WELL I’M back from a short post-season Strachanovite La Manga beasting – only with less military training and more lager – and ready to get straight back into the groove ready for a long summer of red hot soccer chat.
So what have I missed? I was lappyless and barely saw a paper (and those I did see were the Cockneycentric editions with teams like Boro airbrushed out) so I am out of the loop. I’ll read the last 10 days super soaraway Evening Gazettes when I get back in the office but I’m sure you lot can give me a quick digest. Any moves in or out? Any good links? Any operations? How was the Mogga stuff? Away kit on the horizon yet? Boardroom dust settled? How did you like the collect and keep Juninho extravaganza?
Come on, I’ve got a lot of catching up to do.
IT IS 25 years since bankrupt Boro called in the liquidators.
An unbalanced and demoralised team had slipped meekly into the third division in front of collapsing crowds and the board had been unable to tackle the debts that had steadily spiralled out of control towards the then crippling Â£2m mark. The post-Wolves watershed firesale and Charlie Amer’s sports hall folly had come home to roost.
With few assets – few of the team were saleable – and a summer without gate income looming (an no TV cash in the pipeline) things looked bleak. Boro were dead men walking. There was a stench of death about Ayresome Park.
Continue reading Liquidation: 25 Years On
THE PARKY dinner was a massive success. A thousand people jammed into the Tall Trees in a gathering of the clan with the Class of 86 up there on the top table along side Sir Bruce Rioch, Steve Gibson and a lot of faces from our pre-history.
A lot of money was raised on a poignant night. But the night was about something else too. It was an emotional show of strength and unity that speaks volumes about the nature of this club, about what our values are and how firmly we are rooted in a shared and troubled past.
I’m sure Gary Parkinson’s wife and son – who both conducted themselves with incredible strength and dignity on what must have been a very testing occasion for them – will go away now ever more acutely aware of the unbreakable bonds among the team and the supporters and that Parky will always be ‘one of our own’.
Continue reading “One Of Our Own…”
BORO finish slap bang in mid-table with a zero goal difference and the same points tally as last season…. who’d have thought back in August we’d be celebrating such mediocrity as that? But celebrate we should. Given where we were heading before Mogga arrived to perform CPR it is a real result.
The routine win over Doncaster helped Boro sign off with a home win, took the recent run to just one defeat in 12 games and gave us a glimpse of the potential of the next generation of academy starlets and it sparked a euphoric post match buzz that will keep us nourished through what could be a difficult summer.
Supporters were smiling and cheering – bless the players kids who were roared as they poked goals home – and thousands stayed for ages after the game as a public demonstration of their optimism in the future. And that is a real achievement.
Under Gordon Strachan broken Boro were heading for the rocks, a disjointed and demoralised side that were not fit for purpose was flailing in the relegation zone and the relationship between club and fans was breaking down. We were going down and the club were slipping into a bleak financial and emotional abyss. Everyone knew it, even the players. To turn that around is no mean feat.
At Preston on December 28th Boro leaked an early goal and were briefly dumped on the bottom. Since then everything has been on the up: the team, the club, the form and morale of individual players, the spirit of supporters and the prospects for the future. That is the real achievement that was being applauded on the lap of honour. And that is down to the catalyctic presence of Tony Mowbray. respect and thanks are due.
We know the summer won’t be plain sailing and that next season will be as tough – but at least we can go into both now with some confidence and a bit of a buzz.
And congratulations to Darlington. A Quaker shaker goal in the final minute of extra time of the FA Trophy final gave them a 1-0 win victory over mansfield and made them the first Wembley winners from Gazetteshire since mighty Whitby won the Vase in 1997.
NEW ‘retro’ Boro kit launched. For my mind it is more an echo of the 1983-84 Stephen Bell/Heine Otto/Paul Sugrue era than it is of George Camsell. It is straight out that season’s Subutteo catalogue on a page marked Boro/Charlton/Wrexham/Denmark.
Continue reading Meet The New Shirt…
DRAGON slaying Boro showed a killer touch as they went to Cardiff expected to roll over.
It was all set up for a ritual slaughter: Cardiff needed to win to nudge into an automatic promotion spot in what had been selected by Sky as another exciting instalment in the race for the Premiership. Boro were there to make up the numbers and were expected to put up little resistance. But this is a different Boro now.
Continue reading Dragon Slaying, Party Pooping And Boro’s Steel Edged Professionalism