Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Neil Rourke - Woodley Sports FC

Woodley Sports Secretary Rod Haslam has made the following statement :-

“It saddens me to announce the sudden and untimely death yesterday of Neil Rourke, Woodley Sports FC Director. Neil was the instigator and founder of the Woodley Sports Football Club Youth Team, where he managed the team through its first two years before taking the team on to play in the Lancit Lancashire League.”

“In Management, Neil saw his teams win the Stockport Senior Cup, Cheshire Youth Cup & Cheshire County Cup. He was also involved in managing the Stockport & District FA Youth side, winning the Cheshire County District FA Youth Competition in 2007/2008.”

“The present Woodley side bears testament to his legacy with at least five current 1st team squad members starting out from his Youth side.”

“Everyone connected with Woodley Sports Football Club are deeply shocked by this news. Neil was a gentleman, caring, considerate and always willing to help, at only 40 years of age he will always be remembered for his contribution to Youth Football with the Stockport area.”

Here's a pic I took of Neil & Rod's Cheshire Senior Cup winning squad from last season when they beat Cheadle Heath Nomads at Edgeley Park - click on pic for bigger ....

RIP Neil - and sympathies to family and all at Woodley Sports from Smiffy..

Monday, September 29, 2008

Shameless Plug ...

(PS - I can get £7-50 off the ticket price ....)

Stabbings, FA Cup, Spreadsheets - a "Monday Mixture"

Well we've sorted our alibis out - on our return to Mossley on Saturday night after the victory @ Kendal we "offed" the train and "into'd" the Commercial - later to become famous on this link ..


Yep Mossley on the beeb - we all left the pub about one hour before it all "kicked off" - our Michelle - coming back from Stoke via a drink with a mate in Manc and catching the "last one home" - saw the ambulances/polizei etc etc.

Naturally in a small town like Mossley names are already "out" - natch can't say on here mind .... here's one story that should run nationally for a bit anyway -especially with the "ethnic slant" - I can say no more ..

Enough of that - football - as in the FA Cup - Droylsden get Gateshead/Witton @ home - Stalybridge get Durham City @ home - and for me Mossley get a really sh*t draw as in Curzon Ashton away - there are many who are happy with this - if I was to be honest, if we play like we played at Kendal, we'll stuff 'em but ... it's not what I would have wished for !

Still it's local (especially as I've an appointment at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manc on that same Saturday eve !!) - I wanted Winterton/Newky Benfield @ home me - get the weakest team at home - Belper Town in the 4th Qualifying can wait !!!!!

And finally for now - a Monday @ work rant - spreadsheets - I hate them with venom/vengeance/and worse - I firmly believe they are the reason for so much sh*t on the world today - I reckon Lehmann Bros / Northern Rock / Bradford and Bungley probably based everything on bloody Excel spreadsheets - the reason I hate spreadsheets ??? You can "fiddle the figures" - for several years I've reckoned my glorious employers have been held together by "four way plugs and spreadsheets" - the number of times I've been asked - "can you export that data into a spreadsheet ?" - and seeing the sh*t that our place is in vis-a-vis Contract overruns/overspends/general f*ck-ups - I know why - bloody spreadsheets .... and p*ss-poor management to allow such stuff to go on ...but then again I'm only a lowly scummer who loves databases - our databases - because they're secure - and you can't "fiddle the figs" - cus I won't let you - but when some Manager says "export to spreadsheet" ....

No train stories - waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa !!!!!

Damn nearly forgot - Mossley have a friendly tomorrow evening agin Rochdale Town (as in the artist formerly known as Castleton Gabriels) - KO @ 2000 ....this IS the only local footy this week ...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Busy Sunday - Part 3 - Kendal v Mossley (FA Cup)

Here y'go ... no words as yet apart from "A Grand Day Out"



Enjoy - cus we did (players as well !)


