Past Player Memories Part 16 – Lee Caffell

Nickname – Oggy

Ruts Appearances – 507

Ruts Goals – 21

Question 1 – When did you join the Old Ruts and why?

I joined halfway through the 91/92 or 92/93 season becoming the Clubs Record Signing at the time which was the £2 admin fee for a Transfer at the time.

I had been playing for British Aerospace (Hawker Athletic) in Kingston, but I wasn’t particularly enjoying it and having played with Gavin on Sundays he asked me to join the Ruts. Whilst I was actually playing for B.A I’d played against Howard Meredith as he was playing for Wimbledon 200. We got chatting and he mentioned he was an Old Rut too so I told him to come and join too, which he did by turning up at pre-season training the following Season.

Question 2 – What was your most memorable match and why?

My most memorable match was for the 2nd XI at Nursery Road on the main pitch in a Cup Semi-Final, we were playing against a Force 10 wind in the first half and we couldn’t get anywhere near the half way line, consequently we went  2-0 down. A few of our team decided to push forward, but my old head, told me to keep calm and defend until the break, as we would have the wind in our favour in the 2nd half.

Growing up as a kid I spent most of spare time playing football at Nursery Rd and Abbey Rec, so I knew it like back of my hand. We then got awarded a free kick just inside our half, I checked with ref if it was direct, so I just hit it as high and straight as I could hoping to get a corner, but the wind behind it flew through the air and then Nigel Watford told me, that as the keeper came out to collect he shouted Oh Shit’ as the Ball flew over his head and into the net. We went and reached the Cup Final after this.

Question 3 – Who was the best Manager/Captain you played under?

Choosing the Best Manager or Captain is very hard, as I never played under a regular one. However, I will pick Gary Newcome as when I played for first team he was a great leader and an inspiration to the team.

Question 4 – Your funniest Ruts Football Memory.

The incident in a match on the Belgium tour 1995 where during the game Ben Barber acquired the nickname Cymbals when a mad angry Belgian smacked him either side of his head!) I was Captain on the day and with the match as good as won I was looking around to substitute someone so everyone got a run out, as I caught the eye of the late great Billy Faust and before I could open my mouth he said to me ‘don’t take me off Oggy  I’m buzzing’ I had to laugh so I did the only decent thing and subbed myself.

Question 5 – What is your least favourite Ruts Football Memory?

My least favourite memory would be very last Vets match we played before we folded as I had enjoyed playing and managing the lads so much. It was so good also to see so many players return for the final game ,Knotty, Woodsy  Harry ,Murph ,Butch , Caps,even Higgsy and I managed a cameo role, as well as the current players but good times have to come to a end sometime .

Question 6 – Best Player you ever played with for the Ruts?

There were so many great talented players and this was a tough choice. Young Whizzer, Trigger,,Newks,,Eggy, Gappy and Roland in Goal. As I spent most of my Ruts career in the Vets I’ve narrowed in down to them, plus Knotty who was cool and classy, Capper could play in any position and never let you down. Al Whiter arguably the best player to play for the Ruts. Howard Meredith was a terrific player too, so much so that I didn’t always enjoy playing alongside him, as when the Oppo Centre Forwards knew they weren’t getting any change out of H, so they would come and play next to me, hoping for more luck! All of this said – I’m going for a very talented player very quiet man, but a great lad, who never got less than 7 or 8 out of 10 each game and that is Kevin Butcher. He never let us down and sneaked the odd goal too.    

Question 7 – Favourite Goal you scored or were part of in the build up?

My best goal of the 20 that I scored – I can only remember 3! the last one I scored for the Ruts came in a Vets match v Sutton Athletic at Poplar Rd. It was only a scrambled goal from a corner but it was the week after my dad had passed away and I remember looking up to the sky thinking that’s for him as he followed me watching games when was I was younger, Next was goal from the half way line in the Semi Final I mentioned earlier, although this was a bit lucky to be fair, so I’ve picked a goal I scored at Abbey rec for the Reserves. I think Dan Poulter is the only other person to remember it. Again growing up at Abbey Rec I knew the pitch well , I think we were top or 2nd in league just before Xmas, at the time playing Merton Social, we were drawing 2 -2 with minutes remaining, their  Keeper took a goal kick which reached the half way line and Dan contested it in the air, I was right beside him and the ball fell invitingly just in front of me, so without thinking I thought ‘ave it’ and hit a perfect dipping half volley which sailed over the Keepers head and into the net to win the game for us. Unfortunately the wheels came off in second part of that season, but it was a goal to remember as even our opponents remarked it was a great goal.

