Month: June 2011

Doing It For A Good Cause: 30/06/2011

Due to a brief summer break, this week’s quick round-up football charities is a little later than usual, but this evening we have another couple of causes related to the game which prove that, for all of the bad news that seems to be out there – and it can seem, from time to time, to be perpetual – there is still some good that can come from the heart of the game. This evening, we are delighted to be spreading the word for KitAid, Non-League Day and the Bob Wilson Soccer Cycle, but don’t forget that, if you are involved in a football-related charity project, we do this once a week on Twohundredpercent, so, if you would like your cause to be featured on this page, feel free to drop us a line via our contact page. KitAid: Football shirts and kits, as many of you will already be more than aware, can be a very emotive subject. They are badges of allegiance for most supporters, and this is a universal habit of supporters the world over. When Derrick Williams MBE, an employee of a water company, made a charity trip to Tanzania in 1998, he was astonished by the reception that the football shirts that he took with him received when he wore them. Upon his return, Derrick set up KitAid, a charity to send unwanted football...

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Thursday Picture: Struck By Lightning

Dotmund has always been a fan of football manager’s excuses, and you don’t get any better excuses than from the coaches of national sides from countries with oppressive regimes. Even so, North Korea’s Kim Kwang-min still managed to go above and beyond with his reason why his team had lost their opening match in the 2011 Women’s World Cup. What happened next had a grim kind of inevitability about it, we’re afraid. Click for bigger Tweet us up good and hard… Dotmund |...

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The 2011 Women’s World Cup: The Story So Far

British Eurosport’s ubiquitous football commentator Tim Caple was doing his level best not to say there were “no easy games in international football these days.” Some clichés are oft-repeated because of the element of truth therein, but there were certainly no “easy games” in the first round of matches at this year’s Women’s World Cup in Germany. Nothing suggested that the semi-final line-up in this year’s tournament will be anything other than Germany, Brazil, the United States and A.N. Other. However, the performances of ‘lesser’ teams such as Canada, Colombia and New Zealand contributed to an absorbing first round of matches, which were all competitive and largely free of the fear of losing which so often besmirches early games in international tournament finals. And Equatorial Guinea’s display in defeat against Norway produced a near-classic. The matches were also largely free of the confusing side-effects of FIFA’s habit of introducing rule changes at the start of such tournaments, although an audibly irritated Caple detected the introduction of the “push-in”, which appeared to replace the “throw-in” during the United States’ match with Korea DPR. The competitive nature of all the teams might have a slightly debilitating effect on the goals-per-game ratio, with little sign of the occasional multi-goal thrashing which usually boosts that statistic – think Germany’s 11-0 hockeying of Argentina in 2007’s opening match. Equally significant has been the quality...

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It’s Official: England Are The Fourth Best National Team In The World

The middle of the summer always brings about the “silly season”, that time of year when, with parliament sunning itself on beaches or relaxing on their country estates, news editors find themselves having to resort to a different angle in their reporting of the news. This extends to the sports pages as well, particularly in years with an odd number when there is no distraction in the form of a World Cup finals or a European Championship finals. So it is that, with most of the press choosing to ignore or patronise the European Under-21 Championships and the Women’s World Cup, we are left with transfer rumours of a decidedly reheated nature (is there anything about the Cesc Fabregas story that wasn’t being discussed six months ago or this time last year?) and, this summer, arguably the silliest story of the lot. England are up to fourth place in the FIFA World Rankings. FIFA’s equivalent of the Billboard Top 100 has, like the FA’s Respect Campaign or David James’ hairstyles, long been a source of ridicule and bafflement amongst most supporters and those in the media. The inclusion of England at fourth place in the list released today, however, takes the biscuit as a source for our amusement. They sit above Italy, Argentina and, most amusingly of all, Brazil. Although Brazil are in something of a state of disarray...

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Those We Have Lost: Fellows Park, Walsall FC

In 1990, Walsall became one of the first clubs of the modern era to leave their home for pastures new, when they departed Fellows Park for the Bescot Stadium. Tom Lines tells the story of their original home. If you support a club that has moved home and fancy writing about its old ground, feel free to drop us a line via the Contact page. There is plenty more on the history of Fellows Park here. Objectively, there are few reasons to mourn Fellows Park – the ramshackle hotchpotch of timber, concrete and corrugated iron that served as Walsall FC’s home for 94 years. Of course, like snoods and DJ Spoony, objectivity has no place in football and with two decades having passed since Fellows Park was torn down to make way for a supermarket, Saddlers’ fans old enough to remember the former ground have had plenty of time to allow their memories to percolate. Fellows Park was actually known as Hillary Street for the first 34 years of its existence before the club decided to honour director HL Fellows in 1930. Following the amalgamation of Walsall Swifts and Walsall Town (both successful sides in their own right) in 1888, the club had played at a variety of locations in the borough before Hillary Street became their permanent home in 1896. Even then the club had to move back...

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