Thursday night football in Penwortham


Top Talent Through The Years

A look at some of the rising talent that is playing today, the established team members and also some of the bright stars of the past, still burning brightly, only now from a distance of 180 million light years away.

Players are listed alphabetically by surname.

Nick Bolton

Nick is a former player
He called himself - Mr Reliable (unless Burnley FC are playing the previous evening, he’s teeing off for golf after 2.30pm, he’s going to / in / just back from Ibiza, he’s washing his hair etc)

We called him - Sir

Most likely to be - Taking a full and active part in the game

Least Likely to be - Shy and retiring

Where did he play - Anywhere and everywhere, chasing the ball down and launching another attack

Where is he now - Probably on a golf course in Ibiza watching Burnley FC on his mobile

Fascinating fact - Nick was rather long sighted, shown here shaking hands with the captain of The Invisibles
Nick Bolton

Paul Breaks

Paul is a former player
He called himself - The magician

We called him - Everything under the sun

Most likely to be - Getting in to a lively debate with Paul Havey over positioning, man marking, where he was playing etc

Least Likely to be - Going about his business in a quiet, understated manner

Where did he play - Where didn't he play, he was usually anywhere and everywhere at the same time!

Where is he now - At a further education establishment in the south of England (as a teacher, not a student)

Fascinating fact - His 8 and three quarter hour speech on the history of Reading FC was quite something to behold

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Paul Breaks

Gary Clarke

He calls himself - Speedy Gonzalez

We call him - Gazza

Most likely to be - switching on the afterburners to accelerate up to his cruising speed of 725 km/hour

Least Likely to be - staying on his feet after he puts in a challenge, some in-built unsteadiness means that he is often left crawling on the pitch

Where does he play - everywhere, pace means he can move from defence to attack in the blink of an eye

Fascinating fact - always maintains a positive disposition, even when we’re heavily beaten, he’s quite sure that we’ve been heavily beaten

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Gary Clarke

Mark Clinch

Mark is a former player
He called himself - The full back with the pull back and without a single drawback

We called him - Rather imaginatively - Clinchy!!!

Most likely to be - Launching the ball 40m from a throw in (and with Paul reminding him to keep both feet on the ground - Paul tells him this quite a bit)

Least Likely to be - Wandering too far up the pitch, unless we’re pressing for a desperate equaliser or winner

Where did he play - In defence with Paul Havey, a marriage made in heaven

Where is he now - Coaching junior football and preparing for his next guest appearance when we're down to 6 players

Fascinating fact - Regular goal scorer - 1 every season - occasionally in the opposition’s net

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Mark Clinch

Jake Coupe

He calls himself - Superestrella

We call him - Fast feet

Most likely to be - Taking the ball off the attacker’s toe just before it gets unleashed goal bound

Least Likely to be - Complaining that the game was too competitive - he loves a challenge

Where does he play - In defence, but he has the pace, skill and temperament to threaten the opposition’s goal (as does Phil, but that’s another story)

Fascinating fact - if he wasn’t turning out for us in defence, then his next natural position is in goal, take note Goose

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Jake Coupe

Brian Finegan

Brian is a former player
He called himself - Liked to be known as 'The Cat', for reasons that were not always very clear to the rest of us, but supposedly reflected his goalkeeping prowess

We called him - 'Fingers' Finegan, occasionally preceding this with "Butter"

Most likely to be - Complaining about suffering from a bad back (picking the ball out of the net can do that to you)

Least Likely to be - Saying "I think I'll give that trip to The Fleece a miss tonight"

Where did he play - Always played in the nets, EXCEPT on the one occasion that we had 8 players - 2 keepers - and our opponents, Nabs Head, were a man down, we lent them Brian, who played in attack for them and he scored a hat trick against us!

Where is he now - Enjoying the high life in Oz where he spends many a happy hour reflecting on his greatest moments at Penwortham Leisure Centre - such as that time he got a bar of chocolate out of the vending machine for 20p less than it should have been

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Brian Finagen

Paul Havey

He calls himself - Paul doesn’t talk to himself (he’s usually too busy having a full and frank dialogue with other players)
We call him - Whatever he tells us to
Most likely to be - Organising players, motivating, making sure all the opposition players are marked(!), encouraging, taking no nonsense
Least Likely to be - Regarding the match as ‘just a game’ - it’s not to be taken lightly
Where does he play - Normally turns out in defence, but not averse to bringing the ball forward and pushing play up the pitch
Fascinating fact - Paul always has a good line in banter, be it “Composure” screamed at 108dB or “I’m not going to argue with you ref, because I know you were wrong” - every one a gem

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Paul Havey

Mark Heaney

He calls himself - Contender for “GOAL OF THE SEASON” (this seems to happen every season)

We call him - The Penwortham Panther (he was known as the Penwortham Prowler, but his court case in the 1990s soon made that title very inappropriate)

Most likely to be - Encouraging younger team members, chasing back to help out the defence, knocking the ball into space (see also Andy Timms) to set up attacking moves from deep positions

Least Likely to be - On the phone to his agent trying to get that transfer to Liverpool FC

Where does he play - The former front man is now equally at home in any position (on and off) the pitch

Fascinating fact - Mark has shed a total of 4 stone 7lbs in the last 2 months to get down to his fighting weight of 17 and a half stone!

