There's a player at Hampstead and Westminster HC called Chris Cargo. He's very quick and plays for Ireland. His nickname is Les which , once I'd worked it out, has always amused me. It's a bit like the story told by the comedian Greg Davies of the middle aged man and father of several children who is known by everyone, including his kids, as "Baghdad" because when he was ten years old he went into school one day carrying a new bag for his books, which his Dad had given him. The name just stuck. How mad is that ? - but I bet it's made you smile.
I like nicknames especially if their origin is not obvious . For example why is Simon Dawson known as Boots and why does our second team coach answer to Blakemore? Why was the legendary Stotty known as Stotty? - even he didn't know. My favourite club nickname of all time is HG for John Kaluza - if you don't know why he's called that I'm certainly not going to let on........
And why are people called Price(y),Knox(y),Wood(y) and Watts(y) while Sobey is called Sobes. He should obviously be called Sobey. Bonkers isn't it.
I discovered recently that Tommy Dawes is called Windows by some, including most of the U8's he coaches - I thought that was pretty clever and coming out of the mouth of a 6 yr old it made me chuckle. I mention it because I received a rather unwelcome email from Windows on Friday. It read "I’m sorry to say I can’t play tomorrow unfortunately. I was in A&E yesterday as my bike buckled underneath me and as I was clipped in I just fell on my right hand side. Other than bruises and cuts the main issue is the concussion which means I can’t play sport this weekend. I will still come along and support but I’m sorry about all the inconvenience." Typically considerate - always thinking of others.
Putting aside for a moment any understandable concern for Window's wellbeing does anyone reading that note come close to believing that his bike suffered some catastrophic total metal malfunction resulting in it buckling ? Of course not. Tommy, have a word with yourself!! If you've just fallen off your bike because you were riding it like a dork it's probably best to make a full and frank admission. At least you'll get some credit for that. Bikes don't just suddenly disintegrate without warning.
Nonetheless this was unwelcome news coming, as it did, hard on the heels of another late unanticipated cry off. So (I can't help it! And I can see now why interviewees start all their answers on the radio with this wretched little word.) for the third week running I was on the phone to the ever obliging 3rd XI captain seeking reinforcements which arrived in the form of James Edmiston.
Thus (not So!!) on Saturday morning a somewhat depleted 2nd team squad turned up at Reading HC at 9.a.m. to do battle with their 3rds (who sat above us in the League table). While not exactly brimming with confidence it's a measure of the depth of talent currently available at Hawks that we still had a decent side.
We needn't have worried as it turned out. Despite going behind early on, the 2's then scored 3 in a row from young guns Harry and Freddie (don't they make ice cream?) and Sam Windsor Lewis (showing his best form of the season so far.)
3-1 at the interval was so comfortable that one idiot suggested we should aim to score a few more in the second half. Of course that put the mockers on any prospect of it actually occurring, as I could have told you at the time. When did the mens 2nd XI ever deliver in the second half what they determined to do at half time? Answer - Never.
At least the game was closed out in some comfort setting the 2's up nicely for the challenge of table toppers Maidenhead next Saturday.
Windows was as good as his word and turned up to support with his family as did most of Hugo's relatives, SWL's Dad , Little and Large - a good showing all round. I'd have to concede that Windows sported enough facial injuries that he resembled a man whose bike had, without warning, fallen to bits beneath him.
And apparently some large bloke suggested the manager was apparently spotted smiling. Happy days.