Friday, June 12, 2009

This Is The End ...

OK, I know I've said this a few times before but it's time for me to take a break from blogging about Fulham. I've not really had the time to do this blog justice and I need to focus on some other stuff for a while. It might be back at some point in the future but only if I think it can add something worthwhile to the mass of Fulham related discussion that exists elsewhere.

In the mean time I recommend you point your browser at some of these fine Fulham sites.

Craven Cottage Newsround - A great Fulham blog that covers all aspects of the club (though taking a well earned break right now). - The place to look for daily updates of all the Fulham news and some well thought out articles as well.

Friends of Fulham - My current favourite message board (though you can never completely ignore TiFF)

Or any of the sites linked from my sidebar (the place you'll also find Gordon Mills' excellent nostalgia series)

I'll still be writing my Top 5 blog (though maybe not quite so frequently), I've got some big decisions to make on the work front and a big list of jobs to do at home. If all that goes well, I may even get around to learning how to play the guitar properly!

Enjoy Fulham in Europe - Come on you Whites!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

HEC 2008-09 End Of Season - Optimism Chart

Long term readers will be familiar with my optimism chart. This is my attempt to sum up the season with a graphical view of how optimistic I felt (the blue line) as the season progressed. Our actual league position is shown by the red line. Last years chart is here if you want to compare.

That's a pretty flat line which is partially down to, what turned out to be, a fairly comfortable season. I think it also has a lot to do with Roy's football philosophy rubbing off on me. We're going to have good days and bad days but we shouldn't get over excited or massively concerned about either. That said, I couldn't help but be enthusiastic after the Man Utd win and the brilliant finish!

Monday, June 08, 2009

HEC 2008-09 End Of Season - Awards

My view on what has been a fantastic season from start to end. There were lots of tough choices to make which is a good sign of how well things went. Although these awards identify individuals for praise the success we achieved was all about how we performed as a team. The sum of our parts was greater than the separate components and that's down to Mr Roy Hodgson.

Player of the Season: Brede Hangeland - This was really tough to choose which is probably one of the reasons our season turned out so well. For me it was between Brede and Danny Murphy. Both had exceptional seasons and were key players in getting the results we achieved. Up until a week go I was going with Murphy but I think I may have just got so used to Hangeland doing what he does I almost took it for granted. Strong in the air, comfortable on the ball and intelligent with his movement, Brede is all you could ask for in a centre back. (Last season: Simon Davies)

Young Player of Season: Wayne Brown - Well there weren't many options in this category. I've watched Wayne play a few times for the reserves and liked what I saw. He seems to have made progress this season and got a brief taste of Premier League football (albeit just four minutes) when he replaced Zoltan Gera at Old Trafford. His recent loan move, to TPS Turku of Finland, can only be good for his development. (Last season: Elliott Omozusi)

Best New Signing: Mark Schwarzer - Another contender for player of the season. Schwarzer was our first signing of the summer, filling that Edwin van der Sar shaped gap we've been struggling with for some time. He has been fabulously consistent all year and has rightly been identified as one of the best keeper's in the League. (Last Season: Paul Konchesky)

Goal of the Season: Zoltan Gera v Man Utd - We've not scored many spectacular goals this year. Paul Konchesky's at West Ham is the only one that really stands out. Zoltan's overhead volley wasn't the most technically brilliant of goals but it meant so much and felt so sweet. (Last Season: Diomansy Kamara v Spurs)

Moment of the Season: Finishing 7th and reaching Europe - It's actually been a season of great moments; the home wins against Arsenal and Man Utd, Dempsey's equalising header against them and being safe from relegation in March. They were all signposts along the route to; our best ever finish in the top flight, the most points we've ever achieved, our highest final position and qualifying for the inaugural Europa League. Brilliant. Bloody brilliant. (Last Season: Kamara's double v Man City)

