SOMEWHERE in Redcar there’s a big, burly, tough as nails rugby player who answers to the name of Julie.
And it’s all the Evening Gazette’s fault.
Back in the day when we produced the Sports Gazette – or The Pink as it was more commonly known – there would be an army of correspondents phoning in copy from rugby and football matches around the region.
Our team of copytakers would take down verbatim what had been read to them over the phone, give it a once over and forward to the duty sub-editors who would re-read it, check for errors and then add it to the page they’d been allocated to work on.
Well that was the idea anyway.
On this particular afternoon, one of our rugby correspondents had reported how a prominent player in the game he was watching had touched down for a try and duly converted. Unfortunately and inexplicably what the copytaker typed in read “…touched down and Julie converted.”
Even more bafflingly the sub-editor with responsibility for that page (no it wasn’t me!!) seemed perfectly happy with the suggestion that somebody by the name of Julie should be playing a major part in a match otherwise populated by 16-stone man mountains with cauliflower ears and biceps as big as a bus.
Consequently that’s what appeared in the paper – and the hero of the match earned himself a new nickname.
We should have known something like this was on the cards, to be fair.
The same copytaker had also presented us with reports containing the phrases “a clouded penalty area” (instead of “crowded”) and “a fowl in the box” (which had us laughing heartily at the thought of a chicken running around in the penalty area amid bemused looks from defenders and attackers alike. Clearly it should have read “foul”).
We were also grateful that alarm bells rang for an eagle-eyed sub after reading the word “defecate” instead of “deficit”. At least she’d used the spell-checker, I guess.
Those ones were picked up in time, but sadly not the reference to good old Julie who, evidently, hitched up the hem of her skirt, placed her handbag on the ground and sent a stiletto-propelled conversion hurtling between the posts.
So it just goes to show that things don’t always go according to plan.
We all expected a handsome home win against Rye House last Thursday but instead the Bears were never in front all night and had to settle for a draw.
Fast forward 24 hours and we were going to struggle to get anything out of an away match against hotly-tipped Ipswich weren’t we?
Well no, actually. The boys battled all the way and made the long trek back from East Anglia with a Premier League point tucked neatly in their back pocket.
Yes it’s a strange old league this year, with everyone seemingly capable of taking points off everyone else.
It’s Edinburgh up at our place this Thursday. We’ve already beaten them home and away and they’re bottom of the table so surely we know what to expect from this one. Don’t we. . . ?