Question 8 – Most embarrassing moment in a Ruts Shirt? (Playing or Socially)

This was probably playing for the Vets v Knollmead at Worcester Park. I was no spring chicken by now and I had recovered from a cruciate knee injury but their forward who Alan Whiter and Ed Reynolds knew well called Leon was like’s… off a shovel’ and he tore me to shreds it was then I really decided I can’t do this anymore so after being 3 -0 down (all my fault ) I decided to take myself off at half time though it was good managerial decision as I told Simon Minihane ‘right your as quick as him so stick to him’ and Minnie had a blinder, keeping Leon out of the match second half and he hit a 25 yd screamer to equalise for us! Another embarrassing moment was again late in my career, I went to take a free kick, I knew what I wanted to do, but my kick only reached about halfway – I had to laugh and think that’s it  I’m finally done now, although I enjoyed every minute playing for Old Ruts.

Past Player Memories Part 15 – Ben Barber.

Nickname – Symbols

Ruts Appearances – 200

Ruts Goals – 72

Question 1 – When did you join the Old Ruts and why?

I believe it was about 1992 my brother took me down to training. I then realised i could buy a pint for £1.18 so I was hooked.

Question 2 – What was your most memorable match and why?

The Cup Final for the 2nd XI in 2002. We beat NPL 4-3 after extra time. That was a great game to be involved in we were 1-0 down at half time but came out a different team 2nd half. Despite conceding a penalty right at the death we still found enough in extra time to get the winner. Great game, great night.

Question 3 – Who was the best Manager/Captain you played under?

Without doubt Billy Faust, I was struggling to settle in after my big summer transfer and Bill being Bill put his arm around my shoulder and looked after me for a couple of seasons.

Question 4 – Your funniest Ruts Football Memory.

Has to be the time we had a dodgy Ref who I had been arguing with all game. After the game I decided to carry on this argument in the shower with this chap who looked quite surprised. It was only when he walked into our changing room afterwards that I realised he played Rugby for the Ruts and in fact he was not the Referee! It is fair to say me and Graham have laughed about this for many years.

Question 5 – What is your least favourite Ruts Football Memory?

There haven’t been many to be honest. It would probably have to be the game vs Accra for the 1st XI. The game was abandoned after they went mental I think it took 1 meat wagon and 3 police cars to calm them down.

Question 6 – Best Player you ever played with for the Ruts?

I’ve played with some great players down the years Dave Marlborough, Colin Ruddock and Dan Poulter, but for me Boony (Ian Lennard) was the best. He had it all, even when his knees packed up and he ended up as sweeper, he was still the best player on the park.

Question 7 – Favourite Goal you scored or were part of in the build up?

There’s been a few obviously the overhead kick a few years back stands out. I know Dan Poulter and Darren Noonan keep talking about it, so it must have been good.

Question 8 – Most embarrassing moment in a Ruts Shirt? (Playing or socially)

Again there’s been quite a few. Probably me getting slapped either side of my head buy an 8ft Belgian Sasquatch with a mullet was quite an embarrassing moment.

Great Tour though. (I have been named Cymbals ever since!!)

Past Player Memories Part 14 – Richard Hayward

Nickname – Tiny

Ruts Appearances – 326

Ruts Goals – 35

Question 1 – When did you join the Old Ruts and why?
After a school vs Ruts game a few mates joined and I had started playing cricket. Best place for U18 pint.

Question 2 – What was your most memorable match and why?
The League Cup Final vs the Addos in 1999. A Great win and happy to get out of the place. I think Boon scored a brace.

Question 3 – Who was the best Manager/Captain you played under?
Fred Jupp and Graham Clayton. Fred gave me and some young lads a run in the 1st XI. Clayts was always so organised and committed, he ensured we were competitive every match.

Question 4 – Your funniest Ruts Football Memory.
The Pint that landed on Triggers head in the Addo’s final.

Question 5 – What is your least favourite Ruts Football Memory?
I cannot really think of any. Saturdays were the best fun.

Question 6 – Best Player you ever played with for the Ruts?
Best player Boony (Ian Lennard) . Caught him in the twilight but he played Forward and Sweeper equally well.

