End Of Season thoughts
Exiled member Jeff Hayward has been doing his bit to raise the profile (and spirits) of team and supporters in the face of the 'as it turned out' inevitable relegation.
On Good Friday, hearing that Bobby Charlton was on the Nicky Campbell phone-in on Radio 5 Live, Jeff from Brighton rang up, got through to the Show and during the call, proceeded to remind Bobby of AFCB's famous 2-0 victory over Man Utd in 1984!
Jeff actually met Bobby in a pub in Reading in 1985 where he was able to talk to him face to face about that FA Cup encounter. In reply on the phone-in, Bobby said that he could remember the pub but couldn't remember the conversation - well, he is getting on a bit.
On another front, Jeff's revived 'punk' band, Fractured, continue to play gigs in London, most recently at the Bull & Gate in Kentish Town, where a song entitled "Bobby Charlton - What's The Score" about this infamous pub meeting is one of the set's main highlights.
As the front man, Jeff proudly sports his AFCB shirt on stage (see picture), although someone after the last gig did ask him what the AC Milan shirt was all about.
Information on Fractured is available at www.btinternet.com/~d.i.w/
It's a sense of having let something slip through our fingers. 1994/5 the Great Escape, 1997 financial devastation & rescue, 1998 Wembley, then the brave (this word can be interpreted various ways...) decision to go for the new stadium; all this should have led to onwards & upwards. We've lost something on the way; not sure what it is unless off-field distractions in the last 7 years have deflected the club from putting enough concentration on the team.
I appreciate that so many clubs nose-dive after a "nearly" season as ours was a year ago. (We weren't too good in 1998/9, either.) Perhaps we didn't have enough behind us to cope with this reaction. Perhaps Defoe was more important to the team than we thought at the time - he gave us more options & put the opposition on the back foot.
Whatever, once the club has come to its senses in the next few weeks we'll realise a quick return will be much harder than it looks. Like most teams in Div.3 we'll be starting from a _very_ low base - financial & confidence.
This p.m. I was at Hayes to see Boston win 0-2 thus ascend to Nationwide Div.3. The Pilgrims were strong, quick, robust, assertive but still with Pyramid qualities. Their 2nd goal was by a sub. who, with his first touch, powered in a header from a free-kick. MoM was Daryl Clare, top scorer, who was subbed late to allow full appreciation from the massed ranks. We recall him from the Grimsby side at Wembley, & he looks pretty useful.
David Town was there, non-playing again as with Rushden last season. I had a quick word; he has a further year on his contract with Boston. I wished him all the best; perhaps he'll have a cameo appearance against us next season.
Many thanks to Pete Wicks and Jeff Hayward