Local Football Preview 7: Askam

Posted: August 23, 2013 in Uncategorized


Askam has a distinguished cultural history. In the 1970s, it was the setting for black-and-white, art-house erotica films such as Animal Farm, Show Us Your Hoad, Dirty Haematites, and Shooting Duddons Don’t Bother Me Baby. Dedicating their lives to their art and shunning the shallowness of the celebrity lifestyle, Askamite actors would disguise themselves by wearing aviator sunglasses and sporting extensive Judiths.

Those days have gone. Now it’s the turn of sport. Historically, Askam United have been shit. But now, under prodigious youth team boy-coach, Ben Shirley, 13, they have climbed to second place in the West Lancs League Division 2, only three points behind the mighty Furness Cavs to whom they narrowly lost thanks to a Kyle Delves wonder goal. But such has been their confidence this season that they even challenged Walney to a Twitter war after – and in language complementing their raunchy grumble history – they pissed all over them. Confidence has transferred to the football pitch, including an mesmerising 3-1  win over Haslingden St Mary’s, wherever that is.

Rumours: There are worries that Shirley has not fully made the transition to open age. Players were puzzled when he said anyone could come to him if they were struggling with GCSEs or were starting to find themselves craving some flange but didn’t know what to do.

After Haslingden St Mary’s got two players sent off, the West Lancs League Corruption Unit are thought to be considering a full investigation into the behaviour of Askam staff and players deliberately getting the opposition sent off. A “close pal” of HStM claimed Askam players were whispering into the ears of opposing players that they’d been treated to a “hamburger shot” of a given player’s mother/sister, or full “quarter-pounder shot” of a given player’s brother/father. If true, it would seem that you can take the Askamite out of the jazz trade but not the jazz trade out of the Askamite!

Key players: Mike Thompson, Mike Platt, King Dong, Robin Asquith, Warren Smithson

Fun fact: To celebrate their cultural heritage, the famously unkempt Duddon Road pitch is, in fact, the exact length of the average pubic hair (fully stretched out) of a 1970s Askam bongo flick actor.

Key quote: “Hopefully, we can get off to a good start” (Ben Shirley)


Lovin Barrow has been inundated with requests to have more showcasing of local art and literature. As luck would have it, a local footballer wrote in to express his love of The Beautiful Game through the medium of poetry. We respect his wishes to remain anonymous and will only mention that he plays for Barrow Wanderers, is in his late twenties, about 5ft 11 inches, brown-haired, and has one of them haircuts where it is shaved at the back and sides and nicely blow dried and combed on top.

The poem is simply entitled, “Saturday”


Saturday morning,
What a day!
Must get up,
Can’t wait to play!

Boots polished,
Kit pressed,
Tracksuit on,
Must look my best!

Anxiously waiting,
The whistle blows!
Damo’s on wing,
Watch how he goes!

On comes the physio
With the magic sponge,
Bending right over,
What a firm set of buns!

A tough old match,
Bruises, dirty knees,
Got hammered again,
Such hard cheese!

After the match,
Shower time!
I won’t look at yours
If you don’t look at mine!

After the match,
The pie and the peas,
Lots of banter,
But not like Richard Keys!

It’s Saturday night,
Out with the lads!
It’s just innocent fun,
When we fondle team-mates’ nads!

No luck for me,
Walk home at my leisure,
But being out with the boys,
Reminds me of gentleman’s pleasure

Then it’s Sunday,
They think it’s all over,
Not for me,
I worship Jehovah!

Barrow Island FC

Barrow Island and Wigan have a lot in common. Wigan had Wigan Pier, Barrow had Barrow Island. Back in the day, both were hotbeds of the burgeoning “Northern Soul” and then “acid house” where users of a drug called “E” would enjoy themselves at “all-nighters”. One little known made-up fact is that The Shamen’s Ebeneezer Goode was voted the Best Single of All Time by inhabitants of both The Island and Wigan…for twenty consecutive years!

