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WINTERS WORLD FEATURING A COUPLE OF RANGERS AWAY DAYS AND A WEEK IN THE SUN
11th March 2014

Sunday and the unexciting prospect of Toon v Villa and Norwich v Spurs lived up to expectation showing that apart from the top teams the Premier League can at times be mundane and lacking in quality. Pity the Liverpool v Swansea game hadn't been a live TV match.

My plans for the early part of the week were thrown into chaos as Blue Sea of Ibrox was balloted out of the race at Musselburgh on Monday. Her entered race at Catterick on Tuesday has been put back to 2.50pm so no chance of taking that race then getting to Stranraer. Love of Rangers is greater than love of my horse.

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Picked up by Neil and then up to Newcastle for Andy and George, across the A69 and Neil joined us at Gretna. We rendezvoused with another car including the two Andy's who had travelled from Scarborough; unbelievable loyalty.

Had to listen to the racing on the phone but was delighted with Blue Sea's run; finished third @ 14/1, equivalent to a 2/1 winner. Maybe one more run for her before a summer break then schooling for what was always going to be her target, chasing, where her jumping ability should auger well for her future.

Lady Ibrox is only about a month away from her return to action. Exciting times for Rangers Racing. A very limited number of shares are available in the syndicate if anyone is interested.

jeff winter
Rangers fans take up residence on the grassy bank behind the goal ready to witness an early Lee Wallace goal at Stranraer.

We arrived in Stranraer by 5.30pm, parked up and headed for one of our syndicate member's hostelry, The Corner Pocket, where Alex was in a good mood having won on our horse and footed the bill for our first round. He showed the upstairs function room which is ideal for a possible talk in there in the future.

Decided on a visit to the chippy on the way to the ground. Was served possibly the biggest portion of tatties I've ever seen in my life.

In the shop a local goon had decided to go and get his supper in his Celtic coat, stupid but probably the only coat he had. The shop was full of Rangers fans but other than a couple of polite requests as to whether he wanted to come to the game, nothing else occurred. Can't help but think that had the shoe have been on the other foot it might have been different.

Ten minute walk to the ground and still half a portion of chips left. 'Local' Glasgow police had no idea which end of the ground was which but we finally found our entrance and Neil having finished his chips headed to the burger bar! He's a big lad and must be hungry.

jeff winter
Great if you're a windsurfer!! Baltic in Lanzarote!!!

Funded by the winnings at Catterick I decided on an unusually very small interest on the game, plumping for Lee Wallace as an anytime goal scorer at 13/2. Instead of also going for first goal scorer @ 22/1, still a profit.

The game was played at a million miles per hour on the small pitch and Rangers were always too good for the opposition. That didn't satisfy some of the more critical around us who expect 100% accuracy in every pass and shot. Fuck me, they should watch the Boro like I do.

We were under the rickety stand opposite the main stand and met Ballymena's finest who were going to home across the water before we would be. We got stood to a few of Rangers lesser intellectual young supporters who spent forty five minutes singing and revealing the fact that a Scottish politician's wife has allegedly additional earnings from an occupation of helping men relieve their stress and frustrations. Seems a rather desperate way to gain more votes for her husband's political party!! Wonder what currency she accepts, obviously the pound sterling may soon be no use to her!!

jeff winter
Be careful what you wish for!!! Scotland Post Independence.

Half time and decided to move from the relative warmth of the sheltered stand to near the goal Rangers were attacking to stand with the Leven Lads. My 'Shergar' racing coat came in very handy as it was bit parky.

Game meandered on and despite not too many worries and with only a one goal lead, the chances of being hit by a late worldie was always a possibility. Our unbeaten record in the League was never in danger though, unlike our good friends who were losing theirs in the far north. Lemmon will be trying even harder to get a move down south now! Still a move to a big club like Norwich will be a challenge especially as they are a family club with a decent bunch of supporters.

Only real talking point from the game was the cynical foul on Nicky Law. From my position it was difficult to assess whether it was a denial of an obvious goal scoring opportunity because I couldn't tell how close the other defenders were to Law, but the calculated trip could easily have been assessed as serious foul play in itself and therefore worthy of a red card on those grounds.

jeff winter
No rush for the sunbeds in Lanzarote!!

The game ended with Jon Daly which led to one fan who obviously recognised me to approach me and declare that the goal was all Daly had done all night and that he was pish. Thank you for your intelligent opinion, I'll have a word with the board and see if they can finance the purchase of Messi for next season! A lot of football supporters really don't get it do they?