Busy Sunday - Part 2 - Cotton Mill Express

This was a bonus - arriving at Manchester Victoria yesterday morning at 1030, I wandered into the bar (just to have a look - it was shut -the "alky bit" !) - but noted it was very busy - and then I spotted John Hesketh - the Stalybridge Buffet Bar supremo - and Mrs John as well. They were waiting for the "Cotton Mill Express" charter which was running about 90 minutes late. Further checking showed that I'd just catch it before having to shoot off to Salford Crescent / Preston / Kendal .... and I did ! Pictures to be found at


and here's the loco - Jubilee Class 5690 "Leander"...makes a change from 45407 !!!

Busy Sunday - Part 1 - DragonForce & Turisas

Some piccies from Friday Night...babycam therefore crap quality - but the gig was quality indeed - enjoy ...

The End...

Saturday, September 27, 2008

DragonForce & Turisas - 95 %

..now that WAS a good gig ... Turisas (last seen @ Dowmload 2007) - wonderful ..they even preceded the "Rasputin" cover with a little bit of Mary Hopkin (this - as old git - tempted to txt Mrs Smiffy - she guessed the toon - those were indeed the days..)

DF - well I seen 'em several times - my "perfick gig" for them was always Manc Academy in December 2006 - well after many other disappointments - Leeds - Download - MEN Arena - tonight was GOOOD - my only grouse would have to be "They didn't play 'Inside the Winter Storm' off the new album" - but hey - "Last Journey Home" - my second fave from "Ultra Beatdown" was an absolute classic - really well done .. in fact everything was good tonight - no sound probs - no apparent "can't be arsed" probs - it all went very very well.

(I did have a spare tkt - apparently they were going for £40 - and I was ofered £10 by a tout - thieving barstewards !! My tkt (via the secretary of Salford Uni Rock Club) went to a fresher from Salford Uni - at cost, viz £14 - something else that should be on my CV come the "going to heaven" moment.

I've got about 280 pix from tonight - all on BabyFuji - I took the Babycam tonight most will be crap no doubt - we'll see what comes out later in the week.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Midweek Meanderings ....

... all human life might be in this one - I'll start it at 1945 - and I might well come back to it as the night goes on. Here's a pic from last Saturday morning - if you got off the London train at Manchester Piccadilly at about 1030 - you've been filmed !! I've blurred out "PC David Bailey" in order to (hopefully) prevent that "knock on the door at two in the morning" - but as it was also Labour Party Conference up here - doesn't the guy adjacent to plod look like David Blunkett (sans dog and stick and "alleged floozy" though !!)

Jalbum is being a bugger at the moment - trying to add a picture to


but it's not playing ball - yes 7 days on and the only action is .... the skip's gone - so here it is (or isn't !!)

..and yeah - they missed a bit !!

2140 update - note change to Buffet Bar link - seems to add the extra pic if you rename the bloomin file....

Music - now music - this week of course - well Friday - sees one of Smiffy's regular pilgrimages to see if DragonForce can match up to their December 2006 gig at the Manchester Academy - fingers crossed - the two "knock-out" tracks on the new album (for me anyway) are "The Last Journey Home" and "Inside the Winter Storm" can only find Heroes of Our Time on YouTube though - trusty BabyFuji will be in attendance at said Academy as well. UPDATE - OK I lied - just found Last Journey Home. (2215 - Seek and ye shall - Inside the Winter Storm).

Got a txt off daughter today asking if I fancied some "Aussie Stadium Rock" in November - quick confirmation revealed this to be Airbourne - so I said yes (or should that be "yeahhhhhh" ?) - I'd heard the name via some spammy emails from TicketLine/Master/Servant - so tonight I checked out a few YouTubes of said Antipodean Beat Combo - and by jove they make AC/DC sound like Jet (even though I like Jet as well !!!). Check out Airbourne - Too Fast - one of several - a quick trip to hmv.com secured a copy of "Running Wild" - fingers crossed the gig tkts are suitably purchased - early November should be a good music week - two days before Airbourne I have the pleasure of Todd Rundgren, also at Manc Academy !!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

ECG Screening - Tamworth

This comes courtesy of "DJHinckley" (as in Dave Jackson) - maybe most who read this will not be close enough to take advantage - but if it reaches even one reader "in the area" - it's done its job .... and if people out there have not heard of Matt Gadsby - try Google - or type "Matt Gadsby" into the 'search' option on this very blog - and you'll realise how important this could be ....

