National Poetry Day corner

In honour of National Poetry Day, we have had the following anonymous submission (even though we never asked for one). Take it away:

Things I Like – My Brilliant Poem

“I like drinks breaks,

And the time it takes,

To impart my tactical knowledge,

On players worse than Wayne Bridge.

I like vino,

Especially with Dino,

A lovely glass of red,

In a comfy double bed.

I like my Bentley,

Which heaven sent me,

It’s got a sport mode,

For the wide and open road.

I like attitude,

And sometimes being rude,

To people that have hurt me,

Such as Darragh MacAnthony.

I like grey suits,

And brown lace-up boots,

With a t-shirt underneath,

That sets off my new teeth.

I like Boro,

Let’s be thorough,

Is a fourth term on the bill?

I really must speak with Phil.

But I’m not ready,

To like Teddy,

I’d like to hit,

That little shit.”

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Old Mammories of Stevenage #2: Mark Hughes & Jamie McCombe

Have you ever awoken from a dream and wondered what Ludovic Kennedy, the bastard love child of Marilyn Monroe and John F Kennedy, is up to now? Thanks to the power of the internet, it turns out that he’s working behind the bar of a Brewer’s Fayre in Stoke Poges.  In a similar vein, here’s our resident historian, Dick Cheeseman, with his latest stumble down memory lane.  Take it away, Dick.

“It’s December 28th 2015.  The hinterland between Christmas and New Year.  In a bid to escape their extended families and reruns of turgid situation comedy The Vicar of Dibley, over 3000 hardy souls have turned out at Broadhall Way to see the bottom of the table clash between Stevenage (our heroes) and Dagenham & Redbridge.  The visitors are on a four game losing streak and are rock bottom of English league football.  If you are a Boro fan the match is ‘big’ and ‘winnable’.

Cue Barry and Paul Chuckle.

Signed in a fanfare the previous summer to replace Bira Dembele, who had haughtily asked for a £3.50 a week pay rise, they were soon to prove that two isn’t always greater than one.  Dembele had proven to be a stylish defender, often taking to the field gently puffing on a Gauloises and sipping a Remy Martin.  In contrast, Hughes and McCombe would often demand saveloy, chips and gravy at half time, and a tin of McEwan’s Export.  Probably.

The warning signs had been there from the beginning.  In the warm up before getting tanked 5-1 at home by Oxford, McCombe could be seen, on his own, indulging in heading practice.  Not once did the ball land back at the feet of his trainer.  He was heading the ball like a man with a head shaped like a 50 pence piece.  If the 50 pence piece was shaped like a dodecahedron.  And made out of shit.

In the subsequent routine thrashing of Morecambe, Mark Hughes was brought on late in the match by clueless fuckwit Teddy Sheringham to make a game of it.

So, on to Dagenham (thanks Matt).  It’s the 18th minute.  An innocuous cross from the left wing into the Stevenage box lands on McCombe’s head.  It’s a regulation header, unless you’re a man without a head.  But it skims off the tall centre half’s loaf and ends up on the right flank.  The ball comes back in, but it’s ok: McCombe’s there to make amends.  Except a man 12 inches shorter than him out jumps young Jamie and it’s 1-0 to the Daggers.

A minute later, Dagenham have a throw in on the right wing.  The ball lands at the feet of the heavily marked Chambers.  Except he isn’t heavily marked as McCombe has decided to do some bird spotting or some other recreational endeavour for which he isn’t getting paid.  Chambers has the time to control the ball, turn, scratch his arse, wave to his family in the crowd, and lay the ball off to Joss Labadie, all of this before McCombe even has the opportunity to put his binoculars away.  Labadie is one on one with Hughes but, knowing that if he gets within biting distance of him he’s likely to get bitten, and possibly eaten, Hughes allows Labadie to stroke the ball into the far corner.   McCombe and Hughes have to prevent themselves from celebrating their pivotal role in the second goal for the Essex club.

