Sporting Snippets - Part 12

Welcome to another walk down ‘Memory Lane’ where again we attempt to laugh with (and definitely not at) some smashing characters from our sporting fraternity – so please enjoy them in that spirit!

Bingo boffins at the Bridge Meadow


Two of the most competitive ex-footballers I know are Mickie Ellis and John Roberts, latterly giving great service to Haverfordwest County as coach and first-aid man respectively. So you can imagine my surprise when I turned up to MC some charity bingo to find them both there, all ready to go, right down to the special ‘blob’ markers that ladies of a certain age use in bingo halls across the UK. You might not believe this – so I attach the photograph of this unlikely pair as proof!
Anyone who knows John Roberts and Mickie Ellis, who do so much great work at the Bridge Meadow Stadium with Haverfordwest County, would say that the duo are really strong he-men and not the types to indulge themselves in a game of bingo.

Well, that might have been so at one time but it seems that as they are getting a little older so their tastes for a good night out are changing – and both were so involved at the Bluebirds’ recent Easter Bingo evening that they even had the ‘blob’ markers so favoured by bingo fanatics!

Big John, who is normally associated with climbing ladders to get pensioners’ cats out of trees as a local fireman, was delighted when he was able to call ‘house’ and win himself a turkey and although Mickey didn’t manage a win he was as thoroughly engrossed in the game as he used to be as a super footballer. So well done lads – and don’t worry about getting old and taking part in bingo because it happens to a lot of sports people in the passing of time!

Mickie Ellis and John Roberts in Bingo


‘Jenks’ also likes ‘Two fat ladies’ and ‘Doctor’s Orders’

Steve Jenkins in BingoSomeone else I might have been more inclined to think might just play the odd game of bingo would be Johnston cricketer Steve Jenkins, who led their first team for over a decade – but only as a means of helping raise funds for his daughter’s school. I also have a picture of him playing but sadly I seem to have mislaid it  - although I’ll keep looking!
Staying with bingo for a moment longer, it seems that long-standing Johnston Cricket captain Steve Jenkins is also partial to a game with his better half, both recently taking part at the Easter Bingo put on at Fenton Junior School in Haverfordwest.

‘Jenks’ is best known in cricket for using his left arm for slinging a few deliveries down but on this occasion his left hand was working overtime in ‘blobbing out’ the numbers as they were called out by the MC.

But he was a bit of a bad sport in the sense that he refused to wolf whistle at the call of ‘Legs Eleven’ or say ‘Evening all’ when ‘PC 49’ came out – but he was clearly delighted when he won a house and received a large Easter egg which he said was going to be eaten that very night!

‘Jenks’ has just stepped down as Johnston skipper after 11 years so perhaps this is the start of a new way to spend his spare time – playing bingo instead of cricket!


Wit backfired as ‘Turbo’ fired 25 points


Tom LewisTom Lewis is known to all in rugby as ‘Turbo’ and has played at Tenby United, then Pembroke Dock Quins and finally back to The Seasiders. When he returned to Bierspool for a league match he was inevitably the focus of some ‘stick’ from the Quins’ fans – bit I loved the way he shared a joke with one of them early on – and then scored 25 points!
It is also nice when a wit in the crowd has his comeuppance, as happened in a recent match at Bierspool, where Pembroke Dock Harlequins entertained Tenby United in Division Four (West). Now Tenby outside half Tom Lewis used to score points aplenty in his days with the Quins but he is always guaranteed a warmer than normal welcome whenever he plays for Tenby there.

In this particular match a voice from the crowd shouted out, “Come on Chubby Checker!” as he missed an early kick to touch, alluding to the fact that our Tom is larger than most No 10s but certainly not the size of the 1960s pop singer who brought us ‘The ‘Twist’ dance.

Anyway, Tom smiled at the comment, nice guy that he is, and certainly heeded the advice because he ‘came on’ to such a degree that he scored an amazing 25 points from a try, two penalties and all six conversions as the Seasiders won with ease.

So if I were the Quins fans, especially the one who called him ‘Chubby Checker’, I wouldn’t wind Tom up because it will only cause him to score more points!


Fanus has a very sweet tooth . . .


Richard Fanus was a useful cricket umpire some time ago but he is also known for his barbed comments at referees in rugby and football – and for his liking of his grub and a pint. Our two stories in this issue made us laugh and it is to Richard’s credit that he found them funny as well!
Richard Fanus is best known as a rugby supporter at Narberth who has the crowd in stitches with his witty comments to visiting referees, plus an involvement with local football at Narberth and cricket with Kilgetty – but he received a mention in this column last month because he attended a cheese fayre for charity and complained that the slices were too thin until the cheese maker gave him some real wedges, just to stop Mr F grumbling.

It seems, however that this isn’t a one-off because he has also caught the eye at the recent pre-match lunch with the Pembrokeshire Association of Cricket Umpires and Scorers, where Richard not only ate half of someone else’s rice pudding but also nagged the waitress into giving him a huge portion of his own, which was slopping over the edge of the dish.

Not content with that little lot, he then hid some of the chocolate mints when the coffee arrived and had the poor girl chasing around for more. When she couldn’t find any she even managed to provide him with some mini-Mars, Milky Ways and other such goodies, which he soon munched down.
Watch that waist-line Richard, or you won’t be able to watch any sport!

Adge John and Richard Fanus

. . . And likes a drink as well!

Staying with Mr Fanus for just a moment longer, a mole in his family was telling us that just the day before the umpires’ lunch he was also causing a little mayhem after he had travelled to watch Tenby United take on Milford Haven in a rugby match at Heywood Lane. After the match he and old chum Adge John were waiting for the bus to Saundersfoot when he felt a little thirsty so he went into a nearby Spar shop to buy two bottles for them to sip on the bus.

He purchased beers with exotic names like ‘Sheep Dip’ and ‘Country Cousins’ but when the intrepid pair tried to slake their thirst they realised that whilst one bottle had a screw cap the other needed a bottle opener.

So they had to wait to arrive at the Saundersfoot Sports Club and ask long-suffering steward Roger Stanford could they have two glasses and a bottle opener – and paid him back by having a few beers whilst they were there from his excellent range.

What will the intrepid Mr Fanus get up to next with regard to food and drink – be sure that we will let you know!

John James – Gentleman of Sport!


John JamesIf ever a man showed total dedication to his rugby club then it is John James, who really is ‘Mr St Davids RFC’ after over almost 50 years of involvement – and this little tale tells why he is such a great gentleman of sport!
It’s always nice to highlight good sportsmanship and this month we salute John James, who has given so many years of service to St Davids as player, coach, committeeman and touch judge.

He was running the line in the Easter Monday local derby at Fishguard when the Seagulls put in an attack at the clubhouse corner which ended with home second row Torau Ilaisa just making it for a try but referee Martin Williams was understandable unsighted in the pile-up of bodies – until he looked across at John, who told him that it was a try for the opposition.

Poor old John had some stick from Chris Morgan and the rest of the Saints’ forwards but as he says, “a try is a try and I can’t be a cheat.”

I totally agree and can only say wouldn’t it be nice if everyone adopted that attitude in sport?
So well done John bach, you easily win our ‘Sporting Giant’ of the month award and long may you continue to grace rugby at Ty Ddewi!