The Match Commander

Taking inspiration from the poem If by Rudyard Kipling. Here’s a version that is right up to date.

The Match Commander

“If you can read all about your new job, when others are rubber-stamping an operational order from the previous year.

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, or consider you to be unworthy of your rank and only wanting to enhance your career.

If you can familiarise yourself with the layout of the ground, asking vital questions of those at the clubs involved.

Whether previous concerns had been raised, lessons learnt or even problems solved.


If you can stay on task, but still find time to observe, looking out the control room window’s vision;

To see the obvious and think ‘that needs a decision’, seeking advice and not fearing derision.

Then keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and listen to the colleagues that you respect.

If you know the truth but cannot yet speak it, then wait and give yourself time to reflect.


If you can deal with crowds and keep your virtue, then neither foes nor the national press can hurt you.

If you can wait before blaming those turning up late, or in a state of inebriation.

With Mrs Thatcher and Mr Murdoch hungry for a story; accept the complicated truth and avoid the temptation to lie too!

If you can do these things, then one day you’ll be a Match Commander, my son.”


Nottingham – National Water Sports Centre

Trent Bridge in Nottingham has international recognition due to the Test Cricket ground of the same name. Sport fans are also aware that within a mile of Trent Bridge are two professional football clubs, horse racing, dog racing, ice hockey, rugby union and a variety of water sports. The London Olympics of 2012 overlooked Nottingham’s sporting facilities; except for archery practice at Trent Bridge!
Three years on our National Water Sports Centre remains a sought after location.
Here are some terrific photographs to prove it.

Nottingham Forest’s Glory Years

From 1975 I was a juvenile season ticket holder at Nottingham Forest Football Club. Initially in the Main Stand, then the Trent End, and ending up in the East Stand. I followed them away several times during their incredible 1st Division title winning season. Apart from a few programmes the only thing I have is memories. These were the days when photographs were rarely taken. At the precise time that Forest secured the title at Coventry, I was a paper boy delivering the Evening Post on Breckhill Road in Woodthorpe. I delivered to a house and the occupant was cleaning his car and had the radio on. We sat on his wall and listened to it. We commented on how Bob Wilson the BBC reporter had been so wrong and so negative about our club.
My memory of the league cup final win against Liverpool is also as vivid. The replay was on a Tuesday evening. I was in France near Lyon with a school exchange. I stayed in a farmhouse and had a transistor radio in my room. I’m not sure how but I managed to receive the commentary. The reception  was so faint and crackly, I lay on the bed with the radio next to my ear on the pillow in the dark. This was the only way to concentrate. John Robertson scoring the penalty came through the airwaves and created the same adrenaline that every other supporter was experiencing.
I have no personal photographs of these precious moments. Very few of us have. For that reason I will be enjoying this weekend’s display at Nottingham Contemporary.

Forest and their European exploits

Forest and their European exploits

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