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24th March 2014

Another week starts and two hours of my life wasted by speaking to Indian call centres.

It seems that the recent bad weather has caused problems with BT landlines that means us long standing customers have to passed from pillar to post to speak to an Indian with an accent that makes understanding what they are saying nigh on impossible and they don't listen to you because they are too busy reading off their fucking script sheets.

What does the 'B' stand for in BT cos it sure as hell doesn't stand for BRITISH!! Suppose that makes me a racist as well as a bigot!!

Article continues below...

Here's a nice little tale I was sent.

Alex Salmond walks into a Royal Bank to cash a cheque. As he approaches the cashier he says, "Good morning, Ma'am, could you please cash this cheque for me?"

Cashier: "It would be my pleasure sir. Could you please show me your ID?"

Salmond: "Truthfully, I did not bring my ID with me as I didn't think there was any need to. I am Alex Salmond, the leader of the Scottish National Party and First Minister of Scotland!"

Cashier: "Yes sir, I know who you are, but with all the regulations and monitoring of the banks because of impostors and forgers and requirements of the legislation, etc., I must insist on seeing ID."

Salmond: "Just ask anyone here at the bank who I am and they will tell you. Everybody knows who I am."

Cashier: "I am sorry, Mr. Salmond , but these are the bank rules and I must follow them."

Salmond: "C'mon lassie. I am urging you, please, to cash this cheque."

Cashier: "Look Mr Salmond, here is an example of what we can do. One day, Tiger Woods came into our bank without ID. To prove he was Tiger Woods he pulled out his putter and made a beautiful shot across the bank into a cup. With that shot we knew him to be Tiger Woods and cashed his cheque.

"Another time, Andre Agassi came in without ID. He pulled out his tennis racket and made a fabulous shot volleying a tennis ball into my cup. With that shot we cashed his cheque.

"So, Mr Salmond, what can you do to prove that it is you, and only you?"

Salmond stands there thinking, and thinking, and finally says: "Honestly, my mind is a total blank... there is nothing that comes to my mind. I can't think of a single thing. I have absolutely no idea what to do and I don't have a clue."

Cashier: "Will that be large or small notes, Mr Salmond?"

Fuck it - I'm off to watch the Rangers!!!

jeff winter
Shall I save £17 and stand on the bank outside?? Questions to be answered at Hamilton on Monday night before Rangers Scottish FA Cup replay with Albion Rovers.

With the morning's aggro over things started to pick up. I'd received a phone call telling me to get on a first time out horse at Kempton. Got on @ 7/2 and then again @ 5/2, it was backed down to evens. Won button God left it late, literally getting up on the line. Phew. Good start to the week, difficult to bet on Rangers game though 1/10 not exactly good value.

Passenger again so Neil picked me up then up to Durham for Cameron. He'd started on his catchphrases before he was even in the car. Fuck me stupid is a favourite and I tire of telling him that someone must have done that years ago!!

Five minutes into the journey and "and all that shite" came out, we've stopped taking bets now, he's so predictable!!

jeff winter
Bruised and battered but thankfully none the worse for wear after jumping into the back of another horse and falling in the process, Blue Sea of Ibrox lives to fight another day. That's racing!!

Smooth run up parked behind the ground but before I had amazed Cameron by actually accepting not one, not two but three bottles of Carlsberg. Unbelievably he hadn't brought any sandwiches, so at least we didn't have to smell his turd fillings.

We walked back to the academicals bar, couple of vodkas then back to the ground where I bumped into Boro's Blackpool loanee Andy Halliday. Top man despite being a pro he still gets to as many games as possible. I really hope that one day he gets to wear the shirt.

Into the Old Spice stand or spice of life to give it its Sunday name. Whoever designed the bogs at that ground weren't expecting away support the size of Rangers.

The game was reminiscent of when the scum played Barcelona, the opposition never got the ball. It was as one sided a game as you'll ever see, two crosses two goals. The rest of the time Rangers just kept the ball, don't think Bell had a save to make. Pity Rangers didn't play with more width they could have scored ten. Still let's not be greedy.

jeff winter
If you're going to smash your car, do it properly. Yet another bad happening in a week of shite!! Actually is a lot worse than it looks on the photo. £350 excess no matter what it looks like!!