In a rare moment of tactical intelligence, Sheringham decides to substitute Hughes after just 30 minutes.  Some might argue it’s 29 minutes too late.  Incredibly, McCombe manages to stay on the pitch for the full 90 minutes and allows himself to be outmuscled for Dagenham’s 3rd, showing the strength and agility of a baby giraffe. That had been run over by a tractor.

Post-match Sheringham was quoted as saying we were ‘decidedly shaky at the back’. Fuck sake, Teddy. Not even Shakin’ Stevens operating a kango in a swimming pool full of jelly looked that shaky.

Both were to leave in the next transfer window.  Hughes to Accrington, a town famed for its saveloy, chips and gravy, and McCombe to Lincoln City; a club famed for its ability to win football matches without actually playing football. Sheringham was heard to say that ‘he pushed the boat out’ to keep McCombe. We can only guess it was the Lusitania after the Germans had torpedoed the fuck out of it.

But if it wasn’t for Hughes and McCombe and the precarious league position they had been instrumental in fashioning for the Boro, Stevenage might have persisted with the incompetency and general lack of charm of Sheringham.  And that is how the Chuckle Bothers invented Darren Sarll.”

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Old Mammaries of Stevenage – #1 Simon Walton

In the first of an infrequent series, our history correspondent, Dick Cheesman, takes us down mammary lane:

“They often say that the English are an unrefined, loutish breed, brought up on white bread and instant coffee. If any footballer epitomises this, it’s Simon Walton.

It’s 21 February 2015; a chilly, overcast day in Hertfordshire. Southend United are the opposition. As the players emerge for the second half, with Stevenage a goal to the good through a Rory Deacon strike, it’s obvious that there’s something wrong with Walton. Having spent the entirety of the first half berating his team mates at the loudest possible volume for the slightest indiscretion, he’s now wearing a white bandage around the circumference of his sizeable head. One can only assume that he’s had some sort of injury and/or undefined neurological episode.

Clearly fed up with pinging 60 yard passes to the corner flag, Simon decides to change not only the course of the match, but the history of our fine club as well. Southend score a quick equaliser and then, with ten minutes of the second half on the clock, Walton decides to make a straightforward clearance out of the Boro penalty area. Except that he swings his left peg like a 3 wood, completely misses the ball, and connects full on with a Southend player. It takes close to 20 minutes to retrieve the stricken Shrimper’s severed limb from the away stand. Barry Corr steps up to take the resultant penalty, and it’s 2-1 to United.

68 minutes have elapsed with Boro showing no ability to trouble the scorers, so on comes young Ben Kennedy. Within five minutes he’s won a penalty. To a man, the crowd groans as up steps Simon Walton. But, to Walts’s credit, he bamboozles the opposition goalkeeper with a pea roller as far from the corner of the goal as he can place it. Overcome with emotion, Walton almost catches the ball up before it’s crossed the line, attempting to retrieve it so that he can carry it back to the centre spot. Except his head injury has deprived him of eye/hand coordination and he can’t pick the ball up.

Ben Kennedy goes on to score another goal and assists an injury time fourth from Dean Parrett. The Nidge run out 4-2 winners.

And that is how Simon Walton invented Ben Kennedy, for if none of this had happened, Ben would be starting his third season on loan at St Albans City.”

The highlights of this historic event can be found here.

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Transfer Tittle Tattle

Coming at you live from The Daily Stevenage Sports Desk, here’s the latest confirmed transfer activity that we are neither able to confirm nor deny:

Ronnie Henry will be staying at the club for the foreseeable future. No bids have been received for him and the club have no intention of selling him.

The Chairman’s Bentley has not been seen at the ground today. This probably means that he’s either driving a different car or that he’s conducting business elsewhere, possibly (or possibly not) involving the loan signing of David Bentley.

An EasyJet was, however, spotted flying towards Luton. We believe this had taken off from the training pitches at Bragbury End and Matt Godden was believed to be on board. We fully expect the aircraft to make the return journey carrying gold bars and cash to the tune of £8 million pounds.

