Congratulations to Craig Lyle – 750th Old Ruts Appearance on 9/12/17!


As Craig Lyle made his 750th Appearance for the Club last weekend we thought it would be good to reflect back on some of his memories!!!


I think his appearances have spread across some 27 Seasons!


Q & A Below.


1 – First match
Toward the end of the 1991-92 season after the annual Ruts v School game I was encouraged to play for the club. My first game was aged 16 and up front for the Reserves away to Kingston Albion. We were 4-1 down at half time but came back to win 5-4 and I scored a goal. After that performance and the realisation that I could drink cheap beer at the club under age, I was hooked!


2 – Best match
I think it has to be the League Cup Final replay in 1998 where the 1st XI beat Addington at Croydon Athletic on penalties. Leading 1-0 the game descended into a farce with the Addo support throwing a range of items from chips to pints of beer over any Ruts player near the touchline. Two Addington players were dismissed during the game – one for throwing a punch at the ref! After a late equaliser, extra time passed and the penalty shoot-out followed. Even then, opposition supporters took to throwing lumps of concrete at Ruts players as they took their penalties. Thankfully we held our nerve and won the shoot out and with the exception of Gappy and Wally who stayed for a beer with the trophy, the rest of the team made a quick exit from the ground!


3 – Best Goal
Despite scoring nearly 90 goals for the Ruts it has been so long since I hit the back of the net that I can’t really remember many of them! Perhaps the best goal I scored was for the Vets at home (the most recent goal) in the 2013-14 season. I believe Dan Poulter was refereeing the game that day. The ball came to me about 30 yards out and I decided to hit it first time. I remember some of the players groaning as, like me, they thought it would sail high and wide. However, much to everyone’s surprise including mine it nestled in the top right-hand corner of the net!


4 – Worst match
Been a few, but one that stands out was when playing for the first team at home (I don’t remember who against) but cable TV (Channel 17?) were there to film the game. I was playing full back as I went to clear the ball the oppo forward bundled me and the ball over the gaol line. Clearly a foul but the ref let the goal stand and when they showed the game on TV they kept replaying the incident in slow motion.


5 – Best save
2015-16 season when the 3rd XI won promotion. The penultimate game against Westside A. Having dropped myself for the previous game, I was back in the team and keen to impress. Ollie Hicks scored for us and thankfully, for once in my life as a goalkeeper, everything that was hit at me stayed out. The best save of the lot was when the ball was crossed to the forward who had a clear shot and I gambled at the near post and managed to palm the ball away from close range. I also saved a penalty in the game and kept a clean sheet. That 1-0 win prevented them from catching us and set us up nicely for the final game against Shaftsbury at Poplar Road where we drew 1-1, won the league and I broke my ankle!


6 – Favourite memory
Has to be the 3rd XI Surrey Cup Win v Weston Green in May 2005 (2-1). Call me smug but it was an even sweeter victory seeing the oppo turn up in matching black shirts and white ties before the game and watching them lose the plot during the game (with two red cards) when it became clear they weren’t going to win. Excellent performance coming from a goal down – with our goals coming from a smart finish from Erol Yilmaz just before he had his leg broken in a nasty challenge and the extra time winner from a Simon Minihane header after an pinpoint cross from Darren Knott. To date this is the club’s only Surrey Cup victory.


7 – Best Manager played for
Fred Jupp as he gave me a run in the 1st XI even though it was wing-back!! Also playing for Erol Yilmaz, in the 3rd XI as he has provided so much comedy over the years, and been successful on numerous occasions with league and cup wins. Being his friend and carer (at the weekend) has its benefits he often still picks me even when my performances don’t warrant it! Thankfully for me, not many people want to play in goal.


8 – Best Football Social Night
This would have to be the Friday night of the Prague tour in June 2016. This has been my only tour to date. I took a gamble recommending a 1980s video club, but having all 24 of the touring party on the stage taking advantage of the cheap alcohol and dancing away was a sight to behold – especially with Higgy and Wally leading the way.


The Weekend Ahead – 16th/17th December 2017.

The 1st XI – No Game.

The 2nd XI are Away to Westside Res FC. Venue: The Memorial Ground, Westway Close, Raynes Park SW20 9LN. Kick Off is at 2.00pm.


The 3rd XI are Away to Refresh FC. Venue: Imber Court, Ember Lane, Molesey KT8 0BT. Kick Off is at 2.00pm.
The 4th XI – No Game.
On Sunday the Vets are Away to Cheam Rangers Vets FC.  Venue and KO are both TBC.


Best wishes to all of the Ruts teams this weekend.