Question 7 – Favourite Goal you scored or were part of in the build up?
I cannot recall any crackers, but I scored a hattrick from left back in a 3-3 game for the 3rds.

Question 8 – Most embarrassing moment in a Ruts Shirt? (Playing or Socially)
Nothing bad I can remember!

Past Manager Memories – Brian Kerwick (A total Legend says the Ed!)

Question 1 – When did you join the Old Ruts and why?

I joined the Old Ruts in 2003 after being asked by Scott Hawley who played for me on a Sunday. I was supposed to take the first team, but changed to the reserves by choice.

Question 2 – What was your most memorable match and why?

The Semi Final of the Surrey Intermediate Cup in 2007 – Within 7 minutes of the game starting I was joined by Scott Rider having been sent off! Not a good start! As the game progressed we had a second sending off with Steve Nash. Thinking that we had previously beaten the side twice, at 1-0 down Richard Lines came on. We had a corner, he scored, we were then level at 1-1, as we celebrated we then had a 3rd player sent in  Ryan Brown, so we were down to eight players. We lost and I cried at the effort of all the players.

Question 3 – Who were the Players  who played for you?

Players in Reserves 2003/04:
Marc Hawley, Darren Rix, Mark Kerwick, Scott Hawley, Phil Lines, Darren Noonan,Steve Rowlands,  Billy Finnis, James Bone,Stuart Hawley, Michael Lines, Piers Capper, Steve Berry, Courtney Sennett, Rob Goldsmith, Andy Flanagan, Paul Tuckey and Charlie Sergeant.

Won 1st Division and runners up in the League Cup.

Players 1st Team 2005/06/07
Ed Reynolds, Nick Raggett, Lee Poulter, Craig Welstead, Neil Marshall, Alan Whiter, Tom Hughes, Steve Nash, Richard Lines, Phil Rea, Darren Everett, Marc Hawley, Alan Morley, Jimmy Wilkes, Duncan Fraser, Wayne Alderman, Reece Smith, Dave D’Rozario and Luke Creates.  Champions 2006/07

Question 4 – Your funniest Ruts Football Memory.

I remember going around a roundabout six times with the President at the time (Gavin Lennard) our Sat Nav kept telling us to take the fifth turnoff, when there were only four!

Question 5 – What is your least favourite Ruts Football Memory?

Losing the Surrey Cup Semi Final as mentioned earlier.

Question 6 – Best Captain you appointed?

I cannot choose between Alan Whiter, Phil Rea and Darren Rix.

Question 7 – Favourite Goal scored in match you managed

Sorry can’t choose one, as all goals are good!

Question 8 – Most embarrassing Ruts moment (Playing or Socially)

A player arrived drunk for the Senior Cup Semi Final, I told him to apologise to his team mates. I had to play him, he was sick on the pitch! No names mentioned.

Past Player Memories Part 13 – Peter Day.

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.

Past Player Memories Part 12 – Graham Larcombe.

Nickname – Boo, or Boo Boo

Ruts Appearances – 413

Ruts Goals – 11

Question 1 – When did you join the Old Ruts and why?

I joined the Old Ruts in 1983 when I left school but I had been playing Cricket for the club since 1980.

I missed the 1st season of football at the club, due to me working on the turnstile at Plough Lane, it was Wimbledon’s last year at Plough Lane before the moved to Crystal Palace. Gavin, Craig, Billy and Graham all persuaded me to join the football section instead of going to Selhurst.

Question 2 – What was your most memorable match and why?

A fairly recent one in 2015 – I formed a team full of 16 year olds including my Son Robbie, with the intention of blooding them into men’s football. We had a great season which both the lads and I thoroughly enjoyed. This brought some great young talent into the club too, some of those players are now in the ones and reserves… So a job well done!!!

Question 3 – Who was the best Manager/Captain you played under?

This is a difficult one, as we didn’t have managers in the early years, we all just had our say at half time. So very hard for me to pick one, as there has been so many myself included!!!

Question 4 – Your funniest Ruts Football Memory.

Again this is quite recent during the 1st year with the youngsters. We always struggled for a Keeper and this particular week I managed to persuade Sean Spacey to play and we were away to United. During the second half Sean pulled off a great save, but afterwards he couldn’t get up as there forward smashed a ball into his face deflecting for a corner Sean started crawling towards me commando style saying “ Boo I’m finished get me off”!! To be honest I’m surprised he lasted that long what with having 2 hip replacements!!