Jack Jebb is rumoured to be signing for the club on a 5 year deal, with responsibility for catering and bra checks.

Carlton Cole? Don’t be daft.

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Your League 2 Guide part 2 – from Grimsby to Wycombe.


Welcome back to Part 2 of our guide to your League 2 season. We know that nobody read Part 1, and that it was neither interesting, amusing or informative, but we're going to persevere regardless. If you've forgotten the format, our music critic has gone to the pub, drunk his body weight in Bacardi, come back and evaluated each team in the division and considered which act in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame they most resemble. Yeah, it's a shit concept. We apologise.

So, here we go, from Grimsby to Wycombe.

Grimsby Town – it's all a bit meh with the fishy folk. We have no strong opinion either way. They're the football equivalent of wearing a beige suit on an overcast day whilst wistfully reminiscing about the good old days of cholera. Which I suppose must make them Fairport Convention (kids, ask your dad).

Lincoln City – our abiding memory of the Red Imps is getting gubbed 4-0 up there in the FA Cup. Other than that, we have nothing. They're Fairport Convention too, but they don't smell of fish. Which must make them Mumford and Sons, who smell of posh school and money.

Luton Town – picture the scene: it's a couple of years since you've beaten Arsenal in the League Cup final. Your album, Pills 'n' Thrills and Bellyaches, has just been voted record of the year in the NME. So you decide to go and record your follow up in Barbados with Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth out of Talking Heads. You become hopelessly addicted to crack cocaine. Jump forward 25 years and you've been docked 30 points, you're skint and you're desperately trying to climb out of the GM Vauxhall Conference. You finally make it, but even a new set of teeth can't hide the fact that Bummed was the best album you will ever make, and that was 29 years ago, and you're now obliged to play at shit holes like Accrington Stanley and the Hatfield Forum every year. Welcome to your rightful League 2 home, Shaun Willy Ryder.

Mansfield Town – Have you noticed how Axl Rose looks more and more like Steve Evans?

Morecambe Town – we quite like Morecambe. I suppose they're like a pre-fameR.E.M. until you watch a VH1 documentary and realise that Michael Stipe has his head so firmly lodged up his arse he should be managing Mansfield.

Newport County – much like their fellow townspeople the Goldie Lookin' Chain, they make us laugh do Newport. And we've been there. And their mothers all do have penises.

Notts County – you would think that being the oldest act out there would gain you respect and a legion of adoring fans. On the other hand, you might be a bunch of grizzled old fucks, with an audience of pompous wankers. Yep, you're Genesis.

Port Vale – are you as bored as us yet? Yeah, we know, we'll try to rattle through this lot as quickly as possible. Port Vale are Razorlight cos they make our eyes and ears bleed. Ok? Good.

Swindon Town – when they were going through their Di Canio flirtation you could have said that Swindon were on a par with Cheryl Cole on the lash in a nightclub cloakroom. But they're actually ok now. We wouldn't choose to buy any of their records or cross the street to see them play. But hey, they're fine by us. For the purposes of this exercise they can be Barry Manilow.

Wycombe Wanderers – cute and cuddly, family-friendly, fun and jolly. Until you peel away the veneer and realise it's those Scouting For Girls wankers. Die. Fucking die.

Yeovil Town – fuck sake, who snuck The Wurzels on to this list?

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Your Guide to League 2 (A to Forest Green)

Have you ever asked yourself, if Port Vale were a band who would they be? No, us neither. Until today that is. With just five days to go until the new League 2 season, here's part 1 of our ultimate guide to the opponents we'll be facing this year. Part 2 will be brought to you some time in November, with part 3 next summer.