Results Round Up – Saturday 9th December 2017.

Despite wholesale changes to their line up the 1st XI secured a thumping 9 – 0 win over a sporting Ashtead FC in the County Cup thanks to a trio of braces from Chris.Beard, Billy Liffen and Michael Beard, plus additional strikes from Kieran O’Driscoll, Paul Whitthread and Gary Wilton. The pick of the bunch was Billy Liffen’s stunning opener from long distance. Credit to the Ashtead keeper for making endless quality saves during the afternoon.


The 2nd XI drew 0 – 0 at Old Russellians, whilst the 3rd XI suffered a further defeat in their challenging campaign, as they went down 4 – 3 at Worcester Park ‘A’ FC. Mark Todd (2) and Kionte Waul were on the mark for the OR’s.


The 4th XI suffered a hefty 7 – 1 defeat at Darkside FC, with Myles Wiltshire scoring the Ruts consolation goal.


The major news of the day saw Craig Lyle donning an Old Ruts kit for a phenomenal 750th time. We’ll be doing an Interview with Craig before Xmas, reflecting on his highlights and low-lights. In the meantime he will long continue to sit at the top of the appearance leader board in our hall of fame (on our website).

Craig is pictured below!

Craig Lyle

The Weekend Ahead – 9th/10th December 2017.

The 1st XI are at Home to Ashtead FC in the Surrey Intermediate Cup at Poplar Road. Kick Off is at 1.30pm.


The 2nd XI are Away in the League to Old Russellians FC. Venue: Royal Russell School, Coombe Lane, Croydon CR9 5BX. Kick Off is at 1.00pm.


The 3rd XI are Away in the League to Worcester Park ‘A’ FC. Venue: Manor Park, Malden Road, New Malden KT3 6AJ. Kick Off is at 2.00pm.

The 4th XI are Away in the League to Darkside FC. Venue: Victoria Rec Ground, Balaclava Road, Surbiton KT6 5JL. Kick Off is at 2.00pm.

On Sunday the Vets are Away to Wandgas Vets FC. Venue TBC. Kick Off is at 10.30am.


Best wishes to all of the Ruts teams this weekend.

Results Round Up – Saturday 2nd December 2017.

The 1st XI secured a decent 5 – 1 home win over Westminster Casuals earlier today. The Ruts stormed in to a 3 – 0 lead thanks to goals from Zak Graham, Billy Liffen and Paul Whitthread. The Casuals reduced the arrears to make it 3 – 1 at the Interval. Two further strikes in the second half sealed the victory as Whitto headed home for his brace and Joe Pratley- Jones impressively notched his first goal for the OR’s.


Both the 2nd and 3rd XI’s suffered 6 – 2 away defeats in their respective Leagues. Paul Gough & Kyle Moore scored for the 2’s and Aaron Sandys & Paul Todd were on the mark for the 3’s.


Best wishes to the Vets & Junior Teams tomorrow.

The Weekend Ahead – 2nd/3rd December 2017.

The 1st XI are at Home to Westminster Casuals in the League. Kick Off is at 2.00pm.


The 2nd XI are Away to Selhurst SA FC in the League. Venue: Archbishop Lanfranc Academy, Mitcham Road, Croydon CR9 3AS. Kick Off is at the earlier time of 1.00pm.


The 3rd XI are Away to Parkside Reserves FC in the League. Venue: Goals Tolworth, Kingston Road, Tolworth KT5 9NT. Kick Off is at 2.00pm

The 4th XI have a weekend off for Festive Shopping.

On Sunday the Vets are at Home to Sutton High Vets. Kick Off is at 10.30am.


Best wishes to all of the Ruts teams this weekend.

Results Round Up – Saturday 25th November 2017.

The 1st XI beat a stubborn Forestdale FC 5 – 0 at Poplar Road. The goals came from Zak Graham (2), Jimmy Graham, Michael Beard and Billy Liffen. In my own personal opinion – I found it bizarre, that in what was a generally clean game overall, with a card-less first half. It somehow, very strangely became overshadowed by the incredibly heavy & excessive showing of 8 cards, split evenly in the second half.


The 2nd XI lost 2 – 1 at Crescent Rovers A FC. Gary Wilton notched for the Ruts.


The 3rd XI suffered a further loss, as they went down 5 – 0 at Wandgas Vets.


The 4th XI beat Kempton Athletic 5 – 2, thanks to goals from Dean ‘hatrick’ Riordan (3) and additional strikes from Harry Reeder and Jake Searles.


Best wishes to the Vets and Junior teams tomorrow.