"As for Maidenhead, the conga (which was amusing) aside, quite a strange bunch really – some the oddest chants I've ever heard at a football match" ~ localboy86, Amber Planet forum, 26th April 2015

Friday 24 October 2014

Ground Hopper inadvertently unmasked?

A previous post on here, back in May 2012, explained my theory re the comedy genius behind Drax's parody twitter account (perhaps CWKHF is now also cleverly lampooning himself using the @chairmangriff handle?)

High time for another unveiling!

This one concerns the true identity of Ground Hopper; author of a weekly column in the Advertiser sports section that often features Maidenhead United (and, last October, labelled me a litter bug, despite the fact that the bin I openly admitted dropping over the York Road pitch surrounds - in a deliberate act of protest - was empty!)

Anyway, Ground Hopper is Mark Steward aka Rasher and I claim my five pounds!

Mark Steward: sometime Director of Football (self-styled?); long-time (well, at least since he stopped following Chelsea) fluorescent-jacketed jobsworth; son of legendary York Road turnstile operator Brian (who was well-respected by most people, incidentally, and a volunteer in the true sense).

How have I reached this conclusion? Well, check out the recent article for irrefutable proof:

'To be in the same company as Brian Pitts, Mick Chatterton and Tom Cook'

Tom Cook? *Tom* Cook?!

He still can't get his name right!

The story goes, you see, that Rasher once referred to Tim 'Cookie' Cook - that's 367 starts, long-time captain and first ballot Hall of Famer Tim Cook - as 'CORKIE'!

I also had to explain to former Chairman Roger Coombs and his wife Jean - guests at a Hall of Fame induction - who Rasher was, because they had little or no idea … despite the implication that he was born on the Bell End and been a York Road stalwart since forever!

Whilst on the subject of the Hall of Fame - and as I mentioned on twitter, the other week - only three of the updated all-time top ten appearance makers aren't in. Mark Nisbet (he scored at King's Lynn, don't ya know?) is still playing and so currently ineligible. Dave Woolley was earmarked for induction in 2011 - as part of an additional group of six, taking us to 32 - but this didn't happen, in the end, because of you-know-what.

Then there's Obinna Ulasi.

Ground Hopper/ Rasher's 'favourite modern day player'.

What, above Louis Wells?!

OK, now I'm not so sure!

P.S. The Hall of Fame - even if I do say so myself - looked really smart, when up in Stripes, and I'm always filled with a sense of pride when fans (including away supporters, such as Sutton United on the opening day) read it and take photos (the one below, so I've been told, is from the recent programme at Whitehawk). I think it's a shame, therefore, that (1.) it wasn't completed, as intended, and (2.) is in a state of some disarray. Perhaps I'll post a retrospective (or series of) on here. Misty-eyed nostalgia is, lest we forget, all the rage these days.

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