Saturday 12th February 2005

A good resounding win for us in the against Molesey Villa to progress
into the quarter finals of the League Senior Cup. A little
disappointing that we didn't do the same in the league earlier in the
season but now we are really starting to really click together
stringing together some good wins.

I honestly thought the opening twenty minutes was the best our midfield
played all season and it was pleasing to watch from the touchline. A
few surprises in the team selection were made today which I shall keep
secret for the visit of the mighty Westminster Casuals next Saturday.

The Casuals have not only progressed through this season undefeated but
won all their matches this season in all competitions. My counterpart
Phil Malcolm has done a terrific job with his side and we shall have to
come up with something special to break their 100% record.

A challenge the team and I shall relish and try to achieve.

With the utmost respect to the Casuals, who have had a remarkable
season so far, we will endeavour to break it. Whether this will be done
or not, I know it won't be for the lack of trying as our encounters
against the Casuals always seems to bring out the best in the lads with
the most unbelievable never-say-die deaf spirit within us coming into
full force.

I'm off to Cork for a few days early tomorrow at five in the morning
(one of the downfalls of booking a £1.50 return flight!). I just know I
will get to enjoy the beautiful Irish countryside but I tell you the
team selection and tactics will be forever playing round and round in
my mind for the visit of the Casuals!

Oh and a few of the pure Irish Guinness will not go amiss in assisting me with my deliberations! Once again slainte!

Sunday 6th February 2005

What can I say? What a match! It was a poor show from Fulham Deaf with
the tension during extra time and penalties worth the excitement (for
the 100+ crowd). All credit must go to Belfast Deaf for their style and

Once we had drawn at one all after ninety minutes, I was sure we could
win the match in extra time and then move on but Belfast Deaf refused
to buckle over and came out fighting to score in the first half of
extra time going 1 – 2 up.

A third serious pep talk during extra time half time was required
alongside a change in our tactics to 4-3-3 brought us an equaliser from
the spot after a dubious penalty was awarded to us. It was against the
run of play in which Belfast Deaf threatened to finish us off with a
third goal. The equaliser seemed to lift our spirits and we pushed
forward for a winner only to be beaten by time.

So it went to penalties. After ten penalties it was 5 – 5 and neither
teams could be separated. Sudden death saw a further five penalties
being scored and then Belfast Deaf had their last and decisive penalty
saved by Michael Boyne. We got through 7 – 6 on penalties.

Hands on my heart, I did not enjoy the match at all, I really did age
five years in the space of 120 minutes and all credit must go to
Belfast Deaf who can fly home with their heads held up high in the
knowledge they took Fulham Deaf to the limit and beyond. We did not
deserve to win this at all and yet somehow we sneaked through.

In Fulham Deaf short history, we have now been involved in three
penalty shootouts, won them all 5 – 4, 6 – 5 and now 7 – 6. Amazingly
we have yet to miss a penalty in shootouts and we had a different
goalkeeper in all three shootouts! I have no doubt that we will come up
a cropper in a future penalty shootout but until then I'll take all the
luck I can possibly get.

I would like to personally thank John Watson (Belfast Deaf
player/manager) and Barry Campbell (player/secretary) for their
kindness, sportsmanship and camaraderie. I also thank the rest of the
squad for their good wishes. I've promised them all that I will look
into the possibility of us going over to Belfast for do a mini-tour
against Belfast Deaf and possibly other football teams.

Belfast Deaf, I salute you all, keep that Guinness tap cool and ready for me. Slainte!

Thursday 3rd February 2005

My apologies to the regular fans for this long silence.
It has been a busy time for me personally with a huge workload at work
and Fulham Deaf.

Last Saturday we recorded a good 4 – 0 win against Merton Social with
some excellent football and that left me well happy because I always
think it is important to start afresh after some poor results. New
tactics, refreshed attitudes and a time to pull our socks up often do
the trick. Now we have started 2005 with two wins, eight goals and in
time breaking into good form for the visit of Belfast Deaf this

I am under no illusions this is a big game as we're defending our
status as British Deaf Champions. There's a real buzz building up at
Motspur Park, not only amongst the Fulham Deaf Football Club but also
throughout the whole camp with several good luck wishes flying towards
us from all directions including the faithful Motspur Park security.