Times have, of course, changed. Wigan, thanks to the work of Dave Whelan and now former manager Robert-o Martinez, have repackaged the gritty northern town as a place of sophisticated slick football and sharp suits. The Island too has moved on from “E” to contemporary designer drugs such as plant food, meow meow, and steroids. They’ve even dabbled with psychedelica, as the presentation of their most up-to-date league table shows. However, similarities remain: both The Island AND The Wigan are unlikely holders of silverware!

Concerns: The big question is, can boss McCormack and The Island carry this momentum into the new season? The worry is that the glory of last season was effectively a shopping window for bigger clubs such as Barrow Celtic and Britannia FC to bid as they see fit for the top The Island players such as Danny O’Halloran and Ronnie Crompton. The Island’s financial muscle meant that they were able to refuse bids flatly for anyone they wanted to keep.

There are major concerns over the aging target man, O’Halloran, whom The Island have relied on seasons in and out, with his goal haul regularly hitting 4 or over in any given season.

Rumours: O’Halloran is said to be happier rustling up a perfect spatchcock chicken with fennel and mango salad to Rachel Allen’s recipe on Saturday Kitchen than lacing up his boots this season.

Steve Smith’s has a tendency to see the red mist and there are worrying rumours he has pre-planned to flick the bird to the first referee who misunderstands his “passion and commitment” for violent play.

During last seasons Path to Glory, sources close to The Island claim that the club suits wanted now former star and local celebrity Ronnie Crompton to celebrate goals by doing a “waxed Giggs”, that is to say, take off his top, spin it around his head and leg it around the pitch but, instead of revealing a hairy chest, present perfectly smooth pair of pecs. The rumoured thinking was that this would really get the capacity crowd hot with excitement…even a fair few of the fellas! Now that Cromp has left, rumours are flying around the club as to who will be asked to pioneer this rabble-rousing strategy. Will it be, as the rife Twitter speculation would have us believe, Jonathan Barnard?

Fun fact #1: Twitter went into overdrive last season when it was revealed that on average every The Island player lost their virginity before the age of 25, except for [NAME REMOVED FOR LEGAL REASONS] who has never even felt any of the major lady-areas…and he’s 30 with a faux-hawk!

Ye olde fun fact #2: A quaint local The Island tradition is to ask a senior player to bear his bronze eye to team-mates before home games to “tighten the already tight team bond”. There is silence from The Island camp as to whether this still happens.

Key players: Danny O’Halloran; Jonathan Barnard; Gareth Armstrong; Chris Starkie

Key quotes: “Roids are Good, Roids are Good, he’s Steroids Rgood” (#1 fan chant Season 2011-12)

…Barrow team Askam kept the Barrovian flag flying high by winning 3-1 and topping the table but league favourites and Holbeck’s premier team, Furness Cavaliers, are hot on their heels…

…Millom humiliated themselves by losing to a team from…The Lake District! However, all tongues were wagging at hunky Olly Patchul’s swanky new hairdo…

…Thanks to a Sabrina “Boys, Boys, Boys” dedication on The Bay and the return of the Pyeman from drinking, Barrow Wanderers continued their steady progression by again conceding one less than the previous match and again scoring in a 1-5 defeat to Milnthorpe Corinthians, though working-class Wanderers fans again felt aggrieved by losing to a load of bearded Lib Dems from Milnthorpe…

…Vickerstown managed to travel all the way to between Junctions 27 and 28 on the M6 and lose 4-2 to motorway services Charnock Richard, though thankfully rumours that Mike Imison’s knob lobbed out after an attempted overhead kick were unfounded…

Media News:…Ulverston’s Groundskeeper gets a tongue-lashingbut not the variety Millom FC’s Young Turks are trying to impose…Hawcoat Park’s resident hack, Mike Otto, raises his journalistic game after stiff Lovin Barrow competition

…and that’s the latest West Lancs news…


87% of parochial Furnessians still believe that Millom is a mythical place. Yet nothing could be further from the truth. Millom is in a real place called “Copeland” and it is a bit like Askam except even further away.