Andy Halliday wasn't the only footballer there; we had Gazza, Laudrop and Arteta sat behind us, well you'd have thought it was them, because if these fuckers could play as well as they could talk, they'd have been world beaters!!

Heading to the ground we'd nipped through the railway station so missed out on McD's and the queues in the ground were that long you feared for Neil as he can't go that long without food. We'd picked Neil up from Annan and he informed me that the club were looking to book me to speak at a function there. Good news, I'm always keen to speak up north.

So the Arabs at Ibrox and I wonder if we'll be allowed any tickets as their 50,000 regular supporters we all want to be at the semi!! Fucking jokers, what did they have last weekend, 6,000 was it?

jeff winter
Ninety minutes away from a FA Cup semi final against Dundee United at Ibrox and the invasion of tens of thousands of loyal never miss a match Arabs.

Betting a totally non runner, though Rangers to win to nil even at odds on and Rangers to win both halves would have been a comfortable way to buy some money. I'd gone for an interest bet on Nicky Clark to score, I had a very short time for my money. Foster again played well but I wish Moshniwould stop thinking he's god's gift. He fannies about and sooner or later against better opponents he'll have to start proving himself.

Good run and home by 1.00am, straight to bed cos it's an Oliver day on Tuesday instead of Wetherby races.

News of a local incident as the Gypsy community take the law into their hands and a man is given summary punishment for allegedly having an affair with another gypsy's wife. He had his penis cut off and he was found running along a motorway looking for it in a somewhat distressed state. This by the way is true - seriously!!

After my Oliver duties it was off to the Riverside as a guest of the chairman of Ramsden's for a MFC Foundation fundraising evening, least I could do as the gentleman had sanctioned my tickets for the forthcoming final at Easter Road.

It was a laugh as Boro past and present teams did battle in a Question of Boro that also had elements of Countdown and other game shows. Confirmed footballers are thick, ha ha.

It was a night off, a rare occasion where I attended an event and wasn't asked to do anything. I joked with the chairman that if Rangers won the Ramsden's cup he should let me present JIG with the trophy!!

jeff winter
Cammy Bell should have brought his shopping list, he could have nipped into Sainsbury's whilst the game was on, he wouldn't have been missed.

Wednesday and despite taking Oliver to the Adventure Point at Darlington, he loves it there, I had still placed a couple of bets so I had so racing to watch when I got home. Well by tea time I had lost all of the winnings from a sizeable return on Monday. The bookies always win!

I still went back to punt a little more on the Man United game, three goals or more in the game and United to win the tie in 90 minutes at 3/1. Successful evening but not without some scares, a good team would have punished United who still look very dodgy at the back.

Thursday and a trip to Beverley to do a favour for former pro's Dean Windass and Lee Palin for their Saturday team. Also in the audience was another local lad, John Hawley who played for Hull City, Arsenal and Sunderland. I was joined by Pete Emmett and we had a cracking afternoon, a great audience, it was very informal which I believe makes the event much more enjoyable. We helped raise some monies for their club and everybody appeared to enjoy themselves.

My problems with BT are unbelievably still continuing. I would strongly advise anyone who might be thinking of going to them for the provision of broadband to seriously reconsider. Fine when things are going smoothly but when they are not you just can't get any help!!

jeff winter
Typical it had to be coloured green!! The offending barrier that I failed to negotiate!!

Friday and working again in Preston. The week that was bad was going to get worse. On the morning things looked promising with a phone call from India with BT after almost two weeks telling me that there was a problem with my line and they were sending out an engineer. Hallelujah!!

Off to Sedgefield to watch the first race. I had picked out two horses that I'd seen at the track last week and with ours did combination exactas and tricasts. The forecast was in the bag profitably but our horse Blue Sea of Ibrox jumped into the back of another horse and came down. Fortunately she appeared to be okay.

That was me offski leaving after one race. Just as I was arriving at the hotel the one other horse that I'd backed at Sedgefield duly obliged at 15/2. Happy days, well for five minutes.

