Dave’s Diary

I had intended watching Sedgley 2s on Saturday, and taking a few action shots, but I was unwell all weekend and never made it to the club at all. It was probably just as well, as Sedgley had fifty points put on them by Chester in their cup match. The 3s won at Holmes Chapel, but the 4s had to concede. Covid has eaten away at the fringes of our game. We were turning out four teams, and occasionally five, before the pandemic.

Instead of real-life rugby, I spent Saturday watching super-efficient Saracens beating Newcastle Falcons, for whom Iwan Stephens (son of Colin) was not playing, while keeping up with Sedgley’s progress via ST on Rolling Maul. The fairytale game had been on Friday evening, when Harlequins came from 0-21 down, and 7-24 at half-time, to beat Bristol 52-24. Unbelievable game, fabulous rugby to lift the spirits.

I rounded off my weekend’s entertainment by watching Wasps beat Northampton in an entertaining game, but I now feel fully recovered and looking forward to the Fylde encounter and, hopefully, some good action shots. You can’t beat real live sport.


There was a bit of a weird coincidence the other day. I was checking out Old Elthamians, trying to find out exactly who they are, and why they had dropped out of National One, leaving that league with an odd number of clubs for the season. It turns out to be a fascinating story, in some ways similar to our own rise through the leagues; in other ways, very different.

OE’s rise from London Division 2 East (level 7) to the top of level 3 was bankrolled by South African millionaire Kobus Paulsen. The club describes him as a generous and warm-hearted man, a genuine rugby supporter who could be seen on the touchline, cheering on all the club’s teams, including the kids on Sundays. As for the 1st XV, they had attracted crowds of over 1,600 for games against neighbours Blackheath. Paulsen died suddenly, aged only 54, in December 2019.

Other sources suggest that Paulsen had begun to pull the plug on the money before his death. My (somewhat limited) experience of millionaires is that they do rather like to get their way, in return for all that money, and my thought is that the all-eggs-in-one-basket approach to sponsorship is never the best solution.

Let us hope Old Elthamians recover from their present difficulties and regroup next season, at a lower level presumably, because all their elite players will have gone. And now for the coincidence I mentioned.

Barely had I finished my delving, when I settled down to watch some TV. I chanced upon a film called “School’s Out Forever”, a comedy (sort of) about the goings on at a posh boarding school after the world is hit by a really serious pandemic, which kills 93% of the population. The action centres round the battle between the surviving kids and the neighbourhood oiks.

The school sequences were shot at Eltham College. Nice place.


Finally, colour blindness: I know it is very wrong of me, and I shouldn’t make fun of even a minor disability, but I was amused to read that Wales (in red) v Ireland (in green) may be a thing of the past. The reason cited is colour blindness (more correctly ‘colour vision deficiency’) whereby about 1 in 12 males are unable to distinguish between those two colours, but only 1 in 200 females.

In the case of Wales v Ireland, I would have thought it simple. The team going forward is Ireland, the one going backward and whingeing is Wales.

I knew colour blindness was a problem, back when I started teaching over fifty years ago. There were some very distressed kids who, aged fifteen or sixteen, had suddenly found their chosen career-path well and truly closed. Examples were flying and the RAF, and anything to do with electrical wiring. They changed the colour codes for wiring in 1977, and the same solution could work for Wales for whom red would become brown, like the live wire, and for Ireland who would play in diagonal green/yellow stripes, like the earth wire.

The colour vision test was a simple one, even back then, and still simpler online now. Why wasn’t it always carried out in early childhood? I went online and did the test in about five minutes. Congratulations: you have normal colour vision and can see up to a million different shades.

If I was a woman, I would be able to name all of them.