Walking in a Winter wonderland (if that’s okay with Health and Safety)!


I walked out of the Chad on Tuesday afternoon and the snow went completely over my shoes for the first time I can remember since I was a kid.

All of a sudden we have a Winter wonderland and little chance of any action on the pitch, I suspect, for a few weeks.

As much as the kid in me loves snow, after two accidents in the past, I really hate driving in it.

And the descent down Newgate Lane hill and subseqeunt journey out towards the M1 on the A38 were horrendous on Tuesday night and are still slippery and unpleasant today.

But I remember watching many football matches in atrocious snow and ice conditions and playing in many more besides.

As a kid it seemed snowy pitches were simply an interesting part of the annual football landscape.

The snow came down and you simply painted the lines on top of it in a different colour, used a bright orange ball and it was the same conditions for both sides.

These days, with Health and Safety ruling with their suffocating rod of iron, there is little chance of those days ever returning.

If the concern is not for the players then it’s for the supporters and the state of the car park and seats inside.

Yet years ago grounds were mostly terraces and the game still went ahead with a spot of grit underfoot and a Bovril in your hand.

I have vivid memories still of playing on snow and ice on West Park, Long Eaton, and scoring my one and only ‘perfect hat-trick’ in my life.

We fully expected the game to be off but both sides, having got out of bed on a cold morning and turned up, decided they were happy to play.

And, within a short space of time, there we were clomping around noisely on the frozen surface, many still wearing studs.

My low centre of gravity must have helped as it proved to be my day and I was very glad we played.

But it is hard to see any action at Field Mill this Saturday.

Maybe they could invite Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg to have their much-anticipated pre-election debate in the centre circle tomorrow. That would generate enough hot air to get the field looking green again!

At least by the time we play another game we may have everyone fit and well and the hoped-for new defenders in the building ready for the final promotion push. Stay warm!


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