Most Improved Player: Dickson Etuhu - I had no great expectations for Dickson when he arrived. There had been some strong words of opposition on TFi before he came but that apart I don't think anyone thought he'd be much more than a squad player. When a mop haired midfielder left and Dickson stepped up I thought it was only a temporary fill. He did OK but nothing to suggest he could hold down a regular place. But he did just that. He grew in confidence as each game went by and before long it was clear he WAS going to be a regular and a good one at that. He's become one of my favourite players, anchoring the midfield, freeing Danny Murphy and just playing simple but effective football. Dickson? SHOOOOOT! (Last season: No award)

Most Disappointing Player: No award - Yet again I don't think there's anyone who hasn't tried their best for the club this year. It may not have gone as smoothly for some as they would have liked but they've given it their best shot. (Last season: No award)

Most Underrated Player: Aaron Hughes - Can a player be underrated two years in a row? To be honest I think we all know how important Aaron is to our defence. He's one of the reasons Hangeland looks so good. Always there to tidy up at the back, cover for someone who's out of position or put in a late block. He's only underrated because there are so many other players around him getting the plaudits. A top bloke and a smashing footballer. (Last season: Aaron Hughes)

Player Performance: Murphy v Swansea City - Having scraped through the first game by the skin of our teeth, we found ourselves a goal down at home in the replay. We weren't playing badly but we were running out of ideas. Danny entered the fray on the hour mark and totally turned the game around. He's been running our midfield all season but this was spectacular proof of his all round ability. (Last season: Jimmy Bullard v Aston Villa)

Team Performance: Home v Man Utd - Quite possibly the best Fulham performance I've ever seen. Just two weeks after United had brushed us aside in the F.A. Cup this was the Hodgson team at its very best. A brilliant atmosphere from start to finish. A classy Danny Murphy penalty. Ridiculing the World and European footballer of the year. A winning goal from a remarkable over head kick. Great times. (Last season: Away v Reading)

Best Opposition: Manchester United - This for their 4-0 victory at the Cottage in the cup. For 20 minutes we seemed to have their measure but they were in determined mood that day. Stepped it up a notch got a bit of good fortune and took us to the cleaners. I was also very impressed with Everton on the last day of the season, even more so considering they had the F.A. Cup final on the horizon. A special mention for Swansea who were excellent in both cup games, and Sunderland who caught us on a very bad day but certainly didn't look like relegation candidates. (Last season: Tottenham Hotspur)

Best Opposition Player: Stephen Piennar - Strong running, intelligent midfielder. Did a lot of the hard work for the Toffees and proved too much for us to handle. Enabled players like Cahill and Leon Osman the opportunities to cause us all sorts of problems. (Last season: Javier Mascherano (Liverpool))

Best Goal Celebration: Zoltan Gera v Man Utd - It's been a difficult season for Zoltan and there was real joy in his eyes as he peeled away and ran towards the Johnny Haynes stand. (Last season: The whole team at Pompey)

Quote of the Year: Roy Hodgson "Do you want to go down the (Jamie) Redknapp route - only England, Italy and Spain count? Are we going to say 'You're from Spain, you might be just about okay but the rest of you, Switzerland, France, Poland, Russia, Austria, Ukraine, Slovenia, Serbia, you don't count?' It's nonsense" - It's unusual for Roy to criticise anyone specifically which makes his response to Jamie Redknapp's suggestion about European Refs all the more cutting. As always Roy sees the bigger picture.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Famous Fulham Fans - The Definitive List

UPDATE 17th Feb 2011 - This list is now hosted and maintained at Friends Of Fulham and available from THIS LINK. I'll keep this page here though as a staging point.

This is my latest attempt to provide a "definitive" list of famous (or at least reasonably well known) Fulham supporters. The longer the list gets the more likely it is to include people who may not really be "proper" Fulham supporters. Don't get too upset by this, my original aim was to produce as long a list as possible, so as far as I'm concerned if you've been once its enough!

