Monday, 31 May 2010


Well I have been wiped out for a few days. Not a bed ridden, lucozade, grapes, type of illness. No, it was more of a headache (never really had one before), face ache (didn't even know it existed), very tired (how can Tarzan be tired?), coughing up green stuff like I have been smoking fifty 'Bensons' a day (I know you didn't need to know that but I had to share it with you!) type of illness.
Not to worry though, a much needed visit from my folks (Avy and Mart), some beach relaxation (although I never sat down) and a few press ups and I feel a lot better.
I did actually ring the NHS direct at one point. After I had explained my symptoms the first lady on the other end of the line said "Shall I order you an ambulance as you are describing stroke like tendencies" reply "Well I would rather you didn't as I don't really fancy an ambulance rocking up in the close and I think the kids might be a tad distressed!!
Its amazing how much I perked up after speaking to the second (less cautious) nurse who said it was more likely a sign sinusitis/cold/rundownness (not a word I know!).
Anyway today I feel better ish as we enjoyed a real old school day at the beach with. Three generations of Hargreaves along with, deck chairs, doughnuts, a funfair, ice-creams, and a meal in a pub.
I have commented on several eateries on my blog, usually all favourable I might add. But today it was poor. The establishment was The Grove in Exmouth, a great venue and somewhere that should be spot on. But no, the staff had faces like the proverbial smacked **** and were as motivated as the inmates on death row. The burgers were cool (not as in 'Phat' cool!), the vegetable lasagne (bad choice by Avy I accept) came with a Groucho Marx tash and glasses, the Steak and Kidney pudding was a 'Pudding' and the beer was at best, wet!. All in all not great. It may have been an off day - staff out last night etc etc, normal chef not in etc etc - but I think the microwave in the back was taking a serious hammering and at around a tenner for a main course it gets 'Donkey of the week' from yours truly.
I am providing a service here for all those poor families who go out to eat as a treat and end up being very disappointed and a few quid lighter.
I used to be a true Brit (never complain just take it on the chin) but my wife and I were in New York a few years ago having a break (I know big time eh!!!!!!) but anyway we were eating at a really good place and everything was fantastic. As my wife was about to drink (sink) her glass of wine she noticed a smudge of lipstick on the glass, it was nothing much so we just dismissed it and carried on.
However the guy opposite noticed and called over "Hey you guys i'll get the waitress straight away, come on". He did that and she came straight over. The guy continued "Hey these guys have a glass full of lipstick over here". The waitress shot over and was totally mortified saying "I'm so sorry let me sort that straight away". The result was not a free glass of wine, no, it was a free bottle of wine, delivered with lightning precision and with another massively unneeded apology.
The guy who had brought it to the waitresses attention turned to us and said "You Brits are too nice, it's all about the service. Your paying, and if it ain't right, your not".
The thing was that the waitress actually thanked the guy who had told her, there were no 'dummies' spat out and everyone carried on as normal. You get my point!



Friday, 28 May 2010

System failure

Man down!! Tarzan has fallen foul of a sinus/cold/flu/ type problem and so is taking to his bed. I may be a trifle rundown but I will beat it in the night and be back with you tomorrow. Where's the Lemsip I'm off to bed!


Thursday, 27 May 2010


Welcome back! Tomorrow the blog randomness will return and next week I will aim to reintroduce my video appearances....until then Bonjour!!


Thursday, 20 May 2010


Playing with my daughter on the beach, tennis and cricket with my son and a night in watching TV, I am back in Devon and I am loving it. I am delighted the season is now over and I can spend some time with my family. My time at Oxford is at an end and the main objective has been achieved, promotion. No words were really said at the end but there didn't need to be as Oxford were always moving on and I was always going to be heading back to Devon. As we all know football is an unforgiving industry and one that tests the best of characters. This season has really tested my resolve and has also put a massive strain on family life, something I take very seriously. I will have a long hard think now about if, where, and when I want to play again, or not! Maybe the time has come to hang up the boots and coach or manage or maybe it is time to try something completely new. Or maybe another challenge will come along and tempt me.
Either way I hope this seasons blog has given you a further insight into the world of football and also the chaos of family life. I bid you farewell as I aim to eat, drink, and be merry for at least a week! Thanks so much for reading.


