In2views: John Hendrie

The latest in a series of profiles and interviews, Orginal Fat Bob gives his personal view on the life and career of a footballing guest, before sitting down for a chat and asking a few questions. Our Diasboro special guest this week is John Hendrie.

1. The Overview – the man and his career

John was another one of my favourite players when he played for the Boro. He always performed with a swagger. Not particularly tall in stature and barrel chested, he always had a smile on his face and was known for being a practical joker. He wasn’t a pushover by any means though and often displayed a fiery streak, which resulted in him receiving bookings and the occasional sending off. He will always go down in the history books as the player who scored the last ever goal at Ayresome Park. To celebrate this event and to have a personal record of this, I bought a large framed photograph of this momentous occasion, which is signed by him. When I mentioned to John that I had a framed photograph of him scoring the last goal, true to his nature John tried to sell me another one! This photograph hung for many years on my office wall until I retired from work. It now has pride of place in my eldest son’s man cave. It is a great talking point, but also gives me an excuse to go and have a look at it whilst taking the opportunity to have a drink at the bar.

For me and many others, my other lasting memory of John will be the wonder goal that he scored at Ayresome Park, whilst playing in a more central role up front against Milwall. He collected the ball just outside our own penalty area and then weaved past the entire Millwall team before slotting the ball home into the net. It was the first time that our former manager Bruce Rioch had returned to Ayresome Park, but this time as the opposition manager. The way John danced around those players was mesmeric and if a Brazilian had scored it, we would have said it was the best goal ever seen in English Football.

John Hendrie 800

I also recall us playing against Blackburn on the 5th December in the 92-93 season, when Lennie Lawrence was our manager. It was after we had sold (Rippers), our own Stuart Ripley to Blackburn who was playing against us on that day that I remember so well. John scored a fabulous hat-trick, enabling the Boro to run out 3-2 winners. After his third goal, all the crowd started chanting to the Blackburn fans and coaching staff, “you signed the wrong [expletive] winger, wrong [expletive] winger etc… much to the amusement of John and the other players.

John’s career started at Coventry City in June 1980 and he became a full time professional in May 1981. He them moved to Bradford City, where he played 173 consecutive league games, winning one promotion and narrowly missing out on another.

When talking to John on a previous occasion we touched upon the Bradford City, Valley Parade Stadium, Fire disaster. This event happened during their last third Division fixture between Bradford and Lincoln City on Saturday, 11 May 1985. Unfortunately, the casualties were 56 dead and injuries to another 265 spectators. The Stadium was well known for its old design which had a wooden roof on the main stand. Warnings had been given about a major build-up of litter just below the seats and in those days spectators smoked in the stands. John recalled how it was his most nightmarish day in football as he had friends and family in the stand, as did the other players. None of his family were injured, but looking at him, it showed that the tragedy has made a lasting impression on this likeable guy.

Following spells with Newcastle United and Leeds United, he then moved to Boro and scored 44 goals for us. He played as a deep-lying striker or winger for us and helped us win promotion to the newly founded FA Premier League in 1992. He was our leading scorer in 1995 when we won promotion back to the top flight. He was replaced by the little fella (Juninho), so he moved on to Barnsley in 1996 where he finished his career. He contributed towards their promotion and they finished Division One runners-up and became top division members for the first time in their history. He was unable to prevent Barnsley from suffering relegation in 1997–98 however and after the end of that season he succeeded Danny Wilson as manager before finally leaving the club.

He can now be found on most match days at the Riverside where his bubbly personality ensures that he entertains new fans as well as the ones who used to applaud him from the stands. Always ready to chat he talks to us now:

2. The Interview – a quick chat

OFB: What year did you join Boro as a professional footballer?

JH: During the Summer of 1990.

OFB: Where did you stay? Did you rent, or did you live in digs?

JH: I lived at my home in Menston near Ilkley.

OFB: Who was your favourite Boro player and others that you have played with?

JH: I had two favourite players, Juninho and Paul Wilkinson.

OFB: Who were the best and worst trainers in the team?

JH: The best trainer was Nick Barmby and the worst was John Wark.

OFB: When did the team travel for away games, how did they get there, by bus or by train?

JH: We travelled mostly by Bus, but during the Bryan Robson days we often flew to games.

OFB: How many players usually travelled and did the Directors travel with you?

JH: We had a large squad of players which usually included an apprentice for the experience. The manager, coaching staff and physio also travelled with us. No Directors ever came with us they always made there own way to the away games.

OFB: Did you have nice hotels or was it just bed and breakfast?

JH: We always stayed in very good hotels.

OFB: Who did you room with for away matches?

JH: Mostly I was in a room with Paul Wilkinson, but I sometimes shared with Robbie Mustoe or Phil Whelan.

OFB: Who was the joker in the team?

JH: There were two of us who were the jokers, me and Trevor Putney.

OFB: Can you tell us any amusing anecdotes or pranks that were played?

JH: When Lennie Lawrence was the manager we had three different training venues which we used at various times. We would change at Ayresome Park first and then go and look at the blackboard on the wall outside the dressing room, which displayed that days training location. On April Fools day I sabotaged it! I changed the venue and two cars with players drove off to Norton. I then changed the blackboard again and three cars went to Kirklevington. The rest of us stayed at Ayresome Park which was the right place to train that day. It came as no surprise that the training at Ayresome Park was delayed by a few hours – This was when no one had mobile phones and we couldn’t round up the lads to come and join us. They were at the wrong grounds kicking the ball about and wondering where everyone else was. Luckily for me, Lennie saw the funny side of it and I got away with it.

