We caught up with ORA President Peter Day recently. Pete is far better known for his Ruts Cricket ventures. However, we interviewed him about his Football Memories.
Nickname – Daisy
Ruts Appearances – 99 (perhaps make a Cameo Appearance to reach your 100 Pete?)
Ruts Goals – 2
Question 1 – When did you join the Old Ruts and why?
I started playing cricket at the Ruts when the school season finished in the summer of 1987. I didn’t start playing football until about 1997, when Erol badgered me when the 4’s were short of players – I suspect desperately short of players may be a better phrase.
Question 2 – What was your most memorable match and why?
The 3rd team Surrey Cup semi-final (2005). We were a good 3rd team that year with a mixture of experience and youth. I was in and out the team. With other games cancelled Erol had the chance to use wider club resources but stuck with the team that got us to that point – and I probably played one of my better games at right back. We settled into the game and defended well. We had a team that man for man would have given everything for our club. Having got into extra time we grabbed a goal. With a minute to go Steve Nicola went for goal rather than the corner flag. 10 seconds later Dan Poulter has scythed down their forward in the area, and none of us bothered to complain when the penalty was given. Their forward hit the penalty miles over the bar, and we were in the final – and on the way to be the first Ruts Team to win the surrey cup. Good days.
Question 3 – Who was the best Manager/Captain you played under?
Whilst mention must go to Jimmy Mullet and Clayts who were great to play for, Erol managed to regularly get the most out of his teams – in-between his numerous resignations and reinstatements! In terms of captains, I probably played most of my football with Bernie (I thought you were better than that Bern!) who always and I’m sure continues to give everything.
Question 4 – Your funniest Ruts Football Memory.
Playing Fulham Deaf away at Fulham’s training ground. Having been reprimanded by the security guards for walking across the training pitches, we had the joy of playing on an absolute carpet. The chap I was marking was ridiculously good. The ref had a word with me after the 4th time I’d tried to take him out and failed to make contact each time. I was quite happy to have got that close to him! A couple of weeks later Erol and me spotted him on Match of the Day in the FA Cup first round. They then took him off and replaced him with some huge bloke; who pinched my nipples every time I got near him. Dan Poulter pointed out to me that there was no point shouting out my frustration and he went on to use some entertaining sign language to communicate the message to this huge chap. We then ended up with a late penalty which Bernie (I assumed he was captain so on penalties) dispatched to grab a 4-4 draw.
Question 5 – What is your least favourite Ruts Football Memory?
Getting injured against Colliers Wood wasn’t a lot of fun. It was a horrible day and most matches were off, but Poplar Road as pretty much always survived – what the 4th team were doing playing there who knows! Having had all their games called off bar this one, Colliers Wood decided to play most of their 1st XI against our 4th XI. Having seen more of the ball in 20 minutes that I would in 90, I stretched to block a cross and did my ankle ligaments that ended my season in January.
Question 6 – Best Player you ever played with for the Ruts?
I’ll split this up if I’m allowed. Based on up and coming potential Tom Hughes was the best player. As a 16-year-old he was dominant in defence, took charge of the back 4 and scored a load of goals from corners. In terms of experience, Knotty in the swansong of his career played a simple game but never seemed to waste a pass. For longevity and the ability to put in a performance when it was most needed, Erol had all the ability, awareness and used it to deliver.
Question 7 – Favourite Goal you scored or were part of in the build up?
Favourite goal? – Well, which of the two do I choose?! Scoring the third in the above game against Fulham Deaf was probably it, but I suspect it would be more appropriate to mention a game where we defended well. There was a game at Nursery Road where Stuart Hawley had a difference of opinion with the referee that resulted in us playing with 10 men for 85 minutes, I believe with no subs. As a defender, that one nil win where we were under the cosh for the duration is one that sticks in the memory as a hattrick would for a centre forward.
Question 8 – Most embarrassing moment in a Ruts Shirt? (Playing or Socially)
Most embarrassing? Struggling to think of too many – most things that happen in the lower teams are par for the course! Instead, I’ll dodge this one and use it as a general response. As a past player, it has been great to see the youth set up progress and the senior section return to getting 4 teams out when so many other clubs are struggling to field teams. In the year we’ve had, I’ve not been able to get down and watch games but do plan to do so when allowed. Keep enjoying your football, and hopefully I can join you for post-match beers in the months to come.