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WINTERS WORLD IN PHOTOS FEATURING RANGERS MARCHING ON AND THE END OF A DREAM FOR MIDDLESBROUGH
26th May 2015

jeff winter
Thursday and after four hours sleep after getting back from Ibrox it was back to child minding duties. The rail strike cancelled which makes life easier for the fans on Monday and to try and stay awake it was swimming with Oliver. He tried his new goggles out, red and blue of course.

jeff winter
Forget the play offs - here's news of the match of the season coming up!!

jeff winter
Friday evening at The Shay in Halifax. Pitch resembling Blackpool's; at least they have an excuse.

Working with my good pal Pete Emmett. Top man, doing a eulogy at a friend's funeral during then having the courage to work on the evening. Ultimate professional.

Dinner is for a League presentation evening, these events are sometimes problematic as players just want to get away in town to do what comes naturally on a Friday night. Different this time though, the aging committee had worked very hard to organise the event, stalwarts without whom many leagues wouldn't even exist, but very old school.

Major catastrophe - menu said vegetables with mixed grill, when they didn't arrive, impromptu committee meeting called whilst their dinners went cold. Out came the classic line: "They're going to get a strongly worded letter about this!!"

Another meeting called when I advised them my wages were 50 light on contracted fee. As the night progressed many more heads together moments, God love them!! Pete and I just proceeded and I think everybody seemed to enjoy themselves. I'm sure we will receive a thank you letter hopefully, after the next committee meeting.

jeff winter
Managed just over four hours sleep before waiting for twenty minutes for the late arriving Teesside Neil and Sarah to pick me up, Evidently they had forgotten to fill tank up the previous day. Abysmal planning, then the "Doyle" decided he knew best and drove the wrong way to Durham, fifteen miles too far.

Day not starting well; decided to join Cam in an early morning swallow, pleasure not to be driving for a change. Arrived at the Middleton Arms for another, many pals there without tickets. Into the ground and it was evident that the home fans hadn't sold their tickets, with plenty of spaces in the stands.

jeff winter
Thanks to petty politics, the clubs hadn't agreed to the allocations for visiting supporters so Hibs had half of the stand that could have been filled by Rangers fans cordoned off and empty. Absolute fucking lunacy; they must be rich in principles and money. A couple of thousand more Bears would have netted 30,000. No wonder Scottish football is a laughing stock down south.

jeff winter
Here we go, the second half of the semi, Rangers end is bouncing, the first goal is going to be vital.

jeff winter
Togetherness, that's what's going to be needed today.

jeff winter
Respect in the sunshine; before the action Easter Road falls silent to show its repsect to the victims of the anniversary of a rail accident. That silence was soon to end.

jeff winter
Of all the seats, I am next to this young man, taking a rare moment of respite from his brilliant vocal encouragement. For 90 minutes he single handily started off every song, I'm smiling despite my ears bleeding. Respect to him though, he was on top form.

jeff winter
The beautiful couple, Pele looks so angelic, mind you if he hits you, you stay hit! If only the security cameras had been switched on!!! (Allegedly)

jeff winter
A brilliant disciplined first half performance, all square and 45 minutes away from Motherwell. Keep it tight.

jeff winter
Almost there, the Hibees are setting off home early, The Bears are having a party!!

jeff winter
The players worked as a team and at the full time whistle they thank the other team, the supporters. Now for Thursday and another trip to Glasgow, on a flight to Portugal next Sunday morning so they will have to finish the job off without me.

jeff winter
As we headed back home I received a photo from Redcar beach, Oliver with his Dad. He looks happy in his Rangers top. Like his Grandpa, he be changing his allegiances for the rest of the weekend. WATP UTB

jeff winter
Sunday morning, picture from my son Craig, just can't decide which shirt to wear!! No such problems for me - no colours allowed in the press box!!!

jeff winter
Sunday morning and off to Wembley. Oliver's dad, my son, and Frosty set off. Found out plenty about my son, like when the seal is broken he can't stop. With tears in his eyes we just about made it to a lay by before he messed his jeans. Booked in and then Leicester Square, promises to be messy!!!

jeff winter
Hitting Leicester Square.

jeff winter
Alan Shearer out in London celebrating Newcastle's escape from relegation.

jeff winter
The square is ours, Boro fans take the famous London landmark. It was messy as predicted, the bare shelves in the nearby Tesco Express told a story as London was drank dry. Brilliant night and a few sore heads predicted for match day. I had to move my car by 8.00am and that was a challenge!!! Then plenty of black coffee so I could drive nearer to the ground. The fans were going to do the town proud, but what about the team?

jeff winter
Sunday had been alcohol only, my son Craig decided to get a lining on his stomach before the match!!

jeff winter
Arrived at Wembley, locals charging 20 to let people park on their drives!!! Not racist but didn't give them my money, not bigoted either so contributed to local church to use their car park. Arrived at Wembley, met Delia, hope she's doing the scran in the press room.

jeff winter
In the ground by 12.30 pm, the Boro end, silent but not for long.

jeff winter
An hour before kick off, Boro team bus stuck in traffic. Ideal preparation!! Tweets and texts coming in from Rangers fans who I have convinced to adopt Boro as the English team. Much appreciated. Nervous - almost couldn't eat my lunch, but forced myself!!!

jeff winter
Phew, the players have arrived and come out to warm up.

jeff winter
Team sheet, one change for Boro, Bamford starts. Only question - which Boro would turn up. Hand on heart I am worried, don't think we've got enough up front, same problem all season.

jeff winter
In the tunnel, seconds away. We all believe, but will it be enough?

jeff winter
A season's work dependant on the next 90 minutes. Fifth time at Wembley for Boro, never won yet!!

jeff winter
Captains with my old buddy Mike Dean and his assistants. The Ref was going to have possibly his easiest game of the season thanks to Boro not getting near Norwich.

jeff winter
At least I get chance to see the replays, Boro's 40,000 plus are expectant.

jeff winter
Almost there, formalities apart, then will Boro tear into them? Unfortunately Norwich won't be surprised this time. They had done their homework and learnt from the recent 1-0 home defeat and set about us instead.

jeff winter
In Aitor we trust, but his tactics and attacking options are unlikely to see us ripping Norwich apart; they are no Brentford. It's been a great season, we missed out on a heaven sent opportunity to get automatic promotion, will the same old failings stop us today?

jeff winter
The play off final is wonderful, but only for the winners. Noise, colour and an eventful opening five minutes. Had Vossen's shot have gone in we would have had something to hang onto, but it wasn't to be.

jeff winter
The fans did their part, but it wasn't to be - the best team won, we didn't turn up. Actually we did and played to our capabilities against a side who tackled, passed and moved faster and with more conviction. Long journey home, then regroup. No Bamford and limited cash to invest, might have to sell to buy. Life goes on!!

I think this was my 45th Boro game of the season. It's been a great season, typical of Boro, highs, lows and ultimately disappointment. Up the Boro - we shall overcome someday!!!


THE WEEK AHEAD

Wednesday afternoon another race for Lady Ibrox at Hamilton Park, Thursday night my final match of the season at Ibrox, cos on Sunday morning heading for Portugal and missing the trip to Fir Park.

Then the summer, trips abroad, plenty of racing and a break from football.

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.

Have a good week.





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