OFB: Whose boots did you clean as an apprentice and who cleaned yours?

JH: When I was at Newcastle Steve Howie cleaned mine. When I was an apprentice at Coventry in 1980, I cleaned the boots of Jim Holton who went on to play for Manchester United and Scotland.

OFB: Did you try and emulate your style of play, on any individual player who played in your position?

JH: My heroes were both Celtic players, Jimmy Johnstone and Kenny Dalglish.

OFB: What was your most memorable game, your own individual performance and best experience with the fans?

JH: I had several memorable games and experiences. The Millwall game when I ran the length of the pitch and scored. My hat-trick against Blackburn when we won 3-2 and the fantastic atmosphere at Ayresome Park when I scored the last goal there. It was a sea of red and white and I’ll never forget it. (He has the same choices as me! OFB)

OFB: What was your worst game or experience and why?

JH: I remember losing to Aston Villa by five goals to nil and we were absolutely awful.

OFB: Is there a game that you wished you had played in, either for Boro or another team?

JH: I always regretted not playing for Boro in the F.A Cup Final at Wembley, I’d left the club some eight months previously and I was devastated that they were there without me.

OFB: Who was in your opinion the best manager that Boro have ever had and why?

JH: I always enjoyed playing under all my managers, but particularly, Bryan Robson.

OFB: Who was in your opinion, the manager that had the greatest influence on your career and why?

JH: Undoubtedly it was Dave Sexton who gave me my top-flight debut at 18 for Coventry against Spurs when we won 2-1. I’m indebted to him for giving me my chance.

OFB: Which opposing team and which player did you fear playing against?

JH: The player I didn’t like playing against was Paul McGrath who was so underrated.

OFB: Which opposing team and which player did you like playing against?

JH: I always enjoyed playing against Blackburn because I always seemed to score against them. I also loved playing at Anfield and Old Trafford and scored at both grounds during my career.

OFB: Who is your favourite Boro player of all time and why?

JH: My favourite Boro player of all time is Graeme Souness, who was a born leader.

OFB: Who is your current favourite Boro player and why?

JH: It has to be Stuart Downing, who is a good servant and ambassador for Middlesbrough Football Club.

OFB: How do you think the match day has changed from the time that you played professional football to the present day?

JH: Nowadays there is a lot more media scrutiny.

OFB: If you could be a fly on the wall, is there any dressing room you would wish to eavesdrop on?

JH: Jose Mourinho

OFB: Do you have any regrets in your career, or missed opportunities?

JH: No, I’ve no regrets, you pick your bed and you lie in it.

OFB: Do you still follow the Boro and their results

JH: I work at the Boro on matchdays acting as a host in the Middlehaven Suite, everyone is welcome at Diasboro to pop in and see me for a chat.

OFB: Whereabouts in the Country do you live these days and what do you do?

JH: I still live in the same village in Menston near Ilkley.

OFB: Whom have you made a lifelong friend through football?

JH: I have several lifelong football friends, that many I couldn’t name just one.

OFB: Finally, if you hadn’t had a professional career as a footballer, what do you think you would have done as a career?

JH: I don’t know, perhaps I may have joined the armed forces.

OFB: A huge thank you John for taking the time to talk to Diasboro and our readers and I’m sure that a few of us will be booking a place at the Riverside in the Middlehaven suite to have a chat with you.

138 thoughts on “In2views: John Hendrie

  1. Thanks for that OFB.
    John Hendrie is one of my favorite Boro players of all time to have watched. I always argued that it was him that made the difference to us on the field of play in his era. Who couldn’t have that goal against Millwall as one of the greatest of all time.

  2. Just joking, OFB, but the last goal scored at Ayresome Park was by Stephen Pears. A penna in his testimonial game.

    But of course Henrie’s was the last one in an official match.

    Great interview, I really enjoy these and they make good reading when no mid-week match.

    Up the Boro!

    1. Jarkko

      You’re right of course and I saw that too.

      I haven’t seen Pearsy for a while but he’s on my list!

      Thanks for your comments much appreciated.


      1. OFB, Pearsy still lives in Great Ayton according to Bernie S. As he was in the 1980’s when we stayed there regularly when in the UK.

        Is Bernie in your list? If so, you must remind that my team’s goalkeeper saved the penalty. Tame but at least he was not off-side!

        I have tried to mark Bernie. Still what a player – he can turn with the ball on a coin. Up the Boro!

        1. Jarkko

          I talk to him on Twitter quite often Why don’t you add him to your contacts on Twitter and message him

          I don’t see him at the ground as he does the legends lounge in the east stand which is opposite to me in the west.

          If I see him one day I’ll try to sit him down but he’s isualluy a live wire as you know and doesn’t sit still for a moment


      2. Thanks, Bob. I do follow Bernie in Twitter. Last I had a chat with him was in a changing room after a game. So you have to tire him first.

        I will try to see him in March – I have tickets to the East Stand so I try to pop in. Up the Boro!

  3. Top work, OFB.

    I loved John Hendrie. His ability to go past players and score goals was a joy to watch at his best, never more so than THAT Millwall goal. What a beauty.. His partnership with Wilkinson was also a highlight – they were a very effective duo for a period with well balanced skillsets.

    With 442 somewhat out of fashion, I wonder where we would have played in today’s 4231s. A bit old school for the wide positions but perhaps he could have come in off the left (I remember him swapping wings a couple of times each game with Rippers back in the day). Maybe as an offensive no. 10, supporting a big man in the way he did with Wilko.

