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About RailwayRowdy

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  • Biography
    Been following Vale since early 60’s


  • Location
    With the Druids in sometimes sunny Nth Wales


  • Interests
    Modern history plus most sports, especially Speedway. Also, 60’s cult series “The Prisoner”


  • Occupation
    Radiation worker

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  1. I disagree. Yes, there are only a handful of nations who are going to win the football World Cup, but generally most games are competitive even if the result is eventually as expected. This is not the case in rugby,
  2. The problem I have with Rugby Union ( And league for that matter) is that very few countries actually play the sport to a competitive standard, Consequently, unless any of the Southern Hemisphere teams or the five nations sides (we’ll dismiss Italy) or Argentina face each other, the game is a non contest. Organisers continually try to make out rugby is a global sport. It is not. The sport itself is relatively entertaining, but no way are Rumania, Russia, Georgia Namibia, Canada etc ever going to be competitive. Todays opening match saw hosts Japan (not even a top nation in Union standards) take on Russia. Bookie’s had the match as 1/100 for a Japan victory ! That shows the gulf in standard ! Now I don’t think that these emerging nations should be denied the opportunity to compete at this level, but rugby can never be s global sport. Just accept that and organise a Finals tournament that only includes teams that have a chance of winning. Or at least be competitive.
  3. Oooh Geo, The Prisoner ! The finest and most cleverly written series ever without doubt ! Patrick McGoohan was a genius to come up with that plot. Still go regularly to Portmerion. I watch the series regularly on Video and although I can virtually act every episode I never tire of it ! How can you tire of fantastic writing, genius and for its time originality. The “Schizoid Man” episode should have won an award on its own ! Genius. Pure genius ! The “Hammer Into Anvil” episode is not far behind. Nothing, but nothing, can compare to “The Prisoner”
  4. Colin, you obviously love speedway and have been going for a number of years ! Staechmann is the classiest rider I have seen in a Potters race jacket and I can go back to ex England international Mike Broadbanks In Stoke’s opening season at Loomer Rd in ‘73 ! But for sheer pace, Paul Thorp will take some beating ! Thorp’s fault (in my view) was that if he missed the gate he didn’t seem to have the heart to race. He would try for 2 laps and then have an “unexpected” engine failure. Unlike Nigel Crabtree who seemed to get a fair share of his points from the back. Best gater I have seen live (although obviously not for Stoke) was Hans Niellson. Possibly the best rider (although there’s a hell of a lot to choose from) I’ve seen live would be Tony Rickarddson. He could gate, he could race, he could basically do everything ! But my favourite rider of all time has to be Phil Crump. He was my introduction to speedway at Crewe in ‘72 as an impressionable early teenager and from that very first meeting I was hooked ! The smell, the speed, the danger, everything ! I loved it ! I just wish people would give the sport a chance. If they don’t like it, fine. But give it a chance !
  5. Colin, you’re point about admission prices at third tier Stoke being similar to top league Wolverhampton is a valid point. When Stoke introduced the additional Spitfires team around 15 years ago to compete in the third tier as basically a training team admission was £5 only ! At the time admission prices for Potters matches was around the £12 mark. But when Tattum took the decision to drop a league, admission prices stayed about the same for a far inferior product. At the time of the Spitfires I would go every Wednesday (whatever happened to Jack Hargreaves by the way ?) to watch the youngsters and then the main team on Saturday. I didn’t mind the lack of racing quality in the Spitfires team as it was basically a training camp for up and coming talent. But as the Potters became a “stand alone” team in the third tier, the prices became to high for a far inferior product. Just a personal view but, as you rightly point out, it is difficult to see how Stoke could compete with Wolverhampton on a similar pricing scale. One last point from me on the match day experience. When Cradley lost Dudley Wood Road In ‘96 and rode for that one glorious season at Loomer Road, the entire operation at Stoke was taken over by Cradley staff. The difference between The Heathens slick operation and the Stoke version was as different as chalk & cheese. And you could watch Billy Hamill, Greg Hancock etc etc ! Speedway is a wonderful, exciting (did I mention fast ?)sport and it’s a pity more people don’t give it a chance at close quarters and judge for themselves, rather than simply quoting ill informed anecdotes about it being a “first to the bend” sport. For any fan of any sport, I strongly urge people to go the British Speedway Grand Prix round of the World Championship which takes place inside Cardiff’s Millennium stadium. It is a fantastic experience. just try it. Who knows, you may fall in love with the sport as I did all those now decades ago !
  6. The promotion at Loomer Rd has been poor in recent years. The decision to race at the third level (which is basically youngsters trying to make a way in the sport) a number of years ago was IMO the wrong one as the overall standard of racing was not good enough to encourage spectators to part with their hard earned cash. Once the venue goes (as in this case) it is nigh on impossible to replace it. Even if someone is prepared to invest heavily in a new venue, the likelihood of getting planning permission in a desirable site is limited to say the least. Although football is my No 1 sport, Speedway would be a close second. I was first introduced to speedway in 1972 at the “Wall Of Death” Earle St track in Crewe. Gosh, that was a fast track ! Ex world championship runner up Phil Crump (father of to be world champ, Jason) was riding for the Kings at the time and he was virtually unbeatable ! Yes, a sad day for speedway and Stoke in particular, as I suspect that the last chequered flag has been waved in the city for a considerable time.
