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Snow sparks Sheffield shiner memories

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Dan Walker | 14:10 UK time, Monday, 21 January 2013

Hello comrades. I hope you are enjoying the snow. We were worried that our Focus trip to West Ham was going to have to be cancelled on Saturday, but thankfully we all made it there and more than two million of you tuned in to watch, so thanks for that.

Martin Keown has had a coat specially lined for chilly outside broadcasts and our other guest - Dean Ashton - opted for the layers approach.

My hand got particularly cold during one chat with Sir Trevor Brooking and was shaking about all over the shop while clinging on to the microphone.

West Ham were great on the day, providing manager Sam Allardyce and Sir Trevor for live interviews, and they even gave me access to the remote control for the bubble machine which I did consider setting off midway through the first half but thought better of it.

Dan Walker (left), Martin Keown and Dean Ashton

Football Focus presenter Dan Walker (left) was joined by Martin Keown (centre) and Dean Ashton at Upton Park.

One element of the show that went down particularly well with viewers was the correction of the grammar on the sign in the West Ham dressing room.

As the picture shows (below), there was an apostrophe needed to turn 'its' into 'it's' but, as with everything these days, at least 8,000 Twitterers pointed out that further punctuation was required after 'winning'. I shall add a colon on our next visit.

Of the current 20 Premier League sides, the only grounds we are yet to visit are the Liberty Stadium, The Hawthorns and DW Stadium.

We shall be mumbling it up in Swansea next month and are currently trying to fix a date for the Baggies and Latics too. Once we've done the lot we'll start again but might try something a bit different next time around.

Before you start moaning about 'Premier League obsession' we have been to plenty of grounds outside the big boys too and will hopefully do that again at some stage too.

West Ham sign  

West Ham's sign with missing punctuation.  

The recent cold snap has reminded me of an incident during my time at Sheffield University back in the late 1990's.

We were due to have a football match between two halls of residence which had to be postponed due to heavy snowfall.

It was replaced by an impromptu snowball fight which quickly descended into full-scale snowmageddon with armies of 150+ embarking on hours of mildly violent fun!

It all got out of hand when the captain of the university lacrosse team turned up for the opposition. Like some sort of ancient archer, he launched long-range ice balls into our number at obscene speeds causing general pain and carnage. I've had a latent fear of lacrosse sticks ever since. Those babies fly!

I accepted the mission to 'take him down' and opted for the 'run at him like a crazed banshee' tactic rather than the slightly more sophisticated 'assault on a fixed enemy position' perfectly executed by Major Richard Winters and the men of Easy Company during WWII and made famous by Band Of Brothers.

Sadly, my more rudimentary effort ended hideously with an ice-ball to the upper face, struck perfectly from some distance. I had panda eyes for two weeks but did write the incident up in the university paper under the headline 'Bravo 2 Hero to Zero'.

All Premier League and Championship matches survived the weekend but there was a point when Tottenham v Manchester United looked dodgy. I don't think Premier League rules allow for a league fixture to be replaced with a snowball fight but, if it ever happened, I'd back Stoke to top the table.

I imagine Robert Huth has got something of a lacrosse arm on him.

We have all sorts of FA Cup fun lined up for you this weekend so get your seat on the sofa early. See you at 12:15 GMT on BBC1 on Saturday soldiers. No exceptions. Over & out.


  • Comment number 1.

    Great to hear about your experience at university, that's why I for one often read bbc sport!

  • Comment number 2.

    Dan, what year was it and which two halls? We had some great snow and snowball fights between Earnshaw and Sorby in the '90's. Both have been knocked down now I think!

  • Comment number 3.

    DAN my main man !!!
    Greetings Comrade straight back at you! Quite a blogging transition from Avram Grant's "Holocaust Hell" to Sheffield Uni & Snow fun & frolics....
    Have missed you old chap.
    It has actually just started snowing here 'over the pond'. Had 9 inches last Wednesday and a day with no school for the kids, so we will see what happens over night.
    I need to have a word with you about the "hands shaking about all over the shop" malarkey. In the last 6 years I have found a modern invention that does wonders for the old hands on a cold day. I remember it as if it were yesterday, 3rd Saturday in January 2009 a day to make the most intrepid tremble. It was -12 Fahrenheit, which google assures me is -24.4 in your money. We had to drive to NYC, even the condesation on the inside of the car windows froze. I was introduced to something called "gloves". I'm told they come in differing shapes and sizes, even colours too. Mine were called "Ice Armour X" Have to get you a pair some time. I'm sure Keown would eye them up and want a pair for himself. Probably best to keep them away from the kids, you know what happens when you bring a pair of something valuable home, one always disappears leaving you with the redundant remnant to mock.

  • Comment number 4.

    Back during the heavy snows of late 2011, a friend and I were walking through Weston Park on the way to lectures and wandered straight into the middle of a 200+ snowball war, the sides clearly divided on ethnic lines; make of that what you will. As the only two white guys in the middle of a Chinese/Indian conflict, we naturally did the only sensible thing and stood off to one side picking off whoever we could hit. It was great fun until someone noticed us and we felt the fury of 200 angry, frozen Asians. Until, that is, the rugby team arrived at the rear of the battlefield. We followed that up with a 9-foot snowman, but that's largely incidental.

  • Comment number 5.

    Snow is too over rated.

  • Comment number 6.

    You actually get paid by the BBC, a publicly funded institution, to write this rubbish!? Wow! Well done, what a great blag you have going there! Next up you can aim for your golf jumper and join the rest of the boys club on the MOTD sofa and take all your private 'in' jokes to the next level

  • Comment number 7.

    Not much snow about.


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