    John was one of those players who got you off your seat and you felt when he got himself through on goal, he would score. Thankfully, he carried out the role without the theatrics, whining and diving of many modern day players and played with a positive, can-do attitude, not to mention a dash of cheekiness off the field too.

    Top man (and you too, OFB).

    1. Andy R

      Couldn’t agree more about the cheating and diving that goes on nowadays compared to the likes of players like “Johnny, Johnny Hendrie, Johnny Hendrie on the wing”. JH was more interested in trying to score a goal or keep the ball rather than fall over in a slight breeze.

      Contrast him with media darling Harry Kane who, in a piece I read on the bbc football website, said he felt contact and went down. So you dived then matey. This cheating is ruining the game and I know 2 wrongs don’t make a right but unless your team adopts a similar attitude you’re at a big disadvantage before you even kick off.

    2. Good interview Bob of an outstanding player. Should have been capped for Scotland. I didn’t see that Millwall match and am wondering why? Was it played on a Friday night? I haven’t got all my records here in the Algarve, so not sure. It would explain why I missed it though as on Fridays I used to drive to Castleford if they were playing at home.

  4. I remember going to an ex players association meeting and all Johns old team mates were there.

    Steve Vickers told the tale of when the Boro went on an after season tour abroad and played a few games.

    Getting tired of his antics like throwing their clothes in the pool and other similar pranks they decided to get their own back.

    A nice lunch with a couple of beers and they were all laid around the pool enjoying the sun.

    John was laid face down on the sun lounger under an umbrella.

    The lads pulled his shorts down exposing his bare backside and moved the umbrella out of the way.

    Some time later John woke to find his rear was burning hot. He ended up getting really burned on the delicate skin and missed playing in the next game as he couldn’t bear (bare?) anything on it and wore a loose kimona until the swelling went down!

    It still didn’t stop him playing tricks though !!


  5. Another great in2view from OFB with another Boro legend.

    Like others have said we could do with him now but with tactics and formations the way they are at the minute I wonder where or indeed if he could fit in? Mind you he wouldn’t be alone in that feeling, I’m sure Jordan Rhodes and Britt would have a degree of empathy!

  6. I see MFC have now officially announced that the club have lodged an appeal to the FA over Rudy Gestede’s three-match ban. Having watched it a few times over now I think it was reckless as a minimum and thats being kind. Best outcome I think is that they might reduce it to a second Yellow and a one game ban.

    What or why TP is bothered about his non scoring Striker is beyond me especially as I think its more likely to be considered frivolous and the ban extended. Had it been a Norwich player going in on a Boro Player in a similar manner I would have been questioning the Ref’s parentage had he not issued a straight Red. I get the opinion that we have seen worse on the box and players like Joe Bennett’s recent disgrace have been overlooked but bad Refereeing shouldn’t be an excuse or a reason for stupid tackles in a neutral and harmless zone in the middle of the pitch immediately following a Yellow.

  7. OFB,

    Thanks. A lovely interview with a great player for the Boro, and someone whom everybody remembers with affection as a very talented player who never gave less than 100%. He would walk into our current side.

    And, just catching up, thanks to Nigel for his excellent report from the previous thread.

  8. Well done OFB, another brilliant article- I could imagine both of you sat together doing that question and answer session, it was so true to both of your characters.
    Keep them coming, thanks!
    Tractor man.

  9. Just reading about Cranie being versatile and comfortable at RB or as a CB and him being a very sensible no frills intelligent player. Great news because sometimes sensible and straightforward is far better than a player with an ego which is far beyond his abilities and heaven knows we have had plenty of them at the Boro over the years.

    Now I’ll get to the point of my post which is presuming that Gestede will be out for a few games and that TP prefers a big lad up front is sticking Ayala up there (Hickton style) worth a consideration?. We do know his aerial ability is more productive than Gestede’s and he generally isn’t adverse to letting his opponents know he is there via the odd unintentional flailing arm or even grasp around the torso? A scrapping, battling CF who doesn’t mind mixing it up would seemingly fit TP’s blueprint and just think how many goals TP’s top scorer could get if he was actually playing as a Striker!

    1. RR,

      I mentioned the same thing a couple of threads ago, Dani may well be the Boro version of Peter Crouch and he irritated a few defenders in his time. Maybe it is time to think outside the (penalty) box for Boro. There must be a few defenders who wouldn’t like to deal with Ayala’s elbows, strength and general awkwardness.



  10. Redcar Red

    I relented and watched a few minutes of the highlights to see Gestede’s challenge for his red card.

    At full speed he slides in with his studs showing and the ref has a good view of the incident. It didn’t look like a toe poke gone wrong, reckless is the right word

    I would find it difficult to overturn the ref’s decision to award a red card.

    We will have to wait and see.

    Out of interest, as I missed the commentary, what did Maddo and co say about it at the time?

    My guess would be Maddo saying ‘he’s in trouble, he will be off here’

    1. To me it was never ever a straight red as I wrote on Sunday. Rudi slided the ball first and the studs were not up anymore when the Norwich guy hit Rudi’s leg.

      So justice done. I think many people blamed Rudi as we are going through a barrel spel in front of the goal.

      Up the Boro!

  11. The downside to the Gestede decision is that it is unlikely that we will now see Bamford and Assombalonga having a three game run playing together and trying to establish a partnership which I believe we badly need.

    1. The FA definitely have it in for us and must have figured that rescinding the ban was even greater punishment than maintaining or increasing it!

      Oh well we can look forward to the inevitable forthcoming hat trick ……………………………….spread over the next 18 months.

