THERE were just two words on the back of their shirts. Big Dave it said.
For the footballers of Wadsley-based Jubilee Sports, in their biggest game of the season, they were honouring the memory of a teammate who was one of them.
Dave Roberts would have been out there on Jubilee’s big night in the Sheffield and Hallamshire FA Junior Cup Final.
A big presence in midfield and with a big throw-in to match. However, he proved only a big miss.
Dave Roberts was killed in a works accident at Sheffield Forgemasters last year.
So, not only was Big Dave missing, but so was the number six shirt he would have worn.
The club have had that framed along with a photo of their much-missed midfielder.
“It was all in tribute from the lads and everyone for Dave,” said Jubilee secretary Mick Scott.
“He was a big, strong lad, and he could throw the ball 50 yards. He was only in his 20s and it hit our lads hard to lose one of their teammates.”
If Dave was looking down then he’d have seen his old mates enjoy some cup final glory with a 3-1 win over Manor Castle thus erasing the memories of Jubilee’s only other appearance in this prestige final back in 1998 when they were beaten.
With their own League Cup also won, Jubilee now seek to complete the treble by winning the title in the South Yorkshire Amateur League.
YOU’VE heard those consoling words when it comes to the presentation of the trophy and the medals after a cup final... “it’s a pity there had to be a loser.”
Well, for a moment this week, both teams in a local final felt like winners.
The disconsolate players of Ridgeway went up for their medals after losing 3-1 to Rawson Spring in the Meadowhall League’s Tinsley Trophy Final.
The players then trooped off to stand aside whilst the winners went up.
Until the Ridgeway players began looking at their awards. And noticed they’d been handed the wrong medals!
They’d been given the ones that should have gone to the winners.
There was a bit of panic and some laughing and joking as the error was realised and pointed out before runners-up Ridgeway then handed back the winners’ medals and were given the correct ones.
THERE are near enough 3,000 Barnsley fans travelling to Bramall Lane tomorrow. And they are going to gloat over the Blades demise.
They are preparing plenty of “stick” for one of their nearest-if-not-so-dearest and hoping the Reds will be the ones to confirm United’s relegation. And that stick will be merciless if it happens.
As it’s a lot easier to get to Bramall Lane than Selhurst Park (anywhere is easier than getting to Selhurst Park!), I would have thought they’d prefer United to stay up and Palace to go down when it comes to the away match itinerary for next season.
And you can bet those who count the dough at Oakwell (and the Keepmoat) would prefer United staying up.
If Barnsley do get something tomorrow and send the Blades down, then it would be minimal improvement for a side whose away record is worryingly poor and will need improvement.
But it would confirm Mark Robins’ men as South Yorkshire’s top side this season and serve as a reminder of those words of the Doncaster Rovers chairman John Ryan at the beginning of this season.
He said Rovers and Barnsley were the coming force in the region. Quite a few laughed. They look like being the only two South Yorkshire sides in The Championship next season - so he might be the one having a chuckle at such a prescient remark.
IT’S a good job Sheffield Wednesday didn’t have a home game last Saturday. It wouldn’t have got to half-time before being abandoned with the pitch under water and some surrounds under water.
The huge thunderstorm which struck that particular area of Sheffield last Saturday caused flash flooding and the Hillsborough pitch, completely clear at 3 o’clock, was two-thirds under water before half past!
Near to the Kop, groundsman Steve Kiddy reckoned it was a couple of feet deep and he called the storm, with its massive hailstones as well, “a freak of nature”. With roads outside the ground up to three feet deep, the club’s safety officer would have faced an amazing situation in that, on safety grounds, the club would probably have had to keep all the fans inside the stadium until the situation eased.
The next morning, Sunday, groundsman Kiddy and his team went in to prepare for the following day’s home game against struggling Swindon Town.
All the water had gone, they were able to cut the grass and, because it was so dry, they had to water it!