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...whilst back home Boro and Rangers go marching on.

23rd January 2014

Motor Neurone Disease is a debilitating illness that took the life of former Boro hero Willie Maddren and recently former Rangers star Fernando Ricksen has been diagnosed with the same disease.

When I was refereeing I was well known for sporting a goatee beard. I brought it back during the month of November to try and raise funds for the society that works so hard to help people suffering from the disease. Please help me help them.

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Transferred from ship to resort in Weston, Florida. Sussed out the area and we were right by a small retail area with restaurants and shops and a supermarket, yep, degree of normality as we got provisions in as we're on our own now. Couple of trips planned to Miami, Florida Keys and also the Everglades. Nice pool which I'm threatening to use each morning!! Wifi as well so up to date immediately on important matters like Rangers winning at Stenhousemuir.

Plan to get up and swim didn't start well, excuse though as meeting to attend to learn about area and what's to do. As well as chilling there's plenty to do, last night found a nice little Italian restaurant, food was good but the portions out here are huge! Enough chicken on my plate for two washed down by a few Peronis.

Booking confirmed for September in Cumbria and request to do "celebrity Boro fan piece for Saturday's Blackpool v Boro matchday programme. Plan for today - sitting around the pool then shuttle bus for night out and dinner a few blocks away. Tomorrow afternoon we're going to Miami for the afternoon and evening.

jeff winter
The one good thing about coming home apart from the obvious football and racing is seeing the love of my life again!!! Mind you, I would have had it cut shorter like Grandpa.

Everything in America is the biggest and best according to the Yanks, World Series and all that. Thought nothing of Al's Sports Bbar's claim to have the world's best wings, but hey they weren't far wrong. Monday at the diner and it's one dollar 25 for a draft Bud and a good deal on 10 wings which we shared. More meat on them than a chicken breast back home!!

Shuttle back to resort and knackered, it must have been very tiring round the pool answering Blackpool FC's questions!!

Pool is nice though I haven't ventured into it yet as promised. Only poolside problem is a family of four mature Yanks who think they own the place, German style bed grabbing plus a table and four chairs, then the bolchy old cow wants her space. Lynette went for a fag and was told she didn't want smoke near her. Suitably ignored by the missus that didn't suit her; a few choice words from me and perhaps she realises it isn't her private resort!!

Tuesday was going to see a 20 degree drop in temperature before returning to the 80s, so no bed fight round the pool, just a chilling morning before setting off for Miami.

jeff winter
Say what you like about the Yanks but they are a country and breed that show loyalty and remember their heroes.

As it happened by the time we got to Miami it was 30 degrees cooler, 54, still a bit warmer than back home. Coach took us back to Fort Lauderdale then to Miami. We did the holocaust memorial. More survivors lived in Miami than anywhere else in the world. Then drove along Ocean Drive, the colder weather had spoilt the female watching though. Ended up at Bayview for a meal and shopping then back down the road to home. Despite the weather a good day out.

Spent more in the shops than in the restaurant and the missus still wants to go the the Sawgrass Shopping Centre later in the holiday!! Back home our trainers horses didn't do well at Southwell, hopefully not a sign of Blue Sea's chances tomorrow I hope.

Wednesday morning and woke to gloomy day and rain, not a brief shower either and it set in for the day. What's this all about?

Listened to Blue Sea's race, ran well to finish third @ 12/1, first trip over three miles, looks like a chaser in the making. Saw Sunderland beat Manchester United last night in front of half empty SOL crowd. Pathetic really, semi final, surely true supporters attend?

With nothing else to do headed for shopping mall and not fancying trapesing round all day went to cinema, American Hustle, not the best but better than trawling the massive mall. Ended up doing that for two hours. Could have spent a fortune, cheap as chips but no room in suitcases. Back to gaff in time to see City had mullered West Ham, one finalist gauranteed then. Think we'll try the local Japanese restaurant tonight.

jeff winter
Even on holiday the little fellah isnít out of my thoughts.

Restaurant okay, tempura prawns and vegetables, which basically meant battered everything. I could be on Paisley Road West.

Thursday and whilst the promised rapid improvement in temperatures was evident so were the clouds and intermittent rain!! Managed a swim though and a very interesting chat with an American. So much they say about Britain is right in my opinion, the country is no longer our own and it will only get worse.

