Tuesday, September 05, 2006


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Reading Oz Kanka's blog on Muzzy Izzet (The End is Near) a few weeks ago (also my comment on that particular blog) inspired me to write this blog on the subject of `Putting Something Back`.

A few years ago when I was 29 (I'm not telling how many years ago !!!), I was part of the footie squad of my Air Base at Thorney Island (near Portsmouth) when we won the Watney's Red Barrel (a great Ingallish beer from yesteryear !!) Cup by beating the Royal Navy team of HMS Daedalus at one of the Stadium's in Portsmouth (not Fortress Fratton !!).

That match was to be my last `competative` match because a few months later in pre-season training I broke 4 metatarsals in my right foot. After 6 weeks in plaster I was then posted to a small Air Base at Abingdon in Berkshire.

It was there that I met an old friend from Air Force Academy days who was a footie referee. He convinced me that I was `over the hill` at 30 and that I should consider putting something back into the sport which I loved so much.

My friend, Keith Powell, was a very persistent and persuasive man, and whilst I was still in crepe bandages, he finally wore my resistance down to take the Referees Course.

It wasn't until I had been a Linesman for him a few times in the North Berkshire League that I finally understood where he was coming from. His argument was that although he loved footie, he was hopeless as a player, and so that is why he decided to become a referee. I may also add, that although he was only 1 or 2 years older than me, I learned so much about footie from him. For example, I learned that my ego and my knowledge of the game were not equal !!!

We both refereed in the North Berkshire League, The Rothmans Hellenic League, The `old` Southern League (now part of the Conferance) and The Midland Area of the Professional Teams Youth League, and I began to take pride in what I was doing.

However, I think my most humbling experience was when I was asked to referee a North Berks Division 4 match on one of my few weekends off. The minor leagues never had enough referees to go round all divisions and this particular team hadn't had a referee for about 5 or 6 weeks !

The Referees Secretary didn't have a difficult job convincing me to officiate and so off I went into the Berkshire countryside to find this village team. This particular match sticks in my mind because I have never had such a VIP welcome and reception in all my refereeing travels. All 22 players shook my hand after the match and they insisted on my joining them for post-match refreshments. It was then as a lowly Class 3 referee that I understood the message Keith had been trying to pass on to me !

In later years when I was a Class 1 referee and officiating in senior leagues and the going was tough at times, I reflected on my North Berks days and took strength from that experience.

Of course, it is not easy sometimes to be judge, jury and executioner, but just try playing a footie match without a referee and the match will degenerate into chaos !

Putting something back into the game was something special for me and I like to think that my `little bit` was useful to all the leagues and players in which I officiated. Anyone with a love of footie can contribute as a referee, coach, trainer or administrator. ALL the cogs of a wheel are important !

Of course, this concept doesn't only apply to footie. If you have a skill, then use it to help others. Find the time, and `PUT SOMETHING BACK` !!

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim


  1. Sir Eski Kanka said: "Anyone with a love of footie can contribute as a referee, coach, trainer or administrator. ALL the cogs of a wheel are important!"

    You forgot contributing to a blog. That and buying a season ticket is about all I've put back into football after my own football career ended after playing for the Saints United Under 8s.

  2. Yes, good point Oz Kanka. Supporting a team `in person` on a regular basis is also important. Also, and of course, being Editor in Chief of The Round Ball in Ankara is also very very very important !!!

    Naughty me for those omissions ! I deserve a good spanking. Any offers ???

    Hey, I wouldn't mind betting that the Saints United Under 8s have never tasted the sweet smell of success since you left ??!!

  3. Didn't have much success when I was there. Came dead last as I remember. Set me up for a life of supporting underdogs.

  4. Don't give Gulay another opportunity to doubt the pride and fighting spirit of us ANKARA boys !!!

    Oh ye of little faith ! Don't forget that Gencler were only one match away from qualifying for the UEFA Cup last season !!

    Also, this season isn't over until it is over !!!

  5. I don't mean that at all. Just that I support underdogs and no one can deny that Gencler are underdogs compared to Galatasaray.

  6. Sorry, but can't agree AGAIN.

    I will NEVER concede that ANKARAGUCU are underdogs to ANY team, especially Istan..spit..bul teams !!!

    That's fighting talk from an ANKARAGUCU hooligan !!!

  7. Sir Eski Kanka sounds as if he has already had too much to drink and its only 5:10 pm

  8. zagreb kankie8:45 pm


    Kisses from Zagreb Kankie

  9. Calm down Sir Eski....as a die hard Galatasaray supporter who only does not go to the games because of the prohibitive travel costs from the US, I agree all teams are essentially underdogs compared to the Istanbul teams plus Trabzon. Probably due to lack of money and ambition as it seems teams are quite happy to fight for the crumbs.....As for putting back into the game as a member of the fairer sex it is harder but surely being a dedicated supporter, blogger, disser of the Kadikoy mob has to count for something!!!!! (Oh and watching the husband "play" for the Hopatcong Hawks over 40's)

  10. I take my hat off to Gulay's husband (well I would if I was wearing one) for still pounding the turf at over 40s level !

    Oz Kanka is 30-something and I noticed that he was out of breath last night after our 4th darts match !!!

    By the way, he only won one game and that was due to the barman's intervention !!!

    Back to the original subject, and I forgot to mention that Brummie Kankie (the beautiful Ingallish Rose) is teaching Scottish Country Dancing. That surely is deserving of an acolade or two.

    So, the moral of the story is... you don't have to be a `hunky he-man` like me to `PUT SOMETHING BACK` !!!

  11. You'd be out of breath if you had been forced to listen to five and-a-half hours of parliamentary speeches before finally making it to the pub.

    And I'm not exactly sure what Brummy Kanka's teaching Scottish dancing has to do with "putting something back". I didn't notice too much Scottish country dancing during the rout of the Faroe Islands.

  12. zagreb kankie8:55 pm

    :-) :-) :-)

  13. Tsk tsk... I'm away from the internet for a while and you all get out of hand...

    As for putting something back, I learnt to dance from people who taught classes in their spare time. Now I can dance reasonably proficiently I help out with various things. I've even hired myself out for ceilidhs, but all the money goes back into the dance society to subsidise classes for beginners. What goes around comes around - isn't that something quite Turkish?

    Anyone with a love for a sport/activity/hobby etc wants others to be able to enjoy it too, don't they?

  14. P.S. There should definitely be more dancing during football matches...

    Go on Sir Eski, you know you want to...

  15. Oz Kanka and I are most definitely up for it.

    Giving Misket lessons to the local Ankara boys at half time is another way of `PUTTING SOMETHING BACK` me thinks ??!!