Matt Gadsby's father, Andy, has arranged for an ECG screening programme to take place on Sunday 28th September at Newton Regis village Hall, Tamworth, Staffordshire. The purpose for the screening is to detect any heart abnormalities. A simple ECG test could have possibly saved Matt Gadsby's life.

The screening is available to those aged between 14-35, will take place from 9am - 5.30pm and will be FREE. That's right 'no charge'.

The BBC TV programme 'Inside Out' will also be at the event as they are filming a programme relating Matt Gadsby, these rare heart conditions and the work of the C-R-Y charity.

to book a FREE screening click this link:

for further details on the ECG screening programme click this link:

for info just about Cardiac Risk in the Young (C-R-Y) click this link:
http://www.c-r-y.org.uk www.hinckleyunitedfc.co.uk


Ashton United v Kendal Town

.... or "Netherfield" as Jools kept calling them in his txts tonight ! The first half was memorable for the complete lack of football and the "over-egging" of every challenge - twas almost like listening to Premiership whining and whingeing at one stage - ref didn't help much either - 4/10 from me ...

Half-time seemed to help - two teams came out wanting to play football - Kendal swift - and playing on the perceived Ashton weaknesses (which were brought about by the injuries in their game at Prescot on Saturday) - every long deep cross from the right saw a couple of Kendal players "over" - and this certainly contributed to the 2-1 win by Kendal/Netherfield tonight.

Hugely disappointed by the turn-out of Mossley fans tonight - looking for clues for the FA Cup game at Kendal on Saturday - fortunately did see John Flanagan and Will Ivett doing the "official scouting" this evening....

Oh yes pictures ....... voila:


..and yes - Chelsea was there !!!

And a quick bonus pic ...if you can call it "bonus"..!...!...!...!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Calverton MW v Glossop NE (FA Vase)

A grand day out - leaving Mossley at 0957 - to Man Vic - over to Man Picc - train to Stoke - train to Derby - train to Nottingham (treated meself to a new camera strap - neoprene and no Canon advertising !!) - bus to Calverton arriving at 1425 (got off Bus at wrong stop - fortunately a handy pub ("Gleaners") to ask directions over a pint of Deuchars IPA.

The game - well pix at


Glossop looked comfy throughout - I felt a bit for the Calverton 'keeper - listening to his shouts, it appeared he only had "Westy" in front of him rather than ten "stout men and true" - another gripe at the ref (it wasn;t the ref Mossley had last Tuesday but .... you get the picture). Both penalties were poor decisions - nothing really malicious in the whole game - but he managed to get a good proportion of the 22+ players extremely frustrated with some of his actions - and reactions ...

Some good football by Glossop - and every time the ball went into the "Calvo" box - it was panic stations all round.

A new ground for me - fairly basic - with a sumptuous club however - looking at the club's recent history, it's time to consolidate after several quick promotions up to Central Mids Supreme. A fine turnout from the Glossop contingent (complete with new flag) - certainly doubled the crowd .... £900 goes into the kitty for winning and apparently the next round will see them visiting New Mills in a real "Battle of the High Peak" (no I haven't forgotten Buxton !).

A fairly "heavy" journey back from Calverton equated to bus to Nottingham - 50 minute wait - train to Derby (pint in Brunswick natch !!) - similar wait (they've got a "big wheel" in Derby, just like the Manc one) - a bus to Belper - quick pint in the "Riflemans" bumping into Mr Rudkin (Alfreton Town secretary) and "Pistol" (Belper kitman) - thence to M-I-Ls.

Today a quick 9.5 mile walk in the Elton/Youlgreave area before getting home about 1800 ... to this (well after tidy up/make tea/tidy up/do first whack at pictures)

I'll offer you peeps my "Muhammad Ali" duo - one from today and one from the game - it's up to you to decide which is which ...

Float like a footballer ...

Score like a butterfly - or something like that .....

Tomorrow (yep it's still tomorrow - I've checked the time) - it's "scoutie time" at Hurst Cross to check out Mossley's FA Cup opponents Kendal - who knocked Ashton United out in the previous round .... reckon there'll be a few from Mossley way (wonder if Chelsea's coming down ?) ...