  12. Typical FA, they have never done us any favours. Now we will have to continue with TP’s chosen one and will also give him rhe opportunity to say “ we wus robbed”

  13. Thanks for that in2view OFB.

    John Hendrie was also one my favourite players. Always gave 100% and was a joy to watch at times. A fans favourite also.

    Scored some really lovely goals, how we wish we had him now. Saying that he would have probably been curtailed of any creativity by our recent Coaches/Mangers.

    Still we have Gestede.

    1. It’s the way of the modern game, Pedro, and those who try to imitate a system that wins without thinking of the long-term consequences. Where the surety of the points are more important than the beauty of the game.

      My piece on Eurocracy probably says it all.

  14. Rudy Gestede and the latest curious case of the player who can’t seem to catch a break from the fans.

    See also: Cristhian Stuani.

    By contrast Albert Adomah, Jordan Rhodes and even Muzzy Carayol seemed almost bulletproof.

    If managers have their favourites, so, almost uncontrollably, do we. And ultimately I tend to be drawn to those who “can’t catch a break” because scapegoating a solitary forward for a team’s failure to score, or a goalkeeper for a team’s failure to defend (etc) is too simplistic.

    Even Tomas Mejias had great games at the Etihad, the Emirates and Old Trafford.

    1. I think Stuani the player was respected as most fans saw that he had the ability.

      The problem and issues with Stuani was that he wasn’t what AK tried to mould him into hence the frustrations and despair. I put £20 on him to finish as the Championship’s top scorer when he first arrived (well documented at the time on Untypical). Silly me for thinking that we signed a Striker in Stuani so we would actually play him as a Striker and not as competition for that waste of space and perennial naughty step sitter Albert Adomah who just created opportunities and scored goals.

      Incredible how both AA and Stuani have picked up where they left off and delivering the goods elsewhere. Says a lot about AK’s management and self imposed goal scoring tactical straight-jacket at the time and what could have been which if we are not careful are about to witness a re run under TP.

    2. Fans undoubtedly have their favourites but I don’t think scapegoating a solitary forward applies in Gestede’s case. He hasn’t scored in the Championship since August and despite looking jaded, overweight and disinterested at times Assombalonga has a 1 in 2 goal ratio.

      Contrast both for example with non scoring Bamford who is still fondly remembered for his exploits of a few years ago and many still have hopes (albeit diminishing) that he rediscovers that form but not by being “Stuanied” out on the left wing which is why there is still sympathy towards him.

      We are 12th in terms of goals scored in the Championship. Tav, Grant, Howson, Baker and Fabio have all scored the same number of goals (2) as Gestede this season, Ayala has actually scored one more. In fairness to Gestede he has only made 18 appearances but Baker has only made 13, Ayala 22, Fabio 19 and Tav 8 none of whom are Strikers.

      To date Wolves have scored 54 goals, Derby 47, Fulham 51, Villa 46 (of which AA has scored 12 of those goals in 19 appearances) whilst we have scored 38 goals. I don’t think its scapegoating, more a case of just stating the obvious.

  15. Well I’ve activated my MFC Digital account!

    Can’t say the process was straightforward but think I’ve completed it. The real test will be in trying to book tickets for future away games when it decides it has no idea who on earth I am.

    Personally I would have thought that logging in as me under my original account details and then upgrading/migrating across would have been a more edifying process. As it is I now I think I’m linked to my Season Card but nothing substantial to confirm or entirely convince me that is the case.

    Who do I blame and hold accountable, Gary Gill, Neil Bausor or Gordon Strachan? Typical bleedin Boro!

      1. Lets see if it works yet Bob before i go looking for names 😉

        In fairness to them its probably the work of an external agency who revel in making things clever instead of logical and straightforward.

  16. Thanks for your replies, RR. Very well put.

    As far as AK’s contrasting use of Stuani and Adomah goes, it all comes back to the points that Scott Anthony made about Martin O’Neill.

    – Great at organising inherited talent, not so good at expanding it.

    – Does workmanlike, and wants dependable.

    – Willing triers in his teams predictably flourish, but his starting XIs lack the expansive verve needed to batter the lesser teams in a division.

    – Astonished that anyone can possibly question him, because he always tries so hard and cares so much (hence my sympathy – Si) but his set-up is the kind that usually prevents losing but makes winning tricky.

    Personally I would add a fifth: few, or worse, no personalities were allowed to steal the limelight in order to make the manager look more awesome. The victories he was proudest of were the ones in which his strategy had worked or where he’d always felt in command, in control.

    It’s a funny game, football. I like a team to be in command and in control, but if control becomes an obsession then it wipes out the risk which separates the effective from the great.

    1. Si, I might go along with the “Great at organising inherited talent, not so good at expanding it” quote as applied to AK to a certain extent. I would probably amend it a little, “Great at organising inherited talent into a predetermined system, not so good at adapting the system to make optimal use of inherited talent.”

  17. I was out most of yesterday, so many thanks to OFB for another enjoyable read – I was at first thinking John Hendrie was a little before my time but then noticed we are the same age so he is in fact still quite young 🙂 I think his era coincided with the time I first moved down to London so didn’t get to see him play in the flesh much. Anyway, he sounds like another great guy and OFB’s piece managed to bring out his character very well. I remember him as one of these players who was hard to stop when he was in full flow and had a decent shot on him – the Adama of his day…

    I wonder how his April fool’s prank would have gone down with someone like Karanka, if one of his carefully planned training session had been a write-off – we would probably perhaps never had seen him again I’d imagine so fair play to Lennie Lawrence. Plus the record of scoring the last goal at Ayresome Park is something that can’t be beaten!