Wednesday, 19 May 2010


I found myself watching a sport with a different shaped ball tonight, the Exeter Chiefs versus Bristol rugby play-off game. A very nice man let me in to the stadium -it was all ticket!- and I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it. Exeter won 9-6, all points were penalties but there was some great action. It will be one hell of a second leg at Bristol next week. I think getting battered is a regular occurrence in that game, but as I watched on I couldn't help thinking it would be great to be on the pitch. How long I would last is another thing entirely!

P.S Rant about Tesco - they have officially gone England mad. T-shirts and flags fair enough, but pink cowboy hats, dog bowls, toilet seats, and a whole host of other ridiculous stuff all emblazoned with the England flag on is just mental. They will obviously sell out!.

P.P.S Rant about MacDonalds - went in one today and walked straight out again. It smelt like an old sock and was crammed to the rafters with Chav!. Maybe I caught them on an off day!.


Tuesday, 18 May 2010


It has been one hell of a last few months. This is the first time I have had time to sit down and reflect on those eventful months. Obviously the weekend was incredible, so many fans made the journey to Wembley to see the team win and with it gain league status. Being on the pitch is the only place to be at Wembley and I couldn't help but feel a tinge of pain as I saw the lads run out, but to be with the team and to be able to help with a bit of last minute advice and support was a close second.
As I spoke to James Constable - just before he set off to climb the steps and collect the winners trophy - I couldn't help but think about last season and doing the same thing myself.
I had been saying to the lads before the play-offs to imagine themselves scoring and lifting the cup and that it would then happen. I know this because I said it to myself before last seasons epic run in! As with most clubs there are always some special people behind the scenes and at Oxford this is no exception. I have just travelled back from Oxford after joining the squad for an open top tour of the city. As I left the Town hall (and the lads to party hard) I spoke to Jim Rosenthal and his pleasure at seeing the club back in the league was huge. People like Jim are there for the club in good and bad times, once a fan always a fan as they say.
Leaving Torquay hurt me a lot and I honestly didn't see it coming but joining Oxford has been a sort of mission that had to be completed. I wanted to lead the club back up as a player and although it hasn't quite gone according to plan I had the stomach for the fight and wanted to help the club and it's manager achieve their goal. After around 10,000 miles in the car, a few more injections and stitches, plenty of hotel stays, and a bucket load of stress at work and at home that goal has been reached.
I sit here now with the children tucked up in bed oblivious to the ins and outs of football and I wonder what the future holds, on and off the field. And so there we are, another season over!

I left Wembley with my parents on Sunday night to travel 'up north' for a celebration of someones life due the following morning - I call it a celebration but of course it was actually a funeral, the funeral of Guy Allen.
Guy was a larger than life character who loved football and fish! He was the same person at the helm of a company worth millions or with a fish round worth pounds. He got it all, had it all, and lost it all. His generosity was incredible, whether it be holding huge parties, buying gifts for people, or slipping 'twenties' into top pockets. He made a big influence on me in my life and his death has only reminded me of his spirit, enjoy life and don't take **** from anyone.


Monday, 17 May 2010

Saturday, 15 May 2010

It's Time

Well it's time, the eve of the play-off final and the chance do something very special. We visited the stadium yesterday to check out the dodgy pitch and to recreate former goals (sorry I had too!) and we certainly made a big impression. Our long serving coach driver 'pistol' Pete misjudged (badly) a non existent gap he had seen underneath the stadium resulting in about ten grands worth of damage to the coach, taking out a massive window and wrecking the door. Poor old Pete, as well as being abused all day he tried to take out one of the concrete support posts holding up the national stadium. It's a good job it was on the way out!!
A few pep talks, a bit of dinner, a slice of BGT, and here we are.
Thank-you to everybody for your support. God willing by this time tomorrow night the job will be done. Love to all.


