Next weekend is a huge one for the clubs formed by disillusioned supporters of Manchester United and the former FA Cup-winners Wimbledon. FC United of Manchester, the "Red Rebels", will be featured in a live televised game for the first time on Friday night when they travel to Rochdale for a local derby in the first round of the Cup. The following day, the even more successful AFC Wimbledon will be at home to Ebbsfleet in a tie that will be shown as one of three in ITV's highlights package that evening. FC United, who have reached this stage for the first time, are presumably dreaming of a trip to Old Trafford in the third round. AFC, playing in the first round proper for the third year running, make no secret of wanting to meet MK Dons, who stole the Wimbledon franchise but who were forced four years ago to hand back the replica FA Cup Wimbledon won in 1988 as well as all memorabilia connected to the original club.
Trescothick pitches in
There is unexpected but welcome backing for Bristol City in their campaign for a new ground, without which the area has no hope of staging any World Cup matches should England win the 2018 bid. As we reported earlier this month, a small group of local residents have persuaded an independent planning inspector that the proposed 42-acre site at Ashton Vale should be designated a "town green" and not built upon. Now Somerset and Gloucestershire cricket clubs have joined forces to back the "City United" campaign, which is being run by Bristol City FC. Marcus Trescothick, the Somerset and former England batsman, who is a lifelong City fan, says: "It is difficult when you see what other cities have in terms of investment in their sporting facilities and stadiums, to think that we don't have this here. While I understand everyone has a right to voice their opinion, I would very much like to see Bristol host events such as the football and rugby World Cup. I am proud to be standing side by side with Gloucestershire CCC to help bring attention to the campaign." For those who agree, there is a petition at epetitions.bristol.gov.uk/epetition_core/community/petition/1094.
Wanderers FC on to a winner
After the successful sale of medals owned by Nobby Stiles and the late George Best's estate recently, the only known winner's medal from the first FA Cup final comes up for auction at Sotheby's tomorrow week. The reformed Wanderers FC, winners of that 1872 final against Royal Engineers, are desperate to win the bid on behalf of the National Football Museum and have launched a campaign to raise £50,000 for that purpose. Any surplus funds will go to Unicef, the chosen charity of the club, which folded in 1883 after winning five of the first seven FA Cups but reformed last year. Details at www.originalwanderers.com.
Terras get terrible hiding
Bringing on a substitute "to shore things up" when the team are 8-0 down may be considered the ultimate exercise in damage limitation but Weymouth manager Ian Hutchinson felt that was the way to go with double-figure humiliation looming last weekend in their Zamaretto Premier League game at Hednesford Town. It worked, to a degree: the final score was a mere 9-0. One Weymouth player who found that to be the other side of the coin was former Chelsea midfielder Rob Wolleaston (one Premier League appearance in 1999); last season he scored for the Rushden & Diamonds side that beat the Terras by the same score.
Commentators are a catty lot
Finally, this football commentary business is getting catty. After Mike Ingham's little dig at a rival radio station for broadcasting a game from their studio rather than the ground, this comes from a website run by ITV's Clive Tyldesley ( www.footballcommentator.org): "There are one or two prominent commentators around that give the impression that some of the games they see are simply wasting their precious time." Whoever can he mean?Reuse content