So what is the most important equipment at a football club? Nets and balls? Mowers and markers? Well, let me put a word in for the defibrillator. Everybody will know of the emergency suffered by Lenny French last Saturday, a heart attack that could have had tragic consequences, but for the brilliant work of Rachel Davison our club physio, who did wonders in assessing Lenny’s condition and keeping him calm and under review until the emergency services could arrive; and the speedy and ultra professional response of the ambulance staff and the hospital who got him under treatment so quickly and effectively. Lenny was sitting up and talking post op before 6.30 last Saturday night, which is amazing in itself, and he is progressing well, and should be back with us very soon. Heartfelt thanks to all involved.
Not everyone however will have known we have a defibrillator, which Rachel used in her initial assessment of Lenny. It's an amazing bit of kit, which cost a good few bob and for which new spares and replacements are not cheap either. The club were discussing only a few days before the start of the season the need for a new battery and one or two people, alright one, yes OK, it was me, was whinging about the cost. How wrong can you be? Rest assured the new bits are under order and the defibrillator will be there again if and when we need it. Hopefully not you and hopefully never, but.
In the circumstances the football last week was a bit of a sideshow, but it is fair to say the lads didn’t pick up from the way we ended last season, albeit against a top quality side in Benfield. A tough game which Benfield deservedly edged. And a tough night up at Whickham as well, with a better ending. The scoreline doesn’t reflect the contribution Whickham made to the game though. They were tough and competitive throughout in a scrappy end-to-end and harum scarum sort of game. We found it hard to get our foot on the ball and get things under control, credit to Whickham for that, but sometimes you just have to fight hard and force a result, and we did that, and did it well. The good news is that we won, kept a clean sheet, and will certainly do better performance wise in future games. And what a game to look forward to today. An FA Cup tie between the two Ryhope rivals, with the press and broadcast media in full attendance and both as Northern League Division One clubs. Has it been better for Sunderland’s premier football village? I really don’t think so. For the winners a trip to Clitheroe to follow in a couple of weeks. Anybody who enjoyed our FA Cup trips to Liversedge and Scarborough last season will be looking forward to that if we can make it past the CW. And some free information. Clitheroe has one of the best independent wine merchants in the country, D. Byrne and Company, a rabbit warren of treats for the bibulous. Any of them in Ryhope do you think?