Question 5 – What is your least favourite Ruts Football Memory?

This was on Sunday 23rd October 2005, in a Vets game away to Wandgas. There were 10 minutes to go losing in a good game and a Ball came over the top and I was running back to pass to Craig Lyle in goal, when all of a sudden I find myself on the floor after there forward went straight through me. This resulted in broken Tibia, damaged ligaments and my ankle pinned in two places. I spent 6 months in plaster and had to have 7 months off work.

Question 6 – Best Player you ever played with for the Ruts?

Having played for all 4 teams on a Saturday and Vets on a Sunday over a span of nearly 30 years this is a hard one to answer as I have played with many great players.

To name a few, Chris Bullen, Gary Newcome, Howard Meredith, Jimmy Bolton, Spud, Boony, Eggy, Capper, Gappy, Gavin, Wally, the list goes on and on, so unfortunately I am unable to pick the best.

Question 7 – Favourite Goal you scored or were part of in the build up?

Me and scoring goals don’t go together, but one that sticks in my memory, was a screamer against NPL. I found myself on the edge of the penalty box and somehow the ball came to me. I hit it sweet as a nut into the top corner. I was running back to find Gavin to celebrate with and him telling me it had been disallowed, someone was offside……Stand up Mr Graham Clayton!!

Question 8 – Most embarrassing moment in a Ruts Shirt? (Playing or Socially)

This has got to be playing at Poplar Road one Saturday in 1995/6.

I had been going through a rough time off the pitch. The game was in full swing when the Ref blew his whistle and halted the game. Is there a Graham Larcombe playing today, I raised my hand then a guy walks onto the pitch and served me with divorce papers!!! I wanted the ground to open up and swallow me.

Past Player Memories Part 11- Richard Lines.

Nickname – Linesy, or the Beast

Ruts Appearances – 282

Ruts Goals – 73

Question 1 – When did you join the Old Ruts and why?

I joined the Ruts in 2004/05 season. My brothers and Mr Flanagan had played a season before for one of the other teams and Brian Kerwick had managed me on a Sunday. I hadn’t played Saturday football before as I had followed Wimbledon around the country. However, I came along and loved the set up and lads from the start.

Question 2 – What was your most memorable match and why?

Owing to a slight medical issue my memory isn’t great and I don’t recall many. However, winning the league and getting a guard of honour over at Chiddingfold was a superb feeling, only slightly marred by a bad concussion and having to miss out on the celebrations. Also another that sticks in the mind, the football tour in Hamburg. I have never drank so much, with such little sleep, with an arm cast on and a day that must of been the hottest on record, but we got a side out somehow..

Question 3 – Who was the best Manager/Captain you played under? Well I’d have to say Mr Kerwick, I had known him previously and have a lot of respect for him.

Captain. Al Whiter You couldn’t fail to play better when Al was in the side, someone you wanted to impress and play for. Calm, respected and not to shabby on the ball.

Question 4 – Your funniest Ruts Football Memory – this belongs to the Budapest tour. I hadn’t been at the club long, someone pulled out of the tour and I was invited along. It was £10 to buy a tour t-shirt. Everyone bought one, why wouldn’t you as it was a £11 fine if you didn’t. Matt Blomeley refused and paid the fine. However when we got to Budapest we were wandering around the town and he went into a sports shop and bought a moody nike t-shirt, it was too small and he didn’t want to take it off after trying it on. He even had to lean on the scanner at the till. The poor girl behind the counter had no idea what was happening. A close second – turning up at Woking and Horsell, they had just started playing their players and a manager. The manager saw me and said ‘great, he is playing’ that’s when you know you have made it tough for them in the past and you are doing something right. Always a good feeling.

Question 5 – What is your least favourite Ruts Football Memory?

Not too many, I think losing a couple of cup finals over the years are always a bit rubbish. You have friends and family along and you don’t get the result you wanted. I guess I could say a couple of the red cards, buy I didn’t regret many of them, probably all bar one were just one of those things. Only one game I felt I had let my team down, after a keeper at Poplar Road had taken offence to a little physical challenge and having to stop playing, my knees meant I couldn’t play Saturdays any longer but I was just getting into playing for the Vets when for medical reasons I had to give up contact sport. This was gutting.

Question 6 – Best Player you ever played with for the Ruts?