A programme has been made for the visiting supporters coming to the
match. There is an evening do at Yates afterwards from 6.30pm onwards.
All that is required is the delivery of a good game between two quality
deaf football teams. Sometimes with all the hype build up towards a big
match there is an anti-climax but I am not getting this feeling here so
fingers crossed…!

Tomorrow there will be several of us going to Craven Cottage to watch
Fulham v Aston Villa in the Premiership. It will be a special moment
for us as at half-time we will get onto the pitch and walk around with
our three trophies won last season. There'll be an announcement being
made over the ground explaining who we are and how we came to be
parading our cups on the pitch. Fulham Deaf FC will also be featured in
the match programme, which is something special.

I believe it is just what the lads deserve – not only for achieving the
treble last season but also for their hard work and defying the odds.
We not only played first-rate football – we beat our mainstream
oppositions to gain promotion in the league and won the League cup.
I've always maintained the argument that deaf footballers can play
football on an even par or better than mainstream footballers. Look at
St Johns Deaf FC, Charlton Deaf FC and Lee Farrell a deaf
semi-professional East Preston FC footballer.

I must get on to prepare for work. Meanwhile I shall be experiencing a
difficult dilemma in the build up to Saturday quarter final for I have
a fully fit squad for the first time this season and so who to select
for the starting eleven, who to leave out. I like it when I am spoilt
for choice but I just hate the part when I have to say to those who
have worked hard that they have to sit it out for Saturday. Decisions

Sunday 16th January 2005

What a morning! Day after my birthday, the best present came late with
news of GB Deaf winning GOLD against Iran in the final. A last minute
goal from goal-machine Farrel sealed the win after Iran equalised with
five minutes to go. GB Deaf Ladies secured BRONZE with a fine 2 – 1 win
after extra time so it is a great day for Britsh Deaf Football as a

This means GB Deaf (men) has automatically qualified for the next Deaflympics in 2009 (Taipei).

Saturday 8th January 2005

GB Deaf Ladies drew 3 – 3 against Russia. Damaris Cooke and Clare
Davies from St Johns Ladies put them 2 – 0 up before half-time before
Susan McKeown salvaged a point in the 89th minute after Russia Ladies
fought back to lead 2 – 3. I'm now away on holiday until 15th January
so this website will not be updated until then as Beese is still in

Friday 7th January 2005

GB Deaf with three Fulham Deaf footballers, Beese, Lampert and Drury
played their part in securing a 5 – 1 win against Australia. Ex-Fulham
Deaf Richard Parker was in goal. GB Deaf are now almost guaranteed a
place in the quarter finals. Click here for more information.

Thursday 6th January 2005

The GB Deaf Ladies followed suit with a convincing 3 – 1 win against
Norway after being 1 – 0 down at half-time.. Fulham Deaf Ladies Esther
Maycock and Lydia Docker were involved in the win. Go GB Deaf Ladies.

Wednesday 5th January 2005

Happy New Year to you all! Am delighted to bring forward news that GB
Deaf beat Ireland Deaf 2 – 0 with Nick Beese captaining GB Deaf. A
great start in their quest for gold. Go GB Deaf.

Tuesday 28th December 2004

Training resumed today after the Christmas break. Of course I am only
joking! Yesterday, the GB Deaf squad arrived at Melbourne, Australia
and seven of them are from Fulham Deaf (four men and three ladies).

I cannot help feeling proud of the players from Fulham Deaf
representing GB Deaf in the Deaflympics. I'll post the results up here
as the tournament goes underway.

Oh, and for the rest of you players, training starts on 5th January and I am not kidding this time! See you then!

Monday 20th December 2004

Five more days to Christmas!

Despite being held to a 1-1 draw against Repton, I was very pleased
with the overall team commitment in grabbing an equaliser after we went
a goal down with fifteen minutes to go. We were unlucky not to go ahead
in the first half wasting several chances on a very wet pitch and to be
fair, Repton also played well in midfield although they didn't create
as much chances as we did. It was a battle of midfield and the result
was probably a fair one after reflection although I felt we could have
scored another second had we another five minutes!

Reflecting at the half way stage of the season, we are out of two
competitions, still in two cups and mid-table in the league. I'd have
liked to be higher up in the league snapping on the heels of the
Casuals, but having taken into consideration of several factors
including the main one of being promoted into a senior level division,
I am reasonably happy with the squad on the whole.

There is the part inside me that feels our performances this season so
far are a bit like our old school reports. 'Good… but could do
better' often springs to mind!