  7. Funnily enough Paul I also didn’t think that Brearley was worth his place during his first spell as captain. But when he replaced Botham mid series in ‘81, that decision (with a bit of help from Botham & Willis !) changed the whole complex of what remained of that Ashes series. I don’t necessarily think that a captain should be appointed purely for his leadership, but more thought needs to go into who has the nous for the position rather than just giving it to the perceived best player. I don’t know who would be the best choice as captain, as you need to know the player personally to have some idea of his capabilities. But with Bayliss’ departure also, a change all round is what is required.
  8. Cricket is the one sport where a captain can affect the game by decisions and leadership alone. Although I personally didn’t like Mike Brearley, he is a shining example of how a captain by leadership and man management alone can influence a game. He contributed little with the bat (even as a batsman) but his influence as a captain was immeasurable. I well remember an interview with a then young Norman Cowans when he told a story about Brearley during his debut match. Cowans said that he was fielding in some insignificant position in the match when England were struggling. Apparently Brearley marched up to Cowans , a debutant, and asked him what he thought he should do to change the way the game was going. After that, Cowans said he would have run through a brick wall for Brearley, simply because he sought the advice of him as a debutante. It was all bull of course, but Norman said it made him feel part of the team, rather than someone just making up the numbers. The art of captaincy seems to have been forgotten. Root, if he ever even knew, has most certainly forgotten it.
  9. OK, so as has seemed quite predictable since the 1st test, The Ashes have gone. Where do we go from here ? Anyone who reads my posts will know that, as a captain, I am no fan of Root. But clearly his poor leadership is only a part of the problem. What are other people’s view of the overall problems and how do we begin to put this right ?
  10. The simple point I am trying to make is that England should have had Smith out on 65 with Archer’s dropped catch (although admittedly tough chance) and again but for Leach’s no ball. When faced with someone of Smith’s class you have to take these opportunities as they come around only too rarely. You can lay all kinds of elaborate plans for him, but if you then don’t execute the dismissal it counts for little. Smith is hard enough to get out once without giving him two lifelines. How you plan to get him out is up to the coach and captain. But letting these fleecing golden, yet basic, opportunities slip through your hands isn’t going to help.
  11. Firstly, take the catches he gives you when they finally come your way and when you do catch him, don’t no “no ball” That would be a start.
  12. Another wretched day in the field for England. Dropped catches, one of the few caught was a no ball and the convicts no.’s 9&10 putting on an unbeaten 59 before Paine had seen enough and declared. Superman Stokes gets hit to all corners and goes for 6 an over. Root had so little idea what to do that only Burns, Roy, Butler & wicketkeeper Bairstow didn’t bowl. Another masterclass of incompetency from Root & Co. The only hope of saving this test and The Ashes now rests with our ever hopeful friend, the Manchester weather. Root has to be replaced. No idea’s, no leadership, no nothing.
  13. I don’t think I’ve read such drivel since the last Fat Face article I had he misfortune to deliberate. How he has the audacity to question someone else’s intentions is totally incomprehensible, considering all the rumours flying around about his true intentions during his ill advised tenure at Vale.. He also says his intention was to buy and run Nuneaton as a football club which of course he totally denied whilst he was still proprietor of ourselves ! Then he blames that pesky FA thingy for stopping this ! God this creature makes my blood boil. This is in no way a meant as a criticism of this site, but he has now thankfully been out of our lives for 4 months or so, yet STILL his already bloated ego is being inflated even more by stories regarding him. Although OVF is a good media for ousting our anger against The Blue One, I now find any mention of his name quite tiresome. Even though he is no longer involved here, he seems to dominate discussion. Therefore, I respectfully request that no more articles about the biggest disaster area in Vale’s history are published on these pages. God, I despise that “man”.
  14. Why would you want a creative player to defend ? No one asks defenders to make things happen at the other end do they ? As a team you try and get the best out of the players you have available. You’re not going to get the best out of Whitfield by telling him to defend, likewise, you’re not going to get the best out of Crookes by telling him to be a Montano for example. Any side at any level needs creative players. Defensive minded players may well save games, but creative players win them. Defenders are ten a penny, whereas a player with something different in his locker is not. In there lies the difference.
  15. Thanks Doha for rekindling those magic moments. Firstly, that shocking “challenge” on Aspin from Foley is the worst I’ve ever seen live. People still talk about that game, but little is ever said about that horrendous “tackle”. It should NEVER be forgotten. But that Regis incident on 65 mins has now almost worn away on my video of the game ! Even more so than the Sharon Stone crossing her legs scene in whatever film that was. Two useless cnuts together me thinks ! Also I echo your concise & considered views of the Prize Bully’s ! Am I right in thinking that they’re not on your Xmas card list ? lol
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