut facial. Good times.


Thursday, 26 February 2009

Food and Drink

It may be unusual but, as I am typing away, I am watching the final of Masterchef. The three finalists are competing to win the crown of top chef, and with it a pretty much guaranteed job in the industry. It's amazing how this programme sets the old hunger pangs off!!. I have chosen a full on pasta dish, Cam has gone for tomato soup and Issy a hot chocolate ( bizarre choice ). Poor old Harriet would have been in her element !.
The same applies to shopping for food, if your hungry while shopping it's game over as your trolley will be ram packed with all sorts of delights. It is 'Barren Green Back' in the Hargreaves household at the moment though, as far as the cupboards are concerned they are definitely bare. Yes it's diet time!. Fiona, my wife, has eradicated all forms of carbs, sugar, and wheat from the kitchen. I am surprised the kitchen sink has been left. The only thing remaining in there is air !!. I have had to nip out to Tesco's on a need to survive basis tonight.
To be honest though for anyone who goes on a diet the last thing you need to be seeing is someone tucking into an industrial sized family bar of Dairy milk or a vat of pasta!. In saying that surprisingly enough Fiona has gone out with a friend tonight for a meal!. I can just imagine her ordering... " I'll have the royal Burger please but could you lose the fries and the mayo, in fact lose the burger and the bun and I'll crack on with the rest !".
I have told her a million times not to diet but as soon as she has put down another copy of 'Heat' magazine it's time to for me start stashing emergency supplies. Can you imagine the run up to Toddy's wedding !!!.


Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Spit and Sawdust

Extremely tired tonight, so a lighting quick blog . With last nights game over it was back home to watch late night TV, eat, mull over the match and generally get no sleep whatsoever !. As usual the caffeine intake meant for a rough night. I crawled in to bed around 3 a.m after watching several episodes of 'Shameless' but within minutes Harriet had appeared and had begun the ritual of wriggling around the bed whilst occasionally ramming her foot or arm into my head.
I decided to nip next door to Issy' room but fared little better there as she seemed to be break dancing in her sleep. I actually considered going for an early morning walk but I dug in and got two hours sleep before the 'School rush' started.
It was good therapy going in to the club today though, not for a massage or a stretch, no the therapy came in the form of throwing weights about for an hour and a half. Sometimes turning the music up full belt and hammering a few weights out is the perfect remedy for a tired and angry man!.
I have spent a lot of time in gyms over the years, from 'spit and sawdust' hardcore dungeons to Lycra filled social meeting clubs but they have always given me the same pleasure, anger release time and thinking time!!. I know this is not always the case for some so apologies if the post Christmas, pre-summer, morning after the night before workouts are not having the desired effect. Sometimes a cup of tea and a packet of 'Dunkers' is the only way forward. Covering all bases the kettle is on and I am heading for the biscuit barrel.


Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Score Draw

What a night. We started the game really brightly, taking the lead with a great strike by Matt Green, but within the space of a few crazy minutes we found ourselves 3-1 down at home. Two poor goals conceded and a ridiculous penalty meant that we were up against it. Scoring just before half-time gave us a bit of hope but the half time team talk was still a bit fiery. What is said in the changing room between us stays between us and is said for the right reasons. It has to be forgotten when the whistle blows again and it was.
Credit to the lads as the second half performance was spot on, to be honest the first half wasn't that bad, we just got punished for slight errors.

I have to say that even when we went 3-1 down the fans stayed with us and cheered us on so a big thanks for that. I don't want to be returning home after drawing 3-3 with Forest Green and neither do the rest of the lads or the fans but that's how it is. It will be back to the training ground tomorrow to sort it out.

I overheard a footballer the other day moaning about his treatment at a club and of his life being tough at home at the moment as he is out of the team. Well cheer up mate, you have a couple of hundred grand in the bank and there are believe or not a few people worse of than you. I was walking the kids into school the other day and a young Mum of four lively children mentioned that she had seen me on TV the same day as her Husband. I asked her why her husband was on the box. She explained that he had been filmed along with his fellow soldiers on tour in Afghanistan. He has seven months on and two weeks off. So the children will see their dad for two weeks in April and then he will be off again for another seven months dodging bullets, car bombs and grenades. I reckon he would settle for being a footballer out of a team at the moment.



Not enough hours in the day yesterday to post so apologies about that. Tonight we face Forest Green in a game that we need to win. I will resume this blog post-match, hopefully with three points in the bag.