      1. Ken, You’re probably right to be flabbergasted as didn’t you just celebrate your 80th birthday and the evergreen John Hendrie is still 54, which I will be in a few months – since both my parents will also celebrate their 80th this year, perhaps the generation gap is not quite stretching to two, so that may trim some of the flabber off the numbers 🙂

        1. It’s only a number and seems to not matter a lot these days

          I’m 70 on Sunday and still don’t feel old !

          Going to enjoy myself on Saturday with meal and wine and friends and hopefully the Boro won’t Spoil the day !

          Then Sunday to watch youngest grandson play at Bishop Auckland and hopefully win they are top of the second division u12

          We then go to Sunday lunch with all my family !

          My wife of nearly 50 years two sons and 6 grandchildren ranging from 19 down to 6.

          Happy times.

          Thought I would share that with all my friends on the blog

          You never know Ken I might make 80 one day !


      2. Age is just a number!

        I know people my age (57) who I regard as positively geriatric (they probably view me as an embarrassment and growing old disgracefully) in behaviour, dress and attitude towards things. You are a long time dead, live life, embrace it and enjoy it, we don’t pass this way again, make the most of it and live it to the full.

  18. Thanks Werder

    Hendrie still is a bubbly character and stops and talks to every fan as if he knows them personally which is a great characteristic to have.


      1. Maths was my worst and then ended up looking after multi million pound projects

        I used to sit and laugh to myself thinking about my old maths teacher saying

        “Boy don’t ever do a job involving money and maths !”


  19. Great read Bob, once again.
    Oh dear, seems Rudy has had a pop at “some supporters” on social media.
    No sure if this is a good career move.
    Personally I think he should be given a fair go in this transitional period. We have 3 up top instead of 5. So more game time for all.
    Hope Rudy does his talking on the pitch

    1. I think Rudy is more than entitled to have a go back at myself and others. Glad to see there is a bit of passion, spark and adrenalin in evidence. With the recent window now closed and less competition for starts he has as good an opportunity as anyone to make a name for himself in the remaining 16 games. At his current run rate I’d expect him to get another two goals maybe three from now until the end of the season but a return of that magnitude is going to send us further down the Championship table instead of pushing for the play offs.

      What he does about it ultimately is up to him and utilising whatever abilities and skill sets he has. TP has resurrected a few stagnant players who had stalled, lost their way or had simply become disillusioned. Maybe, just maybe Gestede will be the next massive benefactor of TP’s ability to turn mediocre into pretty good. I hope he does but can’t see any signs or reasons for optimism especially as I don’t think he functions best as a lone Striker (nor does Britt or Paddy). I can’t see TP altering to go 442 but time will tell. The seeming lack of anyone capable of playing that mercurial “cure all” No.10 role lends me to think 442 is the only feasible option available to us at this time or 433 at least.

      I suspect that “that” red carded tackle was probably as a consequence of Pulis telling everyone to toughen up, scrap, fight and battle which has been a common tabloid perception of previous Pulis “hoofball” sides. Again no problem with that so long as the players have the nous to know where and when. As in a lot of things in life timing is everything. Our current strikers futures with Boro are intrinsically linked with how Pulis sets his teams out, to date he has sorted out the defence unquestionably. The Midfield and front line isn’t there yet although Downing seems capable and Traore improved. Although I say improved in Adama’s case I do so with some reservation as I think in the last couple of games he has reverted to type for large periods, wandering, disconnected, looking lost, walking towards the player in possession trait.

      TP is also emerging from the new manager love in (or loathing in some cases). Despite his exclamation that he can’t work miracles, expectations were that his arrival may be too late but that we would see some tangible evidence of improvement. To an extent he has achieved that (Friend, Ayala, Shotton Traore etc.) with half the team but the results have not reflected those subjective improvements due largely to the other half of the side which isn’t functioning aka as “scoring goals”.

      Scoring like defending is everyone’s responsibility but when a side leaks goals its usually the defenders and goalkeeper’s under utmost scrutiny and held to account (see Fabio and Christie) not the strikers. We for whatever reason aren’t scoring enough goals, over to you Rudy, Paddy, Britt and not least of all TP!

      1. Agree with most of That RR but I do think all 3 could play the loan striker if we had midfield runners and/or a decent number 10.
        Most have said before that Messi I would struggle in our team.
        Adoma offers the only pace we have now that Christie has departed and Fabio in the departure lounge.
        I cannot believe that we have not addressed this in the last five or six windows. So many average teams in this league have players with the skills we are sadly lacking.

  20. Full credit to MFC and Ramsden’s for their support for two local Teesside Charities, Butterwick Hospice and Teesside Hospice by emblazoning their names across the front of Boro’s Football shirts.

    Even I for once can forgive the aesthetics of the appearance of the logos on the band in recognition of the sterling work they do in the community. They thoroughly deserve all the hype and publicity and most importantly the fund raising that this gesture helps to stimulate. Words can’t adequately describe the esteem in which both these charities should be held in by the Teesside public. Once again well done MFC and Ramsden’s!

  21. Redcar Red

    We often forget the good that is done by the likes of MFC and Ramsdens for the local community.

    I am sure the same can be said of many clubs.

    Meanwhile, MFC digital is getting more complicated with discount codes, vouchers etc to use content.

    1. Maybe we could put a £6M offer in for him, realise he’s garbage after 18 months and then release him from his contract to get him off the wage bill?

