It’ll Be Off

Great Motivational Speeches from History
July 30, 2008, 6:47 am
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At number 3, the Virgin Queen, laying it down to the masses at Tilbury Fort, with the Spanish Armada’s invasion imminent:

My loving people, we have been persuaded by some, that are careful of our safety, to take heed how we commit ourselves to armed multitudes, for fear of treachery; but I assure you, I do not desire to live to distrust my faithful and loving people.
Let tyrants fear; I have always so behaved myself that, under God, I have placed my chiefest strength and safeguard in the loyal hearts and good will of my subjects. And therefore I am come amongst you at this time, not as for my recreation or sport, but being resolved, in the midst and heat of the battle, to live or die amongst you all; to lay down, for my God, and for my kingdom, and for my people, my honour and my blood, even the dust.
I know I have but the body of a weak and feeble woman; but I have the heart of a king, and of a king of England, too; and think foul scorn that Parma or Spain, or any prince of Europe, should dare to invade the borders of my realms: to which, rather than any dishonour should grow by me, I myself will take up arms; I myself will be your general, judge, and rewarder of every one of your virtues in the field.
I know already, by your forwardness, that you have deserved rewards and crowns; and we do assure you, on the word of a prince, they shall be duly paid you. In the mean my lieutenant general shall be in my stead, than whom never prince commanded a more noble and worthy subject; not doubting by your obedience to my general, by your concord in the camp, and by your valour in the field, we shall shortly have a famous victory over the enemies of my God, of my kingdom, and of my people.

At Number 2, (extracts of) The D-Day order speech, given by Dwight Eisenhower:

You will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.

Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped, and battle-hardened. He will fight savagely.

But this is the year 1944. Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of 1940-41.

The United Nations have inflicted upon the Germans great defeat in open battle man to man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced their strength in the air and their capacity to wage war on the ground.

Our home fronts have given us an overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions of war and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men.

The tide has turned.

The free men of the world are marching together to victory. I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty, and skill in battle.

We will accept nothing less than full victory.

Good luck, and let us all beseech the blessings of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.

And the clenched fist, pumping the air winner: Karl Marginson’s ‘I was on holiday, but now I’m back’ address to the FCUM nation, via

Greetings to all FC United supporters. I’m back from my holiday, well rested and looking forward to the upcoming season. Hopefully you all are too. I took my holidays as early as possible, but with a young family I had to do it during the school break and therefore missed our last two pre-season matches.

Pre-season is about blowing off the cobwebs and giving trials to some prospective new players so we have arranged our pre-season campaign a bit differently this year, playing sides that are higher up the pyramid means we can really test the players on trial at the club.

Teams such as Altrincham and Kettering are bound to have better quality players than we will face in the Unibond Premier next season but with players on holiday and injuries to Jerome and Rob Nugent we have also been a little disjointed. Although we have lost three games so far I remain confident about our prospects this season.

We’ve been doing a lot of work on fitness in our pre-season training and the lack of ball work at this early stage can sometimes be evident. However we feel that the hard work done so far this summer will prove worthwhile as the season progresses.

Now though training will become football based and we’ll start to work harder on getting quality sorted and focussing on our shape and ball work. This will hopefully show through as we begin to play against teams at our level over the next couple of weeks.

I’m very pleased with the new signings: Tunji Moses will add some bite to our midfield, and Dave Neville will prove a big asset to the club. Carlos and Kyle are both quality players and Adam Turner will have a big part to play when he comes back from holiday.

James Brackenridge has done well and will have a part to play once his fitness has returned. He has not played for a year so will need some time to get back in the swing of things again.

Overall though I’m confident that we can do well in this league, and can’t wait for the first match on August 16th at Gigg Lane. See you all there

In Margy we trust, and all that.