Sunday, 22 February 2009

Road Trip

The Hargreaves clan have just rolled back in to Devon after a 1500 mile road trip - taking in Cleethorpes, Grimsby, North Cotes, Kidderminster, Northampton and Kettering along the way.
Looking back at the game yesterday it feels like an opportunity lost to gain three points. The game unfortunately was lost in the first fifteen minutes though, a bad goal conceded and an unfair goal conceded meant for a tough afternoon. Although Kev scored a great free-kick before half time and the fact that we were by far the better team in the second half the damage had been done. As a team we have to start getting clean sheets again, hopefully starting on Tuesday.
This week, for the family, has been full of reunions, good food and good company. Staying with old friends towards the end of the week has been great. Carl, a mate from my Northampton day's and his wife Ange have treat us like kings this week. They have recently moved to the village that we lived in near Northampton for four years, before our pilgrimage to Devon, so staying there brought back good memories and a few reunions.
When anyone comes to visit us down in Devon I always have the itinerary ready - beach, walk, park, forest, abseiling etc !. I have finally realised that after a five hour drive maybe visitors just want to relax !!!. So when Ange was nervously looking at me each morning ready for a random shout of "Are we ready then because the canoeing school shuts in three hours" it must have been a relief for her to see me sat down. I find it very difficult to sit still but I have to accept that a ten mile hike through a forest in the rain is not every ones cup of tea.
So instead of the usual gruelling outward bound mission we sat down and chilled out while Carl made his famous pasta dishes - famous for the length of time they take to reach the table, the record being a smidgen over five hours ! Harsh mate, great job again!. The hospitality is second to none and the fact that I am offered a job in parcels every time we meet (usually by Ange about 11 p.m and with the help of a little 'Wodka') reassures me that I will be able to get employment if I ever stop playing !!.
As well as the Andrew's hospitality there is also the 'Get out of jail card' service that Carl provides. This can be used during the early hours for car breakdown's ( me and a burning Renault Laguna ), it can be used for house moves ( Fiona wanted no breakages !!), and it can be used for extreme rescue situations. The most recent being for Ange who, after a few social sherries!, found herself stranded in the middle of town. She phoned Carl to come and get her, when he asked her where she was (this is brilliant) Ange held up her mobile phone and waved it about saying " I'm here " !!!!!!!!. Obviously at this stage Ange's phone did not have a tracking device in it, but guess what ?. Unbelievably, within no time at all, Carl 'Columbo' Andrews was on the scene. He had found Ange and was soon returning to base!.
Now that is service for you.

Thanks for this week you guy's, see you in Devon soon, hopefullly along with our other long lost friends! Rob & Kate, Helen & Ian and Nina & Tony.

Finally, I spoke to Broughy yesterday and he was delighted with the last two games at Salisbury. Two Win's and two clean sheets, after a 4-0 defeat and a conceded penalty ( by Broughy !!!), is a great boost for him and Toddy who is also on loan there.
He told me that Toddy is still on form. In a recent phone conversation Toddy was agreeing with a friend that a player he knew was a bit up and down form wise - 'Toddy' said " Yeah he really does blow hot and cold, in fact he's like a hot potato" !!!!!!!!!!!!.

You can't buy that banter, you really can't.

Friday, 20 February 2009


I am really gutted not to be playing tomorrow. It's a very strange feeling on a Friday night not having a game the next day. It is an even stranger feeling on a Saturday afternoon, not playing !. For most player's of my age this fear of not playing is the reason we continue to play and want to achieve success in the game!!!.

As far as tomorrow is concerned though I am really looking forward to watching the boy's as they hopefully hammer Kettering. I will be in the changing room with the lads tomorrow and kicking every ball with them - from the sideline!!!.


Thursday, 19 February 2009

Modern Man

Firstly, Hi Cam and Issy we hope that you are having a great time with Luke and Ellie.
Secondly, Hi Carl and Ange we hope that your stress levels are holding up OK !. Love you Guy's.