We're now into our enforced prolonged winter break, as our next match
will be fixed for 22nd January 2005. This is of course due to four
players representing GB at the Deaflympics in Melbourne, Australia (as
well as a few others going to watch/support GB Deaf).

With this extended winter break, I believe it will do our players more
good than harm. We'll be returning to training on 5th January 2005 – no
rest for the wicked la lee la(!) – and from there on we will work hard
to make sure this season is not a washout.

I am delighted to announce that Richard Jeffers has been allowed to
return to the squad after his departure. Obviously we missed him while
he was suspended by the FA but that is not why we wanted him back. I am
a great believer in second chances. Richard has been heavily punished
for the same offence and so it was voted unanimously to grant him
another chance with Fulham Deaf FC.

I'm aware there'll be some negative comments about bringing him back
into the squad. I'll stick my neck out and say he is worth it. Just as
much as every other player in my squad. I'll make sure he won't stroll
straight back into the team but obviously the game against Belfast Deaf
on 5th February 2005 in the defence of our British Deaf Cup is my
target for his comeback either in the starting eleven or at least on
the bench.

After the last game of 2004, a few of us went to the Casuals Xmas
drinks in Euston and what a night it turned out to be! Both teams were
trying to do an impression of the media photographers with their mobile
cameras when the girls came out to entertain us! I ended up in a
drinking challenge against their manager Phil. We had to eat four cream
crackers and drink half a glass of sherbet powder and then down a pint
of lager. There was no way I was going to let Phil or the Casuals do
the double over us this season after beating us 3-1 this season and I
am pleased to say I didn't!

To true fine style it was the deaf players who were the last to leave the pub. John and Ewan used my flat as a hotel.

Here is what happened at five o'clock in the morning!

Michelle my other half felt someone stumble against our bed in the dark
and switched on her bedside light on. It was Ewan in a drunken state
looking for his bed on his way back from the bathroom!

Michelle: you alright Ewan?

Ewan: Yeah, yeah just looking for my bed!

Michelle: Your bed? It is in the lounge.

Ewan: No no no [waving his arm].. my bed was here.

Michelle [now upright to investigate holding duvet to chest] I can't see your bed so it must be in the lounge.

Ewan: Where?

Michelle: [points out door]

Christof: Zzzzzzzzz

Ewan: Where?

Michelle: [points out again] You see that wall, the lounge is behind it!

Ewan: Can you show me where is it?

Michelle: Okay, first, can you please leave the room?

Ewan: Why?

Michelle: You do realise I am naked under this duvet?

Ewan: That's ok, I'll wait…! [arms rested on hips, leg widened staring directly to Michelle]

Michelle: Please can you leave the room?

Ewan: Why?

Michelle: Cos I'm naked!!

Ewan: I know, you told me!

[Michelle shakes me trying to wake me up]

Christof: Zzzzzzzzz

Ewan: I'm waiting for you!

Michelle: I am NAKED!

Ewan: I KNOW!

Michelle: Jesus! [eyeballs ceiling and notices my dressing gown on the floor on my side of bed]

Ewan: [ranting] You, you never come and watch us play! You should support us down Motspur Park! [Signing becomes unintelligible]

Michelle: [Slid under the duvet, climbs over me and reached out for my dressing gown]

Christof: Zzzzzzzzz

Ewan: [Still signing in unintelligible language]

[Michelle slips into my dressing gown under duvet]

Ewan: What you doing?

Michelle: I'm putting on Christof's dressing gown.

Ewan: What for?

Michelle: So that I can guide you to the lounge and I can't do that naked!

Ewan: Why not?

[Michelle getting out of bed (with dressing gown on!!)]

Christof: Zzzzzzzzz

Ewan: You should come and watch Fulham to support us! Have you seen me play? I'm a good player

Michelle: Ah, are you? Did you play last season? [takes Ewan's hand]

Ewan: Yes, I played last season, hey what you doing?

Michelle: I'm taking you to your bed.

Ewan: No, I can't do that, you are Christof's wife.

Michelle: We are not married! I'm sure Christof won't mind me taking you to your bed.

Ewan: No.. no.. no.. I can't do that, Christof is my manager [Shakes off Michelle's hand and quickly walks out of the room]

[Michelle follows him]

Ewan: What you doing? Why are you following me?

Michelle: Making sure you find your bed okay!

Ewan: I can't do that, Christof my manager, Christof my manager, Christof my manager.