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Mark Heaney

Martin Hulley

He calls himself - Maestro Martin
We call him - Mister Martin
Most likely to be - Confirming he can turn out for a game within 2 seconds of the text message request for availability going out
Least Likely to be - Hurling insults at out 'keeper
Where does he play - Normally plays in midfield, but often finds himself in a position up front where he can stick the ball in the back of the net
Fascinating fact - Recently (Autumn 2017) took part in a charity cycle ride from Paris to Blackpool and his group raised over £10,000 for charity - great achievement

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Martin Hulley

Andy Livesey

He calls himself - The Penwortham Brick Wall (tall but not thick)

We call him - Goose (we’ve no idea why, lost in the mists of time)

Most likely to be - In the thick of it, scrambling around on all fours trying to get something on the ball

Least Likely to be - Going upfield for that last minute corner when we’re 2-1 down, Goose likes the security of his goalkeeping area

Where does he play - Has played outfield, but prefer the nets, where he can swap notes with Paul on the art and skill of goalkeeping

Fascinating fact - Fully committed at all times - recently had to spend 5 minutes in the sin bin because of “a cynical and desperate attempt to play the ball and anything else that got in the way” according to the ref, or “simply clearing the danger” according to Goose

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Andy Livesey

Matt Nerney

Matt is a former player
He called himself - Hard to say, translation difficulties meant the only time where could clearly make out what he was saying usually involved a sentence with “Fosters” in it! We heard that quite a few times

We called him - MadManMatt

Most likely to be - Looking to take on his man and create an opening

Least Likely to be - Agreeing that the ref was right

Where did he play - Centre midfield is his natural domain, though can often be found in other areas

Where is he now - Back home in the north east writing poems and tending his bee hives

Fascinating fact - Matt knitted the grey hoodie himself, you’ve got to find something to do in Preston on cold winter evenings

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Matt Nerney

Mike Rigby

Mike is a former player
He calls himself - Raffa Rigby

We call him - Reffer Rigby

Most likely to be - Rounding up the Rigby posse and getting them to the game

Least Likely to be - Arriving at the game 5 minutes early

Where did he play - Up front, a goal machine that never broke down and just needed a little regular lubrication

Where is he now - Probably on the M62, either going to Leeds or traveling back home

Fascinating fact - One week when we are struggling for players he rounded up the Rigby clan and we had 4 of them playing for us

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Mike Rigby

Phil Rigby

He calls himself - Me

We call him - Etna (the simmering volcano)

Most likely to be - on the verge of something explosive (pace, shot, skill, temper tantrum)

Least Likely to be - Giving less than 100% for the team

Where does he play - Anywhere, he has played in goal, defence, midfield and up front, though never quite all in the same match

Fascinating fact - Phil averaged a goal a game in his first full season as a 16 year old

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Phil Rigby

Dave Siddle

He called himself - A footballer like no other

We called him - A footballer like no other!!! The leg end?

Most likely to be - Recounting tales of former glory days (27th and 28th October 1987)

Least Likely to be - Putting his hand in his pocket for the after match drinks

Where did he play - To be honest, we’ve no idea, but it certainly wasn’t in Penwortham on a Thursday night

Where is he now - Playing golf with a bunch of boring old timers, with bad backs, creaky knees, failing eyesight (note, I’m making no reference to hair loss, that’d see me on too dodgy ground)

Fascinating fact - Dave was never slow to pass on his years of footballing knowledge to younger players, a process that took all of 15 seconds, if he repeated himself

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Dave Siddle

Joe Thomas

He calls himself - The Gifted One

We call him - El Supremo (or Elsie, for short)

Most likely to be - Running up and down the pitch in attack and defence, doing all he can to get the ball from the opposition or block a shot

Least Likely to be - Telling the ref that he’s having a wonderful game and that he is 100% behind him

Where does he play - Normally turns out in midfield but does pop up in defence - to help out at the back - or attack - if he wants to get on the scoresheet

Fascinating fact - Recently seemed upset that he only had 2 touches of the ball all evening - if only Goose could sport a record like that - plus he often brings his own cheerleaders / fan club to the game

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Joe Thomas

Andy Timms

He calls himself - The Beast

We call him - The man in the XXXXL shirt

Most likely to be - Giving a defender a nudge in the back in an attempt to open up a goal scoring opportunity, knocking the ball into space (though not in quite the same sense as Mark Heaney)

Least Likely to be - Trying to hit the ball with his right foot, it can just about be used for standing on

Where does he play - Usually up front, where his sweet left for has been known to knock the ball in from any angle

Fascinating fact - Andy used to practice dribbling around Pot Noodle tubs in his back garden, unfortunately the Pot Noodles normally won

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Andy Timms