      1. Simon, I paid my first visit to abroad in 1980 to see Terry Cochrane, Jim Platt and co. Was about 20 years old back then. Now soon 57 – and meanwhile we have won the League Cup! Up the Boro!

  22. The thing that used to annoy Cloughie when he played for Boro was despite him and Peachy helping the team to score an average of two goals a game, the defence were conceding as many. The perfect example of that was in the 1962/63 season, the worst winter weather for 15 years when Boro played only two league matches between 29th December and 2nd March.

    During that season Boro lost at home to Huddersfield 0-5 and away at Newcastle 1-6, Southampton 0-6 and Luton 3-4. However they drew at home to Sunderland 3-3 and won home matches against Portsmouth 4-2, Scunthorpe 4-3, Derby 5-1 and Norwich 6-2. They also won away matches against Grimsby 4-3, Leeds 3-2, Charlton 4-3, Norwich 4-3 and Plymouth 5-4. They finished up in 4th place with 49 points and scored 86 goals but conceded 85 in their 42 matches.

    In those days a win was only worth two points, and as Boro won 20 matches drew 9 and lost 13, that would be a total of 69 points today (equated to 75/76 for 46 matches) which would possibly be enough for a playoff position. Now my question is whether fellow bloggers would prefer that Boro were such a free scoring team today with such a poor defence, or would such high scoring results for and against drive most of you to distraction as it certainly did Cloughie?

  23. Of course Ken in those days there were plenty of rumours as to wrong doings!!

    In fact wasn’t it one of the reasons Cloughie left for Sunderland. He and his fellow forwards just could not keep up with the defence. It is also to be remembered that his future side kick was in goal. I guess they all knew what was allegedly going on?

    1. Also in October 1960 Boro played a 6-6 draw away to Charlton who themselves were no strangers to high scoring matches. On 21st December 1957 Charlton were losing 1-5 at home to Huddersfield with only 28 minutes remaining having played most of the match with only ten players after their captain Derek Ufton was injured, yet Johnny Summers then scored 4 times (5 in total) as Charlton won 7-6. No other professional team has ever scored 6 goals before in a losing match, yet after the 6-6 draw with Boro, Charlton became the only professional club to have conceded 6 goals twice without being beaten.

      More recently in 2013 in a League Cup match, Reading led Arsenal 4-0 just before halftime but conceded a fourth goal six minutes into injury time to force extra time and then conceded three more goals to lose 5-7. As far as I can ascertain these are the only matches in England where a team has won from being 4 goals behind.

  24. Like RR I have activated my MFC Digital Account. I think! Now I’m not a total techno Luddite but it seems companies just try to make what should be a fairly straightforward evolution, into a right round the houses faff on.

    I’m 54 in actual years but in my mind I’m only 27 and intend that to be so for the foreseeable!

    1. WELL!

      I spent an hour trying to activate my Boro digital account last night and gave up in the end!

      I have worked with computers since 1979 and have more than a basic knowledge but for the first time in a while

      BORO WIN

    2. Well I’ve still got most of my own teeth and a full head of fair hair (well actually blond bleached by the sun). However my nephew not yet 40 is bald as a coot but he is a headmaster and as they say ‘grass doesn’t grow on a busy street’. Not quite sure though what to make of that in my case!

  25. Since we’re talking about birthdays…

    On the day I was born, Boro tanked Arsenal 5-0 at Ayresome with a David Armstrong double, denying the Gunners a European spot.

    Craig Johnston, David Hodgson and Dave Shearer also scored in a team featuring Tony McAndrew, Ian Bailey, Mark Proctor, Billy Ashcroft and John Craggs.

    Billy Askew made his debut too.

    1. I just checked my birthday and Boro did indeed play that day – a 1-2 defeat at home to Everton. Typical Boro.

      “Tragedy” was no. 1 in the charts too. Typical Andy R.

        1. When I was born, Boro had two games sandwiched around the date. Cloughie scored in both games. We lost the first one but when I was born we won the next match 3-0 vs. Portsmouth. In addition to Cloughie, a chap called Waldock scored a brace, too.

          Up the Boro!

    2. BLoomimg heck Si you were following the team from birth and still remember who they were playing and who were the players !

      That’s a real supporter…..


    1. Thanks Chris

      The problem now is that we don’t play with a duality of strikers one playing off another.

      Today it’s just one striker ploughing a lone furrow trying to set up and score their own goals and in our case it doesn’t work


  26. Yes, Werder the blog is excellent but we could improve it, too.

    Should we start an academy, too? We have To have a few under 35 years olds in here. I does not have to be category One in the beginning.

    Perhaps the academy should be restricted to 140 words as some people have difficulties to concentrate on longer texts, like.

    Anyway, Let’s enjoy what we have now and let’s support Boro to the play-off final.

    Up the Boro!

    1. Great idea Jarkko
      We would need to build in some safeguards to avoid other, less scrupulous, forums backed by multi-billionaire moguls, poaching any talent we have nurtured on the cheap.

      Me, “J’ai douze ans”, as my French teacher taught me and he must have been right cos he was the teacher.

  27. Poemill, I never had French in school (1st English, then Swedish and finally some German) but I googled it into English: “I am twelve years old”.

    So you must go to our academy first and later can come here 🙂

    Just joking, like. UTB!

  28. 26th September 1970. My birthday and a home match. Sold golden goal tickets before the match so got in free. After the match I won the draw for the ticket sellers.

    In between we went 2-0 down in no time at all, the rest is folklore as we led QPR 4-2 at half time and trotted out 6-2 winners.

