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17th March 2014

Monday and after only a few hours it was up bright and early to pick up my Grandson Oliver, back to normality but amongst child minding duties Rangers weren't far away.

Firstly the bad news - the Cup replay against Albion Rovers has been switched to next Monday night and that is the same day that I was planning to travel to Southwell to watch Blue Sea of Ibrox run. I might have a split personality but even that doesn't allow me to be in two places let alone two countries at the same time.

The good news my contacts at Ramsden's confirm that they have got me two tickets for the Cup Final at Easter Road in April.

Article continues below...

Tuesday and off to Sedgefield races; trainer Alan Brown suggests that there is a strong possibility that Blue Sea will be balloted out at Southwell so Hamilton next Monday for the Rangers game might be back on. Not the most successful afternoon in the sunshine watching the races on course and at Cheltenham on the big screen.

Thought I'd got out of jail in the last race with a treble resting on the 4/7 favourite. Guess what it trailed in behind an easy winner enjoying its racecourse debut.

jeff winter
Neil was feeling a little peckish, mind you this was to keep him going till lunchtime!!

From there to the Riverside and the forlorn hope of seeing Boro score a goal. Well it happened, at last, but it also was not going to be a happy ending at the Riverside either. In fairness a draw was the correct result, Forest far from being anything special weathered an early storm then took over and should have been in front before Boro scored, a cracking goal and then we missed a couple of good chances before Forest equalised in controversial circumstances.

The reaction of Boro's goalkeeper and centre back strongly supported their claims that Forest's Henderson had handled the ball into the net. I couldn't tell but funnily enough almost 14,000 people in the ground could. Most importantly the match officials having normal eyesight not driven by passion and bias didn't see either.

The post match phone ins were funny, moronic callers wanting the Ref strung up from the Transporter bridge, sacking, castrating etc etc. No malice towards Henderson who if he had handled was a cheat, but that's part and parcel of the game! I will be covering the topic in greater detail in my article for the local Gazette which will appear on my site next week.

jeff winter
Tuesday afternoon at sunny Sedgefield and post race Sarah walks round our stables horse Miss Mohawk who stayed on well to finish third on her second run over fences. Jockey David England thinks that she can win a novice hurdle.

Wednesday and another frustrating morning dealing with the inadequate service from one of Britain's finest, step forward British Gas Home Service about as reliable as Boro's forward line. I won't go into detail with the catalogue of disasters that I had to endure thanks to their ineptitude. Thought twice about heading north because the day I was experiencing Rangers were likely to mess up against Airdrie!

It didn't start well with an old lady cutting me up on the Parkway as I headed to pick Simon up, that's the third time in the last month I've nearly been involved in a crash thanks to some twat driving like a pillock.

We got to Darlington in one piece and transferred into Andrew's Merc; we were travelling in style today!! I also enjoyed a sensible conversation in the front as Andrew gave reasoned views as to his dissatisfaction with the team's current form and Ally's ability to manage.

In the back Cameron, who we had picked up in Durham, had started on his alcohol intake. We had set off a tad too early which worryingly gave Cam more drinking time. We were parked up at the Ex-Servicemen's Club over the motorway by 5.30pm, so Cameron set off for the WRC as his tank needed refilling as the seal had been broken at the services on the M74.

Simon and I had greater problems, namely to get across the foot bridge, not a problem to the majority, but if like me you're shit scared of heights it wasn't nice. Thank fuck it wasn't windy!!

jeff winter
Cameron's seal is broken after several bottles on the way to Ibrox on Wednesday night!

Met the Leven lads outside the statue. Scott was in a dismal mood, not happy with current form. Do you know something Rangers fans really need to take reality check. Think where we were two years ago and look where we are now. You can only win your games and it isn't going to be 10-0 every match. I really think some of the dissenters should come to a Boro game with me then you'd have something to moan about!!

jeff winter
Queueing up to get into the Rolls Royce club on Saturday morning before the Dunfermline game.

Thankfully a goal inside three minutes settled the nerves and Rangers tore them apart, two of the easiest penalties the referee will ever award in his career. Game over at half time but still some complaining about the fact it had taken two spot kicks to put Rangers 3-0 up. Give me strength.

The fact that we didn't get another three in the second half would cause the moaners to show more dissatisfaction.

Three nil up, twenty passes then one doesn't come off and there is a groan from some people. Unbelievable; there is a reason players are playing at this level you know! I can't say that though because then the wages argument will come up.

End of the game and the attitude of the players and especially the manager proved yet again just how much it means to them to wear the shirt and be successful. Unlike players at many clubs it's not just about picking up the cash. There is pride in playing for the shirt and the supporters, when all said and done most of them would be in the stands if they weren't footballers.

Personally I will judge Ally when he's had a couple of season back in the Premier League, not now, he deserves the loyalty he is been shown by the vast majority. Fuck knows where we would be now if he had walked away!

jeff winter
Dunfermline players sportingly provide a guard of honour for the Champions at Ibrox on Saturday then as usual proceed to try and kick fuck out of their opponents.

Went back over the road bridge after the game, despite having to dodge the cars it was better than the footbridge. Wasn't expecting the fog we encountered going home, but after all the drop offs was in my bed for 2.00am. Perhaps that's why I don't moan as much as some, if I was that unhappy I wouldn't go!!

Thursday and after four and a half hours sleep I was up and off to pick up Oliver. Thankfully when he went for his morning kip I joined him and managed two hours. Then to take benefit of the spring like weather it was off to the park, away from the stresses and concerns of football, that was until I bumped into the voice of the Boro, BBC Tees matchday commentator, Alastair Brownlie.