In fact, the only thing “mythical” about Millom FC is the Devonshire Road outfit’s stylish brand of possession-based football and Maldini-like defenders who can go whole games without making a single tackle, such is their reading of the game. After last season’s 8 goal thriller at home against Norcross & Warbreck, expert statisticians from nearby Sellafield worked out that the cultured Millom defenders only touched the ball once all match…and that was for a throw-in!  The flair has been necessarily tamed this season as seen in a cautious but highly tactical 1-1 draw against Burscough, with Millom stalwart Phil Edmunson twatting a penalty.

Players out: Danny Patterson will be sorely missed and Millom have yet to snap up a self-serving propagandist for the season’s match reports.

The loss of other players such as Jamie Pattinson and Paul Walker means Millom now rely on youth and youth have intensified other innovations…

Fashion innovations: With more young players coming through, new boss Mark Johnson had made sure that The Millom Way stretches beyond the pitch. For instance, they’ve extended their on-the-pitch flair to the catwalk and the boutique! As a signal of intent, Johnson showed each individual player the results of his Back, Sack and Crack treatment from Ken Riley’s Hair Salon in Barrow and insisted each player get the same PLUS a chest wax and sculpted eyebrows. Almost every Millom FC player should now be seen to be immaculately groomed in the club bar after a match with manbag over shoulder and a glass of Gavi Montiero 2012 in manicured hand.

Mark Johnson, post-Back, Sack and Crack, last week

Rumours: Following the lead of soon-to-be-named Hull Tigers, a “close friend” of the club secretary has it on “good authority” that Millom will be renamed Millom Metrosexuals in time for the 2014/15 season as part of their mid-term marketing strategy to boost the Millom brand in the Furness Peninsula.

It is rumoured that keen younger players, such as sexy Oliver Pachul, have gone “too far” in rebranding Millom by insisting that “making-love” must be “unselfish” and that “partners” must first receive cunnilingus before penetration, if indeed penetration is even carried out. Senior players are said to be “deeply uncomfortable” with this politically correct sexual revolution.

Soon-to-be Millom Metrosexuals with an average of 57% modern haircuts

Soon-to-be Millom Metrosexuals with an average of 57% modern haircuts

Key players: Carlos Waters; Phil Edmundson; Oliver Pachul; Matthew Towler

Fun Millom Fact #1: Millom FC boasts the shortest average height for ‘keepers in the West Lancs League!

Fun Millom Fact #2: Millom FC boasts the highest percentage of English Defence League sympathisers in the West Lancs League!

Key Quote: “Overall the aim is to consolidate in the division and I’m confident we can do that” (Mark Johnson)

Not to be confused with: Haverigg; Bootle; Sellafield; Askam


Winner of Blue Peter’s “design a manly phallic badge for Walney Island FC” competition, yesterday


There’s a real fear that Walney are a club in decline, despite an impressive 5th place finish last season and an excellent 2-0 opening victory, for there was a time when (non-Barrovian) teams feared both crossing Walney Bridge and the no-nonsense brand of football for which Walney had become famous. But is that still the case? Sadly, it appears that fears were confirmed when Askam came and not only out-played Walney but also out-manned them in a comfortable 3-1 victory. To add insult to injury, @AskamFC declared Twitter war on @WalneyIslandFC by declaring that Askam’s Mikey Thomson had Mike Wilkes “[in] his pocket”. Walneyites are said to be “embarrassed” by their team’s humiliation in both the war-of-tweets and on-the-pitch, with many claiming that the present shower of pampered mummy’s boys not fit to clean the boots of the great Walney teams of the 80s and 90s who would’ve just ‘butted Askam and asked questions later.


