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This report was written by Phil Patten. Superstars accept no responsibility for its contents, any legal action should be directed to him.
This year we decided to accept Tav's invitation and tour the York area. Ken had arranged four fixtures but unfortunately (or fortunately for some!) the game arranged for Saturday had to be cancelled because of a wedding - sounds like some wally had left it in too long and Daddy was waving his shotgun around. Even more unfortunately the weather deteriorated rapidly thought the weekend so we only ended up playing one completed game. I mean deary me Tav what kind of organiser are you if you can't organise a simple thing like the weather.
Me, Steve Carter and Tony had arranged to get a lift from Dartford with Marilyn and Bartho who kindly let me choose the music for the trip from his genius collection. Whilst I was undertaking this onerous task those Nanette Newman lookalikes Steve and Tony were given the easy peasy job of washing up. This took the argumentative lazy so-and-so's about three hours. Talk about soap suds at three paces. In the end we finally set off and I had naturally chosen to listen to LL Cool J and Luther Vandross - YAHHHH. The air guitars were in full flow to the sounds of vintage Deep Purple and Wishbone Ash. Tony loved it. We arrived a bit late so popped into Tav's disgustingly nice hovel to see el sprog who already has more hair (and undoubtedly a higher IQ) than his daddy. That anti-social git Tony just sat in his car. Everybody else had left so Becky gave us directions to the ground and after a few missed turns we amazingly found it. Miracles do happen. Very rarely, however 'cos the dressing rooms, and more importantly, the bar were closed and we had to change in the open and die of thirst. Another brownie point for the organiser I don't think.
Tav had somehow managed to gether together a collection of Crown Prosection reprobates to play a 20 over game against us that evening. As the oppo were short Spencer and Steve Meyler agreed to play for them and Neil Priest and Paul Hogg were willing to umpire. For some unfathomable reason Barry let Steve Carter captain the side.
Superstars batted first and the highlight of the innings and, as it turned out, the whole tour was a undefeated 50 by Phil McBarron. The low point of the tour was Tav's figures of 3 for 10. His victims and I am still wondering why they didn't commit hara-kiri on the spot were Matt (bowled), Bartho (comprehensively bowled) and Tony (LBW - missing by miles of course). Still we managed to reach just over 120 helped by numerous extras and Carter's glorious 6 not out.
The one wicket that Superstars really wanted was Tav's and what happened? I bowled a real beauty, as Richie Benaud would say, and our complete* idiot of a wicket keeper dropped him. What a WALLY! Still Tav only managed one run before Andy bowled him. CPS eventually made 80 for 8, best innings one of 43 by a bloke named Spence (obviously no relation to our Spencer). Wides, of which I bowled zero, were second top scorer with 16. Steve let everyone bowl two overs each and Bartho got a wicket, Marilyn got a wicket, that ace bowler Barry bagged two and Steve cleaned bowled some talentless idiot named Gover; no not GOWER - GOVER. And I took none much to everyone's amusement. Chortle flippin' choortle. Afterwards I asked Ladbrokes what the odds would have been on the above occuring and was told about 25 thousand zillion quillion to one. [Note from Paul: so they would probably quote 3-1 then].
Still one indisputable fact emerged from this game-
Steve Carter is the ONLY Superstars captain to have successfully led his side on tour! Please send any spare razor blades to Ken, Barry, Neil Benn or Pete Frost.
After the game we adjourned to the bar, now thankfully open, for a couple before returning to our hotel in Market Weighton. Neil, Spencer and others who had arrived early that day suggested that we should sample the delights of the boozer across the road - the Half Moon. Funny pub or what? It's run by a bloke with quintuple focus glasses who leaves most of the work to a couple of little barmaids behind the bar. If they ain't got their grubby little paws in the till I'm a monkey's uncle. OOOK OOOK. Steve (the Carter variety) decided to chat one of them up with the immortal "You've got a nice ass lov". Was she impressed? No. At various times during the next few others tried but to no avail.
