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Nuts, Crawley trip ends in disappointment

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Dan Walker | 09:08 UK time, Tuesday, 8 December 2009

I'm feeling a little bit sorry for myself as I write this. A sore throat has developed into some sort of "man cold" and I am struggling with phlegm.

My grub of choice reflects my current predicament. I have here two pieces of toast and a cup of tea. The toast is white. Piece 1 is accompanied by shredless marmalade while Piece 2 is covered in the classic combo of honey and marmite. If you are reading this and screaming "what are you doing you idiot?", then I suggest you try the second combination and tell me I'm an idiot. Prepare to have your culinary eyes opened wide.

About two months ago, I received an invitation from Crawley Town Football Club. If you don't know much about the team, they are currently somewhere in the middle of the Blue Square Premier still living on the glories of an FA Cup run that took them to the third round in the 1991-92 season.

Dan Walker at the Broadfield StadiumMy night at the Broadfield Stadium was to end in disappointment

Anyway, the invitation was to attend a game of my choice as part of the club's "Local Heroes" programme. Although technically I was once "local" - I spent the first 18 years of my life in Crawley - I explained I wasn't really a hero. I had never saved anyone from a burning building and I once hit an old man in the leg with a golf ball - by accident. The man was fine but his dog ran off in the melee! Yet despite my past failures, the invitation was not rescinded and I was asked to bring some guests.

I opted for Mark 'Coledog' Cole, editor of Football Focus, and Paul 'Armo' Armstrong, editor of Match Of The Day. These two footballing luminaries accompanied me to a recent midweek game against league leaders Oxford United.

We arrived at the impressive Broadfield Stadium about an hour before kick-off and were ushered into the Executive Suite where chairman Vic Marley gave us a warm welcome and pointed us in the direction of the hot buffet. "Two sausages or three, sir?" asked the man in the impeccable waistcoat. "Load me up with three," I replied. As I strolled off with my plateful, the woman behind me was asked if she wanted one sausage or two. Further investigation revealed that women are never offered the full three-sausage-deal.

Over at Table 7, we were joined by some interesting people. Silent John had precious little to say, while talkative young chap in a scarf more than made up for John's lack of conversation. Shelley was a part-time journalist from Crawley Happy Times. Fed up with bad news always making the headlines, she had decided to set up her own uber-positive website and had come to interview the BBC trio.

I talked about how much Crawley has changed since I left as a fresh-faced teenager, while Armo launched into a Churchillian address about the invigorating nature of non-league football. Silent John nodded in agreement as I wolfed down my third sausage. Chairman Vic came over for a vigorous pre-match handshake and we all headed out to our seats right behind the dugout.

There is something else you should know about Crawley Town. In match reports, the name of our Scottish manager Steve Evans is almost always preceded by one of the following words: "Colourful", "Fiery" or "Controversial". Evans was successfully prosecuted for tax evasion at a former club, was handed a lengthy ban last season and is currently serving a separate 13-match touchline suspension. So improper was his conduct at a game against Salisbury City back in February that the first three of those 13 games saw him not only banned from the dugout but from the stadium!

"Fiery" Steve was sitting three rows behind us and barked inaudible instructions throughout the 90 minutes. Five seats to his right was broadcasting legend and celebrity Oxford United fan Jim Rosenthal. The game immediately took on an extra dimension. Not only was it Crawley against the league leaders, this was the BBC against arch rivals ITV!

I expected a mauling but Crawley started rather impressively. After about 10 minutes, Armo offered a heart-warming "they're not bad, your boys" while Coledog was checking his phone for news on Bristol Rovers at home to Exeter. We returned to the sanctity of the Executive Suite at half-time with Crawley in complete control and a goal ahead thanks to Thomas Pinault.

The highlight of the interval was a speech from chairman Vic. He thanked everyone for turning up and mentioned Coledog, Armo and I by name. We got a round of applause! It was slightly embarrassing, a little surprising but a very touching gesture.

I skipped out for the second half full of optimism and enthusiasm, thinking that Crawley were going to become only the third team to beat Oxford all season. Sadly, as "colourful" Steve's language got worse, Oxford got better and equalised a painful seven minutes from the end. Madness ensued and within seconds Crawley had given away a penalty, only for Simon 'Pepe' Raynor to pull off a miraculous save.