Part two of the comeback almost complete, unbeaten in the league and progressing despite the continued confusion and uncertainty off the pitch and still some aren't happy and probably never will be.

jeff winter
Action as Rangers press on for another away victory in the far west.

The name of Lee Frecklington shot to prominence as his last minute goal for Rotherham at Preston denied me a very good return on my evening's coupon.

Neil, obviously spurred by his hunger due to lack of food in a couple of hours made excellent progress and I was dropped off at 1.30am, no doubt straight home for him as he had to up for work at 7.00am. Not a chance, he nipped into town for a kebab. I really wouldn't like to follow him into the lavatory when that lot comes out!!

Wednesday and finally got round to booking some accommodation in Lanzarote. I'd booked the flights weeks ago and had been waiting for a timeshare resort to become available and got lucky at the last minute.

Up in Scotland the continuing saga of the Rangers boardroom goes on with more press revelations about the arguments that continue to embarrass our great club. Whilst it is obviously very important its something I just don't get involved in. I don't like the politics and to be quite honest don't know who is telling the truth and can be trusted. Everybody has a vested interest and especially being away from all the media etc I am left scratching my head.

jeff winter
Rangers come out on Tuesday night to try and preserve their 100% away record in the League and 90 minutes later the ONLY unbeaten record in Scottish football.

Thursday didn't start well as a recorded delivery item I was waiting for turned up in an envelope inside a plastic bag with most of the contents missing. Very strange how something handed in over the counter at a Post Office and dealt with only by Post Office staff can get in this way.

After going through the good old "listen to the options" farce I finally got some wanker reading from a script who told me that whilst I was reporting it the sender was the person who had a contract with the Post Office so he had to fill in forms etc. Fuck off, this country is wank, I hope that the thieving bastard who robbed the envelope enjoys his ill gotten gains. Oh sorry, it might have been opened by machinery that is clever enough to split a seal in a straight line.

Mood brightened by the visit of Oliver and my son, a trip to the swings then onto the shops to replace my fryer that had died that morning. Got one of those new healthy ones that only needs a spoonful of fat. Too little too late probably for me!!

Following on with the healthy eating regime went to a fish restaurant before the cinema. My good luck continued with a piece of fish that had been deep fried for rather too long and wasn't the best. At least they didn't charge me for it when they noticed what I'd left on my plate.

The film was good, well when I say film it was a Live Theatre transmission of War Horse, different but good, especially as I'd failed to get tickets for the very live stage production in Sunderland.

jeff winter
Beyond the Bandstand nestles the home of Stranraer FC, a long drive on Tuesday evening to watch the mighty Glasgow Rangers FC.

The day from hell continued when we got back to the car and had a £60 parking ticket, posted at 8.00pm at night. Despite there being no evident signs my Mrs had inadvertently parked in a disabled space. Now one side of me, a very small side thinks well at least the wankers that are employed as arseholes to bring suffering to motorists are at least working and not sponging totally off the state, mind you on their meagre pittance of pay they are probably still on every fucking benefit going!

The rest of me despises the councils who treat motorists as an easy money making scheme. What the fuck are they doing at 8.00pm at night having people on the streets looking for problems that don't exist?

Let's be honest, whilst it pisses me off I can afford £60 but there are a lot of people out there who can't, e.g. the type of person who is that desperate that they have to work as a traffic warden to put food on their kid's plates!

Also if you don't pay in 14 days the fine goes up to £100. Well if you've just been paid monthly you might not have enough to pay the fine until next month. They don't give a fuck, it's just another unearned lump of money stolen from the public without any care to the consequences!

Got home and watched a race I had recorded and the horse I had backed finished second! Happy fucking Thursday!!!

jeff winter
The Corner Pocket in Stranraer, which is going to be a venue for 'An evening with Jeff Winter' in the future, shows its colours proudly.

Friday promised to be much better with an early meeting with a rather attractive lady and a trip to Oldham. Sarah runs an events company and was shooting a promo piece for her company's site and had kindly asked me to be involved. Her driving left a little bit to be desired!! We just about got there and back in one piece but hopefully it will lead to some more work in the future.

Another early morning alarm call but as per usual I was awake long before the time I had planned to get up. Picked Kenny up at just before 7.00am then to the agreed rendezvous to add Simon and Jack to the Teesside Loyal crew then up to Durham to add Cameron to the packed back seat. If room was at a premium it wasn't helped by Cam's bag of goodies. 7.36am and the first bottle was cracked open!!

jeff winter
Mine host Alex, a member of the Rangers Racing Syndicate at his hostelry in Stranraer on Tuesday before the Rangers game.