Thursday, September 18, 2008

"Decision Made" Friday

... doing Calverton MW v Glossop NE - being nearer Notingham makes the trip to Belper easier after the game - and keeps Mrs Smiffy and Mum-in-Law cheerful as well - shame to miss Stafford "on the doorstep" but they're coming twice in October as I recall (consecutive Saturdays) to Hyde and Stalybridge so ...

Incidentally this was the state of affairs at Stalybridge Buffet Bar on Wednesday

No change as at 1800 tonight !

Dithering Thursday ...

.... as in "where to go on Saturday" - Mrs Smiffy is heading to see her mum - on weekends like this I do football 'somewhere', and join them in the early evening - however Belper Town are away at Shepshed - involves driving (thus curtailing drinking - big style !)

E-mailed Droylsden indicating my intention to turn up "packing a telephoto" for the game agin Stafford Rangers on Saturday - Stafford being my "home town" team - the team that I saw win championships and trophies at the proper Wembley back in the 1970s ... after game could get to Manc and train to Sheffield/Derby/Belper or Stoke/Derby/Belper....

Mossley at home to Garforth as well - similar train options - but there'll probably be 27 snappers at Seel Park (excluding the David Bailey(s) of Garforth).

Stalybridge away at Hinckley - a valid option - not been to Hinckley since the Matt Gadsby Benefit game at the start of 2007/08 - chance of a "drop-off" on the way back if I took the option of Brian's coach...

Then ... Glossop reared its head - away at Calverton Miners Welfare in the FA Vase - it's just outside Nottingham so - near Derby - so - near Belper. Once into "FA Vase mode" I noticed Holbrook Miners Welfare also at home in the Vase v Eccleshall (which is near Stafford) - Holbrook is about 4 miles from Belper - we start to go round in circles - incidentally Calverton beat Brocton in the previous round of the Vase - Brocton about 5/6 miles from Stafford - eeek ....

Final decision to be made - probably late Friday, early Saturday - only cert at the moment is Ashton United v Kendal on Monday night !!

PS - Nothing new tonight re Stalybridge Station Buffet Bar Conservatory ....

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Stalybridge Station Buffet Bar Conservatory

As it appears that Photobucket is a "bag of nails" when trying to add pix to an existing album (yes I've been into account options etc etc yawn yawn - but it still cocks up) so try this instead - includes some newies from today - the first bricks have been laid !!!


Salford City v Mossley (Unibond League Cup 1)

Yep late as usual - pix here


Thoroughly deserved win by Salford (as in 2-0) - OK Mossley had a couple disallowed - the referee was absolutely appalling (I baulk at using the word "shit" !) - but Salford were so much more "up for it" tonight - while Mossley played a 90% "First XI", Salford went 50/50 - and those who came in to "prove themselves" - if you like - certainly did.

I only hope that the rather crude (and unpunished) tackle on Danny Dignan towards the end will not cost Mossley too much for the rest of the season - I guessed ligaments - others feel broken ankle - we wait and see.. this was one particular incident where the ref cocked up big style - and as Danny "flew" off the pitch he let the game carry on despite the need for trainers attention, leg support, stretcher and so on.

So Mr Massey - who I believe once "linered" a cup final - and cocked that up too - you were crap tonight - I'm not saying this in "sour grapes" mode either - the better side won no doubt about that - but you - Mr Massey - were crap.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Midweek Football - and Saturday ??

...only option is the Salford City v Mossley Unibond Challenge Cup game tomorrow evening (I am NOT doing a FCUM cup replay on Wednesday - too much aggro with camera etc).

Salford gives me another chance to experiment under "low level lighting".

Weekend - Mrs Smiffy's looking to go down to Belper - but they're away @ Shepshed - tis an option .... but ... Droylsden v Stafford Rangers is much more tempting for obvious reasons - can always bob down to Belper afterwards ....

(I'll get to see Carl "in action" as well ! Must remember to do the official sh*t mind - Conference etc etc- if I make this choice).

Boots and Beer 2008 - some snaps ...

