Here it is, the moment at least some of you have been waiting for. Thanks to all who took part in the feature during the 2011-2012 season, the judges who chose the best of themm and the readers who made it, in numerical terms, a highly popular feature.
I left you yesterday with one set of votes – our star writer Pete Sixsmith’s – still to come. The leaders on the basis of counting up to then were Stuart Jinks (Villa) on 12 points, Keith Conneely (Liverpool) on 11 and Steve Bishop (Wolves) on 10.
Here, then, are Pete’s nominations. He wants his winners to feel desirable so appmlies Miss Wolrd-style reverse order:
3) and therefore two points, Stoke City … Richard Hulme:
I think as much of Stoke City as you do of Ken Livingstone (a reference to Monsieur Salut’s eccentric decision to depart from the site’s party line and prefer Boris to Ken). But this was a cracking piece which summed up City and their fans; loud, opinionated and couldn’t give a flying f*** about anyone else. Also funny, loved the quip about Peter Crouch’s girlfriend fancying an oatcake or five. Shame we took six points off them.
2) with three points, Middlesbrough … Iain Lazenby:
A really good piece, very similar to the Stoke City one – unfashionable club, honest, down to earth fans and a real twinge of self deprecating humour. Pity we put them out of the cup.
1) with a whopping five points, Aston Villa and Stuart Jinks, aka Jinksy:
Loved this one. A whiff of controversy (he criticised Saint Martin), a couple of earthy comments about the now former manager and the owner and Jinksy’s portrayal the overwhelming misery and of all West Midlanders. Most enjoyable. Shame we didn’t relegate them. Read Jinksy’s interview at
So there we have it, a clear winner with five more points. Arise Sir Jinksy. As the only one of yesterday’s leaders to pick up marks from the other Sir (Pete, inevitably, is back in the classroom after succumbing the the post-retirement lure of supply teaching), Stuart Jinks is so far ahead that even complaints about the distribution of Malcolm Dawson’s votes – he named three joint winners and I interpreted that as five points apiece – are academic. On my dodgy maths, the final standings are as follows.
Stuart Jinks (Villa) … 17
Keith Conneely (Liverpool) … 11
Steve Bishop (Wolves) … 10
Clelency Burton-Hill (Arsenal) … 8
Michael Hudson (Newcastle) … 7
Mike Delap (Blackburn), Owen Amos (Arselan), Jim White (Swansea), Rick Haswell-Cohen (Man City), Richard Hulme (Stoke) … all 5
Andy and Jo Nicholls (Wolves) … 4
Iain Lazenby (Middlesbrough) … 3
Aston Villa and Sunderland fans, it is probably uncontroversial to say, do not always get along. We are similar sorts of clubs in many ways with long, proud histories and long spells in the doldrums. Villans like to brag about being the bigger club; why else, they want to know, would Darren Bent would choose Villa Park over the Stadium of Light.
We retort that recent records and attendances scarcely bear out the claim; they point to their seven top-flight championships against our six, seven FA Cup wins (we’ve done it all of twice) and five League Cup wins (no comment), plus somewhat more successful European exploits.
But today, all that sparring can be put aside. Well done Jinksy. Enjoy your glory and your prize, gear to the value of $200 from http://www.soccerpro.com/**. Likewise Keith Conneely, in second place, who chooses between the When Saturday Comes** Euro 2012 top or a year’s sub to the magazine and third-placed Steve Bishop, who wins whichever WSC prize is left after Keith’s choice.
** These were Pete Sixsmith’s honourable mentions: Jim White from Swansea City, Michael Hudson from the Dark Side , Steve Bishop from Wolves and Leo Osborn from Villa. Really enjoyed them and look forward to reading more next season = hopefully we can get Jimmy Armfield again …
The US sportswear people http://www.soccerpro.com/ kindly agreed to stump up $200 worth of gear as the first prize and the excellent folk at When Saturday Comeschipped in again with further prizes, a subscription to the magazine and one of the Euro 2012 tops they’re selling this summer. To both sponsors go our warmest thanks.