Flashback Friday: “Potatoes, Eh?”

After graduating University and joining the workforce, albeit still at the University, I eventually also graduated from playing intramural soccer to playing in a more serious outdoor league. London, Ontario, Canada has an extensive soccer community with many different cultures represented as there are a variety of clubs around including the Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Polish, German, Scottish, Irish, English, etc. And while you would think I would end up with the Brits, it turned out to be a team called Napoli FC. This team had a core of players with Italian roots but was filled out with a broad mix of the countries listed above. This was by far the best outdoor team I have ever played on and over the years before I moved to Texas we won everything there was to win in the London Ontario Soccer League or LOSL, including winning the triple (League, Playoffs, and Tournament) on multiple occasions. This is a little story from one of those seasons as Napoli attempted to finish off the triple by winning the Fall weekend tournament. And what does Potatoes have to do with this?, you will have to read on… read more

Flashback Friday: “Butter Some Bread”

Anyone who knows me knows that I have played all types of soccer over my career in the sport including outdoor, indoor, futsal, coed, over 30, over 40, and in England, Canada and more recently here in the US. I have many stories over the years varying from stunning goals, to epic comebacks, to crazy altercations. This little story is about the last kind because everyone needs a little crazy in their life, right? During my time at the University of Western Ontario, or UWO as I will refer to it going forward, I played on many intramural teams, meeting many different players which eventually led to putting together a pretty dominant Men’s team that would meet on Sunday mornings and lay the smack down on our competition. On one of these such mornings I narrowly missed being stabbed…that caught your interest, huh? You better keep reading then… read more

Flashback Friday: Mexico ’86

One of the most memorable World Cups for many, including myself, was Mexico ’86. It was highlighted by the emergence of the brilliant and controversial legend Diego Maradona, along with his infamous “Hand of God” goal that broke the hearts of a nation and a certain 10-yr old boy 😢. You can easily search the details of this tournament with much more accuracy on Wikipedia than my mind can remember but what you won’t read there is my personal story of a young English schoolboy doing what all his age did at the time, and that was to try to collect an epic complete Panini sticker album. And while the tournament itself had some scandal, including the above mentioned goal, and the mascot Pique (seen below) who was deemed to be stereotyping the Mexican people, I was enduring a bit of my own along the way otherwise I would not writing this edition to my Flashback Friday collection. Intrigued yet?, of course you are, let’s do this. read more

Flashback Friday: “Beastly Foot”

As as guy who has played a ton of soccer games, whether indoor or outdoor, over my 40+ years of existence, I have been blessed with a fairly resilient body as major injuries have been few and far between. I did break a small bone in my leg in my early 30s but it was a clean break and while the healing was lengthy, the rehabilitation was pretty minor afterwards. But in early 2015 I suffered a freak ankle injury that is the inspiration for my latest Flashback article. Let me first explain the details of how it happened so you can understand the freak aspect. read more

Flashback Friday: Sports Day

As a elementary/primary age schoolboy growing up in England, one of my favorite days of the year was “Sports Day”. It consisted of various fun events like the three-legged race, the sack race, the egg on a spoon race, etc. But the grand finale was always the 100m dash, where the fastest kid in the school was crowned for each grade level. Currently, residing in Texas where I am raising my 8 year old daughter, they have their version called “Field Day”. Pretty much it is a chance to do water slides all day since it is stinking hot here at the end of the school year. But as US Thanksgiving just passed here, the school did have an event called the “Turkey Trot”, which is a mile race around the school and positions and times are recorded. So, while this does not give you the fastest kid in the school, I guess we could say the best runner is awarded. Right about now you are probably thinking that I am going to tell you about how my daughter followed in my footsteps and cruised to victory (bit of foreshadowing there), but alas she has my wife’s genetics as far as distance running goes, 😳. Well selfishly then I will have to tell you about my 100m dominance that was scandalously cut short. Ok, let’s warp back to the early 1980s, Wybers Wood Primary School, Grimsby, England. read more

Flashback Friday: Witness The Fitness

London, Ontario is a relatively quiet city in Canada. But once a year, in Harris Park, an event called the 24-Hour Relay was held. This is the story of an epic group of “runners” that overcame the odds stacked against them to set a new record for total laps completed. And what were these odds? They battled fatigue, drunkiness (that will be explained) and a multiple defending top laps champion sponsored by the local Running Room store comprised of members of their Running Club. But how does this all relate to soccer you ask? Well, let’s start there and get to know the background of the team known as Witness The Fitness. read more