I began keeping track of these names when, in searching the Internet to find just such a list, I only found two web page links ... and both were blank. I constructed my own list and then posted it on TFI to see who I had missed. This resulted in a massive response which initiated the much larger list which you will find below. The list is in no particular order and almost certainly contains "much which is apocryphal or, at the very least, wildly inaccurate". It certainly includes a number of celebrities who have now passed on, both figuratively and literally.

Subsequently I have found this site The Famous Football Supporters Page which includes a decent attempt but is by no means exhaustive. I will endeavour to maintain this list as the "official FFC Famous Fans list" and would be happy to hear from any one with information about other famous Fulham fans or corrections to the current list. Either post a comment or send me an email and I'll consider the change. Better still, if you are a famous person on the list and aren't actually a Fulham supporter, drop me a line and I'll happily take you along to a game. Hell, who wouldn't want to be on a list that includes Pussy Galore, Pope John Paul II AND The OXO Dad!

The Definitive List Of Famous Fulham F.C. Fans
Last Updated: 10th July 2010

Ray Brooks (Eastenders, Robbie Box in Big Deal & Narrator of Mr Ben)
Michael Redfern (The OXO Dad)
Hugh Grant
Liz Hurley (has apparently been spotted since splitting with Hugh)
Iain Fletcher (DC Rod Skase in The Bill)
Neil Dudgeon (BBC's Messiah - pretty sure he used to sit near me in block H3)
Sharon Duce (Now a Brighton regular but surely deep down still Fulham)
Dominic Guard (Sharon Duce's partner)
Christopher Guard (Dominic's brother & Cathy Shipton's partner)
Cathy Shipton (Nurse Duffy in Casualty)
Sue Pollard
Keith Allen
Willie Rushton
Nigel Havers
Liz Frazer (Carry-On Films)
Sam Kydd
Bella Emberg (Russ Abbott sidekick)
Pierce Brosnan
Kevork Malikyan (Greek bloke off Mind Your Language & many films)
Fulton MacKay (Mr MacKay in Porridge)
Tony Booth (Father of Cherie Blair)
Tony Curtis
Ben Chaplin (Game-On and a film with a long title)
Patrick Mower (currently Emmerdale)
John Woodvine
Ewen MacIntosh (Big Keith in "The Office")
James Villiers
Ian Cuthbertson
Hugh Laurie

Nigel Planer (The Young Ones)
Neil Pearson (Drop The Dead Donkey)

Robin Askwith (Confessions films)
George Selway (Beryl's Lot)
Maurice Kaufman
Honor Blackman

Peter Vaughan
Geraldine McKewan (Miss Marple)
Benicio Del Toro
Jack Coleman (HRG from Heroes)
Shaun Williamson (Barry from Eastenders)
Martin Wimbush

Television Celebrities
George Lamb (TV presenter & Radio DJ)
"Nasty" Nick Bateman (Big Brother)
Georgie Thompson (Sky Sports News presenter)
Isobel Lang (BBC Weather)
Emily Maitlis (BBC News)
Scorpio (from Gladiators)
Tim Ewart (ITN Sports Editor)
Des Lynham (Brighton supporter but regular attender at FFC for 2005/06)
Kirsty Gallacher (Presenter - Really a Liverpool fan but has attended in the past possibly due to her Dad)
Nick Ross (Presenter, BBC Crimewatch)
Keith Chegwin (Presenter, Chegger's Plays Pop)
Richard Parks (Fame Academy)
"Handy" Andy Kane (TV Handyman)
Janet Street Porter (Various)

Joel Defries (Blue Peter presenter)
James McQuillan (from The Apprentice 2009)

