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Page updated 22 May 2020

DIARY OF A FIXTURES SECRETARY …WITH NO FIXTURES (Week 2)


Now we are all confined to barracks, I have turned my thoughts to keeping fit!  When I first discussed his training ideas with Lance, he explained that there would be warm-up exercises, ball-control routines, passing, shooting, penalty practice and more.  “Great!” I said, only half-interested.  “And that means you, too,” he said, fixing me with a steely eye.  “Ah, but …” I said, and trotted out the usual goalkeeper’s ‘doesn’t-apply-to-me’ excuses.  His look said it all.  It bloody will apply to me!


Last Saturday, with heavy heart, I put all my kit, and the club’s equipment, in the shed and wondered wistfully how long it would be until it would come out again.  Then remembering Lance’s cruel threat, I took back out the training cones that he and Dave were to use in our sessions at the Uni, (yes, folks, training cones!),  and put some of these on the ground to re-create what I’d seen the Brighton players do in their pre-match warm-ups.  (Must remember to tell Lance that the Brighton keeper doesn’t do any of this nonsense.)


So, brimming with determination and self-discipline, I ran and hopped and skipped and jumped between and over the cones.  The dog decided to follow me through the cones for a few seconds but then said, “Sod this,” and pee-ed on one.  The novelty soon wore off for me, too, so I put two cones down as goalposts, ordered the dog in goal and took a shot.  In view of her excellent keeping skills, I decided to trick her by hitting the ball off the platform wall into the bottom corner.  I wheeled away, triumphantly punching the air in delight and shouting, “Gooooooooooooooooooaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaal!”  Disgusted, she walked away and gave me the look that said, “Pathetic old fool…”


Sandy’s regular military fitness sessions have now been cancelled so we might be ‘training’ together.  The problem with that is she will bring all sorts of sadistic and physically impossible exercises to the party.  Only yesterday she said “We’ll start with 20 burpees…”  “But I haven’t had a curry for weeks!” I said.

Sandy is also going to give me some shot practice, so I went to retrieve my “They stink” gloves from the shed.  Not there.  Enquiries revealed that, having bought me a new pair for my birthday last year, my beloved wife had consigned my beloved old gloves to the bin!  Sacrilege!  I told her that I was going to frame them with an engraved plaque saying “Worn by Canterbury City Walking Football’s Jan Knott to win two trophies in the Algarve Cup in Vilamoura, Portugal, October 2017 and October 2018, and saved a total of seven penalties.”


With an exasperated shake of the head, Sandy said, “All that engraving would cost you a fortune,” followed by “Grow up…”


Such an irony that with these difficult times comes glorious weather and the threat of gardening duties.  I’ve mowed the lawn twice in the last week and it is now getting close to looking like Wembley.  OK, the only similarity is the stripes.  How do they get them so straight??


The lack of football, or any sport, on TV is painful.  I think all the sports channels should be re -running classic matches from the past.  I’d have to be selective with that because, long ago, when Mrs Knott moved in with me, she quickly noted that there was wall-to-wall football on TV for 24 hours a day… and even more at the weekend!  A law was hastily passed that decreed no foreign football!  I protested strongly at such draconian measures and pleaded my decades-long allegiances to Ajax in Holland, Beerschot in Belgium, AS Monaco, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Rapid Vienna, Slovan Bratislava, Boca Juniors, Kaiser Chiefs et al.  To no avail.  No credible evidence, case dismissed, leave to appeal not granted.


She did have a caveat, however.  Any match involving Cristiano Ronaldo was permitted, compulsory even!  Why?  Because, should he score, he might remove his shirt and perform his trademark body-builder stance, exposing a heavily-oiled, muscle-ripped torso glinting in the sun.  (When I scored in a penalty shoot-out in Portugal a couple of years ago, I considered running towards our WAGS and doing the same but decided against it.  It would have taken me ten minutes to get the shirt off, the pose would have made me look like an overweight gorilla and my heavily-sweated, muscle-less torso would have blocked out the sun.)


Talking of muscle-ripped torsos, (not often the topic of conversation in walking football circles), have you seen on our website the excellent leaflet by D. Rayner giving us exercises to do during this lockdown period?  Those who have shared a dressing room with Dave could be forgiven for thinking the photo on the first page is our esteemed team-mate, but it is, in fact, his son Dan!  Sandy and I were going to try some of these exercises but, after five days, she has yet to get beyond page one …


Really enjoyed doing Dave’s Anti-Virus Sports Quiz!  I think I’m fairly sure of 12/20 and if some guesses come in I might get a couple more.  Looking forward to the next one!


Speaking to my contact at the Uni, they have now cancelled all sporting activity, but there might be some good news on the horizon.  We were going to miss five Fridays there in July/August due to the Lambeth Conference - a month-long meeting of Church of England Bishops from all over the world.  That has now been cancelled so, IF we are back playing by then, we get five extra sessions there!


Take care everyone and stay safe.



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