My boys even had a chance to win it when Michael Malcolm went wandering through the Oxford defence, but he poked agonisingly wide with only the goalkeeper to beat. To make matters worse, just when I had settled for a draw, James Constable popped up in what felt like the 107th minute to give Oxford a thoroughly undeserved win.

"That's harsh," offered Armo, while Coledog produced a face similar to Gary Lineker after Gazza had been shown a yellow card in the 1990 World Cup semi-final against Germany.

The final whistle went and I turned round to see Steve Evans eating his own arm and Rosenthal celebrating wildly. After a post-match Ribena, we said our farewells to chairman Vic. As for Shelley, I couldn't help thinking how on earth she was going to put a positive spin on that.

My mood was lifted slightly by the appearance of fellow Crawley boy Gareth Southgate in Saturday's programme, but I've still not fully recovered so - as promised last week - let's get to grips with the top 5 Christmas nuts.

Dan Walker with Gareth SouthgateMe and Gareth Southgate, another Crawley boy

I should point out that the humble Cashew will take some beating and that I have little time for the Brazil or Walnut. I don't see the point of eating something that makes you feel like you've put a hair-dryer in your mouth for 10 minutes. A definitive list will follow next week.

You can follow me on Twitter at


  • Comment number 1.

    but surely the experience is just like watching Brazil, no?

    (watching Crawley - or munching nut - take your pick)

  • Comment number 2.

    HI Dan, hope you're not feeling to under the weather.
    From the blog;
    "I explained I wasn't really a hero. I had never saved anyone from a burning building and I once hit an old man in the leg with a golf ball - by accident".

    If you'd hit him on purpose would that elevate you to hero status? ;p

    Enjoyed FF last weekend and while watching I was thinking you could easily add Mr Southgate to your nice guy list. The more he spoke the more I came to the conclusion that his "niceness" was maybe his biggest weakness, this is of course just my opinion and I could be way off the mark, but he comes over as just too nice to be a top club manager. That said I wish him all the best for the future.

    Not to sure about the maremite and honey on toast combo, although I also had my doubts about goat cheese and honey on toast untill a girlfriend *insisted that I tried it, and admitedly it was surprisingly delicious.

    Get well soon.

    (*read moaned her head off untill I finally gave in)

  • Comment number 3.

    Bad news about the cold, predictable news about Crawley Town.
    As far as the cold is concerned, let me take you back to the good old Jelly beans, they will do far more for you than honey and Marmite; which are more likely to be the cause of your malady.
    I hope you get better soon I vaguely recalled you pontificating about them back in the 90's but I thought that was because they had succumbed to a R. Maxwell scandal, like their recent opponents, but now you tell me it was third round of the cup I must have got something wrong there!

    Several questions I am going to throw out there again (not trying to hijack your blog Dan the Man).
    1. Who should Arsene (I have a problem with Manchester) Wenger buy in Jan to sit up front and bang in the goals?
    2. Is it possible to win the premiership without a defensive midfielder? If so How?

  • Comment number 4.

    Apologies for errors in #3 I am having network issues.
    Entry should have read:

    Bad news about the cold, predictable news about Crawley Town.

    As far as the cold is concerned, let me take you back to the good old Jelly beans, they will do far more for you than honey and Marmite; which are more likely to be the cause of your malady.
    I hope you get better soon.

    AS FAR AS CRAWLEY TOWN IS CONCERNED: I vaguely recall you pontificating about them back in the 90's but I thought that was because they had succumbed to a R. Maxwell scandal, like their recent opponents; but now you tell me it was third round of the cup I must have got something wrong there!

    Several questions I am going to throw out there again (not trying to hijack your blog Dan the Man).
    1. Who should Arsene (I have a problem with Manchester) Wenger buy in Jan to sit up front and bang in the goals?
    2. Is it possible to win the premiership without a defensive midfielder? If so How?

  • Comment number 5.

    That chatty YOUNG bloke in the scarf sounds a right pain..!
    He sends you this link as a momento of the evening, it features a picture of blokes from BBC & ITV.
    And don't forget wags4aday... the gift that keeps on giving.

  • Comment number 6.

    Dan a fantastic blog, an as especially as a Crawley fan even more better. Like you i have a passsion for Crawley and i'm hoping that Crawley will invite you down more often! I am delighted that someone famous has acutally mentioned little thanks dan and keep blogging!

  • Comment number 7.

    Dan, it seems to me that you haven't a clue about the moral of this story. So i'm going to come out and say it: you can't the full three-sausage-deal and a win too! Greed my friend.

