England LX North East Tour
Durham 12-13 September 2018

England LX fielded two teams: Bishops (White) and Knights (Red) in this friendly tournament in which Welsh Dragons joined Scottish Thistles as guests. Each team played the other three teams twice over the two days of the tournament, matches lasting 35 minutes each.

Wednesday 12 September

Scottish Thistles 0 Bishops 1

Scottish Thistles 2 (Lorimer, Campbell) Knights 2

Scottish Thistles 0 Welsh Dragons 0

Thursday 13 September

Scottish Thistles 0 Bishops 2

Scottish Thistles 1 (Murray) Knights 3

Scottish Thistles 0 Dragons 0

On the Wednesday Thistles played well and improved with each half game.  England White were always dangerous but it was closely fought, ending 0-1.  Missing lunch for the second match we feasted on many opportunities, twice coming back with excellent goals from Tim Lorimer (PC strike) and Rob Campbell (PC second phase) to draw 2-2 with England Red.  In fact we were so excited by the resurrection of Thistles Spirit that some forgot that England had already scored a second goal and went to celebrate a win.  Then against the Welsh we still had not had lunch and made a fist instead of a feast of goal-scoring, drawing 0-0.  Afterwards both teams headed to the Rugby Club to eat all the pies whilst England played with themselves.  

At the Tournament Dinner we were delighted to receive a 45 minute presentation by England player Nick King on recycling, with many examples of things you can make from discarded loo roll inners, coffee stirrers and straws.  Fascinating, and the more he continued the more I thought about recycling another wine bottle.

We all agreed that Thistles does its fair share of recycling.  Take Dick, our inventive goalkeeper - not for him the image of a turtle desperately chewing on discarded plastic.  His solution, and recommended for all goal-keepers, or maybe just him, is to store his kit in a repurposed over-sized plastic bag.  I’ll never be able to think of Dick now without seeing turtles.  

Even your correspondent has done his bit by recycling and re-using old jokes.  However it was on the Thursday matches that our recycling excelled.

Coffee Stirrers

On the Wednesday Tim Lorimer was always a threat up front.  Inspired by Nick King, for the Thursday we made Tim a new stick from hundreds of old coffee stirrers held together using a hot glue gun, a stapler and sticky tape.  This was not as successful as we hoped especially when Tim stopped to lick at the remnants of the cold coffee (or perhaps he was sniffing the glue, I couldn’t tell) but the shots on goal were less successful and in frustration he was reduced to kicking the ball.  I doubt this coffee-stirrer stick will catch on as we lost 0-2 to England White.  Nor am I convinced that Tim will ever forgive me for stirring things.

Toilet Roll Inner Tubes

Based on Wednesday’s performance we were certain that it was going to be even better on the Thursday so arranged for lots of toilet rolls ready to throw like at olden football matches when Scotland used to win at Hampden.  Despite Alan Murray’s great goal we ended up losing 1-3 and feeling like crap used the toilet rolls for their intended purpose.  Still it was some consolation to see Nick King scurrying round afterwards picking up the discarded inners.


On the Wednesday we camped in the Wales’ half and whilst our defence picked at straws the rest of us proved that the Welsh goal moves sideways, is smaller than we think and the GK bigger.  For Thursday’s match we successfully recycled this Thistles philosophy but at least we gave the rear fence a good thrashing.  A 0-0 draw and this again failing to score was the last straw - which is good news for turtles.

Report by Ian McCreath

Scottish Thistles and England LX White at Durham September 2018


Paul Bateson, Rob Campbell, Graham Conkie, Brian de Mattos, Peter Haines, Tim Lorimer, Ian McCreath, Steve MacDonald, Duncan Mitchell, Alan Murray, Dick Pearce, Keith Raper, Bennie Rathbone, John Smith, Johnny Sudale, Tony Walker, Neil Ward