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Page updated 12 November 2020

DIARY OF A FIXTURES SECRETARY … WITH NO FIXTURES

(Week 10 – 10.11.20)



Well, I never thought I would be writing one of these again!  My apologies to those who I bored silly on so many occasions back in the Spring.


In some ways, the loss of our football has annoyed me more this time than last.  Not that I disagree with the lockdown; in fact, I think that, in view of the figures, it should have happened earlier.  I suppose I just didn’t give any thought to it happening again.  We’d got into the routine of playing at Aylesham and the 60+ squad were three matches into a league season.  Let us hope that we really can start playing again on December 4.


On the first day of this new lockdown, we were due to play Ashford in the league, and Dave R was to have celebrated his 70th birthday on the football field.  In a truly generous gesture of friendship, I was going to buy him a special birthday chicken pie and cup of coffee in the Sports Bar at Aylesham.  Gourmet stuff!  Furthermore, I was going to bake him an apfelstrudel as he’d previously said how much he likes them.  Sorry, Dave, I baked the strudel but ate it myself!


Even had we been able to play on November 5, Dave’s presence would have been in doubt.  A couple of days before, during a three-way WhatsApp conversation with Jonathan and Steve M, the latter was bemoaning the fact that Ajax might be missing 11 players from their Champions’ League squad that night due to positive Covid tests after partying.  


“Idiots!” said Steve.


I had to tell them that a similar problem had befallen Canterbury City Walking Football Club, and that some of our players had also been disciplined for a flouting Covid guidelines.  The previous Saturday, Dave R, Cedric, Ian and John had attended an all-night rave in Aylesham’s Sports Bar.  Attracted by the abundance of Aylesham’s finest scantily-clad female members, they arrived in the bar at 9.30 pm (already an hour after their normal bed times), danced for five minutes with some of the more likely ladies, and then fell asleep on the sofas in the corner.  They were awoken at 8.00 am by the police who arrested them and charged them with being in possession of aspirin …


“Idiots!” said Jonathan.  


“Yes, but you would expect that from those guys, especially Dave R!” replied Steve, “He’s the Paul Pogba of Canterbury; they even have the same colour hair at the moment.” (I suggested that Dave probably puts in more effort on the football field than PP!)  


“Ringleader!” said Jonathan.


Matt had also attended the rave but, when questioned by the police, he shouted at them, refused to admit he’d done anything wrong and blamed everyone else.  The policemen decided there was no point in arguing with him and let him get on with it …


Some of you know that the makers of a Channel 5 TV programme called ‘Walking Britain’s Lost Railways’ were coming to Bishopsbourne to film part of an episode on the Elham Valley Railway and the World War 2 rail-mounted gun ‘Boche-Buster’ which was stationed here.  In preparation for their arrival yesterday I was given multiple tasks by Mrs. K to tidy, clean and polish all areas of the station, inside and out … including myself.


The weekend was therefore entirely taken up with the wearing of marigolds, and the wielding of mops, dusters, cloths, vacuum cleaners, brooms and scrubbing brushes.  And when that was done, the lawn had to be mowed, and the million leaves that had fallen upon it had to be swept up and cleared.  By Sunday evening, my back was broken and there was not a muscle in my body that had not run up the white flag.


To make matters worse, the film crew announced that they were arriving at 8.00 the next morning, so my yearned-for long lie-in and soak in a bath were denied me.  In truth, the presenter and crew were brilliant, and I was given numerous instructions on what to say, where to walk, how to stand.  There were multiple takes and I had to try to remember exactly my position each time and what I’d said.  Not easy!  In all, I was on my feet for four and a half hours without a break, so I was totally wrecked at the end of it.  


Two things were not so good, however … due to Covid regulations they were not allowed to film inside the station, (all that sodding work for nothing!), and when they wanted a shot of the presenter and me walking along the grass, the bloody camerawoman put some leaves back on it to make it look more realistic!!  (All that sodding work for nothing!)

I told the presenter just how much effort had gone into clearing those million leaves.


“That’s showbusiness!” he said, without quite the degree of sympathy I had expected.  “Bollocks to showbusiness,” I said, “If she comes anywhere near me for the rest of the morning, I won’t be appearing on this programme, I’ll be on f…..g Crimewatch!”


I’ll let you know when the programme is on so you can get the giant tubs of popcorn in, and laugh at my stumbling, stammering attempts at small-screen stardom … if the cutting room floor doesn’t intervene.


I have watched the US Presidential election unfold has with a mixture of fascination, amusement, shock and disbelief.  Fifty States, each with its own confusing electoral procedures. Queuing for hours to vote.  Mail-in votes arriving up to four days later.  Votes still being counted eight days later.  The winner being declared by TV networks, not by an official body.  And a sitting President who never had any intention of accepting a vote that went against him.


Anyway, back to the most important topic …football.  I have retrieved the goalkeeping trainer from the shed and will shortly be in a position to be humiliated by it again.  Unfortunately, I can’t do it yet because my body is still suffering the ravages of the domestic drudgery of last weekend!


I can’t wait to see you on the football field again on December 4.  In the meantime, please take care and stay safe.


With best regards.


Jan