  • Comment number 8.

    wooo!! crawley!!!

  • Comment number 9.

    If someone is going to be banned from the touchline for 13 games why then are they allowed to shout instructions from the stand?? (where they arguably have a better view of the game anyway!)
    Also I think your bias towards your team is evident! ;)
    "Evans was successfully prosecuted for tax evasion at a former club". To me that makes it sound like it was expensive lawyers that won the day. He was found guilty, simple as that!

  • Comment number 10.

    Nice blog again, Dan. It was good to read about a lower league team for once and it certainly made me think about the Blue Square Premier team near me and how it's been a while since I stood out on a freezing terrace with a hot cup of tea and a chocolate bar. If the idea of this blog was to create a feeling of nostalgia then it has certainly worked! Maybe I'll pop down and see my local boys sooner rather than later.

    In terms of the Christmas nuts, I'm personally a big fan of cashews, but I posted last week (to a rather muted reaction) the very king of Christmas nuts so I think I'll throw it out there again - surely the ONLY nut that stands up at this festive time of year is the sugared almond? Who's with me?

  • Comment number 11.

    Nice blog again, Dan.It was good to read about a lower league team for once and it certainly made me think about the Blue Square Premier team near me and how it's been a while since I stood out on a freezing terrace with a hot cup of tea and a chocolate bar.If the idea of this blog was to create a feeling of nostalgia then it has certainly worked!Maybe I'll pop down and see my local boys sooner rather than later.

    In terms of the Christmas nuts, I'm personally a big fan of cashews, but I posted last week (to a rather muted reaction) the very king of Christmas nuts so I think I'll throw it out there again - surely the ONLY nut that stands up at this festive time of year is the sugared almond? Who's with me?

  • Comment number 12.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 13.

    #11 you are wrong - it surely must be roasted chestnuts? I was in a pub today that had them on the menu, I ordered some but they were out. This proves they were popular, but I was obviously devastated and my full on turkey dinner did not taste as good as it might.

    Not even a surprise victory at the Hawthorns has truly erased the disappointment.

  • Comment number 14.

    Cashews are good, especially the spicy coated ones but I have to go with pistachio.

    Pistachios are great and made better by the way you can't wolf them down by the handful. You're made to saviour each one after cracking each shell open.

    Enjoyed the read Dan. Like others have said, very refreshing to read about football without it having to be the big 4 or Premier League. I always feel lower leagues or smaller teams have the proper, real supporters. It's all too easy to support a Premier League team, especially the top ones.

    I'll be trying the marmite and honey combo. Sounds so odd you must either be pregnant or a genius.

  • Comment number 15.

    Good morning everybody. Sorry I didn't respond yesterday I was in the land of the Mancunians all day waiting around for Robinho (which will probably be the subject of next week's blog).

    Celery_schitck (#1) 10 out of 10 for managing to combine this weeks 2 blog subjects effortlessly... Crawley Town and nuts.

    Holloway2Holland (#2) Garerth Southgate did come across as a nice bloke but I wouldn't have expected anything less from the Crawley maestro. Goats cheese and honey will be tried. I take it the girlfriend is no longer with us... or you.

    blaenorynyclwyd (#3 & 4) You can't just claim that all nuts are good brother. That is totally missing the point of a list. If asked for your favourite film you can't say "all of them" which would be ignoring the incredible powers of Crocodile Dundee. In answer to your questions...
    1. Wenger should buy Ruud Van Nistlerooy or that big lad from Wolfsburg and 2. I guess you are inferring that Arsenal don't have a defensive midfielder! What about Alex Song? It may just be that you don't have the quality of defensive midfielder that some of the others have.

    Jeff Thaddeus (#5) thanks again for the Crawley invite Jeff. Talkative scarf boy wasn't you by the way but the nice guy on the other side of the table. Nothing wrong with being chatty - he filled the gaps while the rest of us were eating. Up the wags!

    Benb556 (#6) Glad you agreed Crawley comrade. The club only normally get coverage when Evans gets banned, again, or we go into administration.

    Bringmethehorizon (#7) excellent sausage moral.