For all their faults the Yanks have their priorities right. Managed to agree a deal to work with former Leicester City player Steve Walsh at a restaurant covering England v Uruguay in June. Ribs on the night and prayers for sunshine the following day.

I'll say one thing for their weather people - they are better than Michael Fish. After three disappointing days blue skies reappeared with temperatures due to be in the 80s. Back to headphones, mags and the pool - hallelujah.

jeff winter
Our gaff in Florida.

Off to the highly recommended Argentinian restaurant on the evening and my steak was tougher than old boots. They must have known my thoughts on the Falklands. At least they didn't charge me for it! Missus's steak was fine, just me being unlucky.

Saturday settled in the sun round the pool to watch Twitter feed from games back home. Signal poor, my bad luck is continuing. Planning to go to Holywood Beach Boulevard this afternoon.

Internet bit up and down but better than at most grounds in the UK though. Rangers and Boro both win 2-0, maybe I should stay away!

Frankie Bam Bam Remembrance Day in the Fylde coast, respect big man, you'd have been Eio-ing at your loudest. Only six points off the playoffs!

Rangers inevitable surge to their 56th title continues in front of over 40,000 fans, incredible support!

It would have been special to have been at Ibrox, as usual total respect for the sad passing of a former player but also for the half time appearance of Fernando Ricksen, somebody also moved by his situation kindly donated £100 to my appeal so with monies promised I am hoping to hit £4,000.

Got private transfer to Hollywood beach situated between Miami and Fort Lauderdale, bit underwhelmed, Blackpool with sun. In common practice with these touristy areas the food quality was questionable. Beer cheap though.

Tried a Greek restaurant and belly dancers were probably the best thing on menu. Went to beach theatre and got to admit, sitting in a tea shirt at 9.00pm on a Saturday evening outside on the boulevard is something you couldn't contemplate doing at Redcar.

Act was country and western/rock, not bad, but highlight was at the end when singer asked if there were any vets present. A few hands were raised and they received rapturous applause.

The final song was a patriotic American tribute claiming that the USA will always be free. Say what you like about Americans but they have it right, patriotic, loyal just like Britain used to be before it decided on a slow transition into being a Muslim country. Oops, perhaps I can't say that; I'll be accused of being racist or bigoted or something else. Bollocks, land of the free!!! Good on you America.

jeff winter
Holocaust Memorial in Miami, very moving!!

After my brief bit of nostalgia and support of my host nation back to my normal and hilarious pastime of people watching. After the show we had an hour to kill before being picked up and surely the locals entertainment couldn't match the pre meal bar. We had stumbled on Hollywood beaches toughest bikers pub which saw us witness an almost fight as two Yanks talked the talk and grappled without an actual punch being thrown.

Highlight though was the biker with a fuck off massive Harley Davison type pushbike, dressed with bandana and attitude. This tit really thought he was the dogs.

Post show it was an all American family, young girl and 13-14 son and that's stones as well as years. They polished off a bucket of wings before ordering the biggest pizza I've ever seen. This vanished Paul Daniels style in less than five minutes.

How young Hank didn't chew off a finger is beyond me. The slice was nearly as big as his head, but that one along with pieces two and three were swallowed whole, washed down by a mega glass of soda, then the classic line: "I'm still hungry". Of course you are son, you're a growing lad, cue an immediate order for another bucket of wings. Greedy bastards, I wouldn't like to buy their toilet rolls.

Sunday morning and a lie in, probably having nightmares that the whole south Florida sewerage system had been blocked by the biggest jobbie ever. Before heading for the poolside I booked a full day Everglades trip for Friday and was warned that another sight for sore eyes was in store for me.

I was not to be disappointed and I certainly won't be having too much to drink this week!! I was just settling down to write this shite when this bloke walked by, built like a brick shit house, shoulders and arms suggesting he'd been bench pressing pizza boy from last night. Got the sun bed ready then removed his dress revealing a natty bikini! Fuck me - a tranny by the pool. Good job the Leven lads aren't here as after a few drinks some of them would have probably have tried riding it!

I usually have a nap but fuck that, today I'm keeping one eye open and it won't be the Japanese variety!

jeff winter
As made famous by the song 'Ocean Drive' in Miami Beach.