I turned into the hotel and went up the ramp into the car park and couldn't see the ground or the railings that almost took my rear door off. Happy days not. The receptionist said everyone complains about that ramp!! Oh well that's okay then. With a sizeable excess to look forward to there's a fair chunk of the night's fee down the pan. Happy, happy fucking days.

At least the evening improved the mood, an event for a local club held at the Preston Grasshoppers rugby clubhouse. At first the room looked a little reserved but when I was told that last years Comedian had been Gary Skyner I knew that they would be fine. They were better than that despite a mixed audience they gave excellent order. Sometimes the women can lose interest and start talking but they were brilliant.

After my slot the comedy was provided by Jamie Sutherland and he also went down a storm. The night was mc'd by John Collier, one of the best around, okay he still takes his 15 o/o, but he's a genuine guy and good to work for. I then helped him with the auction and we raised a tidy sum that had the organisers very pleased. Not too late a night back at the hotel by 0.15 am where I chose to park the car outside rather than cause more damage. It looks like I've been hit by a truck!!

jeff winter
Yet another potentially boring Saturday afternoon at the Riverside as Boro face big spending underperforming Queens Park Rangers.

Saturday up early and after checking my At the Races tracker I noted that I had five horses to follow running today. Two in the same race!! Placed my bets including a Lucky 15, almost certainly I will have put he wrong horse of the two in the accumulator knowing my luck!! Something to look forward to after possibly another dismal day at the Riverside. BT engineer coming round this after so hopefully at least we might make progress on that front. Don't know if he's coming from Delhi or not!!

Unless he's very early in his 1-6pm slot I won't be there to see him as I'll be at the Riverside to watch Boro take on failing Queens Park Rangers. After the recent goal drought what I'd do to witness a similar game to the one back in life when Boro were 2-0 down inside ten minutes against a Rodney Marsh inspired side only for Hughie McIlmoyle to produce a heading master class and Boro to fight back to win 6-2. Very unlikely to witness a repeat of that score line!

Guess what - the engineer didn't turn up. BT an absolute fucking joke. Perhaps his plane was delayed from India.

First half at the Boro was cracking entertainment. On paper QPR should have walked it but Boro got amongst them and were good value for a 1-0 lead until a cock up defensively let them in for a last minute equaliser.

Second half was different - team went back into Karanka's cautious shell and created nothing but as both teams settled for a draw a defensive howler gave the Hoops' Zamora the easiest goal he'll ever score in his career. Another added time goal settled the issue, a win that QPR barely deserved but the only good thing was that I'd done three goals or more so bitter sweet as the howler and Boro's defeat won me a few bob. Nowhere near as much though as the Super Six accumulator that I had done, that is until the 93rd minute goal that Newcastle scored against Palace, that did me in for nearly £400. This week just gets better and better.

Evidently a bit of controversy elsewhere which prompted a phone call from talkSPORT with a slot booked with me on the Mickey Quinn/Georgie Thompson show on Sunday morning. Will it happen? We'll see, as they haven't used me since my publicity a couple of years ago. My views on the refereeing controversy over the weekend will be covered on this site in my weekend review article later this week.

Sunday and missing Brechin as my daughter is up from London and I haven't seen her for ages. talkSPORT did ring and I went on the Quinny and Georgie Thompson show. Alan Brazil won't be happy. Sod him, the invoice is going in!

jeff winter
Optimistic of a good run at Sedgefield on Friday, Blue Sea of Ibrox is fit and raring to go.

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
Hamiltonís cantilever stand is packed with rangers fans as is the rest of the ground on Monday night.


Tuesday off to Huddersfield to endure another frustrating 90 minutes watching Boro, Thursday speaking at a Rangers connected event in Stoke on Trent, Friday possibly heading south to Lingfield if Lady Ibrox is declared to run.

Saturday hopefully a morning trip to Peterlee to see my pal Pico do his charity parachute jump the Hartlepool game on the afternoon. Can't make either Rangers or Boro matches as I need to be in town on the night as its Kenny's Ruby wedding anniversary bash.

Have a good week.

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