    Steve (#9) bias admitted my friend. The boss was taken down far and square.

    brad_scott (#10 & 11) such a good post, you did it twice! Glad you enjoyed the nostalgia and I'm sure your non-league side would appreciate your support. Solid suggestion of the sugared-almond which seems to go down well with anightatthechopra (#13) whose nut issues clearly caused havoc with the Christmas dinner.

    the78sum (#12) I accept your suggestion of the pistachio but there seems to be a lot of work required for some little reward. If there was a steak in there I would be cracking them open all day! I like my nuts without a waste product so that excludes the pistachio, walnut and various others from the top 5.

  • Comment number 16.

    Have you tried Marmite & Marmalade on your toast?


  • Comment number 17.

    Is 'Coledog' a Rovers or Exeter fan. Exeter were the better team that night but just couldnt get the all important breakthrough their endeavours deserved. Thats football I suppose, and why I love it....

  • Comment number 18.

    Hi Dan, that time of the week again, hope you are well!

    I'm glad you have acknowledged the past giant killing success of your former home-town club. It is something that sadly is becoming rare in the modern game.

    Combined with the dominance of the Cahmpions League, the fact that giant killings are now few and far between, the FA cup has lost a lot of it's magic in my eyes, sadly. Although had my team triumphed in May it would have been a giant killing in itself for an outside top 4 club to have beaten one of the said list in the final. Not since Everton in 1995 has this been achieved!

    On the subject of grub, the cashew is fine, but you have to be suspicious with something that naturally breaks into two perfect halves!!??

  • Comment number 19.

    Good work opting for three sausages rather than two and I do like the fact the women only get offered one or two, however, my gran would still find fault with that, I'll explain; You shouldn't be offering the women any sausages until it's absolutely clear the men have had enough.

    For all they knew you might have wanted to go back for a fourth.

  • Comment number 20.

    Decent blog again Dan.....

    The Cashew can surely hold top spot over all other nuts, it is just a thing of beauty.

    On the issue of your "Colourful" gaffer, it isn't much of a touchline ban when he is sat only a few rows behind the dug out and can clearly bark out orders in a fairly small stadium! It's really not a good look getting that angry after a loss though, you wouldn't see Arsene Wenger chewing off his own arm! Although he'd probably sooner chew it off than use it to shake hands with his "opposite number"......

  • Comment number 21.

    Anyone who spends the first eighteen years of their life in Crawley is a hero to me. Rough town.

    (First nineteen years in Billingshurst)

  • Comment number 22.

    After discovering this blog only last week (don't know how I missed it) I have to salute the heady combination of football, food and frivolity.

    As for todays effort I agree that highlighting the lower leagues is a good thing, though I take slight issue with it being easier to support a top 4 side. It's far easier to get tickets for my local team Walsall than it is to get tickets for Old Trafford. Though coincidentally I will be there for the visit of Villa on Saturday.
    It is still easier to pick up news on or follow almost any football side than it is to get news on a rugby side, even when they're in the Guinness Premiership.

    In the nuts debate; cashews all the way for the top spot, after that it's chilli peanuts. Lovely!

  • Comment number 23.

    I'm with #14 Pistachio all the way.

  • Comment number 24.

    Nice to see some lower league action in the blog Danny boy.

    Re: the bestest nut I'd have to say peanut (so versatile - dry roasted, salted, flavoured or coated and made into the legendary "beernut").

    As for festive it has to be chestnuts roasting on an open fire. You dont get a song singing about sugared almonds sitting in a bowl do you?

  • Comment number 25.

    As for festive it has to be chestnuts roasting on an open fire. You dont get a song singing about sugared almonds sitting in a bowl do you?


    That song always reminds me of a chess tournament I once entered at a posh country hotel. Terribly arrogant affair it was, full of chess nuts boasting in an oper foyer...

  • Comment number 26.

    *** tumbleweed ***

  • Comment number 27.

    Hi Dan, great blog.
    Very nostalgic and proving there is life outside of the Prem. I'm more of a Three Bridges man myself, ooh for more Sussex League One football!
    The picture reminded me of my last physics lesson and got a piccie of young Gareth and me standing by a bunson burner!!
    All the best.

  • Comment number 28.

    Nathalie Hoyland (#16) what is this combination of which you speak? I will fire it up at my next 'late night toast' session.

    rushers82 (#17) coledog is a Rovers fan. He waffles on about them all the time.

    tomefccam (#18) the cashew is getting some serious support but you raise an interesting issue about the 2 halves. Do you have issues with this nut because of its perfect nature?

    Andrew (#19) your grandmother sounds like the perfect woman to lead this fair country of ours. All hail Andrew's grandmother!

