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December 2017: A West Country Christmas – Dorset in December

Thomas Hardy’s celebration of Christmas in Dorset in his early novel Under the Greenwood Tree is perhaps second only to A Christmas Carol (a version ...More
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Amateur Football Clubs | Add Free Entry

Though the television companies understandably focus on the professional game, for every professional player there are thousands of amateurs enjoying the game in leagues up and down the country, sometimes the only difference between the best of the amateurs at the local park and the pros playing in the stadium nearby being fitness.
Sadly, however, the days when the great ambassadors for the amateur game Corinthian FC could thrash Manchester United 11 – 3 (as they did in 1904) are long gone. And in 1974 the FA abandoned the FA Amateur Cup that had begun in 1893 after prompting by the world’s oldest football club, Sheffield FC. That trophy was won 10 times by Bishop Auckland, who have the honour too, with a little imagination, of claiming to be the first World Cup winners from these shores. Today the FA Vase is the nearest equivalent competition.
Amateur of course encompasses an enormous range of standards, from those who may one day progress to the professional game to the pub side putting together a midfield from blokes in the bar before the match, thousands of clubs of varying abilities but with the dedication of those running them in common. And a club in this context is a close knit community, where being involved so often means doing something more than just watching. Hats off to every player and official keeping grass-roots football alive in Britain.

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Recommended Books:

A Picture of Britain
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Churchill

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It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes - Douglas Adams
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On this day:
Henry VIII ex-communicated - 1538, 1st Bowler Hats go on sale - 1849, The Wright Brothers take Flight - 1903, Mary Bell found Guilty - 1968, IRA bomb Harrods - 1983, Work begins on the Channel Tunnel - 1988, Ian Huntly found Guilty of Soham Murders - 2003
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