21 February 2011


 Our green fingered friends amongst us have been in contact today to let us know that it's time to get back in the garden as the winter draws to a close. Here at TSLR Towers that only constitutes a ten minute period of planting seeds in the window box but for some of you, it's time to dust off your gardening gloves and dig out your spade if you have a garden bigger than 12 x 6 inches. It got us to thinking, why not list an all time Albion eleven that feature (tenuous) gardening references. So we delved through the archives and came up with this...

1. Perry Digweed - to be honest, the player that gave us the inspiration for this whole blog as you do need to dig those weeds out this time of year. Digweed was at the Albion from 1981 until 1993; at times sported a cracking little grey mullet and we're still awaiting his response for a TSLR interview as asked back in 2008.

2. Les Berry - played 23 times for the Albion in the 1986/7 season and plays for the TSLR Gardening XI at centre back.

3. Reg Fox - also played 23 games for the club between 1952 and 1956 having been signed from Fulham as a replacement for Jack Mansell in the summer of '52. Will partner Berry in the centre of defence. In fact, one of only two defenders.

4. Matt Sparrow - the only player from the current crop to make it into our garden. He will operate out of the middle of midfield.

5. Charlie Webb - we ran out of defenders so a striker gets the nod as number 5, playing in central midfield alongside Spadge. The Webb is needed to accommodate the inclusion of Ian Mellor at number 10.

6. Shed Binney - another player horribly out of position is Shed, or Fred, Binney (44 goals in 88 games), who gets the nod at number 6. One of six strikers in our team.

7. Jack Nightingale - there's a few birds hanging around the TSLR garden if you include Gully's Girls. 1921 was the year Nightingale arrived on the south coast and he lasted until 1928 scoring 33 times from the right wing in 195 appearances.

8. Edgar Ffennell - hilariously played just a solitary match for the Albion in three years between 1901 and 1903. Ffennell featured in the away win at Hitchin Town on 18 April 1903.

9. Alec Law(n) - OK, so we're stretching the tenuous garden link on this one but he was a bit of a pre WWII leg end. Having joined the Albion in 1935 from Sheffield Wednesday, the centre forward scored 23 League goals in his first season (27 in total) and went on to score 40 in 71 appearances until 1939 before heading off to Chester.

10. Ian 'Spider' Mellor - the man needs no introduction and what would a garden be without a spider?

11. Andy Gardner - the coup de grace of this post and the finest number 11 for a gardening themed side. The Gardner played 23 times and scored 10 league goals during the 1904/5 season. The left winger (well, left striker as it pretty much was back then) was the Albion's top scorer that year.

So we ended up with a bizarre 2-2-6 formation and a blog that took far longer to write than was originally intended. And of course they'd all be managed by Russell Spade.

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