    OptimumDJ (#20) I know what you mean about the pointless nature of sitting him 5 rows back but I couldn't hear I thing he said and I was 3 metres away!

    john harrison (#21) Big up the Billingshurst massive.

    CapJimPaddy (#22) welcome to the blog brother. You're summary of 'football, food and frivolity' seems about right. Excellent mention of the chilli peanut. I had neglected that in my early considerations.

  • Comment number 29.

    does a honey roasted peanut make the top 5?

  • Comment number 30.

    Oh dear Andrew (# 25). I think I know what happened. You saw realronburgundy's (#24) comment about chestnuts and you couldn't resist. Beautifully worked in though.

  • Comment number 31.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 32.

    I've lived in Crawley my whole life, well, moved to Surrey now but only just escaped. I always though Southgate wasn't a Crawley lad but just played for Three Bridges??


  • Comment number 33.

    You missed the point on the nuts thing, since you grew up in Crawley I can excuse your limited appreciation of situations beyond the borders of west Sussea. And by the way, you are receiveing far too much adoration from West Sussex bloggers-

    John Harrison #21: Crawley is an OK town with some real nice people, but there are REAL heros out there if you get out a bit.

    My point regarding the Christmas nuts is that, starved of the usual Christmas 'tucker' I will take everything I can get that reminds me of good Christmas indulgence. Besides, you said next weeks blog was going to be the deciding blog on the nuts.

    JELLY BEANS are the way forward, a Garibaldi or two would be nice though.....

    By the way one thing I do love about Christmas over here, is the snow. So far 50% of the Xmas days spent in CT have been white. Why just this morning I was woken up by the sound of the municipal snow ploughs (big 7 ton trucks) we have four inches on the ground and it is still falling.

    Now, back to the friend of all Mancurians A. Wenger: I canot see him buying R. Van Nistelroy. I cannot get that famous photo of Keown yelling in RVN's face after he missed a penalty back when the gooners and ManU were at each other. I have no idea what RVN's form is like or fitness right now either. I do not much liek the idea of James Beattie either. Shame Arshavin hasn't got a twin brother.

  • Comment number 34.

    Hi Dan, glad to hear you enjoyed your Crawley experience apart from the result!

    I only found out the other day that England ladies captain Faye White is a Crawley lass which means that Crawley is the place for big name people!

    Are you going to come and watch anymore CTFC games Dan? I first started going in 1999 and have been hooked since!

    Hope to see you at a few more games!

    Give a shout out to Crawley on Football Focus and maybe to some kind of Blue Square Premier preview on Focus too!

  • Comment number 35.

    So did you just have a plate with 3 sausages on it?? bit strange.

    I would like to add in the Redskin Peanut.. they define what is good about a peanut because you feel sick if you eat too much of them.. which you always do.

    My fav used to be Brannigans Beer Nuts.. but I cant get them anymore so does that rule them out?

  • Comment number 36.

    "The toast is white." Try plugging in the toaster...

  • Comment number 37.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 38.

    Crawley? Billingshurst? Horsham is where it's at, ask your colleague Lewis Wiltshire, he is a man who knows...

  • Comment number 39.

    Wow, how much I enjoyed reading that. I lived for 17 years no more than 200 metres from the green that became Broadfield Stadium. The kids learnt golf there, we all learnt to do wheelies and jumps in the nearby brook, I ran and cycled countless miles through Tigate Forest. And we would occasionally go with our Crawley mad neighbour to watch Crawley Town play at their old ground. I well remember the F A Cup trip to Brighton (didn't Crawley take 6000 fans, or is that a rosy memory?), and my tiny tot son asking after the 6th goal went in against Crawley, "Is our side winning Dad?" His face was a picture, and he raised many a laugh, because he had wildly cheered every goal thinking Crawley must surely be scoring!
    I moved away from Crawley must be 13 years ago and have lived the last 8 years in Thailand. I returned for the first time this August gone, to visit my Mum who now lives in Crawley, close to the old ground. Changed a bit hasn't it. The whole area has altered so much. I could hardly believe my eyes.... and got lost several times round and about lol. Big new Leisure centre, and the old one turned into a housing estate that has more houses than the entire island I now live on. And how many houses can you build on one roundabout? Used to be the postmaster general.
    So, thank you. Your blog brought back many happy memories. It educated me too. I had no idea Gareth Southgate was a Crawley lad. As for nuts, we have out here coconut flavoured peanuts and chocolate flavoured peanuts (both pretty vile to be honest). Nostalgia reminds me of those huge chocolate covered Brazils my father used to adore at Christmas.
    My final thought... peanut butter and branston pickle sarnies, strangely delicious combination.