    Shortly afterwards I went to Uni in the land of The Dirties.

    1. Were you studying mining with the Dirties down there? I often wonder why they play in white as the kit is always so dirty already at half time.

      My colleague from work is living near Newcastle now. He is Dirty through and through and call me Smoggy even I have never lived in Boro.

      We are both going to see Leeds at Riverside next month – I with me wife and he with his son. And we will have an European Sales conference just two weeks later. I beg TP that we do not loose that game!

      Up the Boro!

      1. Didn’t Don Revie change Leeds’ strip to all white to ape Real Madrid? I think I read that somewhere. Not sure what colour they wore before, yellow perhaps?

        1. Yes, you are right about Real and white is best contract versus green (like whote golf balls). Hence our white band during the Charlton era.

          I think the Leeds kit had purple or violet in it before, maybe yellow also.

          But why white if you play dirty?

          Up the Boro!

      2. Yes – found something:

        “”Revie completely changed the Leeds colours when he took over as manager in the early 60s to the all-white kit people are familiar with today in order to replicate the great Real Madrid side of the late 50s and early 60s. Prior to this change Leeds had played in horizontal white and blue stripes before changing to half-yellow, half-blue shirts in 1934 and then swapping between yellow and blue shirts from 1948 until Revie overhauled the idea with a plain white strip in 1961.”

        Enough about the Dirties though.

    2. Ian
      I remember that day although I wasn’t at the match. I was at Fulford for the first Benson and Hedges Golf Tournament to be held there. Tony Jacklin eagled the last hole to win by one shot, and Peter Oosterhuis was presented with the ‘rookie of the year’ trophy, but I missed the presentation as I scurried to the car to listen to “Sports Report” on the radio.

    1. Many of them had little pedigree and were mongrels, a sort of Mutley crew – (for those who remember Wacky Races).

      Leeds Rhinos still play in blue and yellow and a look at the Leeds United badge show it is still blue and yellow.

      1. Before Don Revie became manager Leeds United played in yellow shirts with blue sleeves; always looked odd to me. Of course Yorkshire CCC’s colours are yellow, Cambridge blue and Oxford blue; I still sometimes wear my Yorkshire long sleeved sweater.

  29. My dog died a month before celebrating his 18 years. So he was 125 years in human age.

    I also had a rabbit (it was left to me when my daughter moved out for studying in an Uni) and he was over 12 years old before passing away. How much is that in human lives? Any idea?

    Up the Boro!

  30. Jakko

    Same for my daughters rabbit, she saw it in a local pet shop and loved it. Our concern was that some idiot would have to look after it if my daughter went to University. Dont worry said the owner, Bob, it will live 4-5 years because it is a special breed.

    It got out of its hutch when it was 13 and we didn’t see it again. It was suffering with a serious eye infection and Emma was away at Brum studying. We were going away so Emma’s friend was going to look after it. Between us we missed locking the sleeping compartment and the next morning it was going.

    Whilst my daughter was angry with us, the rabbit had been suffering for a month, eye drops twice a day and the eyes were getting no better. At least it had some freedom.

    I did feel awful

    1. Ian,
      Just like the story with my Emmi. It was a special breed also!

      When our Emmi moved I fully expected it to last for a year or so and so I wanted not to give it to anyone. I had it still for over five or six years.

      I ran away only once but it was found in our neighbour’s garden. I needed to keep it indoors in the winter time – so for over a half of the time.

      So it was like a colleague to me as it was in my study where I work when not travelling. My wife never approved the rabbit as we told her about its arrival only afterwards!

      Up the Boro!

      1. I had the same eye problems with our Alfred. But finally it was the back legs and he went in rounds only.

        It was tough to go to the doctor for the last visit, mind. I was more affected to the rabbit than the dog as it was mine “only”. The dog was shared by the five of us in the family.

        Up the Boro!

    2. Ian,

      I know how you must have felt. When one of my Jack Russells had to be put to sleep in January this year I was destroyed. She was almost 13 and I worked out that I had walked almost 17,000 miles with her over the years, I’ve only got one in the midfield now so no sideways passing.

      I think that one dog year is seven or eight years, not sure though.



      1. It (the rabbit) ran away once. Not me, honestly!

        Yes, Jarsue. My daughter (not the one with the rabbit)- who once had three dogs – says seven. But I suppose it depend the size of the dog also. Smaller ones live longer like our Sheltie.

        Up the Boro!

    3. Ian
      I had a pair of pet rabbits as a child and cried when my father had them killed for a Harvest Festival Supper just after the war. Subsequently at the Harvest auction he paid 1/6 to buy me a banana. I suppose 7 and a half new pence was extravagant in those days and I’d never even seen a banana before then, but I’d rather have kept the rabbits.

  31. Love this blog it’s like being in a pub, start off talking about the important things like the Boro then drift off to the family/pets/health. I can taste the beer as I read it I will say it again it’s the best blog out there.

  32. It was a dwarf lion head rabbit, they have a reputation of being brighter than the average rabbit. I was happy as larry in the hall, we bought it a big picnic rug because it didn’t like the wooden floors. It could easily have been a house rabbit, if you stood in the hall it would sit on your foot.

  33. Bad news for RR and Dormo:
    According to the Gazette, Antonio Barragan is unlikely to return to Teesside amid reports that Real Betis have triggered a clause that will see them sign the full-back permanently this summer.

    Quite funny the Gazette had a picture of Barragan having only one arm on the ball that was above his head. I can hear Dormo typing in his responce …

    Well, we can get over this. Time will heal and we might find a British right back who can through the ball to the penalty area one day.

