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I call him Gamblor

It has often been stated that, had it not been for the 1964 betting scandal, Nobby Stiles would not have played in the 1966 World Cup but rather his place as the hard-tackling midfield destroyer would have been taken by Everton's Tony Kay, one of those to be banned in the aftermath of the gambling-based naughtiness. Well, having seen them all first-hand I can guarantee that there was no Nobby Stiles amongst their number, but it's still something of a shock that the five men suspended in local football's latest betting scandal are all known to me personally, having been five of the seemingly never-ending slew of players to have made the move from Donegal Celtic to Crewe United these last few years. Ciaran Burns, a talented defender with an eye for a goal, bug-eyed full back Paddy Fox, one of the heroes of that last-day survival job at Loughgall, Ciaran Carson, a stocky ball-of-rage and regular captain in midfield (and probably the most Stiles-like of them all), Pearse Devine, a midfield maestro who still follows me on Twitter and Michael Henderson, about whom I admittedly remember very little, all banned for betting against their own team in what was probably the biggest match in Crewe United's history. Silly boys and a terrible waste for five players who still had plenty to contribute. Fortunately it was after they had all left DC so it will have no impact on our ultimately failed attempt to gain promotion but it's a real shame and further evidence of what a fundamentally destructive gambling really is.


Percy Sugden
The Ayatollah


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