He was a much loved member of a popular band. He was adored by millions. It’s a tragic loss to the world of music. But it’s the end of an era.
On Saturday night the world of entertainment wept into it’s collective handkerchief as Phil Rhodes played his last ever Right Said Fred tribute gig at Leeds Academy.
Mobbed by fans he was carried off stage and into the night never to be seen again. Indeed, he failed to make his appearance between the sticks for Yorkshire Rose FC the following day and missed a narrow victory over Moortown Merlins at a packed Micklefield.
In Phil’s place Dicky Machell donned the Number 1 jersey. Dicky seemed not to suffer the issues of a snug kit fit like Phil but was suffering his own inner turmoil at the news that a member of Boyzone had passed away the previous night. He is to be commended that he was able to fight off the tears to put in a good stint in goal. He is an example to all of us.
The visitors had arrived at Micklefield with a series of narrow defeats behind them but against some tough opposition. This was going to be a difficult game for Rose who had edged a thriller against Wheatley the previous week without playing well.
The atmosphere was pumped up before the game as The Merlins played some Biggie Smalls choons at maximum volume to get them geed up. The noise was deafening but the home team were settled by the presence of a white wolf which had appeared in the dressing room courtesy of Jimmy Laughey. I think he had tamed it during his 3 years in the Russian wilderness and then brought it back to Rawdon. The reassuring presence of the pooch brought calm to the home team.
However, the game nearly started badly for Rose when an underhit backpass put Moortown straight in but reserve reserve goalkeeper Machell saved well with his legs.
Rose though got quickly into stride with Scatch and Kris closing down well in midfield. The tireless Buttons who must be pumped up on something other than Sunny D given the amount of running he does worked the left flank well and PC Machell, fresh from a Saturday night shoot out at Holbeck was up and down the right wing. The football began to flow with Buttons going close and Tatts volleying straight at the keeper before Kris missed a sitter. From no more than 3 yards he volleyed over and into the disbelieving Kop. However, it didn’t take long for him to make amends. Cutting inside he hit a shot which the keeper parried onto the post, which then rebounded onto his head, back onto the post again, back onto the befuddled keeper’s head and into the net. Now, no doubt at the top of this report is says Sutton as the goalscorer but this reported needed official clarification so I rang Headmasters Barbers League 2 Secretary and Chairman Derek Perm who said, “What do you want today then? 2 round the sides and back? Yep, bit off the top as well. No probs. Tapered at the back? Kris Sutton claiming that goal is as dubious as Dicky Machell’s CD Collection. Own goal man. Own goal. Now then sir, what will it be? A what? A Vinny cut?” So there we have it. In the annals of football it will go down as an OG but as Kris wheeled away in celebration it would take a heart of stone to tell the poor lad.
The half wore on with Rose on top and just before the break Buttons curled a free kick onto the crossbar.
I didn’t hear the half time team talk from the Gaffer but apparently Dav and Arran were moved to tears with the words of wisdom.
After the break Merlins were soon level when Rose failed to clear and the pesky Number 7 slotted it well past Flying Without Wings Machell. Soon, Smex picked up an injury but battled on like an old wounded war soldier. I think it was the same shrapnel injury he picked up in Vietnam. Davlin was carrying him over his shoulder as he repelled wave after wave of Merlin attacks. “Medic!!” Davlin screamed, “I need a Medic!” Nobody came though. Davlin laid Smex down, wiping the tears from his own face. “You can’t leave me Smex”. Smex, with the last ounce of strength he had placed his hand on the weeping Davlin’s shoulder and said, “It’s time my friend. You need to do this alone. Watch for off-sides” And with that he hobbled off the pitch to be replaced by JT. Scatch dropped back to centre half as JT played alongside Kris in the middle. Up front Tatts and Andy were causing all sorts of problems but just couldn’t put the ball in the net. Andy who had missed a sitter the previous week had another one to remember as he sauntered through again only to slice wide off a bad bounce. He then weaved through again, beating the whole defence before rolling it to Tatts whose shot was somehow kept it out. Buttons hit another ball into the garden behind the goal. I swear he’s firing into the woman that lives there given the number of times he’s going through the fence to get the ball. Why the secrecy? Just go through the front door next time – we all know the truth now. But the goal did eventually come as the ball was fired out to PC Machell who had been in the neighbouring play area to caution a child for dropping an empty bag of Seabrook crisps ( Beefy ) on the floor. He cut inside and hit a ferocious left foot shot which fairly flew past the Merlin’s keeper. The crowd, just short of 30,000 roared in approval.
Merlins pressed for an equaliser with Arran earning his Man of the Match award with a great last ditch block to stop a certain equaliser. Scatch looked at home at centre half and must have run him close for the award. Jimmy and a distraught Davlin kept the visitors at bay and despite one or two hairy moments defending long throws the home team held on.
Another good win and the unbeaten run continues. Next up are the Veterans of Yeadon.
The Yorkshire Rose Buttons Appeal hopes to raise £30 to buy Buttons a proper kit bag. He was last seen clutching a plastic bag from U Do Save Yeadon and given the years of service for the club we hope to raise enough funds to buy him a bag. And perhaps get him a key cut with the change to get into the house behind Micklefield.
Lost Property – has anyone seen Ste McD’s kneebrace? It was last seen in the English Channel transporting a dozen illegal immigrants towards the White Cliffs of Dover. Neither the immigrants or the kneebrace has been seen since. Any news on the whereabouts will be rewarded with 2 limited view tickets to see Rose against Ilkley Dynamos.
Chart Attack – “Buttons and Suttons and All That Jazz” entered the UK Charts at a respectable Number 22 sandwiched between Mr Blobby’s new single and Bryan Adams’ “Everything I Do I” which is still lurking around. No more copies of the single are at available at the club shop as it was burned down on Thursday night. PC Machell has been on the scene and has cordoned off the whole of Guiseley to “smoke out” the culprit.
Gaffer’s Appeal – anyone going to the shop, can they get the Gaffer some cigs please. He doesn’t know where he left them. He wouldn’t mind but he had just sparked up a fresh one.
Fire Alarm – Just a reminder that last week’s fire drill was not properly adhered to. I know that Andy Davey had a Royal Flush in the half time poker game but still next week it MIGHT NOT BE A DRILL. Please be vigilant. “There’s an Arsonist on the loose” screamed a nervous PC Machell.
On this Day…..in 1970 Smex missed his first ever Yorkshire Rose game after the news that The Beatles would be splitting up.