Saturday saw two trips down memory lane.  Jason was in town and we agreed to breakfast in Wetherspoons.  Initiating him in to our world of ordering by app and unlimited coffee he brought memories of when he was assistant manager to me in a small bank branch in one of Manchester’s inner city areas.

To have two members of management in such a small branch was probably top heavy, but it did mean I could give him an opportunity to act as manager and learn how to get the fest out of others.  It’s fair to say he was quite good at it and his genuine ambition to go on and do other things career wise seems to have served him well.

It was also a reminder of a team I’d long since forgotten.  No superstars, but people who supported each other and somehow delivered exceptional results.  I had a sad moment last night when I remembered one of them is no longer with us.

While I enjoyed my second plate of pancakes in a week, and with temperatures at six degrees Celsius, Chris reported that the Oldham match had been called off – frozen pitch.  The back up plan of Stockport v Brackley in the quarter finals of the FA Trophy was instigated.   £8 for disabled,  free for carer.  But not the bargain anticipated!

It was as cold a wind as I remember feeling, despite air temperature being supposedly mild.  And the match was awful.  But as the cold and boredom manifested itself, I stared at my walking stick and remembered a character who I first saw at the ground in the early 1980s.  Mad Arthur.  He was at least 110 years old and had a habit of waving his walking stick at opposition goalkeepers and match officials, combined with toothless bad language and insults

Back in the days of terracing, you could walk around the two sides of the ground.  Behind one goal first half.  Alongside the other goal second half.  Arthur, the world’s oldest hooligans effing and jeffing throughout the ninety minutes with many a linesman intimidated by his antics.

There was a story that he once led a pitch invasion in a game against Bradford.  I’ve no idea if it was true.  I really hope it was.

And then the final whistle blew.  A 1-1 draw and escape to the warmth of the BMW.

An opportunity to donate to Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation