Keep your letters coming in to Mike

IN my weekly non-league column in the Evening Star and EADT I've been asking for your fun non-league memories.You know, the laughs, funny incidents, sad times or just a bit of nostalgia.

Mike Bacon

IN my weekly non-league column in the Evening Star and EADT I've been asking for your fun non-league memories.

You know, the laughs, funny incidents, sad times or just a bit of nostalgia.

Here are some of the early ones that arrived in my e-mail basket and by post.


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Please keep them coming, I'm looking for laughs or not so funny thoughts and memories.

Send them to me: Mike Bacon, EADT Sport, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail mike.bacon@archant.co.uk

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Mike,

Many seasons ago when I was secretary at Witham Town , before a game at Spa Road I was chatting to the match official whom I knew very well.

He passed a comment about the Witham groundsman, who was busy spreading grass seed on the pitch, as this was the last game of the season.

The idea was as the players run about they studded it in to the surface.

To cut a long story short, a few minutes into the second half the referee was forced to take the players off the during a tremendous hail and thunder storm.

While standing the passage way he commented that the groundsman must have had advance information or divine help.

VERNON STITCH

Via e-mail

Mike,

I enjoy your non league feature in the EADT on Tuesdays and particularly your funny memory anecdotes.

As a former Eastern Counties league referee I too remember “anywhere” Ron Crysell who used to give me constant grief whether I was linesman or referee at Stowmarket.

As Ron has his usual position it was not unheard of for referees to change their linesmen from “right wing” to” left wing” just so as to spare them direct contact from Ron's constant derision!

For me, as a Stowmarket boy, living in nearby Needham Market and with my late Father having played for/managed Stowmarket it seemed to be even harsher criticism and I always cringed when the appointments came through and gave me Stowmarket - particularly, if they were at home!

Naturally, the first time it happened I declared my possible conflict but was told that I had a duty to be impartial and should not refuse any appointments, lest I would prejudice my chances of promotion!

My first appointment, as linesman, was when Stowmarket were playing at the old cricket meadow ground and the referee on this occasion was one of the elder statesman (no longer with us but to remain nameless nevertheless) from Ipswich.

It was fair to say that he did not have a particularly good game and as the three officials left the pitch a group of Stowmarket players came and remonstrated with the referee over some of his critical decisions.

Rightly or wrongly but in his big loud bellowing voice he turned round and he said “lads, they probably were wrong decisions but then again I am only here to make mistakes”; this was within earshot of players, supporters and officials; and perhaps not the most diplomatic of responses!

As the owner of a business that employed a number of Stowmarket people who had an interest in the football club, I was always very careful not to let anyone know when I was due to referee at Stowmarket, for fear of too many of them turning up!

On this particular occasion the game must have been five to 10 minutes old before the ball went into Stowmarket's penalty area and only then did I realize that there was a group of 15 of my colleagues behind the goal, only there to spend the next 80 odd minutes taking the mickey out of the ref!

My match fee from that game (probably only �10) barely went a third of the way towards the cost of the first round of drinks in the bar afterwards.

Please keep up the good work.

PETER BLEMINGS

Via e-mail

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