Accrington Stanley – plucky northerners, playing to a small bunch of flag waving bed-wetting fanatics every week. The sort of act that's the perennial dog turd on Soccer AM with their winkle pickers and Indie Landfill aesthetic. The sort of act you'd like to see fuck right off and die as, if they did, the sun would shine for ever. They'd therefore be The Courteeners, but The Courteeners are inexplicably popular playing to more than 1500 people at a time. So it'll have to be the Pigeon Detectives instead. Which is about as shit a name as Accrington Stanley is.

Barnet – beyond parody. You remember when Spinal Tap's drummers kept dying in bizarre circumstances? That's Malcolm Allen every time he leaves the club.

Cambridge United – there's something about Cambridge. Something that's really fucking annoying and makes you think they could all do with a bath. It's like listening to Chelsea Dagger by The Fratellis 24 hours a day. Just fuck off Cambridge, it's not big and it's not clever. And buy some soap while you're at it.

Carlisle United – we actually don't mind Carlisle. Mainly because they're not Barrow. We liken them to listening to a medley of Abba songs on the radio. Pleasant enough, in other words.

Cheltenham Town – a bit off the radar this bunch. We're not sure if we like them or not. It's a bit like knowing the name but not knowing the song. We literally have no recollection of hearing a Justin Bieber track, but we obviously know who he is. Is Justin Bieber Cheltenham? No, he's got a future. But you see where we're coming from. And yes, this is the most interesting thing anyone has ever committed to paper about Cheltenham. Or Bieber. Anyway, we're tired. We can't wait to get to Wycombe.

Chesterfield Town – the most interesting fact about Chesterfield is that it's the home town of Jo Guest. Ms Guest was once in the video for Blur's Country House, which is the moment that the first stake got driven into the fetid heart of Britpop. We don't like Blur.

Colchester United – we've just realised that Cheltenham are managed by Gary Johnson. Is it too late to say that they're Meat Loaf?

Coventry City – big back in the 80s but a series of internal niggles and high-profile court cases has them now doing the nostalgia tour, playing their hits Gold and True to a half-empty stadium alongside Toyah and Heaven 17. Except the talent of the Kemp brothers has deserted you and you realise you're now Tony Hadley.

Crawley Town – don't you just hate these New Town clubs with their lack of history and their non-league pedigree? Crawley would be Woking if they had half the personality. As it is, they're Keane, probably the blandest band to ever call themselves a band.

Crewe Alexandra Gary Glitter.

Exeter City – know they're way around the HMRC corridors better than Gary Barlow. And we're not wholly taken in by them either, despite their regular appearances on the X Factor.

Forest Green – some of our best friends are vegetarian. But they don't bleat on about it or wear ethically sourced underpants made from bleach free cotton. Following Forest Green must be like going on tour with the fucking Levellers. Shut your mouths, have a wash, and let people enjoy their fucking food you bunch of hippies.

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Shoulder to Shoulder Shenanigans Shock Shupporters


Today, The Daily Stevenage can exclusively reveal the latest rewards available to investors in the new North Stand development. Without wasting your time or, indeed, ours with boring preamble, these rewards are as follows:

  • Everyone investing a minimum of £3000 will receive a framed photo of the chairman’s car. 
  • Ever wanted to call a total stranger ‘mate’ or chastise someone for vaping? Then £5000 will allow you to become a steward for the day. 
  • £9000 will provide complimentary entry to all future Eastside Jimmy concerts. 
  • If you invest a minimum of £12500 you will get the opportunity to take part in the half time kicking a ball through a tyre event (or its updated equivalent) – this is restricted to 15 home games a year. It is understood that Keef, BaldockBoro and the manager of the Stevenage Boro Bluesox Under 16s (you know, the bloke who can’t watch 45 minutes of football without going for a piss) invested at this level 3 years ago. 
  • £15000 will enable you to have dinner at a venue of your choice (Subway, KFC or The Bingol) with the first team manager (depending on when the investment is made, this is likely to be either Darren Sarll or Graham Westley). 
  • £25000 will allow you to boast to all of your friends that you had £25000 sitting in the bank in the first place. 
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