Boing Boing

When I came to work in West Brom just over five years ago the Baggies were one of my all time worst teams.  This was partly due to being a Villa fan. but I think mainly down to following Sheffield United on an away trip back in the mid 90s which started with the coach arriving way to early and having to kill a few hours as a 15 year old around The Hawthorns (really not pleasant at the time), and ended with a 3-0 drubbing for my second best team.  Bad day out.

However, since a big part of my life has arrived in West Brom I have developed a real respect and, sorry Villa fans, an affection for West Bromwich Albion.  They are a club that work hard, put back into the community, and really lift the local area when they are doing well.  I think in my first year here they got relegated but then came straight back up and it was great to be around the town when they got promoted.

But waking up this morning to the news that they’ve gone and sacked Steve Clarke is a bit of a shock.  I mean, come on West Brom, if you’re expecting to be a top-half team year after year then I think you’re a bit deluded.  Clarke has done a great job for you, you’re stable and had some great results and performances.  I know it worked great for Southampton dumping Nigel Adkins last year, the man who had got them promoted twice, but I must say it seems really cruel.  I just wish footballers got sacked after having 4 poor performances.

Anyway, I still want you Baggies to stay up but I’ll think it quite deserved if you do continue to struggle.  And I hope the board feel guilty for making a nice, hard working man unemployed this Christmas.

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Tony: I’ve lost my family

A 16 year old boy moving from hostel to hostel then gets a council flat.  He hasn’t got a clue.  This BBC3 documentary was one of the most tragic things I have ever seen.

He has no family, one friend, no job, debt, challenging social skills, can’t do ANYTHING for himself.  Hardly understands ANYTHING about the world.

It’s lads like that that my work at the YMCA is aimed at, aiming to provide a room in a family home with a bit of structure.  I found this film a real challenge to what I do.  The kids are more than just stats.  Tony has so much character, personality and a creative streak.  And deep, hidden somewhere inside him there is a drive to survive.  Young people are great.

There’s some really positive twists at the end but there’s a long tough road ahead for him.

If you fancy watching it you can catch it on BBC iPlayer.  Well worth an hour of your time.

The Full Monty

I love this film so much because:

  1. It is set in Sheffield.  You get to see Wincobank, Carterknowle, West Street…
  2. You feel gut wrenchingly sorry for Gary when he’s totally owned by his wife’s new fella, who has a real big house and he’s not allowed to see his son, Nathan.
  3. There is a boy called Nathan in it and I am called Nathan.
  4. You get to see so many views of Sheffield.  That makes me feel all funny, a sort of mix of loads of different memories all mashed into one.
  5. You feel gut wrenchingly sorry for Dave when he roles over in bed and can’t even face his own wife.
  6. An ugly bunch of blokes score one over on the Chippendales.
  7. They show City on the Move at the start complete with Grenoside Morris Dancing, The Hole in the Road and brand spanking new Parkhill Flats.
  8. It reminds me of Sheffield 😀
  9. Forgot his name but you feel gut wrenchingly sorry for their old foreman who is hiding the fact he has lost his job from his wife and then ends up losing everything.
  10. You get to hear the wonderful Sheffield accent.
  11. As a Sheffield lad it helps you to understand what was going as you were growing up and realise the everyday implications of the collapse of Sheffield’s steel industry.
  12. It is set in Sheffield (did I mention that already?)