Before leaving for training this morning I sat down and watched five minutes of breakfast TV. And what did I see you may ask. I saw two ladies explain how they had set up a website, for women, to air their grievances against the male of the species - from snoring to watching footy, from not tidying up to drinking beer, all the classic moan's were there. Thus giving them the title for their website 'Moan About Men'.
Come on give us a break, the modern man has almost morphed in to his partner. Gone are the day's of being able to watch the footy on TV - I am currently watching a set of gnashes being replaced on a 'You are what you eat, be naked and happy, Ken Homm's, Gok Whan's pyjama party' type of programme, whilst two lots of Uefa cup games are on the other side. And's easier that way !!!!!.
It's not enough that we rush round the house panicking in case the there is a rogue crumb on the carpet or that the wardrobe is tidy for an oncoming kit inspection. No, now there is a website for every woman out there to have a go at the 'old man'. Imagine if a couple of lads had set up a website to complain about women!!. They would have been a public outcry!.
I could give the two ladies in question a couple of great case studies though. My lovely Mum, Averil, was looking forward to her Birthday treat. My Dad came home and said "OK put your glad rags love I'm taking you out to buy you a treat". On arriving at their destination, a local department store, my Dad led my Mum through to the electrical goods department and said " Go on, pick whichever one you want". And what was on offer...... Deep Fat fryer's!!!! Classic.
Another family classic involved my wife's Mum Joan. Her Birthday was approaching and she dropped several hints that a black velvet jacket would be well received as a present. The hints were obviously not strong enough, the present was....... an electric carving knife!!!.
I have learnt that no means yes, yes means no, and that under on circumstances do you listen when your wife or girlfriend says of an oncoming Birthday or Anniversary " I really don't want anything honestly". What that actually means is 'If you don't buy me anything I will pretty much not talk to you for three days'!.
Must go now as my Wife wants to check out a Website on the computer and I want to get the Argos catalogue out to look up Deluxe Steam iron's !!!!!!!!!.


P.S Manse, Bev's asked if you were still 'showing the line' at Newton Abbott ?. Sorry mate but I am still probably as mad as you. I should have gone across the keeper again for the Hat-trick !!!!!. See you in the morning 'Lamby'.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009


Apologies about missing a few blogs recently. Yesterday turned in to a bit of a mammoth trip, a 2 p.m leave from Fiona's parents house and a 2 a.m return. The trip in question was to Kidderminster - for the guest slot on Setanta's broadcast of Kidderminster versus Cambridge. It was a good chance to see two of our promotion chasing rivals close up, teams we may end up playing again this season !!.
Cambridge won quite comfortably in the end and I would certainly expect them to make the play - offs. With ourselves having beaten and drawn against Cambridge this season it bodes well for any future meeting.
I know Setanta has been criticised in the past, and although I agree some of the fixture structuring hasn't helped us over the last 18 months, you can't argue that it has not given clubs, managers and players at this level great exposure. It is just very frustrating that on the whole we have not played as well as we can in front of the cameras. What I can tell you is that the people who matter at Setanta really want Torquay to do well.
We have a big game at the weekend against Kettering, unfortunately for me I am suspended. After 40 games it is very difficult as a midfielder to avoid a suspension - even more difficult when referees give shocking decisions!!!!. In their defence though the respect campaign has helped, the meeting of players, management and officials before each game does create a calmer atmosphere !. In fact at half-time, as I was standing in the tunnel at last nights match, waiting to do a bit of punditry the door of the ref's room opened and I was offered a nice cup of tea!. Now that would not have happened 12 months ago !!!.
Back on the road today, it's goodbye's to Parents and parents-in-law's and off to Northampton. There I will drop the family off for a long overdue visit to friends of ours, I will then head back home to Devon.


Monday, 16 February 2009

Up North

On receiving the news that I had a few days off, due to a forthcoming suspension, the car was filled with petrol, and children, and was soon thundering down the motorway, heading North - destination Cleethorpes. For those of you who don't know where Cleethorpes is, it is next to Grimsby. For those of you who don't know where Grimsby is, it's near Hull. For those of you who don't know where Hull is, I suggest that you either do a GCSE in Geography, or for ease check out a map of Britain.
Anyway the wardrobes were emptied, the milk was cancelled and we were off.
With the football season as it is, and the school term times non-negotiable, getting back to see the folks is very difficult - so any opportunity to do so is welcomed with opened arms. The fact that it is a five hour drive also makes nipping home an epic event, especially with three children. With the DVD players on the blink and the pack-up being demolished in the first half-an-hour ( by the 'Beast')the journey was always going to be a test. In fact the relief was immense when we finally rolled in to town after five hours, two service stops, four arguments, seventeen shouts of " Are we there Yet" and the same of " How long left".
Last night we stayed with Fiona's parents, Joan and Iain. Today we headed to my folks, Martin and Avy, to surprise them with impromptu visit. Already the trip has involved, in no particular order, a cooked ham, a fish and chip supper, a trip to the beach, presents for the children, a brunch!, two bike pick-ups with Martin ( for Cam ), a sleep-over and six bottles of wine.
Full report on the 'East Coast Riviera' tomorrow but for now all I can say is that although the weather has been rough in Devon lately, it's cold up North !!!.