  • Comment number 40.

    I like monkey nuts the most, I know they are just peanut's in shell suits (not the tracksuit), but not only do you get a nut to eat you also get the shell to throw at your brother.

  • Comment number 41.

    On a side note, Footbal Focus was pretty good on Saturday

    I especially liked the part where Clint Dempsey got a bit of a ribbing once the telephone interview had ended!

    "Hope you lose...."

  • Comment number 42.

    Matt Bennett (#28) goes honey roasted. We await the top 5 next week.

    Mighty_Os (#32) He's definitely a crawley boy. Went to Hazelwick and his parents still live there as well.

    blaenorynyclwyd (#33) you're not allowed to taunt us with your snow news. If you keep doing that we shall continue to dangle British treats in front of your wrong-side-of-the-atlantic visage. Have at you!

    CrawleyFan (#34) Getting to Crawley matches has proved difficult recently. The last 3 I went to all ended in victories... until Oxford turned up. I will try and make it back before the end of the season. Hopefully Steve Evans will be back in the dugout by then.

    Mikey (#35) I can confirm that mash was also involved and unavailable nuts have got no chance of reaching the top 5.

    David Haskins (#39) Glad to hear this has brought back the memories. It has changed plenty o around the stadium. I also used to smack golf balls on that field. I remember the game against Brighton... it was thoroughly miserable. Great cup run though. Coconut flavoured peanuts and chocolate flavoured peanuts sound vile but you redeemed yourself slightly with the chocolate brazil. The covering makes an unacceptably dry nut border upon edible.

  • Comment number 43.

    So many different guises for the humble peanut. Chilli, redskin, honey roasted... at this rate the list will be thoroughly undermined by all these flavours. I fear that by splitting the peanut into these many categories we may in fact be hampering its chances of making the final list in any of its various shapes and forms.

    Incidentally this chat inspired me to buy some cashews on the way home, which on a student budget such as mine constitutes about half my bank account. Does the fact that they're so pricey count against them?

  • Comment number 44.

    #39 David Haskins - Are you deliberately trying to depress me? You live on an island in Thailand? I'm stuck at my miserable desk having eaten too much at lunch and want to be anywhere but here...!!

  • Comment number 45.

    Hi Dan. Smoked salted almonds at Christmas #1 all the way - my Dad got me into them a while back after enjoying them in Spain, very more-ish indeed. And as for interesting toast toppings, although not quite "out there" as marmite and honey, my South African fiancée got me into peanut butter & honey. Completely over-the-top from a calorie point of view, but when suffering from man flu nothing quite beats a sugary concoction....

  • Comment number 46.

    Would also like to suggest Nobby's wasabi-coated Nuts which I invest in on trips to my local Jamie Oliver-endorsed food emporium - one hell of an eye-watering kick after a few, but jolly nice all the same.

  • Comment number 47.

    #43 - You get what you pay for my friend.... I don't think we should knock the Cashew for being an "up-market" nut

  • Comment number 48.

    I must admit, although predominantly a pub snack, Dry Roasted is my late offer of the perfect christmas nut. As it compliments the downage of fine ales and merriment, something we are all sure to indulge in over the festive period.

    Perhaps you could imagine yourself in the old punchbowl dan with a bag of dry roasted and a bitter shandy, I've lived it...and would recommend it greatly

  • Comment number 49.

    Jellywobble (45 & 46) have you ever tried jelly beans?

    Anightatthechopra (43) if you are a CCFC Michael Chopra fan save your student coppers until he gets back on the goal scoring ways and then treat yourself> he is bound to bag another hatrick sooner or later.

    Tomefccam, (48)
    A bag of dry roasted peanuts and a shandy! That hardly counts as proper food or proper drink. That is comparable to American college girls calling Miller or Bud Light 'beer'. Are you on anightatthechopra's student budget?

    Any suggestions for a good full tasting nut that goes with a real man drink?
    On that note:
    Dan who is your 'man cold' coming along?

