Total Pageviews

Saturday, December 31, 2011


The end of another year in the wonderful world of football is nigh, as is the first full year of the one-man operation that is Pat's Football Blog. To say that this blog is not widely-known is an understatement, but that, I would say, is no bad thing. It means that I can write what I think about the subjects which interest me, and if what I write both interests and informs you, dear reader, then I am happy.

This blog has, in my mind, two purposes: I write about what interests me because it is insufficiently available elsewhere on the internet, and because I want to practice the craft of writing articles - features, opinion-pieces and so on. Well, it has three purposes, the third being that it might interest and inform those who read it. As I said earlier, the blog doesn't have a wide audience, but the two people who have regularly read it over the past thirteen and a half months or so have been quite complimentary about its contents, which is always nice, and it makes me feel as though I might be doing something right. 

More importantly, perhaps, it gives me the feeling that those individuals and organisations who have assisted with the collation and writing of articles on this blog have done something right - they have often helped in others becoming aware of football in the more obscure parts of the globe - and I feel that is only proper that I should thank them here and now for their help, kindness and patience in helping me compile article after article.

To begin with, thanks and praise are due to Leon Glass (Tristan da Cunha FC) and Nick Stevens (Saint Helena) for their contributions - we got there in the end, and I sincerely hope that SHIFT (Saint Helena International Football Team) will one day get to the Island Games, and that TDCFC will eventually venture overseas, and keep on winning in the meantime! Congratulations to Rovers and Herts for winning the Saint Helena League and Cup recently, by the way.

The help of those such as Andrea Sheridan, from the 2011 NatWest Island Games Organising Committee, Kay Batty, Secretary of the Island Games Association and Priscilla Duncan, Head of Media Communications at the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) was invaluable, not to mention much appreciated, in the compilation of several articles during the year; the OFC website is an essential tool for those wishing to know more about football in the South Pacific region. (Website address:

Someone else who went over and beyond the call of duty was Brett Maluwelmeng. The name might not mean very much to the average bod, but Brett is the media rep for the Guam FA. Not only that, but he is also the goalkeeper for the Guam national side, and a nice bloke to boot.

Thanks are, on a smaller scale, but no less valid, also due to Brazilian columnist Juca Kfouri, the indefatigible, not to mention incorrigible (in the positive sense of the word!) Andrew Jennings - the man who causes Sepp Blatter, Jack Walker et al sleepless nights - and Danny Lynch from the Football Association's Kick It Out! campaign.

I have immensely enjoyed researching and compiling every blog I have written, but none have given me the pleasure, sense of fulfilment nor sadness experienced whilst writing the two-part blog (plus the auxilliary article concerning two sets of goalposts) on the life and times of the former Brazilian goalkeeper Moacyr Barbosa. I am not ashamed to write that tears were shed during the compilation of the blog about the man who only played 20 full internationals for Brazil, but who should be named among the best goalkeepers ever to appear for everybody's second-favourite football team; a man who was, by all accounts, first-class in every way. He was scandalously treated by the Brazilian media and football authorities..not to mention by a large percentage of the Brazilian population, and that for merely conceding a goal in the deciding game of the 1950 World Cup against Uruguay. 

I consider it an honour to have been helped every step of the way by Roberto Muylaert, author of "Barbosa - Um gol faz cinquenta anos" ( a rough translation being: "Barbosa - a goal lasts for fifty years"); Tereza Borba, the woman (incorrectly) assumed by many to be Barbosa's adopted daughter, was of wonderful assistance, as were Gudryan Neufert and Luiza Tanabe Novaes from Rede Record TV and António Napoleão from the CBF. Many thanks, too, to Rosilda de Fátima Tristão Santini for her help with the article on the two sets of goalposts from the Brazil : Uruguay game in the 1950 World Cup. Good luck, too, to Javier Robles with his project on Moacyr Barbosa. Let me know how it goes!

Ireland qualified for the finals of a major tournament for the first time since 2002 (happiness!), and thanks are due to John Hogan for his kindness in letting me pillage information on the Irish team's history in play-off matches.

This is the perfect link to the second part of this article, which deals with some of the best in blogs and websites discovered and read by yours truly over the past year or so, and John's website - - is one of the most informative I've come across in a long time. If you are interested in football on the southern side of the Irish border, then Soccer-Ireland, an obvious labour of love, must be your one-stop shop for statistical information.

If it's a good story you're after, then only one website will do: In Bed With Maradona. The site is stocked full of entertaining and informative reading from near and far; why settle for a fish-supper when a caviar-stuffed pork fillet with sauté potatoes will do? With writers such as Iain Macintosh, Steve Menary and Janine Self, IBWM surely can't be a bad bet for some bedtime reading. Website address:

Footysphere is, in comparison, a one-man effort run by Karl Smout, and an absolute delight it is, too; a veritable sweet-shop full of footie goodies from recent times and yesteryear, culled from various sources (including this blog! - well, sort of..) and also featuring some of Karl's own creations. Website address:

A blog definitely worth a look is Girl On A Terrace, which is the gospel according to a Rochdale fan called Sarah, and it is written in a refreshingly chatty style. It's another blog where you don't know what you're going to read next; the roof blowing off the stand at Tranmere Rovers' Prenton Park to a collection of the worst football shirts of all time. Sarah is the queen of the football blog, and you, esteemed reader, will find and enjoy her blog under:

A definitely more club-orientated blog is Arsenal Territory (, and I consider this to be a good read and an intelligently-written blog. It pains me a little to say it, but another well thought-out blog is one which concentrates on (gulp) Manchester United, and is written from an American perspective. The Busby Babe is the name (the web address is and is not your average hysterically anti-Liverpool rant, but one which is written with a little consideration for the subject at hand. To redress the balance somewhat, the Liverpool Offside has everything the discerning Liverpool fan will ever need (

There are many media outlets whose reading material is readily available on the internet, and which make for essential reading, such as The Guardian, World Soccer, BBC, RTÉ , Huffington Post and The Independent. For those of you who like to play about with an online translator, Placar (Brazil), France Football, Fotbólti (Iceland) and Voetbal International (Holland) are some of those which are more than worth the effort.

Time is of the essence, and to include every single website perused by your correspondent over the past year would leave this article unfinished until the end of January. Many thanks to all those who have been kind enough to offer help and advice; your assistance is much appreciated. A Happy New Year to you all.

All being well, there will be more to come in the New Year. A brief snapshot of the subjects which will be covered (all being well) includes: Gibraltar, the Channel Islands, a belated look back at some tournaments which weren't covered at the time, goal-line technology (zzzzzz..), football after the credit-crunch in Iceland and, to start off the New Year, the life and times of the late, great Sócrates. The year 2012 will be an interesting one.

Also, in finishing, Pat's Football Blog is now on Facebook, where the links to each article on this blog are within reach, and a few other bits and pieces are also on show. As ever, as via the blog itself, comments are more than welcome. If anyone should like to write a guest article for this blog, kindly get in touch and, well, who knows?

For now, though, dear reader, thank you for taking the time to read this blog, and I wish you and yours a very sporting and Happy New Year.


  1. Pat, you're a gentleman. Thank you for your kind words. Happy New Year and have a great 2012. Karl :-)

  2. Thank you for the lovey words about my website Girl On A Terrace :D it's very much appreciated! Sarah x

  3. Karl and Sarah, you're both very welcome; I say it as I see it. Keep on doing what you're doing and have a most agreeable 2012. That goes to anybody else reading this as well, of course..