We made good time towards Edinburgh before the seals were broken and the first of two pee stops were required. News from Leven was that the lads who had a hospitality box at Bayview with unlimited alcohol had gone to a bar to get a lining on their stomachs with a couple of early morning vodkas before they hit the free stuff at half ten!

We headed for Tams Bar where a prebooked couple of coaches were already in situ from the Granite City RSC and closer to home Dunfermline. I dropped my charges off and headed to the ground to park up for a quick post match getaway. Then back to Tams where the alcohol was going down fast.

We had arranged a lift to the ground with the Dunfermline bus, very kind of them but unfortunately their hospitality was soured thanks to one dozy twat in their numbers. Some people seem to think that because I'm recognisable and they know who I am it gives them the right to make personal comments. Ignorant stupid bastards, they don't like it when they get some back; indeed if I hadn't been starting to feel as rough as a dog one person would certainly have got a "Pardew". As my late father used to say if you can't say anything nice then don't say anything at all!

jeff winter
Teesside's finest, along with Cameron, enjoy a pre match pint in Tam's Bar before rangers game against East Fife in Leven.

My mood wasn't helped by the coach driver taking a guided tour of Leven before finally dropping us off a short walk from the ground.

Upon arriving at the turnstiles all Rangers fans entering the main stand were being asked to take their colours off. It might have been easier to ask the home fans to take theirs off as they were less of them than us! The club had knowingly sold tickets to Rangers supporters in their stand; seems that they like our money if not our presence.

From the first game at the ground and indeed this one the locals were aggressive and agitated that Rangers fans were in the main stand.

At least that might have spiced up some feelings because the 90 minutes certainly didn't. East Fife got eleven men behind the ball and made it difficult but rangers didn't have the guile or ability to break them down. I am used to nil-nils watching Boro but not Rangers and this was a non event.

I don't recall the fans singing a single song during the entire game. Maybe the temporary standing didn't help create an atmosphere as the fans were only five deep but it was as sterile off the field as it was on it. Mind you the result was never in doubt as soon as Jig's last minute penalty was nestling in the back of the net!!

jeff winter
Hopefully commonsense will prevail north of the border and Great Britain will remain great.

The alcohol intake helped my passengers into slumber and with me feeling rough as fuck at least I could drive in peace and quiet. For the second week running I was heading home as the other games were just starting.

The proceeds from my successful 20/1 winner on Friday were quickly being diminished as my goals galore coupons went down the pan. Talking of which sorry about the pan at McDonald's near Berwick as my guts completely emptied there!

Dunfermline's defeat at Stranraer had up reaching for the calculators to confirm when Rangers will clinch the title. It could happen without us playing I think which is always a bit of a dampener.

jeff winter
They like our money that much that they build temporary stands to fill the coffers when Rangers are in town. Good job it wasn't pissing down in Leven on Saturday lunchtime.

Everyone dropped off and home just over twelve hours after I had left on the morning. Boro made it seven and a half games without a goal, despite a bit of controversy that doesn't paint over the cracks of a manager that had no plan B and a set of players who are incapable of playing to the Spaniard's rigid formation.

As bad as East Fife had been it was a better outcome than a day at Hillsborough. An opinion that might not find much support from fellow Bears but I thought Foster was one of our better players on the day and Templeton despite being as weak as piss at least tries to beat opponents and make things happen.

I've been back in the country for six weeks now and Boro haven't scored during that period after winning five and drawing one whilst I was last away!! The good news is that I'll be out of the country next Saturday, cue goal fest!!

Home and bed only after a couple more pissing out of arsehole visits to the bathroom.

jeff winter
I've seen a few 0-0's this season, but East Fife v Rangers was heading to be the worst!! Then Jig notches from the spot in added time. Never in doubt!

Sunday and still feeling horrible I managed to get to the airport. No food for 24 hours but still not empty. At this rate I'll have lost the weight I've put on since I retired and cheeky twats won't have an excuse to make uninvited comments!!

As we headed towards Leeds Bradford airport the roads were unusually busy for 6.00am on a Sunday morning as the mass exodus of Mackems headed south for Wembley.

Still feeling rough as we boarded but as the flight progressed started to feel a bit better and managed a bit to eat and drink and then the acid test; was I brave enough to risk a fart...

Sure sign that things are getting better if you can fart and not follow through. Just as well with a light pair of jeans on and still two hours of the flight left.