Saturday, 14 February 2009

Back To Winning Ways

A good win and a good performance puts us back on track in the league. We slipped up in the week and admittedly we should be winning those type of games. But after two days of decent training and a few strong words before today's game we were back to our best today.
Again to the hardcore fans who turn up every week thanks a lot for cheering us on.

On the home front now and with the 'beast' safely tucked up in bed and Cam and Issy soon to follow (after watching 'Ant and Dec') my Wife and I will be mostly demolishing an Indian take-away and quaffing a few glasses of plonk whilst reminiscing the old times. MTV on in the background and a few glasses of bubbly now constitutes a top night 'In'.

Happy Valentines to all..... the night, as they say, is young!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.


Friday, 13 February 2009

Funny Old Game

Sam Allardice gets the sack, Kevin Keegan resigns or gets the boot, Joe Kinnear comes in from the cold and then has to have heart bypass surgery, and now Colin Calderwood the man recently sacked by Notts Forest finds himself at the helm along with Chris Hughton. Who said "It was a funny old game" ?. It certainly is for Newcastle fan's!. Hopefully for Colin he can turn it around, I worked with him at Northampton and he is very passionate about the game and a decent fella.

Talking about it being 'a funny old game' did anyone happen to watch 'Piers Morgan On' last night?. If so you may be familiar with the format, Piers Morgan the controversial ex editor of the Daily Mirrow, turned TV host and critic, has been visiting some of the most glamorous, most money driven places on Earth. We are talking Monte Carlo, Dubai and Hollywood. While out there he has interviewed countless millionaires, ex-pats, TV stars and singers about their experiences and views on money and stardom.
Last nights offering was in Hollywood and after visiting Sharon Osbourne (Pad!!!!) and Mel B, among others, he then asked Vinny Jones how life was treating him. If you don't know who Vinny is, a quick summary - former Hod carrier, turned footballer, turned actor. In fact, turned actor who now commands a million pounds a film and lives next door to Hollywood's A-Lister's.
After being asked the question "Hows it going?" Vinnie answered "I was riding down Mulholland drive yesterday on my Harley thinking where did it all go wrong" !!!!!!.
Now that is 'A funny old game' !!!!!!!.

As far as we are concerned at the club, it is back to business tomorrow. I can't predict results and I don't want to talk about ifs and buts. All I want to do is go to work and give it 110%, as do the rest of the lads.


Thursday, 12 February 2009

Spain 2 England 0. The result was fair I think, but in saying that Spain's goals came through bad mistakes and England did have chances. You could tell though that Spain played with the confidence of a team that has just won a major championship. The passing and possession was brilliant at times. I think the introduction of Beckham helped England a little bit, through his passing and vision but also his stature. Other player's seemed to raise their game with him on the pitch.
On the whole though it did look like one team was really comfortable on the ball and the other not so. Taking in to account the fact that the average weekly wage of an England player is about 70,000 pounds you would think that our player's would be better than theirs. But they are not. Other European nations seem to have progressed so well in recent year's that they sometimes make us look inferior. Our 'up and at em' spirit is not always enough, in the football academies all over England the emphasis is now on being comfortable on the ball anywhere on the field. It may take several years but it will be worth it in the end.
Wow, that was a bit serious eh!!

Away from football and I must mention my Dad, Martin, whose birthday is was last week. Belated blog greetings. Martin Hargreaves Motorcycles ceased trading for 48 hours as my folks went to York for a quick break which as Dad put it was 'Reasonable son'. I think by 2020 you will be able to start winding down and 'Pottering' Dad, but until then there are around a hundred M.O.T books to get through, three hundred tyre changes, fifty engine re-builds and around 10,000 cups of tea!!.
Happy Birthday to a great man and a top Dad.


Tuesday, 10 February 2009


All the talk, all the effort and we go and lose at home. Missed chances, bad refereeing decisions and the inability to keep a clean sheet all added up to a poor night. We gave it a good go in the second half but it wasn't to be. We win, draw and lose together though and as Captain I will look at myself first and foremost.
The support was great and although I'm sure it was hard to watch us lose tonight, thanks for the reaction at the end of the game.