That’s a tough one. Razor (Phil Rea) was the best in terms of playing at the back, when I came to the club I played alongside him at centre back. I thought I was quite commanding, but nothing compared to Phil. He was always so positive, strong and commanding. You always gave that bit more, not wanting to let him down when we played. I think he was secretly surprised/disappointed that there was someone better in the air than him! He was the one that made me and everyone welcome straight away at the club. Even when others weren’t keen on non ruts lads playing for the 1st team. But I will probably say Al Whiter again, as a footballer he had so many good attributes, some of which you can only appreciate years later. Passing, communication, tackles, goals. In the later years, Rags deserves a mention for me. A natural winner and all round superb midfielder .

Question 7 – Favourite Goal you scored or were part of in the build up?

I liked scoring goals, obviously but I enjoyed making good tackles as much as goals. I don’t recall many indivdual goals sadly.

Question 8 – Most embarrassing moment in a Ruts Shirt? (Playing or Socially)

I don’t think I have had too many. I guess on tour, in Budapest the door incident felt embarrassing at the time. I got the blame even though I knew it wasn’t me. But not having been at the club for long, we got asked to leave the hotel early. That’s was not great….at the time.

Results Round Up – Saturday 19th December 2020.

With just 11 Surrey South Eastern Fixtures surviving the elements and Covid today, it was statistically somewhat surprising for us to feature in 5 of them, although ultimately very pleasing for us to notch up 3 ‘W’s’ on the OR’s Results Board.

The 1st XI eventually overcame a bright Most Wanted Elite FC to win 4 – 3.

The Ruts went ahead in the 4th minute when debutant Bryan ‘Jock’ Nicholson placed an exquisite through ball to Toby Lempriere, who neatly tucked the ball passed the advancing keeper. The visitors levelled in the 17th minute, before the OR’s restored their lead, when a neat left wing move involving Will Mortimer and Kevin Foster lead to Lempriere converting deftly for his brace, which ultimately lead to him also securing the home MOTM award.

Yet again, the Ruts were unable to retain their lead as an MWE hit a rasping shot past Keeper Evan Watson, to make it 2 – 2 at the break.

Kevin Foster hit a 25 yard screamer to restore the Ruts lead in the 57th minute, only for MWE to level for the 3rd time.

The Ruts match winning Goal (featured, with thanks to Becky or Kelly?) came courtesy of the lively Charlie Woods, and it was certainly worthy of winning any match, as Woods collected the ball after an interchange in the final third and set himself up at 30 yards out and unleashed an unstopable strike past the opposition keeper.

Joint Manager Jon Mapp was pleased with the result, although less so with the overall display, as he reported ‘This was a below par team performance, as we took the lead on 4 occasions, before finally holding on for the 3 points, which sees us top of the table at Christmas’, Mapp went on to cheerily wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy new year’.

The 2nd XI only managed to secure 1 point from 6 in their Double Header against Motspur Park Res FC at Poplar Road. Manager Jay Ramsey felt his team should have gained something from the first match, although the lads lost 2 -1. Mark Todd scored the goal and Ollie Thompson was MOTM. In the second game OR’s secured a point in a 1 – 1 draw with Thompson scoring for the OR’s and Adam Randall earning the MOTM award.

The Super 3rd XI finally secured their first win of the Season as they beat OW Shaftesbury Res FC. Joint Manager Christian Cittie was delighted to report as follows.

‘What a solid performance from the 3rd XI today. Everyone dug deep and battled for the full 90 minutes. We made a strong start to the game winning our battles all over the pitch. After 40 mins we broke the deadlock after a ball over the top from Cittie, went to Fraser Trimmings who calmly slotted the ball into the far corner. In the Second half we largely had our backs against the wall. However, we caught them on the break and won a penalty which we ultimately missed on a re-take..We then dug even deeper and held onto the massive 3 points and a clean sheet. Fraser Trimmings wins my MOTM, with big shout outs to Keeper Mike Lowe for making 3 1 on 1 saves and Russell Palmer at the back for his calmness and communication in controlling the back line’

The 4th XI gained a decent 4 – 1 win over London Olympia FC, with an impressive hatrick from Wagna Tchuda and a strike from Simon Minihane. Club Leg-ends Bernie Winter and Jamie Shawki both reported that Keeper Craig Lyle was to thank for keeping the OR’s ahead, as they lead just 2 – 1 late in the match, shortly before the final 2 goals were fired home.