    Up the Boro!

  34. Jarkko

    The first rabbit was called twitch, it was a dwarf lop and it was a docile little sole, white and black. It lived about five years before we had to put it to sleep.

    The second was called Simba – clearly the dwarf lion head.

    My daughter also had a couple of hamsters, the first was called Hamish and had the same character as Stan Laurel.

    The second was a different kettle of fish altogether. We called him Hercules and you needed to be a little careful handling him, welding gloves were a good idea. If we bought him now he would be called Cattermole It lived in the hall and one night I got up because I thought the heating pump was still one but there was Hercules running in his wheel – the tread mill thing. I wish I had connected him to the national grid and sold the electricity. He was so active he actually sheared the pin on his wheel.

    His reputation was such that when we had people round for New years day drinks the kids had a forfeit and the loser had to put their hands in his cage. Sadly he had passed way overnight so I put his cage in the spare room and told the kids to let him be for the day.

    1. Ian
      Talking about Stan Laurel, I used to be a member of ‘Sons of the Desert’ and used to meet at Stillington every month for film shows and quizzes.
      You know this blog is getting more like conversations between Peter Cooke and Dudley Moore.

  35. When we got married in 1961 the wife who worked at Northumberland & Cleveland Waterboard at the time took pity on the baby rabbit one of her work mates brought to work and was trying to get rid of. So she brought it home so the only place we could put it was the living room as it was the only place warm. We were only young at the time so took pity on it left there all night and when we got up in the morning it had eat all his rabbit food as well as nibbled all the top of the carpet…!!! I will leave it at that for now as the next pet encounters involve lop eared rabbits living wild in garden plus guinea pigs???

    1. I remember going over the moors one day in the car when young with my mother and father when we were going to Whitby

      Suddenly we ran over a large rabbit with long ears and My mother told my father to go back and see if it was alright

      my father went to the boot of the car and picked up a Jack to try and finish the Rabbit off

      My mum then pleaded with him to make sure that the rabbit was okay and to help it

      Turning back to the car he said” okay “and he went back to the boot of the car and got a bottle of mixture and gave it to the rabbit and miraculously it jumped up and ran away
      my mother said “ what did you give it ?”

      he said quite simply
      “it was hare restorer”


  36. Thought I had wandered onto the “Untypical pets at home” or “Diasdirties” blog there after reading this mornings contributions!

    For Saturdays match I see we have David Coote Refereeing. My impression of Mr Coote is that he does love the colour yellow so it will be interesting to see how many cards get dished out. If Besic gets a game he must be nailed on to collect a card, hopefully Gestede has now learnt the error of his ways and sticks to what he does best (I’m not too sure what that actually is but bringing us down to ten men isn’t it)!

  37. Consider the following.
    We have played a string of teams recently, all without exception pretty poor.
    All were outplayed, all brought on their subs at fifteen minutes to go, all parked themselves in our defensive area until the final whistle, all scrambled some sort of goal late on.
    Our last game, away, we conceded a goal near half time, battered defender, had not scored for ( insert your own number of seasons at this point) swung at a clearance( as you do) two of our professional defenders got out of the way instead of blocking it, result half speed shot found the net.
    Non of this is an accident, we are poor at being footballers.
    This Saturday we play Leeds, they always get someone sent off ( so a very determined side) why do i feel apprehensive?

  38. Talking about animals,
    When we were kids we used to play in ana area that was surrounded by the back gardens of houses, some of these gardens weren’t tended on a regular basis so were very overgrown,
    Whenever we played cricket , we would lose the ball without fail in one of these gardens,there was no way you could find it.
    However we had our own and best fielder in the league at long leg, he was a dog, this stray dog started showing up whenever we played,and when we lost the ball we just tell him get the ball,and he would run in to the unkept garden sniff around everywhere and come back with the ball,sometimes a different one.
    Unbelievable but he was a saviour.

  39. I used to breed Angora rabbits and my male rabbit was part human he used to like sleeping on my bed with his head on the pillow, a bit like the rabbit in a Jerry Lewis movie ( name escapes me)
    Also had a hamster who used to get out of his cage ,climb the curtains and push my mothers ornaments off the pelmet !
    Remember bringing a hedgehog home and my mother going bananas because of the fleas.
    When we came to Australia my mate from school had snakes and I used to have a bird eating spider ( great conversation starter).
    As for dogs I have had the pleasure of owning 2 outstanding German Shepherds who brought much happiness into my life.
    The last Shepherd (Khan) used to love going to the beach when we went surfing and when we returned to our towels he would always be sitting with complete strangers ( girls of course ) so we would have to wander over and “rescue ” him.
    Anyway tomorrow I think Boro will finally give someone a flogging 4-0.

  40. You lot never fail to surprise me in the best possible way.
    When I mentioned dog years I thought it may possibly stoke a series of oneupmanship comments about the worst season someone had experienced.
    Instead you’ve all started rabbiting on about coneys*.
    Fabulous stuff.

    *Jarkko – Coneys is another name for rabbits.

  41. Does anyone have more memories of the great John Hendrie? I like to hear your comments as I had a young family of three children back then and I never visited the UK at the time.

    Soon we will have the next lead coming from Werder, so please hurry 🙂

    Up the Boro!

  42. North Riding County FA Senior Cup Last night:
    Full time: @redcarathleticf 0 @Boro U23s 7 (Reading, O’Neill 2, Walker 3, Brahimi). A thoroughly professional display from the Boro boys I heard.

    Up the Boro!

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