It had been my intention to get up-to-date on Saturday night but I didn't get chance so spent the first hour of the flight writing this week's Gazette article and prepping some emails. Apart from having your legs wrapped round your head in limited space flying at least gives you the chance to get some work and planning done.

When I get home Rangers and Boro games often don't clash so double misery watching the season peter out. I fear that Rangers unbeaten run may end when the league is won as they undoubtedly will take their foot off the pedal, especially as players protect themselves for the cup games.

At Boro, unless they get themselves sucked into the relegation battle it will just be playing out matches before the undoubted summer clear out, which will be of epidemic proportions. Either that or Gibbo realises it's easier to get rid of the manager. That's not his style though his decision might be influenced by the fact that to rebuild will cost him spunk loads of cash.

jeff winter
Seconds later the ball would be nestling in the East Fife net, premature on the button, not for the first time in my life.

The season finale could be saved if Hartlepool can mount a late play off push. At least some meaningful matches to watch!

The first week back after this break promises to be busy, a very early start on the Monday with Oliver duties, Tuesday Sedgefield races followed by Boro v Forest, Wednesday up to Ibrox for the Airdrie game and back again on Saturday for Dunfermline. The question is which one of the games will secure the title; hopefully the latter. It would be good to beat your nearest challengers to finalise matters even if they are a country mile behind you!!

Arrived in Lanzarote early afternoon with the prospect of temperatures in the low 70s all week, beats freezing at Starrier and Leven. Hopefully that means the runny nose, sore throat and chesty cough will disappear.

jeff winter
Celebration time as Rangers maintain their 100% away League record at Bayview.

The temperature might be a lot better than at home but Lanzarote is windy and Costa Teguise especially so as we found out as we went for a walk after grabbing a couple of hours of sunshine. Wondered why we were getting funny looks as we walked round the bay in shorts and tee shirts, others had sweat shirts, coats and trousers!

Bit underwhelmed as unlike Puerto Del Carmen not much had changed since last visit. Very cheap and cheerful probably suited to the masses of people who flock here from across the Irish Sea!

At least wifi was working so was able to see that Sunderland had put up a brave fight before class told!! Back to reality and the relegation fight.

With guts still dodgy only ventured 100 yards to a small restaurant which had a decent menu. It flattered to deceive; the missus had breaded chicken breast with garlic and tomato with a choice of potatoes and chicken nuggets and chips turned up. My cannelloni had meat purée that probably came from a horse that I had previously unsuccessfully punted on. Still, the Peroni was good.

Tuesday and it is overcast again until the afternoon, warm in the sun and when in a secluded area such as our balcony but later on Baltic in the wind. Couple of emails from home, seems I am in demand for hosting events, enjoy doing that and needs must to help finance my lifestyle.

On the windy walk sussed out a couple of eating houses and also our old favourite Montmartre where the snails in pastry are delicious.

Really got stuck into a very good book, well worth a read, its called 'Running With The Firm', undercover copper who joined the Millwall lads back in the eighties. Any football fan that grew up in that era would enjoy the tale.

As well as the biting wind disaster struck as my mobile wouldn't re-charge. To cut a long story short, no texts, no Twitter, no music, no emails for almost a week. My God you realise just how much you depend on technology. Mind you it stopped me betting for a few days!!

Had a couple of decent days weather wise and found a few brilliant eateries plus the drink was cheap so overall not a bad break.

On Saturday Boro won their first match and scored their first goal since I was away over Christmas. Maybe I should go away more often!

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.

http://www.justgiving.com/Jeff-Winter

On Sunday as I was flying home Rangers weren't exactly covering themselves in glory with a dismal draw with Albion Rovers. Still, they live to fight another day and with the Arabs in waiting I think that a full house at Ibrox will create a great atmosphere.

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 jeffwinter@jeffwinterentertainmentandmedia.co.uk.

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.

THE WEEK AHEAD

Monday and straight back into it with Oliver in my charge for the day. Tuesday sporting heaven, Sedgefield races then Boro v Forest. Will the jinx of Winter continue?

Wednesday and up to Ibrox to see the champions confirm the First Division title.

Thursday and after five hours sleep it's picking up my Grandson. Saturday morning and another very early start as I head back to Glasgow to watch Rangers play Dunfermline.

The early part of next week sees me off to Southwell on Monday to watch Blue Sea of Ibrox run and Tuesday up to Hamilton for the Scottish FA Cup replay against Albion Rovers.

Have a good week.





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