The world finally catches up with It’ll Be Off
July 29, 2008, 2:15 pm
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The story first broken on here regarding BPA’s hilarious ‘tour’ of Spain finally hit the mainstream media yesterday with Bradford’s Telegraph and Argus running a story about it (who tipped them off, I wonder…). From that, it was picked up by the Guardian, in their Fiver email, and later by Danny Kelly on Talksport, who reportedly referred to Bobby Blackburn as a ‘crook’.

Despite the coverage that has made the powers that be look incredibly foolish, here at It’ll Be Off we can’t help thinking they got away with it slightly. There still seems to be questions surrounding the tour, and especially just how many players went on it, and what form these games took.

Still, let’s leave it for now, eh? It’s only a matter of time before Bob Blackburn makes himself look stupid(er) once more, and then we can have something else – something new – to laugh at.

Incidentally, we were giggling stupidly into our Fish Finger sandwiches (from an organic, sustainable source, natch) this lunchtime when Bob Blackburn tried to palm this off as a PR victory for his team. In barely legible English he scrawled, tongue poking out of the side of his mouth, how they effectively got a full page ad in the T&A for free.

Well he’s right, I suppose. A lot more people have heard of him and his team today than yesterday. But they all think he’s a complete clown, and in one case, a crook.

A full report of this story will appear in the next ‘Under The Boardwalk’ fanzine, available as soon as the editorial staff have stopped laughing long enough to piece it together.

…but not all of them
July 28, 2008, 9:49 am
Filed under: Opinion | Tags:

From the forum:

“Have you thought about doing one [a poll] on the friendliest away support following FCUM’s visit. Was top notch i thought.”

So not all Tamworth fans are idiots? That’s reassuring to know.

The Tamworth fans are revolting
July 28, 2008, 9:45 am
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Following on from getting blamed for trouble not involving us at Altrincham the other week, Tamworth fans have gone one better and have attempted to blame us for trouble that didn’t even occur.

According to some shit thread on a forum full of idiots, FC United fans turned up in number on Saturday, some of whom were drunk, and others who dared have a sing song. Worst of all, many of the fans had bald heads.

I don’t really know where to start with this sort of bollocks, but being sneered at for being Manc by people from fucking Tamworth would probably be a good start. OK, Manchester isn’t perfect (as Ian Brown pointed out, it doesn’t have a beach) but it isn’t fucking Tamworth either. And while Manchester brought the world the Industrial Revoultion, the Suffragette movement, the first computer, the Communist Manifesto, The Stone Roses, and whatever the fuck else you’d care to mention, Tamworth has brought us the Tamworth Snowdome.

Cheap point scoring aside, much of that thread appears to be formed of an unpleasant snobbery. Describing people as extras from Shameless, being bald, having tattoos, being drunk even. Well excuse us for not being a bunch of Yakult drinking Sebastians and Gemimas.

(And as for the moron and his “i don’t think they like being asked if they are from essex. every time i asked one of them i managed to keep a straight face and some of the reactions i got were fucking hilarious.” is there anything less funny than ripping off recycled Baddiel and Skinner jokes from 1995? There may have been no trouble, but this fucktard probably deserved a slap just for being so criminally witless).

No, it seems that our crimes were to act exactly how football fans should act. I’m sorry if that upset the delicate sensibilities of the Tamworth ‘fans’, but that’s just the nature of our particular beast.

We played some matches, we lost some matches…
July 27, 2008, 11:55 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

…we haven’t scored a goal.

If this is the case in mid-October, then start to worry. It’s not even August yet, people, there’s no reason to be panicking.

The Joker
July 27, 2008, 11:51 am
Filed under: Opinion | Tags: ,

I was watching a lot of The Sopranos last week, having fuck all else to do, and there was a scene where Vito Spatafore, one of the Soprano family captains, was found by two young hoods all leathered up in a gay bar, holding hands with another guy.

Having been rumbled, and fearing reprisals and humiliation among his peer group, Vito, pathetically yelped “It was a joke! It’s a joke!” while the two young hoods could only reply, “Yeah, sure Vito. A joke.”