Best wishes to the Ruts Youth teams tomorrow.

Past Player Memories Part 10 – Tom Hughes

Name – Tom Hughes

Nickname – Hughesy or Boy Blunder.

Ruts Appearances – 82

Ruts Goals – 17

Question 1 – When did you join the Old Ruts and why?

I was playing Cricket at the club from the age of 13 and a few of the lads played for the football section, so originally I tried signing up for football when I was 15, but I was too young to play at that stage, so I had to wait until I was 16.

Question 2 – What was your most memorable match and why?

That’s an easy choice for me -Winning the clubs first ever County Cup with the 3rd XI in 2005. The Game didn’t go totally to plan with Erol breaking his ankle, but we all stuck together on the pitch and ensured the only result would be an Old Ruts win. I will always remember that my grandfather came to watch the game, as he did a lot when I was growing up. Early on in the game I saw him sitting in the stands on his own watching , but by the end of the game he was right down at the front with all the football lad’s screaming and shouting – that’s what the Ruts has always been about for me, making people feel welcome no matter who they are… I do blame the lads for the heavy night of celebrations at Poplar Road afterwards and not leaving the Bar until the early hours of the morning. I had to get up only 6 hours later to sit a GCSE exam!

Question 3 – Who was the best Manager/Captain you played under?

That is a tough one!!! Manager I would have to say Graham Clayton who just pips Erol! Clayts always rated me and actually wanted me to play for the 2nds when I joined the club, but through availability him and Erol had a deal that I would play the first year in the 3rds but then I was to play higher after that! Clayts done a lot for me at the club picked me up for games and ensured I was looked after and always bought me a beer after the match. He always found a place for me in his team , no matter what – even playing me up top for half a season in the twos!

Captain must be Alan Whiter, when I was playing in the first XI with him. He was always committed and through his own ability made you feel comfortable when playing!

Question 4 – Your funniest Ruts Football Memory. Again, there were a few but I still have one that is unsolved to this day!!! I remember that someone used to take my boxers after every game for about 3 months, it got so bad that at one stage my mum told me I had to stop playing if this was to continue, as it was costing her money each month!! To this day I still do not know who did it!!

Question 5 – What is your least favourite Ruts Football Memory?

It has to be the Semi Final loss in 2007, when a certain two players had a disagreement on the pitch… We battered the oppo before that moment and we came close to winning with 9, then 8 men. Scott and Ryan were probably our better players throughout the competition, but I’m fairly sure we would have gone all the way that year…

Question 6 – Best Player you ever played with for the Ruts?

Again so many to choose from: Trig and Alan Morley where top quality up top. I also enjoyed playing with Funk at the back on occasions when we played together, but for me it has to be Nick Raggett, he was just a proper old school centre mid fielder who had loads of time on the ball, played easy passes and wouldn’t lose too many balls in the air.

Question 7 – Favourite Goal you scored or were part of in the build up?

To be honest I didn’t score many Worldies but I always remember playing up front for the twos one game and being marked by a brute of a guy who smashed me in the first two minutes and gave me a lot grief about being a youngster and I wasn’t very good etc… I remember hitting a volley in from a corner ( never did I hit the ball so sweet – actually I normally try and header the ball no matter what height it was!!!) went up to this big fella and gave him a few words! We played them off the park for the rest of the match winning by at least 6!

Question 8 – Most embarrassing moment in a Ruts Shirt? (Playing or Socially)

There been a few but probably some of the school error/own goals I given away in my time! I did not get the nickname Boy Blunder for nothing.

The Weekend Ahead – Saturday 19th December 2020.

The 1st XI are at Home to Most Wanted Elite FC. Venue – King Georges,Tudor Drive (Pitch 3). Kick Off is at 1.30pm. This fixture has been switched, as their Ground is expected to be unplayable on the day.

The 2nd XI are at Home to Motspur Park Res FC at Poplar Road. This will be a Double Header to assist with potential fixture congestion later in the Season. Kick Off is at 1.30pm.

The 3rd XI are at Home to OW Shaftesbury Res FC. Venue – King Georges,Tudor Drive (Pitch 1). Kick Off is at 1.30pm.

The 4th XI are Away to London Olympia FC. Venue: Wimbledon Common Extensions. Kick Off is at 1.00pm.

Best wishes to all of the Ruts teams this coming Weekend.