We got to the pub about 10.30 and I planned to bolt down three pints before closing. However at about five to eleven a local put a couple of quid in the jukebox. Hmmmmm, mused I, there is a slim possibility of "afters" that might, just might, be available. Four hours later after numoerous pints, loads of games of killer, mucho air/pool cue guitar playing and of course a few rousing choruses of "No More Tories Anymore" [Ed comment - if only] which thoroughly cheered up Spencer we staggered back to bed. However a few idiots, inlcuding our Welsh Wizard Steve Meyler went to the hotel bar for a "top up".
The following morning an early contender for the Ken Block "I wanna die" trophy emerged in the shape of an extremly ill Steve Meyler. His darling young wife had rung him about 7.00am to tell him how much she loved and missed him, a thoughtful gesture much appreciated by Steve. Oh to be young and in love. Breakfast was a big NO-NO and he was wandering around swearing that he would never drink again and spent the majority of the day lying in bed. I though he was a certainty for the trophy but events were to prove me wrong - WEREN'T THEY ANDY!
As there was no no game for the Saturday we were left to our devices and no prizes for guessing what Spencer did - got drunk in Market Weighton. Some went sightseeing in York or the surrounding area whilst others chose to go to Thirsk races. Summarised below is the profit/loss of each race goer-
Tav - About 140 quid UP (jammy flippin wotsit)
Phil - About 90 quid UP (YEEERRRRRRRSSSSS)
Tony and Mike - Both about 20 quid UP
Bartho & Marilyn - A little down though they both picked one or two winners
Steve Carter - LOST ON EVERY RACE!!!!!!!!!!!!
Becky & Johnny - Did not have a bet so they did better than Carter!
After the races we returned to Tav's local club in Wilberfoss, Cheap or what. I reckon one could get drunk on a tenner. I watched a cricket match between two local sides and I can safely say that either of the teams playing would have totally murdered us.
Marilyn drove us back to the hotel where after a few bags of incredibly bad chips (I thought chippies up north were supposed to be good) we all once again adjourned to the Half Moon where we we again caroused until the early hours. However Andy was not content with merely getting drunk - he decided to get absolutely SLAUGHTERED. At approx 7.30am a security guard found him wandering around the hotel in a complete daze. Not unnaturally the guard thought Andy was a tramp and was about to summarily boot him out of the hotel when Andy somehow managed to convince him that he was a member of our cricket team and was escorted back to his room. At about 8.30 ominous sounds were heard eminating from his room and it was obvious that Andy was not going to make breakfast let alone cricket. Andy therefore wins the Ken Block trophy for 1997 tour [Ed comment - that's a rather different trophy than the current one!]. It was close though. Spencer had such a bad case of the shakes that he was unable to light a cigarette even using both hands - he had to ask a waitress to light it for him.
The second scheduled match of the tour was at Escrick, a small, picturesque and quiet village about 15 miles from Market Weighton. We all set off in good time and each driver seemed confident that they knew how to get there. Their confidence was woefully misplaced. I travelled with Matt and we twice had to ask for directions which was on the low side compared to others. At one stage there were eight cars all travelling through Escrick village in about five different directions. Then something snapped and Escrick was not a quiet, peaceful village any longer. A Krooklock was being waved around and choice phrases such as "You want some of this IDIOT" and "I'll re-arrange your face you WALLY" filled the air. Who was this maniac? None other than meek mild-mannered Steve Meyler! Who would've thought it? It just goes to show - Road Rage can strike at any time so be prepared. Despite this totally unnecessary loutish behaviour we all managed to arrive at the ground in reasonable time and without serious injuries.
Escrick were also short and Ken/Barry had kindly agreed to let our numero uno player turn out for them. Escrick won the toss and elected to bat. In the absence of our top bowler (playing for Escrick) Paul Hogg and Mike Taylor opened the bowling and though they did not get any wickets they did keep the scoring rate down. Then we we had the first interruption because of rain. After a short break play resumed and Ken claimed our first, and unfortunately only, wicket - a superb diving catch by Neil Priest (ie an easy dolly). The it chucked it down. One end of the wicket was completly flood and it was not possible to continue. The oppo provided a tea during which Andy turned up looking surprisingly well. After a few beers we returned to the hotel for the three S's. Some of us had arranged to meet Batho and Marilyn for a mini pub crawl around Market Weighton. The other pubs didn't seem much better so guess where everyone ended up. Also guess what time we left the premises.
Strangely there were no further contenders for the Ken Block trophy despite the copious amount of booze consumed.
So all we had to look forward to was our final game on the Monday. Of course it flippin' chucked down all flippin' day. After some confusion (more brownie points for Tav) we were all told to travel to the ground in case the match was still on even though there was more chance of Carter pulling Claudia Schiffer. So we ended up watching the Man Utd vs Middlesboro game and playing cards. The card game was not as dramatic as the 1996 version - no potential suicides. Bartho won quite a bit but the losses were evenly shared amounst the other players (except Tav who was only a little bit down). Keep dreaming!
So we went back to our hotel for a 'relax' and after yet more beers went back to Wilberfoss for a farewell meal.
Tav had arranged for all of us to have a carvery in his local - the Oddfellows Arms (appropriate name or what for Tav's local?). Unfortunately the idiot has underestimated our numbers and the staff had to hastily lay out more tables. During the meal various presentations were made but as they went to boring people I have forgotten what the trophies were for and who they went to - so flippin' matters. After an enjoyable meal where certain fat chubbers stuffed themselves silly and a few more bevies we said our fairwells to Becky and Tav and hurried back to the Half Moon.
Where, lo and behold, there was a race night in progress! It was nearly ending and there was only time for a couple of races but once again I made a profit. For the final race we were invited to bid for a horse and between us we managed to buy about four of the eight runners. I named my horse "Carter is a Count" [Ed comment - or something similar]. Witty or what? Of course it romped home with the commentator shouting out its name at every opportunity much to the amusement of regulars and tourists. My prize was a bottle of wine I haven't seen since. Doubtless it was purlioned by one of the above mentioned scrubbers. The downside was that the person after whom the horse was named backed it - GOOD! There ensued more games of pool and I seem to recall that the DREAM TEAM (Carter and Patten not Hogg and Meyler) won the lion's share of the games. Pity all the skinflints in the pub refused to play for money. At some god forsaken time in the morning we returned to the hotel and left mine host counting up his takings which must have been up by %10,000 over the weekend. I have calculated that there about 240 runs scored on tour but I think we might, possibly have just about consumed one or two more pints than 240 in the Half Moon. Some kind gentlement, among them Mike Wadham , offered to buy the two barmaids further drinks at our hotel, an offer that surprise flippin' suprise they gratefully accepted.
Next morning arrived and we paid our bills at the hotel. Imagine Mike's consternation when he found out that the Martinis that el barmaids had been drinking were all put on to his bill even though he had gone to bed earlier than the others! It was too late to complain since the culprits had already left. That's what friends are for Mike!
So we made our weary way back south. The weather had been bad enough already but blow me down it flippin' snowed on the return journey. Bartho kindly dropped me off at a convenient tube station and I left clear instructions to those bugging Magellans, Marilyn, Steve and Tony so that even they couldn't get lost.
Still, roll on Zummerzett next year (Cider country!) and hopefully the weather will be better. It couldn't be any worse. One good thing - Bartho probably won't be going and as he is a 'Rain God'*** we should be alright.
If this note contains anything that has caused offence to anyone I can only offer my most humble, deep and sincere apologies and tell you to.
Player of the Tour: Andy Jacobs
*Tony Whitrod
***A few years ago Barth persuaded some of us to go on holiday to Gran Caneria. During our stay on the island experience it's wettest week's weather since records began. Enough said.
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Half Moon - Market Weighton
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A team that plays at Escrick
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