Rumours: To address the problems of a lack of manning-up, Walney boss Steve McCullough is rumoured to have imposed a tough 10-point Action Plan. It is hoped to result in at least a draw next time they face Askam and that the team will take out any Askamites in fights, physical or on Twitter:

  • No more fannying around with the ball
  • No more mincing out of tackles
  • No more attempted dainty chip passes or passing sideways
  • All goals must be headers or tackles
  • All passes (if they may be called that) must be at least 50 yards, a minimal radial peak of 20 metres off-the-ground, at least 70mph, and in the general direction of a generously proportioned centre-forward
  • Immediate 12-month ban for any player or staff member who even mentions “tiki-taka” or “false number 9s”
  • Any virgins in the squad (you know who you are) must at the very least pretend otherwise and invent a minimum of one story of sexual conquest per week, even if barely believable. Fingering is no longer deemed impressive enough
  • All games between November and February will be played topless (pending confirmation from the West Lancs League Kit Innovations Committee)
  • Beyond match days, every player must wear an official Walney Island FC muscle vest at all times, even at work.

Rumours have been flying around that senior players have already reacted positively. Mike Carr has allegedly led by example by staying behind after training to do an extra 25 one-armed press-ups.

To boost morale, there are “well-sourced” rumours that the management team with follow the example of one former member of the England coaching staff, Steve Harrison, and defecate into a pint glass from the top of a wardrobe.

Players to Watch: Joe Wright; Mike Wilkes; Jordan Brough

Key Quotes: Steve McCullough and the management team have enforced a strict ban on talking to the media until the team is sufficiently toughened up.


After the departure of Gary Fawcett to Holker OB, many Ulverstonians were hoping for a woman or an ethnic minority tactics-facilitator but still politely welcomed head-facilitator Darren Barker and player-facilitator Gavin Butler. The pre-season started badly after hopes of a big-money sponsorship deal with the Ulverston Breastfeeding Festival failed to materialise. However, addressing fears that native Ulverstonians might be “too scared” to play away at places like Barrow Island or Walney, Butler was brought in from Vickerstown to attract players who aren’t as soft. A bumper package deal brought in Danny Leech and Sam Lightfoot from Dalton while Paul Walker was signed for an undisclosed fee from Millom. The policy looks to be paying dividends, particularly in their 7-1 thrashing of the working-classes at Lesh Lane.

Innovations: Inspired by Arsene Wenger, Rangers have combined fitness and environmentalism by cycling to all away games, complementing their own home-grown innovations of the provision of half-time organic tangerines and jasmine tea with a splash of breast-milk. Inspired by Glenn Hoddle and Eileen Drury, Rangers will also continue their successful “friendship bonding” which consists of the team walking up Hoad Hill to hold hands around the Hoad thereby harnessing its powers of spiritual reinvigoration.

Fun facts #1: GSKUR’s home kit is now made from 85% organic unfelched cotton while the famed Ulverston grounds-keep is pioneering a state-of-the-art pitch made from 100% hemp.

Fun facts #2: GSKUR’s bar doesn’t sell lager or WKD but only “a decent red or white” from Booths.

Fun facts #3: GSKUR insist that any post-match pie and peas must be made with organically-reared beef.

Fun facts #4: 80% of GSKUR’s squad are students. 15% are well-paid managers at Glaxo.

Fun facts #5: GSKUR’s fave band for pre-match inspiration is Mumford and Sons.

Rumours: Rumours abound that Rangers won’t register players in possession of unsightly tattoos, fake tan or Henley’s jeans. It is also thought that Rangers’ players don’t like Mediterranean resorts for their summer holidays but prefer trekking in the Peruvian Andes, often in their Gap Year.

Players to Watch: Mike Penny; Danny Leech; Gavin Butler; Sam Lightfoot

Player Most Sensitive to Gender Discrimination and Ethnic Minorities:  Jack Gardner

Key Quote: “Hopefully we can get off to a good start.” (Phil Grant, Club Secretary)

See also: Barrow Wanderers; Hawcoat Park; Holker Old Boys