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24th February 2014

A big footballing week started off with me sitting on my arse most of Sunday catching up on the FA Cup highlights and the Football League Show then watching, courtesy of Sky Plus, the three televised games.

Another profitable day on the 'interest' punting front with goals galore in the Arsenal v Liverpool game and QPR v Reading. The game at the Emirates was entertaining and instead of discussing the quality and excitement of the match it was another referee assignation led by the returning Andy Gray who deepens his voice for effect before screaming in sarcasm that Howard Webb is supposedly our best referee.

His crime was to, in Gray's opinion, not award a second penalty to Liverpool. Mind you that was after he had a couple of reviews of the incident in slow motion!

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The fall out form the game was for one of the newspapers to go on character destruction and in cohorts with a supposed former colleague and mate of Howard's, Mark Halsey, criticising the fact that Webb earns money away from the game. How dare he? Disgusting!!

Pathetic actually; roll on next season when after the World Cup Finals our actual BEST referee is likely to walk away from the game and earn some real money. Good luck to him.

Monday I spent with my Grandson and a very expensive trip to Sunderland. Seven shows booked at the Empire Theatre over the next twelve months; spending my kid's inheritance is good fun.

On the evening it was back to the TV and I punted on a draw between Brighton and Hull City, probably the fairest result but they Tigers left it late to make my night successful.

Tuesday and a trip to Wetherby Races. My main punt of the day, Fill The Power, was my first winner of the day after losing out on the first three races. Things picked up and I ended up in front, more importantly a couple of horses to put in my tracker for the future.

I decided to invest some of my winnings on Manchester City to beat Barcelona as I thought the 2/1 on offer represented good value. As it turned out the bookies got it right. Despite controversy over the penalty, City were comprehensively beaten. Cue Pellegrini suggesting that the referee was biased. What is it about this game we all love, full of cheats and bad sportsmen. I hope that Uefa throw the book at him.

jeff winter
The Riverside on Saturday afternoon and Boro face Leeds United in the lunchtime game.

Bet365 had one of their deals on where you got a free 50 in play on the game. At half time I studied what was on offer and there were some nailed on punts that would have won pennies but with TV on I pondered and typed in a few potentials with the cursor hovered to strike as the action unfolded.

One was for Messi to score the first goal @ 5/1, potentially a nice 250 return to nothing. I wasn't quick enough and betting was suspended as he was felled for the penalty. Bugger. Still had to use up the free wager.

With Barca passing City to death yet not penetrating the penalty area I went for the next goal to be from a free kick, 18/1 and a possible 900 return. Didn't happen but helped the excitement levels in our living room as Barca put the tie to bed.

Wednesday night and another disappointing night for another of the Premiership's finest but at least, unlike City, they gave it a go. Not even Wenger surely could complain about the penalty or the dismissal. But of course he did.

"Robben dived", the half wit commented post match. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but taking complete and utter bias coupled with yet another potential trophy slipping from his grasp, what other explanation can there be for making statements such as that? Arsene, everyone is laughing at you!

jeff winter
Thursday morning and while Grandpa wanted to watch Eve Muirhead and the curling girls go for bronze, Oliver wanted to try on my hat and scarf.

Two missed penna's got me thinking that players earning tens of thousands of pounds a week who miss penalties should be accountable. They should explain themselves post match and be dropped from the following game and as someone suggested to their wages donated to charity or grass roots football!!

Thursday and the love for my Grandson beat my love for horseracing. Oliver beat Sedgefield and left Veno without a gambling partner.

After picking Oliver up and before our morning nap it was the last chance to watch the cute Eve Muirhead and her wee Scottish lassies in curling action. Sorry, but as well as being very talented you've got to admit she's got a feisty side to her that makes her very attractive. In order words you would, wouldn't you?

Sexism aside, what a wonderful example of true sportswomen, not like the prima donnas of our national game. It brought a tear to the eye, pride, passion and talent. They did the country proud, tremendous.

