Sporting Snippets - Part 19

More sports journalists daft errors

We have done this before but we felt it was time to go back to our local sports journalists to discover some of the daft little errors they have made whilst trying to give the top sports coverage that is so appreciated by the sporting fraternity in Pembrokeshire!

Bill Carne and Bernie Armstrong

Lost for words for once!

Since I am happy to laugh with other Pembrokeshire Sports people it is only fair that I mention my own little faux pas from time to time – and for once my old pal Bernie Armstrong and I were both lost for words on a sporting trip to watch the tennis at Wimbledon.
Bernie, who was then best known as manager of Goodwick United, had come with me to watch some of the ladies’ quarter final games on the centre court on the second Tuesday at the world-famous tennis.

On the Monday evening, when Andy Murray beat Stan Wawrinka in that epic battle, we were outside the ground in a long queue for late entry tickets; unable to get in but listening to the cheers before catching our bus back to the pub in Wanstead, where we were staying, having at least experienced the amazing atmosphere outside.

The bus fare was £2 and the drivers insist on giving no change, asking for the exact money, so whilst we were eating a meal back at the hotel we emptied our pockets to make sure we had enough change for Tuesday morning’s bus trip to the ground - and managed to build two £2 piles of coins, of varying denominations, which we placed on the table as we were watching the tennis on TV.

We found we had just enough but then along came our waiter to collect our dishes and in the blink of an eyelid we watched our bus fares disappear with our empty plates as he said “Thanks very much gents” for what he thought was his tip, and disappeared into the kitchen with our four quid!

We almost collapsed with laughter but all’s well that ends well because the next morning we discovered a nice Sainsbury’s just around the corner where we loaded up with bottled water in readiness for the Wimbledon heat – and acquired some change there for the bus!

Is Gordon getting a little forgetful . . .

 Gordon ThomasWhen top sports editor Gordon Thomas attended a meeting with officials of the Manderwood Pembrokeshire Football League he showed that despite having a razor-sharp brain is still capable of the odd moment of forgetfulness . . .
Gordon Thomas works tirelessly for local sport as the sports editor at the Western Telegraph but my moles reveal that even ‘GT’ is capable of making the odd error – as he proved when he attended a recent photo-call to celebrate the fact that Manderwood are going to sponsor the Pembrokeshire Football League.

He turned up at the Manderwood offices in Neyland where he was delighted to meet up with Chris Tansey, the boss of Manderwood’s, plus Brian Hawkins and Colin Williams, who are secretary and chairman respectively of the league. The quartet enjoyed a nice chat but it was only when they decided it was time to take a photo that Mr T realised he had travelled without his camera – but soon remedied the situation with a short trip back into Haverfordwest whilst the others enjoyed a second cup of coffee and a chuckle about

. . . Perhaps he is!

The late Derek Roberts was hugely respected in local football and had a wonderful sense of humour in his work as a coach amongst lots of other things at The Bridge Meadow Stadium. So when he asked Western Telegraph sports editor Gordon Thomas if he would mind taking a team picture of his young charges GT was delighted to say yes – and turned up nice and early for the picture.
It was in the days before digital cameras and Gordon had a nice camera – and took the picture that Derek wanted. The next day Mr Roberts was on the phone asking if he could have a copy for his scrap book and of course Gordon again answered in the affirmative but later on in the evening it was a shame-faced sports editor who had to pop over to Derek’s house and admit his mistake.

He thought there was already a roll of film in the camera and had forgotten to check before toddling off to The Bridge Meadow Stadium.

It was typical of Derek that he was very understanding and had a beaming smile in the photo when Gordon went down for the next home match – having checked that there was a film in his camera!

Fraser pushes his luck but gets out of a tricky situation . . .