There are some tits but the Bet Lynch earrings, painted finger and toe nails and belly button piercing don't look right. Think bits have been chopped off or otherwise inserted up the arse and a squeaky sort of voice has been adopted as well. It's enough to turn you to gambling so just as well wifi offers me access to my Bet365 account.

After two weeks of cruising where I thought I'd kicked the habit, I obviously hadn't and to make it worse I've got time on my hands!!

Kelso frosted off so a couple of fancies don't even get to post. Went for an early goal in Stoke v Liverpool. Goals flowed and assuming City are throwing everything at Liverpool I took 4/1 for a Sturridge goal with ten minutes left.

Happy days as a text cancelling an event back home arrived. Evidently I'm working close by two weeks earlier. Will check contractual situation when I get home, they might be in for a surprise!

And so to a different restaurant, this time Italian. Decent gaff but very limited menu. Don't do parmos either! Food was good though, perhaps the best I've had since leaving the ship and the hostess was very easy on the eye. Mind you after looking at what I saw round the pool anything would be an improvement.

jeff winter
Everything is big in America, cars are massive but couldnít afford to run one with fuel prices in this country!!!

Sadly Monday round the pool brought "her" back into view, tight little lime green bikini with thighs like a second row forward. Evidently she'd enquired if there was a gym close by for her to bench press. Get me out of here!!

Twitter feed not working so as an escape from reading my Nuts mags and doing Suduko borrowed the wife's Take a Break, finished off the puzzles then read the stories. Fuck me, that mags a suicide aid, I bet the Samaritans don't stock it! Every issue has a good old "my step father told me not to tell" tale coupled with dying kids and wife beaters. Definitely poolside reading!

My missus has a go at me for reading Nuts, fuck me, I'd rather punch myself in the nuts than read that morbid magazine!

Dean Windass forgets I'm still away but it's work so not complaining, need to earn when I get home to pay the credit card bill.

Monday and its draft Monday at ALS diner which means one dollar 25 draft beers to wash down the chicken wings. Yee Haw, it's got to be done, starting to talk like a Yankee now. This time next week should be home, hitting Gregg's and planning trips to the football and racing and yeah and starting plans for next year's Christmas break. Fancy Thailand, my poolside Tranny might be going there as well.

jeff winter
The Fonz is alive and well at Hollywood beach!!!

Wings were good, Tuesday and harsh reality, this time next week I'll be back home!! Still football, racing and the cold weather to look forward to.

Boro linked with Kevin Doyle. Not sure about that one, but at least looking to add to squad for hopefully a promotion push. Better news from home as three more gigs accepted. How did we do business before mobiles, in fact how did we exist?

My piece and quiet round the pool came to an end when after three weeks of virtual anonymity a Manchester man recognised me. Cue two hours and in fairness his holidaying experiences put me into the shade. Away for six months of the year and the way he does it is very cheap. Probably spent less on the current four month trip than we have in a month. Booking in the states is obviously a lot cheaper than at home. Don't know if I can be bothered with arsing about online but it certainly appears to be worth it financially!

jeff winter
Key West and the locals are very friendly.

Meanwhile two bookings confirmed with one of the best agents around, John Collier of Select Sporting and Celebrity Speakers and another direct enquiry from a Rangers supporter's club for their gig in May. Happy days.

Tonight's post pool nosh is likely to be local and for the first time in almost a month the alarm is set for tomorrow for the long trip to the Keys. Getting into practice for next week and picking Oliver up.

After a night at the local Italian it was up at 7.00am and ready for the trip to the furthest most southern outpost of the USA. Only three of us on the transfer shuttle, us two and guess who? Yes Casey who had been up early putting his face on!! To be quite honest, compared with some of the Yanks we were travelling with he was normal!

Firstly there was the fussy family mummy, daddy and daughter, aged about 40, they had to sit near each other !! Daughter had never seen or never likely to see cock in her life , her and mummy knitted all the way to Key West, apart that is from when they pulled out a block of cheese and started making sandwiches!! We had a tour operator called Twat who was the husband of the Miami host Mindy, might as well of been called Mork because he was typically American annoying . Talked Shite for four hours whilst shaking his head and sounding like Kermit. Nearly shot his load as he enthused about the trees enroute. The journey passed in what seemed a lifetime . jeff winter
My wife and a transvestite. No prizes for guessing which is which!!!

Cloudy in key west, so promised siting of sunset seemed unlikely, but real quality place including a brothel at the top of Duval Street. Looked good from the outside anyway and the blonde on the balcony looked good.