A waterfall - as in one of many this weekend

A wall - as in one of many this weekend

A butterfly - this buddleia had loads on it .....

Redmire Force

Aysgarth Falls - that was some power - some noise ...

Mill Gill Waterfall ...

"Old and New" around Bainbridge Village Green

Lintel on an old shed/stable

This used to be a railway line ..... (just outside Askrigg)

...notice the lack of beer photos !!!!


A new Royal Mail "moneyspinner" ...?

In order to offset the huge losses that they're making (should have made sure they got royalties off EVERY episode of Postman Pat ... but no .....) - I offer up the following scheme.....


They could make a few bob selling these (spotted this one in Askrigg) ..

(Tee Hee)


Stalybridge Buffet Bar - the Conservatory

You may not be aware - but the "conservatory" on the end of Stalybridge Buffet Bar (original from 1885 I believe) is being "refurbished" in time-honoured fashion viz knocked down completely to be rebuilt exactly the same, but without the leaky roof, rotten wood, ill-fitting windows etc....What I thought I'd do is keep a bit of a pictorial of it .... so have a look at


I'll add to it with other pix as other stuff happens - suitably dated of course ....

Staying with Buffet Bar business - it was a great shock to receive a text message on Friday evening whilst on my way up to Hawes/Askrigg to be told that Sean (Buffet Bar regular) had been found dead at home - talking tonight (Monday) - it appears to have been a heart attack - he was only 44 ... he will be sadly missed.

I've been away ....

Boots Beer - more walks more beer - time to play catch up .....each under it's own ...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Brideshead Revisited ...

...or summat like that - in the cold light of day, last night's pix (OK - put together at about 0200 this morning) were pretty grim weren't they ? I've "had a play" tonight in an attempt to get silk purse out of sow's wotsit - a slight improvement I feel but still needs a 'bit of a think' these evening games (and floodlights do make a helluva difference !) .... same link viz


This weekend - no footy despite it being FA Cup day - Mossley are looking for three grand as they travel to Flixton -
Belper are looking for three grand as they entertain Barwell - and so on ... Me and Mrs Smiffy are off to the 7th Annual "Boots and Beer" Weekend up in Hawes (although we're doing the Askrigg side of things this year). Yep 'Boots' = 13 to 15 mile walks on Saturday and Sunday and 'Beer' = (it's sponsored by Black Sheep Brewery and Mrs S is quite partial to their Bitter !)

Believe the overpaid pampered ones managed a win tonight ..... be still my beating heart ....

Talking of Sultana -
in just 24 hours, Tameside's entire Conference set up were all knocked out of the Setanta Shield - all playing at home as well ..... £2,000 in the hand obviously not that important - hmmm.


Mossley v Halifax Town

... or FC Halifax FC or Town FC Halifax or ...you make it up out of a letters kit ...

3-1 to Mossley - pictures to follow - but comfy really in the end - at one stage it WAS like the Salford game with space to fill and to kill for ... but - 3-1 is maybe what we all expected - certainly some of the Shayman did not - another visit to "Unibond Reality FC" or summat ...

Pictures ASAP - it is ten to two mind ....

Now it's 0205 - pix at


not the best - but it's late ..........

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Weather Today ....

Just playing with camera (from the safety of front door step !!) ... and yes - if you click on 'em they get bigger !

and similar (but slower) ....

Outlook for the midweek games - Frith only knows ...

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Salford City vs Mossley

Yep it was on in the end - the scary weather never quite made it up here - Ashton United's game at Hednesford was called off early doors, and Droylsden got precisely 18 minutes at Solihull Moors - take a look at Carl's pictures..


he could put some of them in the surfing section - if there was a surfing section !!

nyway - to me - haircuts were a miserable failure - Giuseppe has broken his shoulder and Peter's mate appeared to be "off" - so .... he got hair wax from Superdrug - I got the new DragonForce album "Ultra Beatdown" from HMV - AND IT'S GOOD \n/

Once we got the "thumbs up" from Salford it was easy - 1257 to Manchester Vic, and straight on a 98 bus to Moor Lane - by now the sun was out !! The game - here's a little "tempter" (exclusive to "STS" as well !!!)

ssley won 4-0 - easily 4-0 - it should have been a lot lot more - the last 20 minutes Mossley were cutting through the "Ammies" defence at will - 'twas just bad finishing, greed, showboating, and - believe or not - a great performance from Salford Keeper Martin Campbell - which kept the score "reasonable".... here's the pix ...


