Parliamentary privilages


The rise in profile of the women’s game in England has been more noticeable in the past year than at any other stage in its history.  There are a number of reasons for this – the success of the inaugural Women’s Premier League this season; the hosting of the UEFA Women’s Champions League final at Craven Cottage in May and of course the huge success of the sixth FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany.  However, it is not all about of the onfield progress.  It is the progress of what is going on behind the scenes.

One thing is for sure.  The amount of dedication of key individuals off the field will make the on field success even more noticeable in the years to come.  We have already spoken to one of the most respected female officials in the Northern Leagues, Linzi Robinson, and in the coming weeks we will be talking to the manager of Lewes Ladies, Jacquie Agnew, on the success of the Sussex club.

But in one of those random Google searches we all do once in awhile we managed to stumble upon Tracey Crouch.  Qualified Football coach, Spurs fan and Conservative MP for Chatham and Aylesford.  Two out of three isn’t bad I suppose.  I met up will Tracey at Portcullis House a few weeks ago and was bowled over by her enthusiasm for the game.  Regularly checking her Blackberry, not for updates on policy making, but on whether Modric would be staying at White Hart Lane, we chatted for an hour about the game, the politics and why Clive Allen left Arsenal after just 7 weeks and zero competitive appearances for the club. Continue reading

CHatham AVerage they aren’t


In my misspent youth I was a frequent visitor to the Medway towns. Being just a few stops down the line on the train meant there was ample opportunity to hop on and off the train to avoid the conductor in the “toast rack” trains that used to be common in the 1980’s. For some it was easier to everything in Chatham and Gillingham. Easier to buy beer from the off licence, easier to buy 10-packs of Marlboro’s and easier to get lovebites off the girls. Perhaps coming from Longfield was deemed “exotic” to the local girls but whatever it was, a swig of Diamond White and a quick drag on a cigarette and they were putty in our hands.

“One of many suggested ‘origins’ for the word ‘Chav’ was that it is an abbreviation of ‘Chatham Average’, alluding to a public perception of a segment of Chatham residents as tracksuit-wearing, gold hoop-earringed common people with a penchant for hard drinking, recreational drug use, and aggressive and anti-social behaviour. The word ‘chav’ was retroactively deemed an acronym for ‘Council House And Violent’. “Chav Culture” was first evident from a website about “Chatham Girls” which received a huge amount of media interest.” Not my words but those of Wikipedia. It certainly rang true. Continue reading