Michael Jackson (for one game at Home to Wigan in 1997)
Ralph McTell
Dave Parsons (Bass Guitarist from Bush)
Lily Allen
Alex James (Bass Guitarist from Blur & pal of Keith Allen)
Sam Jeffers (Drummer with Fridge)
Kai Stephens (Bass Guitarist in Hard-Fi) or it could be Ross Phillips (Guitarist in Hard-Fi)
Les Gray (Singer in Mud)
Richard Drummie (Go West - though it might be Peter Cox)
Paul Roberts (Singer, The Stranglers replacing Hugh Cornwall)
Dusty Springfield
Example (Rapper)
Billy Franks (Singer, The Faith Brothers)
Kate Nash (Singer & friend of Lily Allen)
Jamie T (Singer)
Alan Price
Derek "The Draw" Hussey (Singer with The Blockheads)
Patrick Mascall (Singer & Guitarist with Von Tramp & former FFC programme editor)
The Rapture (US Dance-Punk band)
Crispian Mills (Singer with Kula Shaker)

Felix White (Guitarist with The Maccabees)
The Lurkers (Band whose debut album was "Fulham Fallout")
Mark Baron (Another Level)
Swervedriver (Indie Band)
Don Hymel (The Tim & Bob Show)
Neil Cowley (The Neil Cowley Trio)
Kylie Minogue
Ortise Williams (JLS)

Other Arts & Entertainment
John O’Farrell (Author & Broadcaster)
John Henry Ellen (Author)

Alex White (Author)
Dennis Turner (Author)
Martin Plumb (Author)
Peter Thompson (Author)

Ken Coton (Photographer)
Alex Ferguson (Famous Fan & Author)
"Diddy" David Hamilton (DJ)
Dennis Potter (Playwright)
Tommy Trinder (Comedian and ex-Chairman)
Johnny Speight (Writer of "Til Death Us Do Part")
John Sullivan (Writer of "Only Fools & Horses" and "Citizen Smith")

Eric Thompson (Writer of "The Magic Roundabout", Actor & Presenter)
Steve Steen (Comedian)
Danny Robins (Comedian)
Arthur Smith (Comedian)

Richard Kauffman (Radio 5 presenter)

Wolfie Smith ("Citizen Smith" played by Robert Lindsey)
Terry McCann ("Minder" played by Dennis Waterman)
Ronald "Budgie" Bird ("Budgie" played by Adam Faith)
George ("Men Behaving Badly" played by Ian Lindsay)
DC "Dangerous" Davies ("The Last Detective" played by Peter Davison)
Mod ("The Last Detective" played by Sean Hughes)
Dougal ("The Magic Roundabout" in one hard to find episode)

Detective Inspector Jack Regan ("The Sweeney" played by John Thaw)
Detective Sergeant George Carter ("The Sweeney" played by Dennis Waterman)
Matty Cole ("55 Degrees North" played by Jaeden Burke)
Butch Harry ("The Italian Job")

Steve Norris MP (was Everton but now a FFC regular)
Steve Pound MP
Martin Linton MP
Andy Slaughter MP

Jimmy Hill (ex-Player, ex-Chairman, TV Presenter & part time linesman)
Bernard Gallacher (Golfer)
Paul Duggan (Mountaineer)
Andy Woodman (Journeyman Goalkeeper - suggested he may be a Palace fan)
Jamie Moralee (Footballer)
Nicky Bailey (Footballer)
Dario Gradi (Football Manager)
Alan Smith (Football Manager)
Gary Johnson (Football Manager)
Graeme Banyard (Football Manager)
Jim Gregory (Football Chairman)
Malcom MacDonald (Former Football legend and Fulham Manager)
Sarah Lindsay (Speed Skater)

Danny Fulbrook (Daily Star)
Frank Keating (Guardian, Observer)
Dave Kidd (The People)
Chris Blackhurst (Financial Ed, Evening Sub-Standard)

Ian Hawkey (Sunday Times)
Joe Posnanski (The Kansas City Star)
Eleanor Preston (freelance Sports Journalist)

Paul Kenny (General Secretary of the GMB)
Max Clifford (Publicist)

Micheal Cole (Former Harrods spokesman)
The Bloke Karate Kicked by Eric Cantona (Assumed he was a Palace fan but apparently he was a regular at Fulham)
Keith Castle (1st British Heart Transplant patient)
Pope John Paul II (Pope)