Thirty minutes later I was totally depressed as we dissected the current situation. He is normally the most enthusiastic rose coloured spectacle wearing Boro fan around but even he is being realistic with the present problems.

jeff winter
This was the state of play at the services at Carlisle North on the way back home on Saturday, Don't know if they were really out of order or that they had just heard that Neil was stopping!

Friday and a domestic day as the new bath was fitted and overnight the old one is on our drive; neighbours and passers by might think that I've gone over to the other side, they must think gypsies have moved in!!

Saturday and another totally unreasonably stupid early start to head back to Ibrox. Neil picking me up before 7.00am for a rendezvous at Scotch Corner with the two Andy's who had left Scarborough at God knows what time!! All for the love of Rangers.

6.45am as it turns out, God knows why so early, 8.00am would have been fine Neil pulls the limo up outside our house, we're across to meet the Andrews by 7.15 and offski. By 8.30 we're past Carlisle and Neil's stomach is rumbling. The first hour of the journey has been spent discussing his diet, I don't mean weight watching, I mean planning out how many meals he's going to have today. Think we'd better stop at a supermarket and get an Andrex twelve pack!

jeff winter
Neil made short work of the twelve items plus toast plus coke for his breakfast on the way to Ibrox on Saturday. This bloke needs to grow another arsehole!

Carlisle north and Asda beckoned, very cheap and did Neil get his money's worth, twelve items plus toast and a bucket of coke. His food intake is unbelievable, I settled for a two sausage buns, more than adequate. I'm a Tesco man myself, but at Asda you can get a week's shopping for about 3.50. Neil made the most of it, a four pack of giant bottles of coke and another four iron brew. Not sure if that was a week's shopping or just for the journey. With Cameron its drink with Neil its food, fuck me I wouldn't like to pay their bills, it's cheaper for me to have a bet.

jeff winter
Thursday and play time at the park with Oliver.

Back to the car and a five minute wait as Neil had decided to make a visit, so apologies to the locals as trap two was out of service for the rest of the weekend.

The subject of food was never far away with Neil and he got onto his favourite crisps, namely pickled onion; got my juices flowing, haven't had any for a while so they'll be on the shopping list this week.

As per normal on match day a few tweets from fellow Bears travelling to the game. Also some scum get through before I block them. One named Seamus suggesting I must be on hospitality. Sorry scumbag - don't need it.

jeff winter
Rangers players celebrate the second goal against Airdrie the title's in the bag.

Tentative plans for Monday's trip to Hamilton for the cup replay which I will be attending providing Blue Sea of Ibrox isn't running at Southwell. Text from our trainer to confirm alternative entry at Sedgefield on Friday. That will be a rush for me as speaking at Preston on the night, so hope it's an early race.

Arrived at Rolls Royce club at 10.40am and had to wait outside for it to open. Hour in there then off to the statue to meet the Leven lads who eventually turned up ten minutes before kick off. Scott looked like he was still on the fumes from last night's session.

I got to my seat and five minutes after kick off the Fifers trundled up the steps, twelve minutes later they were off to The District. They love the Rangers but they love beer more!! So two hundred miles to see my mates and after a quarter of an hour they fuck off and leave me sat by myself.

Rangers with five changes win comfortably against the thuggish supposedly second best team in the division. Pleased to see Foster named mom might shut up a few of the boo boys. Good to see Gallagher come on and score, hopefully one for the future.

jeff winter
Despite criticism from a minority the players show how much winning the title means to them in their lap of honour after clinching the title and promotion against Airdrie at Ibrox on Wednesday night.

Elsewhere Boro would you believe it drew 0-0 again, wonderful entertainment no doubt for the 1,000 plus supporters that had made the 660 mile round journey.

Home by 6.30 and having Oliver overnight so no rest for the wicked.

Sunday and before taking the little fellah out for the day received confirmation that Blue Sea had been balloted out at Southwell, so a couple of phone calls later and sorted for the Rangers instead.

Cheltenham has missed me by this year but you can't have everything, just as well because I don't think that I would have been that successful.

jeff winter
The scoreboard tells it all.

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.

jeff winter
He didn't do walking away and Super Ally masterminds stage two of Rangers return to the top.

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
Tuesday evening at the Riverside and as Boro and Forest come out for their Championship Fixture. The question is will I see my first Boro goal of 2014?


As stated earlier Monday is now my third trip to Scotland in the last five days, this time to Hamilton to watch Rangers hopefully see off Albion Rovers and set up a tie against the Arabs at Ibrox. Tuesday it Wetherby races but as I've got Oliver I might have to miss out, got him Wednesday as well. Thursday doing Dean Windass a favour for his Sunday League team in Beverley.

Friday and Sedgefield races for the first couple of races as Blue Sea is entered there in the 2.15 race, then across the top to Preston to speak at a Sportsman's Dinner, overnight there then back to the Riverside for Boro's next 0-0 draw with QPR.

Sunday could be problematic with Rangers at Brechin but my daughter is home from London and I haven't seen her for almost a year. Might have to give that game the miss.

Have a good week.

jeff winter
In the play off places and still only 892 travelling Forest fans are at the Riverside for Tuesday night's game.

jeff winter
Wednesday night at Ibrox and confirmation that once again Rangers are crowned Division One champions.

jeff winter
We got to the Tradeston Ex-Serviceman's club that early I'm not sure whether this was Andrew's lunch or tea!!

jeff winter
Wednesday night and the Blue Order might have moved but they still bring their usual noise and colour to Ibrox.

jeff winter
Wednesday night at Ibrox and Rangers come out 90 minutes away from being crowned as Champions Again Ole ole.

jeff winter
Blue Order's banner says it all.Legend!!

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