Michelle: Hey, chill out…

[Ewan hops in his bed, slips inside the blanket, closes his eyes – dead to the world!]

Michelle: Thank God! [and returns to bed].

Christof: Zzzzzzzzz [blissfully unaware]

Happy Christmas and see you all in 2005! Come down to support us
against Belfast Deaf FC on 5th February at Motspur Park where there'll
be a big party in the evening at Clapham Junction (details will be
announced later in 2005). Make a note of this in your new 2005 diary
(and no Ewan you're not kipping over again!!).

Thursday 16th December 2004

After returning home with hunched shoulders from Craven Cottage where
Man United were denied three points against a determined Fulham side, I
was able to grab five hours sleep before setting off for Manchester to
attend the first National Disability Football conference hosted by the
Football Association at the City Of Manchester stadium.

The morning session was dominated by speeches, excellently interpreted
by BSL interpreters and the afternoon workshops provided an insight for
my work at LSF (London Sports Forum) where we are currently putting
together a London-wide development plan to co-ordinate football for
disabled players. Naturally you will ask where London deaf football is
going to be included in the development plan but it IS included in the
development plan, which should be completed by next summer. The main
aims will be increased inclusion for deaf youth and competitions for
deaf football as well as several other aims.

One of my most important tasks of the day was to get Sir Trevor
Brooking to sign an autograph for Marcel Hirshman (an all his life
suffering West Ham fan), player-manager of Charlton Athletic DFC. He
owes me a big pint for this!

After training last night, I am now concentrating on Saturday's league
match against Repton who are a useful side. We played them earlier this
season and only scraped a 4 – 3 win. It will be the last game of 2004
with a lengthy break until 22nd January 2005 and I am hoping this will
be in our favour to turn our season around. Three points against Repton
would be a good starting point to turn our season around.

And then after the game a few of us are off to the Casuals' Festive Fleshfest. Oh it promises to be a long night!

Saturday 11th December 2004

No match today due to four of our players away on international duty
with GB Deaf. It'll be the last training weekend with a couple of
friendly matches scheduled for Monday and Tuesday night. I sincerely
wish the GB Deaf squad the very best of luck in their quest for gold at
the Deaflympics in Melbourne, Australia next month. I'm particularly
proud that Fulham Deaf already boast of four international players for
GB Deaf (and we must not forget the GB Deaf Ladies too with another
three international players from our Fulham Deaf Ladies squad).

“Unfortunately” I won't be able to come to watch GB Deaf in either
friendlies as I'll be at Craven Cottage watching Fulham v Manchester
United and then the next day I will be away in Manchester all day for
the first National Disability Football conference, organised by the FA.
Should be an interesting conference and I'll try to report on this in
particular to deaf football if any information or news comes up.

We'll naturally keep an eye on our rivals in the league today and see
what happens before we play in our last league game for 2004 against
Repton next Saturday. We'll try to end 2004 with a win before we go
over to the Casuals' Xmas drinks in the evening.

Meanwhile I cannot express my gratitude enough to those of you who
sponsored me in my 10km run. However if you have not yet made a
donation then please go to my online sponsorship page, as you'll notice
I am still a little short of the £800 target. So if you have any loose
change from your Christmas shopping then please donate it to two very
worthwhile causes. Many thanks!

Sunday 5th December 2004

Yesterday defeat against Molesey Villa was a bitter pill to swallow for
me personally especially as we went 1-0 up in the first ten minutes.
Credit to Molesey Villa for showing character to come back from an
early setback to win comfortably. It was our halfway point through the
league so it was vital for us to make ground on the top three but
unfortunately we didn't.

When we were 2-1 down, I changed tactics to take Ayad off and put on
Shyloh to change our formation to 4-3-1-2 in order to push things up to
salvage a draw. However the downside was that it left us exposed in
midfield and that was always going to be a risk. When Shyloh hit the
woodwork, it was definitely not going to be our day when from the
rebound off the woodwork, Molesey never lost possession and scored
again ten seconds later to effectively kill any hopes of a comeback.

However there are some positives we could take away from the game as we
played better as a team overall and some aspect of our play are
(finally!) starting to click together. We'll hopefully continue to
build up on the positives and reduce the negatives for the second half
of the season.

Next Saturday is a rest weekend with four of our footballers being
called up for international duty with GB Deaf so it'll be an
opportunity for me to do my Christmas shopping!