Fraser WatsonFraser Watson is rightly seen as a cool, level-headed guy but it seems that even Mr W sometimes gets into some scrapes, like the one below!
In the 2005/06 rugby season Fraser Watson joined pals Dan Rees and Andrew Houghton on the Megabus which took them to London to watch The Scarlets take on The Wasps in the final of the Anglo-Welsh Cup competition.

All went well until they reached their resting place on the Saturday evening and a bewildered Fraser discovered that the three match tickets, which had been entrusted into his care, were not in his pocket or his bag!

It was then that he realised he had left them on the sideboard of the house he shared with other students in Cardiff and it looked as if the Pembs trio might have to miss the big day.

Luckily for him, however, Dan Rees’s girlfriend was driving up to watch the match on the Sunday and they succeeded in contacting her and she managed to gain entry and collect the missing tickets.

When she turned up it was a relieved Fraser who stuttered his grateful thanks and then off the quartet went to watch The Scarlets – and although they lost convincingly at least their supporters’ trek to ‘The Smoke’ hadn’t been in vain!

. . . And shows he  is clearly a man of action as well as a few words!

I have attended ‘Man of the Match’ presentations where the adjudicators have taken almost as long mentioning anyone who has contributed something, no matter how small, that supporters and players get restless.

It is often said that presentations of trophies sometimes take too long but at the Hakin United v Milford United  tussle in the Joe Lennon Memorial Cup the man of the match award was decided by Milford Mercury sports reporter Fraser Watson, who showed any long-winded person how to do it.

Not for Fraser a long spiel about those who just missed out, just stating the plain and simple fact.

“The winner is Hakin number two Steve Allen,” said Fraser, and that was that. Just eight words and all that needed to be said was there – plain and simple. Fortunately, his excellent match report in the ‘Mercury’ said a lot more; otherwise it would have been a thin sports section in the local paper that week!

Battery mayhem!


I was delighted to receive a new camera as a birthday present, a compact Panasonic that would allow me to slip it in my pocket when off to take head and shoulder pictures, rather than lugging around my much bigger SLR camera – but then my ignorance of modern technical stuff caused me to pay a bit of a price!
All went well as he took some smashing pics we could use but things quickly deteriorated when I tried to recharge the battery, because I just couldn’t get the battery charger to work. So it was back to Ivan at Celtic Vision in Narberth, who supplies a superb after-sales service, so that he could sort the problem out.

Ivan couldn’t understand why the new charger wouldn’t do its job until he examined it more closely and almost collapsed with laughter as he was able to tell this non-plussed feller that the problem occurred because I was trying to use the large charger from his big SLR camera, rather than the slim-line one for the compact camera!

So it was back home, getting the new charger out of its box, and it worked a real treat as the camera was a great aid to my reporting!


Two shoes in the kitchen - both right footed!

Right footed shoesI love Senior Cup semi-finals but in an attempt to avoid Mrs Carne’s wrath for taking muddy shoes into the house I took an old pair to change into when I had to go on the Bridge Meadow pitch to take team photos – but it just didn’t work out because of unforeseen circumstances!
Since I knew I would have to tread the hallowed turf at the Bridge Meadow Stadium I took a pair of old shoes to change for the match but the floodlights were turned off afterwards before I was ready so I returned in the dark to my car, put my regular footwear out of the boot and thought I had swapped them for my muddy old shoes, which I placed carefully in a bag.

I drove home and it was only next morning, when I heard hoots of laughter coming from my much better half in the kitchen, that I realised I had made a real cock-up because there, on the floor, were two shoes, one clean and one muddied, and both right-footed!

My only excuse was that I had changed my shoes in what was almost total darkness after the glare of the floodlights and got the pairs mixed up. So it was a shame-faced me who trudged out to the car in my ‘pair’ of shoes and retrieved the others so that I could put the muddied old pair back in the boot and my regular shoes back in the kitchen, this time with one right footed and one left-footed shoe!

I was able to chuckle with my wife afterwards but I was a little crest-fallen at the time, because I had tried to be a ‘good boy’ by taking my old shoes in the first place!