I guess it’s a default reply, isn’t it? I’ve done it myself, when I’ve said something without engaging my brain, only to cause upset or distress. “Aw, come on,” I’d plead pathetically. “I was only joking.” It doesn’t really cut it. It’s a cop out. You should, as an adult, be able to hold your hands up, come clean, and say “Yeah, sorry, I fucked up.”

But some people can’t do that, it seems. Despite increasing evidence that this whole BobBlackburn Park Avenue tour was a sham, and with knowledge about it becoming more and more widespread, rather than come clean, the powers that be over at BPA are refusing to tell the truth to their fans and (possibly more seriously for the club) the local paper.

The most commonly appearing denial of the story appears to be “The trip to Spain DID happen.” Which is a neat sidestep of the issues. No one is denying that. The questions are surrounding Rory Patterson’s hattrick, the existence of Soto FC and FC Benus, and the existence of Sten Brookster. And the facts remain the same:

1. Rory was on a family holiday and not on any BPA tour. He didn’t play for the club, let alone score a hattrick.
2. There are no records of Soto FC or FC Benus even existing as professional or semi-professional clubs in Spain.
3. Stefan Brookster does not exist.

Most of that can be verified with about ten minutes clever googling. The rest can be verified by asking the players in question what went on on this so-called tour.

But whatever. It’s got little to do with me (though I’m enjoying it all immensely) and it seems that not even all the BPA fans care. There’s a prominent viewpoint that it doesn’t matter if the Spain trip happened, it’s in the past, and the club should move on. And besides, Bob Blackburn has pumped all this money in to the club, and won them a championship. so what does it matter if he lies?

What does it matter? Well, how can you trust anything this man says ever again? If Bob is prepared to fabricate an entire preseason tour, for whatever reason, and then continue to lie to peoples’ faces about it all, and provide factually incorrect press releases to the local rag, about something so unimportant, so insignificant, then how can he be trusted on important issues, such as the stadium, or his plans for the club?

I’ve no reason to think that Bob Blackburn is lying about his visions for the future of BPA, but now I’ve no reason to believe he’s telling the truth either. So while he may be the Joker in the eyes of some, I’ve got him kind of pegged down as a Two Face (guess what film I saw on Friday night). He’s unquestionably a liar, a hypocrite and a fool.

But again, whatever. It’s nowt to do with me. And I’m glad. I effectively walked away from Manchester United three years ago to get away from people like Bob Blackburn. I believe that one person shouldn’t have all the power at any institution, but particularly in this instance, a football club. And that’s why we, at FC United, are so lucky. This fucking shambles could never happen at a proper club.

Rebels revel in devil Neville
July 25, 2008, 7:12 am
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From the MEN:

Neville set to join FC

Stuart Brennan
24/ 7/2008

THEY have had Ryan Giggs’s brother, Charlie Mitten’s great-nephew and have already signed the son of Remi Moses for the new season – and now FC United have snapped up a Neville!
The Rebels will also give another run out to triallists Dave Roberts and Michael Burns.
Unlike the other three, midfielder Dave Neville has no family connections to famous Manchester United players, but turned out for the Rebels in Tuesday’s friendly at Altrincham, and is set to feature again in Saturday’s pre-season game at Tamworth.
And coach Darren Lyons reckons 22-year-old Middleton lad Neville could be the “steal of the season” if FC can improve his fitness.
“There are players out there who are talented enough but can be a bit lazy, and Dave falls into that bracket,” says Lyons, who used to play alongside Neville for top Sunday league outfit Langley Celtic.
“He was on Oldham’s books as a kid, but had a few problems when his mum fell ill, and ended up falling out with football. he drifted to Oldham Town and had a brief spell at Bangor City in the League of Wales, but ended up just turning out on a Sunday.
“We were after him last season but he broke his arm – but this season we signed Tunji Moses who is a mate of his, and the two of them travel to training together.
“He showed his potential against Altrincham, but needs to get fit. He is a big, strong lad, six ft one and 13 stone, but he is mobile and has two great feet.”