Didn't watch the Brits but I believe it was Kate Moss on behalf of David Bowie who spoke the words of wisdom that hopefully all of Scotland will listen to. Another way to put it: "Fuck off Salmomd".

jeff winter
Bet of the day at Wetherby on Tuesday afternoon. Fill The Power looks good in the parade ring before the race.

After the nap and curling it was off to Adventure Point where with it being half term it was packed. It amazes me that some parents just sit around and drink coffee and let their kids run riot. Still my little lad loves it there and made another girlfriend. At 17 months old its obvious that he's got the old Winter pulling power!!

Was footballed out so gave the Europa games a miss and instead watched the Sky Plussed racing from Sedgefield. Just as well I didn't go, would have backed the first winner and that would have been all. Sounds like I didn't miss much as Spurs and Swansea followed City and Arsenal in not being able to score against European opposition, so much for the much vaunted Premier League.

Friday and back on the road up to Scotland to speak at the Tannochside Rangers Supporters Club dinner. The venue was one I had worked at before and the night's gig saw me working with the excellent Joe Camay. It was a fund raiser for the Club and was a cracking night. Only the two speakers which is so much better than the more usual Scottish system of having three. You just don't need it especially when I come back on and conduct the fundraising.

It was good to have my first steak pie, with mini sausages of course, of the year. On nice and early and after my slot, Joe came on and brought the hose down. Brilliant comic that I would recommend to anyone. My only problem was that sitting on the top table with the speakers facing the audience coupled with me being half deaf and Joe's Scottish delivery, I missed half the jokes. My God, deaf, blind, arthritic, the knacker's yard is calling for me.

The Red/Yellow card game, raffle and auction exceeded all expectations and the organisers seemed delighted. It's not many people that can say they really love their work, I am in the very fortunate number that do, earning a living, loving the banter and making money for good causes.

jeff winter
Oops, a little bit quick on the draw, but Fill The Power is clear as the finishing post beckons.

Back to the hotel to find a power cut had left the place in darkness. Great - fumbling my way into the room getting undressed in the dark and trying not to break my neck in the process. Fortunately power was restored during the night and I was able to pack and hit the road early.

Sad to be heading homeward with Rangers playing at Ibrox, but proposed babysitting duties on the evening and Boro playing Leeds at lunchtime forced my hand. Ended up missing a shared six goal game that no doubt had the critics bemoaning the fact that Rangers failed to win their second league game of the season. They should also watch the Boro.

Back to Riverside in good time and the Leeds fans were arriving in town in numbers. Their large away support is hardly what you would call family orientated; the police would be busy today!

With records there to be broken, the Boro didn't let us down, Six and a half games plus, or over 600 minutes without a goal!!! Longest time without a goal in the club's history and I was there; one to tell Oliver when he's older.

We came close but playing one up front means you have to have the quality players to make the system work. We don't!

0-0's are no good for gambling and with my other bets elsewhere not coming to fruition it was a wipe-out day. Most gamblers only tell you when they win, this one tells the truth. Bad day at the office, it got worse as Oliver was poorly so parents kept him at home. The day was saved by a trip out for a couple of drinks and a good steak.

jeff winter
At last a decent away following at the Riverside as over 3,000 Leeds fans help create some atmosphere at the Riverside on Saturday.

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.

Are you planning a Speakers 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.

jeff winter
The Red Faction's tribute to the Boro team that brought us our first major trophy at Cardiff in 2004.


As I write some things are unresolved, Monday and it could be up to Musselburgh as Blue Sea of Ibrox is entered to run, 10am Sunday will tell me more as there is a good possibility she will be balloted out.

If that is the case our trainer has entered her to run at Catterick on Tuesday. That could be problematic, as despite her being in the first race, that leave sit tight for the trip to Stranraer. Definitely going to the game so we'll have to see if I can fit in both.

Next Saturday it's a very early start to get up to Leven for the East Fife game and then on the Sunday even earlier to head for the airport for a week in the Canarian sun.

Have a good week.

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