Monday, 9 February 2009

Weather Man !

Will it ever stop snowing, raining and sleeting in Devon. I would rather play in a swamp tomorrow night though, than have to postpone another game so hopefully the rain stops and we go ahead. You do need luck in this game but honestly is Burton the only place in England that has not been affected by the weather. It wouldn't surprise me if they were expecting a heatwave at the weekend.
Anyway we just have to concentrate on ourselves and make sure we are ready for the last two months of the season. However we do it doesn't really matter, promotion is our only thought. It's not a war cry but every ounce of blood, sweat and tears, from the training ground , to the gym to the pitch must go in to achieving it.

I will try to switch off from football now and give you the return of 'Stato'. We spend 18 months of an average lifespan on the phone and 6 months on the toilet. A quick calculation tells me that if you cut your phone calls down by two thirds, then kill two birds with one stone by making all calls whilst on the loo it means that you will free up a whole year of your life. Happy days !. Must go as I have a few calls to make!!!!!!!!.


Sunday, 8 February 2009

Hot in The Kiitchen

As mentioned on Friday I had a moment of madness and committed myself to creating a three course meal for friends on Saturday night - basically the first three course meal I have ever done . After looking through the fifteen or so 'celebrity' cookbooks my wife has I started preparing on the Friday night, whipping, mixing and chopping a variety of different ingredients. My menu was as follows;
Thai Chicken Noodle Soup ( Delia )
- Frozen Grapes -( Jamie )

Lamb Braised in Beaujolais - ( Delia )
Roasted Vegetables & Dauphinois Potatoes ( Gordon )
- Appeltiser Lollies- ( CH )

Banofee Pie ( Wife )


So we got home on Saturday afternoon at about 2.30 and I basically stayed in the kitchen getting one heck of a 'Dab' on till about 8.p.m. The lamb needed five hours in the oven and it needed watching like a new born baby. I asked my wife about a thousand questions throughout the day, all relating to timings and flavourings, not forgetting " Do you know were the Ibuprofen are as my back is crumbling !".
To cut a long story short I managed to pull it off and produce the meal. My Wife and our friends Jason and Sarah gave it a big thumbs up but Jason was very suspicious as to whether I had cooked it, especially when tasting the Banofee pie which he loved. Well, yes I created it.
But I have to say that the preparation, the whisking, basting, roasting, boiling, freezing, simmering, reducing, grating, crumbling, and in fact anything ending in 'ing' was a big test for me.
I think I lost a few pounds in the kitchen yesterday ( monetary as well !) and by the end of the meal the kitchen resembled the garage, stuff everywhere !!! . Towards the end of the 'Cook-a-thon' I felt like I was in charge of fifty spinning plates, each one teetering on the edge before being rescued. All in all it was a pleasant surprise ( to me!). Good company...........and good food!.
Would I do it again ?. Not for at least six months!. Anyway I have done my bit, Jason it is over to you!.
By the way mate, I know that you have been up to something, preparing a ridiculous feast !. Are we going to be digging up some sort of bizarre meat from your garden that has been cooking underground for a week?. Are we going deep sea 'night' fishing, then eating the catch, or do we have to come to yours wearing Toga's and prepare ourselves to sacrifice a defenceless pig ?. Bell me if it's a bush tucker trial as I think I may be playing that night!.


Friday, 6 February 2009

Snowed Off- Cook off

Obviously with the nation grinding to a halt because of heavy snowfall it was no surprise to receive the phone call informing us that the game was cancelled. As well as the coach company not being able to get out of Devon, Barrow football club declared their pitch unplayable. It has been frustrating in the last week or so, not playing and not picking up points !.
So, on hearing the news about the postponed trip, it was off to school with the kids in the snow. Snow ball fights all the way. Jason and Sarah, friends of ours, also were both unable to work and so popped round pick up their daughter Ruby. Fiona looks after Ruby a couple of days a week.
Anyway while we were chatting away about the weather, as all Brits do, it was suggested that we get together tomorrow night for a bite to eat. Stupidly I opened my mouth and the words that came out were at best rash "I'll cook". Myself and Jason had mentioned that we might try to attempt a meal each and feeling confident, and now with time on my hands, I boldly said that I would create a three course meal. Babysitters sorted, I was now firmly committed !. Oh God.
All I can say is what have I done. I must have chosen one of the most labour intensive three course meals ever. I could do with Gordon, Nigella, Jamie and Delia helping me such is the intricacy of the cooking. Oh and Floyd could come over with the wine !.
Sorry but gotta go as Harriet is shouting for some more milk ( 3 pints and counting today!) and also for her mum, who is out at Body pump/attack/step, otherwise known as 2 hours of peace and quiet. Add to that the fact that I am knee deep in cream and butter ( prep yeah ! ) it is time to go.

