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5th May 2015

jeff winter
Wednesday night and a visit to Heritage Park, bishop Auckland to watch Darlington play Spennymoor in the Evostick play-off semi-final. They do it right at this level, one game at home of best placed team, straight knockout semi, same for final. Full house, fans segregated. Non league always great in North East - no wonder best refs hail from this area. Football is a great grounding and teaches officials man management.

jeff winter
Darlo v Spenny, winner takes all. First half poor, wind and tension coupled with plenty of niggle. Young ref looks the part but needs to toughen up. Alan White could have had the whistle cos he was reffing the game!!

Darlo ahead against run of play. Second half much better, Spenny in front but pegged back to 2-2. Extra time looming when Spenny hit cross bar from long range, so close, Darlo go up the field and grab 89th minute winner. Really pleased for Martin Gray but gutted for Jason Ainsley - two top guys.

Hopefully Darlington will finish the job on Saturday against Bamber Bridge. I'll be at Hearts v Rangers having secured a ticket today thanks to friends north of the border. No point detouring back to Teesside from Cumbria on my way to Ayrshire for a Boro game that is meaningless. Three nights of speaking ahead, starting Thursday night in Wellingborough.

jeff winter
Thursday evening outside Cutters Bar in Wellingborough with @goonerjames. Just starting up on the event hosting game James already has a host of events planned in Northants. Following my old mate @jimmybullard who did an event for him last month.

jeff winter
Here we go, a very informal night, becoming more popular than the sit down sportsmans dinner type of gig. A one man show, me doing my speech then a bit of scran followed by Q & A and fundraising all washed down with several Southern Comforts! Declined invitation to go to local karaoke bar as another long drive ahead. James Wager very keen and professional, look forward to working with him again in the future. Friday and up and away to Cumbria to work with and for the unique Howard Nicholson.

jeff winter
Before leaving Wellingborough I had a walk round. Location location location!! I don't know how southerners dare knock the north. Pound shops, fast food and charity shops plus Polish supermarket!! 270 mile drive to Cumbria where I was met with snow on the hill tops. It's May!!! Sussed out travelling time to Tynecastle for Saturday morning, going to be another early start.

jeff winter
Friday night's gig was for a local Sunday league side in Egremont but the far side of the back of beyond!! Relatively small audience but lovely people and ironically the comedian was my mate from the Boro Mick Munroe. But for my round Britain tour we could have travelled together. Good night and importantly raised a tidy sum for their team.

Saturday morning up early and instead of heading back to Teesside for a promotion party it was up to Prestwick via Tynecastle. Parked up near the ground and Greggs for breakfast. No sausages or bacon left at half ten, scandalous!! So the works at the cafe over the road.

Then to the ground, great seat and importantly good wifi reception to keep in touch with events elsewhere. Sadly both games were only about jockeying for playoff positioning. Rangers always likely to finish third and Boro looking with one eye on who they would play in semi's.

jeff winter
Ready to go and for the second time in recent weeks Rangers much the better side against the champions, Hearts .

jeff winter
Hearts kick off but Rangers are 2-0 at half time and looking comfortable. I was happy when Hearts scored late on, both teams to score and plus 2.5 goals, also sat on Rangers to win 2-1 at 10/1. Bugger. Didn't really matter.

Across to Ayrshire for what promised to be a good night. Unfortunately it turned a bit sour.

At a Miners Welfare Club the audience were brilliant for me and Peter Brown but by the time Tam Cowan got on alcohol had taken its toll. Some a bit noisy, others annoyed with them and the atmosphere changed rapidly. Evening curtailed and we're out of there before it kicked off.

Very unusual and the chances to make money for the football club lost as we didn't get round to the main auction. First for me in over a 1,000 gigs but shit happens.

The bad news is I'm working the next two Friday's so will miss Boro's play off games.


After watching almost 40 Boro games this season when it gets down the vital matches, I'm working. Yes the two Friday's of the Play-off semi-finals sees me Speaking. I fact on Friday when Boro are at Brentford I'm a mere 550 miles away in Aberdeen. At least that means I can go to Dumfries on the way home for Saturday evenings Scottish play off between Queen of the South and Rangers.

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 Sportmanís evenings mainly due to the economic recession and the increasing costs. If your club doesnít 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.

Have a good week.

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