At half-time I'd noted the large number of cameramen "with a Mossley bent", so I decided to "go short" in the second half and try something different viz. crouch behind the net with me 24-60 (which enabled Aaron to "have a go" with my 70-200 - looking forward to seeing how he does !) - hence the "net enabled stuff".

After the game - the heavens opened - so we 'snuck' a taxi back to Victoria in order to get on the cattle truck that was the 1829 to Mossley - it was thoughtful of the Northern Rail staff to cram everyone on (including the bikes) before announcing that there would be a delay because of "no driver" - yes they cock it up at weekends too....back in time to see the kick-off of the Andorra game - after 10 minutes (when England were not six up) - I went home - believe they've sneaked through 2-0 - yes 2-0 - against Andorra - 2-0 if you missed it - against Andorra - latest FIFA rankings I can see have England at 5 (just below France) and Andorra at 132 (just below St Vincent and the Grenadines).

Thank heavens for a comprehensive away win - I'm talking about Mossley you fools ...!!!

Next week sees the "new FCUM" roll into Mossley - yes FC Halifax Town are the visitors on Tuesday evening - they started the season with a 1500+ crowd and a 0-3 home defeat - believe the attandances have dropped off a bit, but I'd still expect a tidy number to come over the hill - hopefully including Chris, a Halifax fan who is a member of the Stalybridge Buffet Bar "teatime club" !! The same evening sees Stalybridge Celtic entertain Southport in the Sultana Shield - so expect streakers, penalty shoot-outs, floodlight failures (no cameras this year I believe though) crowd ejections and the like at Bower Fold !!! And yes I noted Celtic's "late late show" at Farsley today - keep it going !

Friday, September 05, 2008

Weekend Preview ....

...wet ...more wet ...and a touch more in the precipitation stakes Already the boards are buzzing with the "Will it be on, Won't it ?" type stuff - I guess I could only guarantee Woodley Sports v Newcastle Blue Star at the moment, because of the "plastique" - the aim remains for Salford v Mossley ... but t'other half-decent option is Hyde United v Hinckley United - which could then be followed by a "jump on train" to Glossop for the Glossop Beer Festival - because regular readers might remember me doing same last season (after the Hyde v Gainsborough game).

At this moment - 2151 - it's not raining outside our front door (cus I've just opened it and had a look !) - decisions tomorrow can probably be left until midday anyway - and me and small (!) Peter are going for haircuts tomorrow - our regular is "Figaro" in Ashton (Warrington Street) - recommended - I get the chap of Italian extraction and our Peter gets the young lady who sorts out his complicated requirements (stuff on hair, straighteners etc etc etc)...

oh - and if anyone has a better version of this p
icture - I know someone who'd love to know ......click on it for "bigger and better"

(save me having to fanny about too much in Photoshop !!!)

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Happy Thursday

Here's a silly one from the news today ...


..can just see that happening over here - not - cus you can't smoke on the platforms anymore ...

Keegan's gone as well ....I've still got fearful toothache - if anyone out there in the Greater Manchester area knows of an NHS Dentist who's "taking on" please let me know - I have a "complicated mouth" (which stems from a serious car accident in 1986), so private would cost me a bloody fortune - and my previous (NHS) dentist in Cheadle Hulme has now "gone over to the dark side".

Football - not tonight ....!!!! Should be Salford City v Mossley on Saturday - should be .....

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Stalybridge Celtic v Solihull Moors - Pix Up !!

Hope to get some stuff up tonight - don't hold breath mind - I got as far as getting pix onto computer last night - had a very brief look (it was v late !) and wasn't too impressed. A good 5-0 win for Celtic though - once the first one went in it seemed like a question of "how many ?".

See what I can rescue tonight ....

Wednesday Update - http://mossleysmiffy.jalbum.net/StalybridgeSolihull2008/

better than nowt - just .....