Results around 10 p.m tomorrow


Thursday, 5 February 2009

It's a Boy

Breaking news! Dan my next door neighbour, Fireman and Tennis rival has just knocked on the door and announced the arrival of his and Jen's new baby boy. Dan has not slept for a day or so but said that Mum and Baby are great. Well done you guys, see you soon!.

Thanks again Jodie, you performed an intricate operation with skill and patience today. Yes I popped into Jodes Salon- Torquay today and Jodie a good friend, and my club sponsor, took at least an inch of my hair. That is a short back and sides for me !!. See you in a couple of months !.

I visited The South West MS centre yesterday to talk about a Charity Event
taking place there on March 25th. The MS centre, otherwise known as The Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre is a place were sufferers of the disease are given support, help and therapy. The range of therapies include high dosage Oxygen therapy, physiotherapy and massage to name but a few.
The reason I have come across this sort of treatment is that many football clubs and physios now use this type of treatment for injuries. Specifically Oxygen therapy. This involves breathing pure Oxygen through a face mask whilst sitting in the chamber under pressure.
I first had this treatment at Brentford, basically having torn my calf I had several sessions in the week and managed to play in the 4th round of the F.A cup on the Saturday. Martin Allen, the then Brenford manager was also very persuasive !!.
Wayne Bridge, the then Chelsea player was also having the treatment for a broken leg at the time.
As well as pampered footballers, and their injuries, there are obviously many other cases of people with injuries, such as burns and breaks, as well as MS sufferers who really benefit from the treatment. I have spoken to quite a few Men and Women who wax lyrical about the benefits they get from the Oxygen therapy, especially MS sufferers, who ironically have to be referred to it by a Doctor as no scientific studies have been definitive on the results.
I remember being in the chamber one time, it was full and one-by-one people were discussing why they were there.." I have very bad burns" said one , " I have recently lost a leg" said another, and "I really suffer with my MS " another added.
"And you" ? somebody asked me, and what did I say ? " Oh I have torn my abductor's tough" . The reaction was great, lots of laughter and banter. There really are some brave and humble people out there, with amazing senses of humour.

Anyway! Esme, the lady who runs the MS centre, and kindly gives access to the treatment for next to nothing, has asked me if I would be one of their 'prisoners' for the day. Basically I will be 'Captured' and held to ransom, I will then phone friends ( generous ones !) and ask them if they would contribute to my 'Release' in the form of money. This then goes to the MS centre, as it is a self funding charity.

So, friends and family please keep your phones on, and wallets warmed up, as on the 25th March you may get a call !.


The South West MS Centre
01392 447411

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Foreign Soil

Shattered!. 9.30 p.m and I have just sat down, so it's a quick dip( bath- unfortunately not indoor pool!), a bite to eat and bed. I will also catch the last half an hour of the Liverpool-Everton game. The atmosphere inside Goodison is intense, especially in a derby game. I was lucky enough to experience a few as a young lad at Everton, I also experienced the scouse banter first hand having lived in a house where loyalties were split!.
I couldn't understand half the banter though as this foreign language was new to me !!.
This morning, having had the game postponed last night, we trained on the pitch at Plainmoor. A full practice game, tackles, shots, headers, the lot. The quality was excellent, there really is some great young talent at this football club. Oh to be that young again!!!!!!.
Tomorrow we train again in readiness for our Planes, Trains, and Automobiles trip to Barrow on Friday.....snow permitting!!.


Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Frozen out

Game off. Very frustrating as we wanted a victory tonight to close the gap on the leaders. We will now have to wait until Saturday to hopefully gain more precious points.
I have just returned from taking the children to athletics. Whilst watching the clan run, jump and throw I flicked through today's paper. The sports pages included a list of transfers completed before the January deadline closed, it also included a few comment's from player's about their worries over contract talks. My favourite was Jimmy 'I'm a cheeky cockney barrow boy' Bullard bemoaning his 'forced' transfer from Fulham to Hull.
"I had 16 months left on my contract, and I wasn't willing to play. I felt I needed more backing from the club".
I know it must be so hard for you !!!. Poor little lamb, at least you can cheer yourself up with the £45,000 a week you are going to get from Hull for the next four-and-a-half years.
Good luck to 'Toddy' and 'Broughy' who have signed a month's loan at Salisbury. With Histon, Crawley and Wrexham in that month's fixtures lets hope the boy's can do us a favour!!!!.


Monday, 2 February 2009

Mr and Mrs Todd

We have just managed to create a snowman, it was touch and go towards the end as the snowfall had stopped but the last remnants of snow on the roofs of cars helped us to finish it off. Freddie is now proudly sat at the front of the house with his Torquay Utd scarf and hat keeping him warm. Sledging will have to wait, risk of injury( Northampton 2002), lack of snow and lack of light mean that for now the Hargreaves bobsleigh team are out of action.

The Main event;

All dressed in white, a few last minute highlights to the hair and oh throw in a spray tan as well. Yes Chris Todd was ready for the big day!!. After lots of handshakes and kisses the guests finally assembled and along with the Groom waited for the bride to arrive.........she didn't, she came to her senses just in time and unfortunately everyone was asked to leave!!!!!.
I'm joking of course, the music started and Gemma, looking beautiful, walked into the room. She was crying, at first we thought it was because the first person she saw in the room was Mark Ellis, but no they were tears of joy as she made her way towards the Groom - who stayed strong... just!.
The vows were taken, "Do you Chris Todd promise to love and cherish Gemma ? Do you promise to release your credit card and accept it's a no when the lads ask you to go to the local for a drink?".........."I do".
"Do you Gemma accept that Chris will now slacken up around the house and forget your anniversary ?".....I do.
"Then you are now Man and Wife, let the games begin".
Soon all the guests were sat down, ready to tuck into the sumptuous meal. The seating plan at our table had been slightly adjusted - I swapped the names around so that Elliot Benyon and his lovely, long suffering( but sane )girlfriend Kylie were not on our table. The fact that our children were present meant that Elliot may have scared our daughter Harriet too much!. Saying that the subtle swap meant that Tyronne and Muzzi were sat at our table experiencing at first hand the madness of our three children, one being the infamous beast! sorry about that lads!.
As well as Nicky Wroe and his ( again) lovely girlfriend Natalie we had the pleasure of an old mate's company. Matt 'If anyone signs in my position there going down' Hockley and his lovely ( yes there's a theme here) girlfriend Vicky made up the table. It was great to catch up with 'Hockers'. We had a good laugh chatting about football and it was interesting to hear Vicky - also a footy player, and also a midfielder - explain that she was the better player !!!!!. Let me know how the one on ones are going 'Hocks'!.

So the speeches started, eight in total, starting with Chris " It's been an emotional day, even the cake is in tears". Toddy had begun!!. The Bride's father Brian and the Groom's father Steve then had a 'speech off', both doing a top job of welcoming in new family member's. The Todd brothers gave theirs, short and sweet but very funny all the same, then it was time for the best man and compare Barry. He had a longer delivery than our local postman but to be fair it had been an hour after the speeches began so his audience wanted blood. Barry did well though, after all with Toddy the material you can use about him is endless!.
Finally 'Bamper' Todd closed proceedings with a brilliant Poem. Great stuff.
The meal and subsequent banter really was tremendous. The sight of a very hot Kevin Nicholson wiping out a waitress due to his over heating gave everyone a good laugh. The fact that his jacket ended up swimming in gravy was an added bonus! again sorry mate.
Once the meal was done it was time to catch up with old mates ( well I'd been with most of the lads in the morning but you know what I mean ). Kenny Veysey was still trying to tell me a story today, Damo's 'setting up the scene for the joke was that long that Kenny grew a beard waiting. There was a great cameo played at night by Pete Morgan who came over straight from the crucible ( Jimmy White..68 !). The buffet was nice and came in handy later on as Elliot did some apple bobbing in the fruit salad bowl!. A bit of dancing and Karaoke and the day was done well maybe not for a couple of people!!.
Must mention a pair of white shoes on show, whoever wore them was either brave or mad.....thanks yes I would say I was brave!!!.

To Chris and Gemma