Ok so here we go! Back in 1992 after a stint as a teaching assistant, Craig in his wisdom decided he wanted to start
a junior soccer team. Because he was working at both Barnby Dun schools he had a perfect opportunity to recruit a squad. The headteacher
of the middle school, Mr Pow offered some advice. Which was:
'Don't get involved in boys league football'
After thinking over this advice & totally ignoring it, Craig sent out his advertisment leaflets to schools in
The first day of training, a warm but cloudy Wednesday evening in June saw a decent turn out but for some
reason no one attended from the middle school. Why was this? Well one answer could have been that Mr Pow didn't
want his kids involved in league football, plus the White Hart Colts were based in Barnby Dun & the so called better kids
played for them.
Note: In 1992 part of the middle school was destroyed by fire. Rumour was that the cause of the
fire was from a faulty copier, which was left on by mistake. The spark from the faulty plug hit the paper advertisement leaflets,
next to the copier, which should have been given out, which then burnt the school down. Irony or what!
Anyway word soon spread & the middle school boys turned up on the following Saturday & the Barnby Dun Juniors
were born. Nineteen players were now registered & things began to take shape.
Craig recruited Steve, Chris (JJ) Jakes as coaches & their training session consisted of:
1 hour fitness training. Steve was an former corporal in the Army. 1 hour of under-water sutt juggling. A perfect
receipe for complete disaster.
Two days in freezing cold Blackpool in the middle of August with the team. A great way to bond with your
players. Ran out of money & had to sneak food into the hotel room, then finally had to lend money for petrol to get us
The season begins:
Here's where things start to go pear shaped!
It should have been a nice easy season with no real moments of craziness. Unfortunately those ideas were short
lived. The problem began when Craig sacked the goalkeeper before a game & had only 10 players. What should Craig
do? Play with 10 players? play with no goalkeeper? No play an overaged player. Wise thing to do? No!
There were rumours being banded about that there were clubs playing overaged players. Craig & his coaches thought
this decision wasn't that risky because most teams did it anyway. How wrong they were.
There were & probably still are teams who play unregistered & overage players. Is it cheating? Maybe. Does
it break rules? definately. You cannot defend playing overage players but at the time Craig thought it was the right thing
to do. It would only be for one game until Barnby Dun found a new keeper. So six games later & still playing the same
overage player there was a strong possibility of getting caught.
Even though word had got out that Barnby Dun had an overage player the league had no real idea it was happening.
The only way they found out was because a parent from Barnby Dun, nudged in the right direction by the White Hart Colts, wrote
anonymous letters to the league describing the irresponsible actions of the Barnby Dun Juniors manager. Obviously Craig didn't
know this & it still didn't stop him playing an overage player in the up & coming fixture against the Colts. Even
though most of the kids went to the same school & would blab like school kids do, Craig still played his keeper. Silly
thing to do!
You may ask why Craig would do such a stupid thing. Was it stubboness? Was it a attitude problem? or maybe it was
the paint chips he ate as a toddler or the airfix glue he sniffed so innocently whilst sticking his planes together.
During the game between the Juniors & Colts the under 11's registrar was called by the Colts managers wife. He
came through to the game and accused Craig of playing overaged players. A league meeting would have to be arranged but before
this the league would make enquiries. The Juniors fixtures were to be suspended but Steve tool charge & Craig stepped
Craig & the club secretary, John had to go to the league meeting arranged for November 1992 at the Earl of Doncaster
Hotel. The league sent the charges, which related to the game against the Colts & made several surprising accusations.
Supposedly the Juniors had played four overaged players, which was not true.
Two days before the league meeting, Craig's neighbour was told in Barnby Dun social club by the Colts manager that
Craig & John were to receive Sine Die suspensions, this means a suspension without a date. So it could last forever! Harmed
with this knowledge, Craig & John went to the meeting determined not to be bullied.
At the meeting there were fourteen league members present. Why they needed this many people for a disciplinary hearing
is anyones guess. So the league secretary read out the charges & asked how Craig pleaded. When the words not guilty hit
the ears of the committee there was shock in the room. The reaction of the league members was one of astonishment. No one
before had challenged the league in this way. Because the league were unprepared they had to adjourn the meeting to gather
evidence, which they should had done originally.