Out of Our League

BILLY'S CONTRACT thinks about names

My all-time favourite name for a football team, bar none, was the now defunct Third Lanark. I often wondered whatever happened to the First and Second Lanark. 

I viewed them as the Scottish version of Accrington Stanley (another great name). Stanley folded in 1966 and Third Lanark went the same route the following year. Happily Accy have made a comeback that Lazarus of Bethany* would have been proud of.

Other names which bring a smile to my face and are familar to many, are the likes of Airbus UK, Prescot Cables, Shepshed United and not forgetting Cleethorpes Town and Frickley Athletic. However once you start scrolling down the leagues as featured in The Non-League Football Paper and get yourself immersed into The Evo-Stik Southern Central and South West League there are some absolute belters. Good job Pools do not hail from the South West of England otherwise on current form they would soon have to familiarise themselves with some of the names hereunder. Given some licence and a good deal of leeway, a fixture list could well look like this:

AFC Totton v Slimbridge (No wide loads).
Bowers and Pitsea v Yate Town
Burgess Hill Town v Needham Market (If you need Ham this is the place to go).
Chipstead v Potters Bar Town
Larkhall Athletic v Taunton Town (This team takes the Micky by ridiculing other towns).
Mangotsfield United v Bristol Manor Farm 
Shortwood United v Kidlington 
Waltham Abbey v Bishop's Cleeve (Sounds very rude)

"Sounds like a right toff, a bit like Jacob Rees Mogg. Very old school tie and High Church. Well mannered and polite with a hint of cynicism. "
The names that stand out, or should I say are outstanding and deserve special mention are:

Folkestone Invicta
I have got to say that this sounds like a British made 1950's four door saloon. I dare say that Folkestone Invicta, like Morris Motors, would have been sadly absorbed by British Leyland.

Hartley Wintney
Sounds very much like an author of children's books. Not dissimilar to the Reverend Wilbert Awdry who penned Thomas the Tank Engine ...by 'penned' I do not mean that he covered the little blue 0-6-0 locomotive in graffiti. Come to think of it Wilbert Awdry would be a fantastic name for a football team.

Chalfont St Peter
Sounds like a right toff, a bit like Jacob Rees Mogg. Very old school tie and High Church. Well mannered and polite with a hint of cynicism. Likes 'Drinkees and Chuckles' prior to playing croquet on the archbishop's lawn. 

Swindon Submarine
A bizarre one this. Unless there has been some massive coastal erosion, the last time that I looked at a map of the UK, the hole that is Swindon is some 56 miles away from the nearest beach and salt water. Very confusing. Do they know something that we don't?  I can hear some fans chanting at their relegation rivals 'You're going down with the submarine'.

...Oh, damn and blast, I have just been informed by the editor that I should have gone to Specsavers, as the name of the team should read as Swindon Supermarine and sadly not Submarine. (I'll get a joke or one liner out of this even if it kills me). 

Supermarine, as every schoolboy knows, were the aircraft company that manufactured the most beautiful plane ever to take to the skies, the Spitfire. I am unsure if Swindon had any association with the construction of this most iconic of aircraft as they were mostly built in Birmingham, but I stand to be corrected.

That aside, I have checked Supermarine's standing in the league and after four matches they currently lie sixth in a play-off place. Should they win their next game away to Tuffley Rovers (where do they get these names?), and other results go their way, they will find themselves in second spot. I think with a good run of form I fully expect them to 'Take off' and find themselves In 'The top flight'.

The only other Supermarine that I am aware of is Tony Toms, the trainer who served with Hartlepool  in the early seventies.

Thame United: Sounds like Pools (Nuf said on that one).

Carlsberg, I note, are main sponsors of the South West Penisular League which sounds like something from the wars of the Crimean penisula or in the Iberian penisula (abeit both are in the East and not the West as stated in the league's name). There is a team in that league with the wonderful name of Cullompton Rangers. Can you imagine their fans chanting that 'there's only One Cullompton Rangers' (repeat)?

The more I hear Bishop's Cleeve(age) the ruder it becomes. Actually your prayers are requested for Bishop's Cleeve as they currently lie bottom of their league having played 4 and lost four with nul points, God help them ...Oh, he probably will!

What's in a Name?
Talking of obscure names,  driving down to Guiseley on Bank Holiday Monday I could not help but notice the number of caravans we got stuck behind. The thing that tickled me was the names that their manufacturers had given them. Buccaneer, Crusader, Stellar, Swift (Swift, don't make me laugh!) All pretty much named after various jet fighters of the late fifties and early sixties.

I am sure that the next generation of caravans, in order to move with the times and the advancement of military aircraft, will have names emblazoned on them such as the like of Widow Maker, Stealth, Apache Typhoon, Falcon and Mig 25. 

The best name I came across recently was that of an Irish Newspaper from the 19th century called The Galway Vindicator. Can't make my mind up if it sounds like a Mach 2 fighter bomber, a sports car, a speedboat, a guided missile or, like Monkey Business, a jolly good read. (though not so much of the jolly in this edition).

* Bethany does not have a football club.