  • Comment number 50.

    is marmite and honey nice? when i was 12-14 i used to pile chocolate spead and peanut butter so thick the bread used to look like a wafer. good times. of course that combo is so nice, they started making jars with it already mixed together :)

  • Comment number 51.

    Really enjoyable blog Dan, nice and light, which is just what is required on a busy Wednesday!

    I was wondering if any Crawley fans could update me on how one of your lads is getting on, Lewis Killeen? I went to school with him (he was in the year above) and played in the same side as him on a couple of football tours overseas, where he always stood out as someone who could make it as a pro. He was highly regarded at Halifax before they went bust, how has he got on at your place?


  • Comment number 52.

    Hopefully #49. I promised myself I wouldn't be fickle and I'd keep my username no matter how long he went without scoring, but he's making a bit of a mug of me now. Don't feel bad for me anyway, my nan came round yesterday and presented me with a rather majestic lemon drizzle cake and some almond slices. Back of the net.

  • Comment number 53.

  • Comment number 54.


    Glad to see you haven't forgotten your roots. I remember about 20 years ago, going to a Crawley Town vs ??? in some pre-season with you and your dad (or was it your dad and brother - can't remember). While I can't remember their opponents, the score was 2-2. Two goals in the first ten minutes and two in the last, otherwise it was a boring match.

    I do remember the marmite and honey though - never understood that one (I prefer a cheese and strawberry jam sandwich). Good blog. Keep it up. I'm about to leave these shores for a life in the USA, so BBC sport will prove even more important to me than it is now. Drop me a line if you get a moment.

  • Comment number 55.

    anightatthechopra (#43) has pointed out the only downside to the cashew... the price. 'Up market' I believe was the phrase used by OptimumDJ I was in M & S yesterday and got a simple sandwich, water and bag o' cashews. The price came in at a whopping £8.43!!!

    jellywobble (#45) I too have sampled peanut honey and honey and found it to be a righteous filling. As for Smoked salted almonds and Nobby's wasabi-coated Nuts... don't come round here with your posh nuts!

    tomefccam (#47) if you're gonna go peanut... you've got to go dry-roasted.

    blaenorynyclwyd (#48) cold going well. I slayed it last night with some hot lemon, cider vinegar and honey brew. Takes them down every time.

    Magic_Arsenal (#50) 'is marmite and honey nice?'... YES my friend. If you don't like marmite then go vegemite.

    Carlos_Hotspur (#51) Glad you enjoyed it. If I remember rightly, Mr Killeen scored in the only game I went to last season. I remember being surprised when he turned up at Crawley and he was still under 30. I remember him playing for Halifax about 400 years ago!

    anightatthechopra (#52) forget nuts, someone has mentioned the queen of cakes... lemon drizzle.

  • Comment number 56.

    Re: Killeen

    Probably my favourite CTFC player. Gets goals from midfield and always gives 100%. Top bloke.

  • Comment number 57.

    The king of nuts has to be the pecan.

  • Comment number 58.

    Hi Dan, enjoying your style of blogging. My good friend Sam Birmingham from Bedford claims to know you in some capacity, can you verify this?

  • Comment number 59.

    Been up for hours with the kids... disastrous.

    cheeseisthedevilswork (#57) has thrown the pecan in for the first time and
    jazza0707 (#58) I can confirm that I am aware of the work of Mr Birmingham. I believe he is currently moustacheing it up with the best of them!

  • Comment number 60.

    To be fair you can keep your laa-de-daa nuts over the festive period as I think you'll find the overall winner has to a big tub of nuts and raisons, served as they come with no added flavouring. Washed down with a Theakstons Old Peculiar.

    That said, I'm a Stella and Pistachio man for the rest of the year.

  • Comment number 61.

    Can I come across all Arsene for a minute and go a little bit continental and sophisticated? I've always been a massive fan of lightly-toasted pine nuts. Especially as a crunchy topping on a light pesto salad. That said, last night I demolished an entire packet of jumbo salted peanuts, which when combined with the cool, refreshing taste of a San Miguel truly must be the Emporor Of Nutdonia.

    Good to see you returning to your roots, Dan - I for one spent eighteen years trying to get out of the small market town in which I was raised, only to end up back here when the time came to put down some roots and raise a family. That may have been more to do with the disgraceful habits of some of the goons that I lived with while experiencing 'big city living' at university, but even so, I don't remember any of them going for something as truly imbecilic as honey and marmite on a slice of toast. One of them ate cereal out of a dog bowl, mind. I think he was a bit 'special'.