Thursday, 13 May 2010

Chit - Chat

Carnage on the motorways, the end of 'SATS' week, the merging of a new party, the resignation of another, the emergence of tadpoles as pets, a Birthday meal out, chores on an epic scale, and a general catch up with the family just about sums up this week. Oh yes, and before I forget, this Sunday is the biggest game in Oxford Utd's recent history. Pretty much a normal week then!
It was nice to go out with my gang on Wednesday night for a fight with a pair of chopsticks and a bowl of noodles. We returned home to destroy a cheesecake (what a cheeeeese...cake!) and to watch Fulham's gallant attempt to win the Cup. The joy of winning and the heartbreak of losing can only be really understood by those who's life football is - player, manager, fan, or chairman. I don't think people always realise the impact results have on your life. It was certainly the case for me and for the couple I met the other day. After my birthday meal we popped in to a well known department store (even on my B'day!). While I was waiting for the girls a man came up to me and his conversation went something like this.......
"I see you are in the final on Sunday then. Do you remember the time I bumped into you getting fish and chips after the Exeter play-off game. You know the one where you lost at the death, what a game eh. Oh what a game do you remember? In fact do you remember the game against Exeter when you were at Oxford, you lost that as well. That was amazing eh"

The reaction in my head went something like this....
"No I had completely forgotten mate, what the game where my heart was ripped out and spat out and my wife and kids were in tears, yes what a brilliant game! and how good of you to remember the Oxford game. That was a corker eh, my last game for the club, meaning I had to up root the whole family and hope that I got another club somewhere. Yes great memories, anyway what shall we talk about now, the Ebola virus or the third world deficit"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What I actually said was....
"Yes I remember, yes unbelievable eh, football eh"

In a snapshot that is the difference between football being someones life, and someone talking to a football person. Of course I can laugh about it and shrug it off, and I regularly do!, and I know the guy in question meant no harm but wouldn't it be amazing one day if I walked up to a random bloke and said.."Hi there what about last year when the stock market crashed and it meant you had to move companies, that was amazing eh, and then the company you went to actually moved it's branch to Azerbaijan, and you all had to leave, incredible"!.

No that would be offensive!


Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Birthday boy

Toblerone and a chocolate orange ! Yes it's my Birthday, 30 years old today.


Monday, 10 May 2010


How many times have you said "I'm starving" or "My mouth is as dry as a fur boot". I'm sure those statements have been exclaimed by many a woman, man, and child over the years. In fact in reality it's probably said at some point during every day of the year - although if I hear my children moaning at dinner time, after having eaten only an hour or so ago, I always argue back "Well your not actually starving are you, there are people starving around the world and your not one of them". Dads eh!
Well an Indian holy man has recently claimed that he has had nothing to eat for seven decades. Not seven years, or months, or weeks, or even hours. Seven decades!
He is currently under 24hour observation by a team of 30 doctors. They are monitoring his every move, involving cameras following him at all times. The tests began on 22 April and so far he hasn't eaten, had a drink, or gone to the toilet! Now he is either a David Blaine wannabe, or he is telling the truth. He has said that a goddess gave him a blessing when he was eight years old enabling him to go without food and water. On the grounds of medical research this test of human endurance could be vital for future generations. Or it could prove that one man is either a freak of nature or mental. What it definately does though is ensure that when my children next say that they are starving I will of course reply "There's an Indian guy who hasn't eaten for seven decades and he's not moaning!" !!!

I am back in the hotel this week and there are some major changes a foot. One of the lads mentioned that he was struggling for accomadation last week so before long I had welcomed a new 'roomy'. The 'Beast' Mark Creighton our centre forward eating, 6ft 3in, tattooed, centre half, is now the official tea maker. We have already found a new eatarie serving desperate dan pies and we have just finished our first game of snooker, good times (especially seeing as I won!!!