Had to experience the pinkies or local prawns with key line pie washed down with lager and rum. Then the long journey back to Weston.

Back round the pool on Thursday talking to my new mate Casey. When the wife came down I referred to her as him on a couple of occassions, by accident, oops!! He's Canadian and actually better company than the majority of the senile ageing Yanks!

Back home Boro continue to morph into Chelski reserves and Rangers players asked to take pay cuts. The club should ask Glasgow city council for a loan to help them!

Daughter's birthday back home and I'm sure that she'll have a good time especially as my youngest son is going down the smoke for the weekend. It would probably have been cheaper for him to come out here.

Notification that Blue Sea could run again at Southwell next Wednesday. That means I won't be looking after Oliver. Can't have everything, but it will be nice to get back into the old routine. This life unfortunately can't last for ever but thirty one days away isn't that bad. Boro will probably start losing again when I go home!

jeff winter
If these vultures are waiting for Rangers to die, they will have a very long wait!!

Now something strange happened next. Casey asked Lynette if we fancied joining her for dinner on the night. Now considering we hadn't met the drop dead gorgeous Russian bird when invited surely this was an offer that was easy to decline. Well a few hours later I was ready for my threesome. Fuck me, we had to choose the right bar otherwise I might be wishing I'd brought my Doc Martens!

We decided on uncle ALS for wings and our Casey proved she could drink like a fish and eat well, like a man! She works as a waiter in a strip club back in New Brunswick and also does body building so as well as not wanting to fuck her I probably wouldn't be keen on fighting her either. Good laugh though and I only managed to accidently use him or his about ten times in the whole evening.

Our first and probably last dinner with a transvestite was over though and she did see us off for our early Friday morning departure to the Everglades. Got a photo which I will attach to the article but no exchange of details. Been there done it, or thankfully not, as the case may be.

The day out across Florida was superb. Obviously we hoped to see a few gators but never banked on literally seeing hundreds. They basked on the banks beside the water. We did the airboat ride then a boat trip to the Gulf of Mexico where we were joined by dolphins and add to that manatees, vultures, pelicans and God knows how many different birds. Even ate alligator at lunchtime. They're just like a chicken nugget to be honest. Incredible day and worth every dollar.

Eight and a half hours later back at the gaff absolutely knackered. Fresh air, and it was fresh, especially zooming round the Everglades at 30mph and the boat trip. Tan topped up by wind burn I think.

jeff winter
Not a creature to argue with!!

Sadly definitely on the vinegar strokes now. A short walk to the tapas bar for dinner then hoping the weather is good for our last full day round the pool, day thirty and all of a sudden it appears to have gone quite quickly.

Saturday and poolside catching the rays, mid seventies which sees some Yanks in coats, hats and scarves! It was another Twitter Saturday for me as Boro go marching on. It appeared another workmanlike tedious battle but three points and another clean sheet. That's five wins, one draw whilst I've been away I think, it will definitely go Pete Tong when I'm back home.

News from home - over £3,500 raised for Sara's Hope from the gig I did on the night before we left. Brilliant effort, no doubt Pico will have arranged another gig by the time I get home.

jeff winter
Playing with the dolphins, a couple came to see us in the Gulf of Mexico.

Last night ribs then the awkward last day, managed to swing staying in the apartment till 1.00pm but we don't leave the resort till 5.30. Travelling overnight via Heathrow and should be home by teatime Monday then back to normal.

Been a great break but ready for the old routine. That includes earning some money, so if you are you planning a Speaker's Evening or fundraiser? You can be assured that as well as speaking I will give maximum help to fundraising on the evening with my auctioneering skills. Contact me regarding availability on

Just a thought, nowadays many smaller organisations have stopped doing Sportman's evenings mainly due to the economic recession and the increasing costs. If your club doesn't have the numbers to support the traditional speakers evening then why not book me for a one man show. I regularly do these, my normal After Dinner slot followed by a Q & A session and fundraising activities. I can assure you there is more than enough content to fill the night.


Back in time to watch Rangers play at Forfar on the TV on Monday, racing on Wednesday, Oliver minding Thursday, off to Leicester to watch Boro Saturday and get lads sorted to go to Ibrox for the Friday night cuptie against Dunfermline.

Have a good week.

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