Even Monty’s critics had time for one last cheer

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THEY tell me that Nick Montgomery got a wonderful send-off on his farewell to Bramall Lane last week. And rightly so.

What I refuse to believe is tales about Blades followers who used to spend most of their Saturday afternoons berating him for the best part of 90 minutes.

How could there have been anybody like that when you saw the crowd on its collective feet to acknowledge him?

To a man, they were up cheering and clapping just before 3pm when Monty got his introduction.

You wouldn’t have found those who regularly berated his wholehearted efforts joining in with the rest would you? Nah, simply wouldn’t do it. Wouldn’t be able to prevent themselves having one last ‘go’.

You’ve given the lad stick for years so you’re not going all hypocritical now.

But wait. Perhaps I’m wrong.

One Unitedite says he looked on in astonishment at a few blokes who sit near him who, to use his phrase, would ‘crucify’ Montgomery at every given opportunity.

“There they were,” he said, “clapping and cheering as loud as anybody for a bloke who, for the past few years, they’ve spent hammering just about every game.

“One of them would rather have had Pol Pot in midfield than Monty,” he said.

He was never - to use the footballing parlance - a Glenn Hoddle but those far better qualified than me would say no player gave more to the cause and he was the ultimate team man. And it takes all sorts to make a team!

I admit I was a Montgomery fan simply for that wholehearted approach.

The night he gave absolutely everything, into the bargain annoying and frustrating Patrick Vieira who was then at his most formidable, in the FA Cup replay against Arsenal at Bramall Lane in 2005, is a memory that has stuck with me.

A fond farewell then. Even from his fiercest critics!

TOMORROW tea-time, Barnsley figure in a live TV match when they play at Birmingham City.

“If they go behind I’m turning it off,” a Barnsley fan said to me. “It’s years since they won an away game after the other side scored first.”

He couldn’t quite remember how many years. But it was absolutely ages.

It was worth checking.

It was November 2010. They conceded a fourth minute goal at Preston but came back to win 2-1.

So, if they concede early tomorrow, Reds’ fans shouldn’t necessarily turn off.

THEY’VE brought the curtain down on a cricket season that, for rain and affected matches, has been the worst summer any South Yorkshire cricket follower can recall, however old.

Many a Saturday afternoon they were just left with a decent tea to reflect on. And there are some good ones around.

I’ve often wondered which club might boast the best teas in this area!

A pal was at one Sheffield club last weekend and swears it was the best tea he’s had all season. The tea lady was lovely too (aren’t they all?).

But this club’s teas must be good.

Recently, the league secretary turned up and ordered two teas. He’d brought his wife with him as well.

A DISCUSSION ensued over whether England women’s coach Hope Powell might get a League club job one day.

“More chance of Baden Powell,” said one. “And he could double up as chief scout as well.”