    Was listening to Jake Humphrey on Chris Moyles' radio show yesterday and he, too, named Sir Desmond of Lynam as his inspiration for wanting to become a sports broadcaster. Have you ever met The Jake, and if so, did you have a 'being ridiculously tall' contest that culminated in some form of wrestling match?

    In other news, I finally got hold of Sky HD last week - is there any potential for FF to be shown in HD any time soon? I need to see whether your shirts look as hilarious in 1080i as they do in SD.

    Anyway, must dash. I've got to interview a local badger farmer for my new website, NorthYorkshireJoyfulOccasions.

  • Comment number 62.

    sausagearms (#61) i genuinely hate the term LOL but I think I just had one after reading your comment.

    In terms of HD, I think you'll have to wait until the BBC move to Salford before Focus goes HD. I should have some new shirts by then thankfully.

    As for 'The Jake' there was no wrestle but we did manage to damage the football office ceiling with an inpromptu keepy-uppy session last week.

  • Comment number 63.

    That inpromtu keepy-uppy session is similar to an improptu one... in case you were wondering.

  • Comment number 64.

    Or 'impromptu', perhaps?

    "You never studied" - Peter Venkman

  • Comment number 65.

    Hoist by my own petard. It was Ray Stantz that said that.

  • Comment number 66.

    'Spelling is for losers' Socrates?

  • Comment number 67.

    "It was most tranquil. There were many steps and columns"

  • Comment number 68.

    Matt Holst (#53 false start & #54)
    When you get over here to the USA get a Sirius satelite radio for the car and / or cable TV for the house. (Hold out for a man room if you can). If you get the satellite car radio tune it to channel 125. You can get live and recorded commentary of all the premiership games + big cup games. You will get BBC radio 5 commentary from pundits who actually know what they are talking about. You will also have to put up with American commentators who played for Minnesota Minnows or Seattle Slackers for 2 years and feel qualified to comment on every footie game from Inverness to Istanbul.
    Avoid channel 99 on the radio, it belongs to a Mr. H. Heffner

  • Comment number 69.

    Thought i should join in the greatest nut debate and have to say that i think the pistachio tops the cashew!
    By the way have you tried chocolate (preferably nutella) and cheese in a sandwich? and why not eat it with a bag of salt and vinegar crisps! It has to be tried to appreciate the taste sensation.

  • Comment number 70.

    hey there as as a notts county fan , i must point out we are the oldest established club in the world 1862, not sheffield wednesday 1867, i nearly had kittens when i heard that whopper on football focus today. please, all us county fans near and far deserve an on air apology and correction to our crown - where do you think juventus got their colours?? - us! true ;-) thanks, martin kenny

  • Comment number 71.

    Martin Kenny (#70) don't panic it wasn't a howler. The piece was referring to Sheffield FC and not Wednesday as the oldest club. County is the oldest league club, yes, but Sheffield FC was formed in 1857.

    thankfully everyone is right.

  • Comment number 72.

    Hi Dan, just wondering why Alan Shearer was sent to interview Dimitar Berbatov for today's FF?

    As a student studying sports journalism, it always saddens me when ex-players are suddenly treated as professional journalists, taking away opportunities from those who may have better skills and haven't been fast-tracked into job due to their ability to kick a ball. Having watched through the whole interview, I find it hard to see how using Shearer as the interviewer gains an advantage - a chummy chat is probably less likely to attract people than a normal interview, and I doubt many people are interested about Berbatov being woken up in the night by his child!

    I accept you don't pick who interviews whom, but any light you could shed on the issue would be great.

    Thanks, Craig.

  • Comment number 73.

    Right ho cheers dan, appreciate being told that about sheffield, any chance you could find out the real truth about notts county ... the present I mean!! :-) cheers, martin k

  • Comment number 74.

    I think the truth martin kenny (#73) is total mess my friend. You've your backer and a Bakke!

    Craig Dickinson (#72) point well made and taken sir. You are correct in your assumption that I don't pick who interviews whom but I understand what you mean about former players being asked to act like trained journalists.

    I would say though that there was real editorial value in sending Shearer to do Berbatov. The Bulgarian has been a huge fan of Alan's since his childhood and we thought it would be good to bring them together. I don't think Berbatov would have agreed to the interview if his hero hadn't been the man asking the questions.

    Thanks again for your comment and I wish you all the best in your future career.


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