Sporting Snippets - Part 23

South Fork Ranch is now in Portfield Gate!

Derek BrazilWhen Derek Brazil was manager at Haverfordwest County there was always a lighter moment to be found from the Irishman who played for Manchester United Irishman, especially since he had clearly kissed the Blarney Stone in his younger days!

I was at the ‘Grill Brazil’ evening for delighted fans when he told me the following story!

Haverfordwest County manager Derek Brazil is clearly a fan of the old ‘Dallas’ television programme because he has vivid memories of a recent overnight stay in Portfield Gate with Bluebirds’ pal Mickie Ellis so that he could attend the ‘Grill Brazil’ evening at the Bridge Meadow Stadium.

All went well until Mr B went for a wee in the night and after washing his hands and leaving the bathroom in good order was confronted with seven doors, all exactly the same, one of which was his bedroom for the night. 

‘It was like being in South Fork,” he told us at the Bridge Meadow, “it took me ages to work out which door was mine – but I got back to bed eventually.”

He was clearly impressed because he has since dubbed Mickie with a new name – ‘Mickie Dallas’ and eventually aims to have such a big house himself when his ship comes in!

Derek Roberts

Derek Roberts fools the Bluebirds’ gang

One of the best-liked and respected members of the local football fraternity was the late Derek Roberts, who did so much great work at Merlins Bridge as a player and manager – and then at Haverfordwest County as a terrific coach who worked so well in tandem with his great friend Mickie Ellis.

He loved a bit of fun and never was it more exemplified than in this brilliant little story!

Derek Roberts was a busy member of the Haverfordwest County management team who took a smashing holiday to New Zealand with his wife Byddug, whose sister lives in the ‘Land of the Great White Cloud’ – and on his return managed to fool some of the ‘Bluebirds Bunch’ about his angling skills.

Derek did go fishing and caught some nice snappers and scorpion fish on a small rod but his picture appeared on the club’s web-site, standing proudly alongside a giant marlin which weighed over 200kgs, with the obvious implication that he had caught the monster marlin.

What actually happened was that Derek and Byddug had been out for the day and when news came on the local radio about the marlin’s capture at a nearby beach they decided to pop down for a look. Derek did well to sidle over and have his picture taken alongside the huge specimen fish, as he did just later at the official shoot of the event.

Anyhow, some of the lads at the Bridge Meadow,  in expressing their admiration about his epic event, asked him loads of questions about his battle with the mighty marlin – but all has been revealed now and ‘Del Boy’ has lost his short-lived reputation as an amazing angler!

‘Kirks’ lights up the town – and keeps the police busy

Phil KirkbyAnother smashing character who typifies all that is good in sport is Phil Kirkby, who is one of the biggest hitters of a cricket ball I’ve seen locally and doubles up as a very good electrician, where one job he did in the festive season with old pal Mike Smith, himself a builder, caused a little bit of mayhem in High Street!

Another Haverfordian who has endured his share of leg-pulling around the festive season was Phil Kirkby, the ace batsman with Haverfordwest CC who has done such a good job keeping the town’s Christmas lights looking superb with his electrical company.

But keeping them so well looked-after hasn’t been without incident because he is called out whenever there are problems with bulbs and does the maintenance job with the good humour that is part of his make-up – so he was one night on the scaffolding outside Munt’s the Jewellers, the ‘Shop with a Clock on the Hill’, because some lights failed to function.

He was ably assisted by Mike Smith, the veteran footballer who managed the Cricket Club soccer side, but when they moved to check the lights in another part of town they suddenly found themselves dealing with several policemen in several cars with flashing lights!

It transpired that someone had spotted this dedicated duo on Munt’s scaffolding and naturally assumed that he was a burglar, phoned the police, and the rest was something he won’t forget as he had to explain to the boys in blue that he was simply doing a good job. Mind you, looking at Messrs Kirkby and Smith it would be easy to imagine them with black masks, striped shirts and a ‘Swag’ bag apiece because they are both larger than life characters, to say the least!

Bernie caught a dog fish – and a dog!

Bernie ArmstrongWhat do you reckon is the most expensive fish caught around our county’s coastline? Read on and you could find out the answer!

Bernie Armstrong is the larger than life manager of Goodwick United who doubles up as a very good table tennis player, but also enjoys his sea fishing on the breakwater and Abermawr, near his palatial home in Goodwick.

He recently fancied an evening’s fishing at Abermawr and after digging up some lugworm in Fishguard Bay he also took a frozen mackerel for his 6pm to midnight venture, plus the family’s Westie dog Megan for company.

He caught a dog fish as it got dark but as he tried to re-bait his line he put it on the beach whilst he searched for something and the next thing was a noise from Megan which indicated that she had tried to eat the bait, hook and all!

Bernie had to struggle to catch her in the dark and had a few bite marks as he tried to prise open her mouth before extracting the line, only to find no sign of the hook – so he took her straight home  and then on to the vet the next day, just to be sure. Luckily Bernie did take Megan because e-rays revealed the hook in her throat, just a fraction of an inch from a main artery!  Megan required fairly extensive surgery and fortunately wass back as full of beans as ever – but Bernie would ruefully say that the dogfish was the dearest catch he has ever made in his long time as an angler!


Bluebirds’ fans reach Aber – at the third attempt!!

There is a fantastic group of supporters of Haverfordwest County AFC who love to travel to cheer on The Bluebirds at away matches and as someone who has been lucky enough to travel with them to some far-flung places I can vouch for the fact that they are a great bunch who become like a larger version of ‘Last of the Summer Wine’ when on the road!

Haverfordwest County AFC played at Aberystwyth Town on Boxing Day and Eddie Bunston, Alan Thomas, Alan Adams and Co from the Bluebirds’ backroom boys organised a coach to take supporters to Mid Wales for a great day out, other than the result, because the Bluebirds lost 2-1.

But their start was a little out of the ordinary, after setting out bang on time, because when they were en route to Fishguard to pick up supporters from that town someone smelt petrol and so the driver decided to return to his depot to pick up another coach, which he duly did. But after some of the supporters had boarded the coach there was another hold-up because a car parked on the forecourt, where the owner was in paying for his petrol, rolled gently into the bus and although no-one was hurt it wasn’t possible to close the coach’s door!

So it was off that vehicle and on to a third coach – where Kenny Roberts, the oldest by far of the Bluebirds’ fans, was praised for his brave attempts to stop the contact between car and bus, and on then it was on to Aberystwyth without any further incidents and in plenty of time to enjoy some food, a pint and the chance to cheer the Bluebirds’ on. 

With so much excitement I bet Kenny and the rest of the travellers can’t wait for the next coach trip to cheer on Derek Brazil’s boys!