Sunday, 9 May 2010

First Flight

With many teams fates being decided yesterday it was a real shame to see my home town club Grimsby Town being relegated from league Two. They were lucky to survive last year - two teams in the division had massive points deductions and so were doomed form the start - but this time round the luck ran out and G.T.F.C are now Conference bound. As we all know it is not the end of the world, but it is certainly a huge test of character for the players and fans alike.
My first cup and league goals were scored at Grimsby's home, Blundell Park, and some very happy times were spent there. I just hope that we don't meet them next season!

A lovely weekend in Devon has been had by all. Yesterday it was a trip to Burgh Island for a walk, game of rounders, picnic, and kite flying session. The latter of these four activities, kite flying, was a bit of a challenge. One hour to find the right Kite - a 'Pro turbo 3000 stunt power Kite' as chosen by my son who looked at my Tesco offering with utter contempt. We unveiled it and then spent around an hour attempting to fly a kite on the only non-windy day of the year. By the time we had eventually conceded defeat and packed the kite away it looked like it had gained another hundred or so lengths of string - all the best with the unravelling when another windy day comes along!
Today we nipped over to see the Nicholsons (Happy Birthday Jessica). It was a great first birthday party with funny noises, smells, tears and laughter coming at regular intervals (very similar to an adult party really!) It also basically involved myself, Mansell, and Wroe sitting by the dining table and destroying the cakes, biscuits, crisps, and pasties, whilst Kev looked over pretending he wasn't hungry.

It was great to see the lads though and to also finally hold the new baby lamb, Eden Mansell. Very strange how comfortable she was in my arms though!!!!!!!!.


Saturday, 8 May 2010

Guy Allen

7/05/2010 R.I.P Guy Allen
Just received some very sad news, the death of close family friend, Guy Allen.
This mans generosity knew no bounds. He had a presence about him that was very rare, and he certainly lived life to the full. In the end his empire may have been taken away from him but he remained the same, a star.
To Shirley, Christopher, and Sarah, our love and thoughts are with you.
And thanks for constantly asking big man, yes the boy is doing good!

Friday, 7 May 2010


Sorry folks, I have been a bit slack over the last few days resulting in a major lack of stories, facts, anecdotes, and football trivia.
Basically this week has included reacquainting myself with an entertainment starved family, eating the entire contents of the kitchen, and of course, voting. The first bit was the most challenging though with track and field, football, a school trip, garden trampolining, a trip to the beach, house hunting, and bill paying, being the order of the day, or two! Add to that the den building and hide and seek (it's a funny marriage!)and that has been the week. Oh and I managed to fit in a tad of running and a few sessions with the weights as I am an athlete after all.
The second part, notably the eating, has been much the same as it always is. Just as you do when you get home to your parents house it is a case of walking through the front door (ignoring everything in your path) heading straight for the fridge and demolishing the entire contents in true Homer Simpson fashion.
The last part has been the easiest,I voted for the party that has enabled me to pay my mortgage without having to rob a bank.
Tomorrow day it's a case of surf, and or a BBQ (weather permitting). Tomorrow night it's a case of wine and Saturday night TV, and on Sunday it is a long overdue catch up with messers Nicholson and Mansell.
Enjoy the weekend.


Tuesday, 4 May 2010


'Wembley, Wembley' What a great day and a great performance. The ground was packed with fans yesterday for our second leg win against Rushden. Those same fans - plus another 30,000 - will now be making their way to London on May 16th. To make it to Wembley three years running is incredible for me and for the Oxford fans it will be the first time they have seen their team play in the national stadium since their famous Milk Cup triumph - basically a long, long time ago. Now we just have to go and win it.
Massive thanks all round for the liquid refreshments supplied to many of our boys last night. Come on, you can't refuse can you!

P.S Good banter Tim, see you there!


Sunday, 2 May 2010


Well here we are again! It's the eve of another second leg of another play-off game. A huge day for the club and hopefully by this time tomorrow we will be heading for Wembley.


Saturday, 1 May 2010


Tough times at the moment, probably too much thinking time, so tonight it is a simple blog.
Have a nice weekend!