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Heanor Rams Christmas Dinner …..report

There’s a sleepy little village called Ocbrook where stands the Royal Oak pub,
T’ was there where a hoard of Heanor Rams fans descended, seeking good fun, good ale, good grub.
One by one they hustled the bar staff to give them their chosen tipple,
Took a quick sip at their drink then into the banquet hall looking forward to a good nibble.
The waitress’s stood staring and grinning at all their guests faces,
As they sought out where Ruth Roe’s personal cards had sited their places.
At last all accommodation was taken, not a single seat was to spare,
Fifty Heanor Rams fans sitting comfy and hungry, one on each chair.
Out came the waiters and waitress’s carrying the starters and soup,
In a very well organised manner akin to a good regimental troupe.
Maybe an hour later when those fifty hungry fans had scoffed their plenty,
One by one the men left the table, pint pots in hand, and their bladders to empty.
The ladies did likewise to visit the loo,
Yet more discreet than fellas, they went two by two.
A shout went up for order called for by the Chairman “Mester” Plant,
Saying thank you to every one for coming, and a merry Christmas to all he did grant.
Saying I am here to enjoy the occasion not to stand up here and waffle,
Just ask you to get out your money ‘cos we’re come round with raffle.
During this lapse of proceedings out came raffle selling vendors,
White, yellow and blue coloured dockets to visitors, hangers on, and sometimes, members.
They were just like busy bees hustling all round the hall,
One wag remarked only one man is missing, Uncle Tom Cobley then we’d have ’em all.
Caberet time was upon them and the turn this year is Heron Brothers,
With a monica like that it gives folk curiosities, and eye squinting wonders.
A lady on table two asked if they have long legs, long beaks and covered in feathers,
She was right best pleased with relief to see it was two jolly fellas.
They sang songs which were oldies and songs that were new,
They even sang songs that only they knew.
For half an hour or more they entertained those fifty Ram fans ,
Who all sang out loud, laughed at the jokes, and clapped with their hands.
After an enjoyable spell of singing went the troopers for a well earned rest,                       Up stands chairman with a plastic bag full of raffle tickets to be picked out by any a guest,
Mr Buko Buxton produced each prize displaying panache gusto and humour,
So accustomed to this, he’s done it for years, very adroit, never makes a bloomer
Twenty five prizes donated by kind folk, some given to Mrs Sue Bellamy,
Who used her charm, and charisma, lots of good begging, yet hopefully not a felony.
Bens Den a charity in Ilkeston will be given the monetary gain,
It gives poorly sick children holidays at seaside and lots of happiness with no pain.
When all the prizes were claimed for and pint pots and small glasses were filled,
It was time again for fifty Rams fans with music and jokes to be thrilled.
Old father timed drifted along until it was the end of the show,
The fifty Ram fans slowly left the building their faces all aglow.
As the trundled to their transport home, a voice in northern brogue bawled so sweet,
“Aye by ‘eck lass,    aint we just ‘ad a bludy good neet.”

A huge big BIG Thank you.

It is with a humble and gratifying voice we announce that your contribution towards our 2018 fund raising has amassed the sum of £782.00. A really staggering sum of money that we are overjoyed to give to Bens Den to give respite and happiness to all those children who are so poorly. To all whose selfless endeavour gave us this success we give more than our grateful thanks.

Here is a list of all those lucky prize winners

First prize: £100 Voucher – Shane W

Second Prize: DCFC match tickets – Debbie Kirkman

Third Prize: £25 Voucher – Andrew Miles

 Other prize winners:

Morley Hayes voucher – T Hunt       White wine – I Cooper

Twin Lakes voucher – W Smith               Dove set – C Wheater

Bowling voucher – A Clarke                    Celebrations – J Kirkman

Barrets sweets – M Parkins                     Real ale set – S Lazenby

Baileys – K Kirkman                                Red Wine – A Guncill

Adidas set – B Coope                             Nivea set – P Wain

Ladies Boots hamper – R Roe                Jaffa Cakes – Z Bellamy

Fox’s biscuits – Janice O                        Gin – V Nolan

Roses – D Denman                                 Boots hamper – B Sisson

Pinot Grigio – Eileen Robinson               Dog biscuits – M Daybell

Cider cask– S Mullard                             Oreos – A Curzon

We wish all Heanor Rams Supporters a very Happy and                              prosperous New Year.


Accrington Stanley  0  The Rams 1

This looked like an easy game for the Rams until several factors are taken into account. Accrington Stanley were for years the brunt of “Musical jokes” yet in the last few seasons they have become more established and climbed the pyramid of leagues from being relegated from the football league and dropping into obscurity then fighting their way back and holding a top half position in league one. Ironically with the help of two Ram players on loan with them last season. Thus when the full compliment of a Rams team walked onto the field of play the whole scenario was one of trepidation. The pitch was far away as possible in condition to Pride Park. It was just above the level of a local parks pitch, so the Rams had to adapt quickly and play the pitch rather than play their usual game. Secondly The Owd’ Reds were accustomed to the surface and wanted to be the headlines in the Sunday papers, so from the onset it was a ding dong battle. maybe a bit over statement to record the game as a Sunday morning parks game yet to a degree or so it had that familiarity. The state of the pith came to the fore when the ball did not bounce and the judgement of this by the Rams platers was evident, especially when Waghorn had the opportunity and headed the ball down to the goal line only to se the ball flop into the soft earth and give the goalkeeper time to collect and stop what would have been a very good goal. The sticky surface did not suit Mount who pulled up with what maybe a recurring hamstring problem, and it was evident that it was doing no good to several players. However the Rams persisted and persisted and from a goal mouth melee Waghorn managed to get a foot on the ball and in delight watched it bounce into the onion bag to the ecstasy of the Derby County fans and players. Give The Owd’ Reds their due they kept on trying and gave the Rams a few scarey moments yet it is Derby who are in the draw for the fifth round.


The one factor which marred this game was the premiership referee. Within three minutes he showed the yellow card to an Accrington player for what he considered a nasty tackle. Why? It was obvious to the 5,000 on lookers this game was to be a scrap so all it warranted was a whisper in the players ear to be a bit less over keen. His judgement was not on a par with the lower division style of play instead he ruled it as if he was at Wembley. This became more obvious in the last twenty minutes when another not so blatant third division tackle was executed by the same player so he showed the red. How pathetic. Now the referee’s adrenalin was high so he began to show his pettiness by giving yellow cards out at will. This sort of refereeing gets under the skin of everyone. Premiership referees must not referee lower division teams they have no idea how these teams play. They are a bit more physical and clumsy than the poncey players in the premiership, yet these referees cannot adapt, and cannot have a simple chat to the players, instead they prefer to be heavy handed, spoil the game and put the players off from competing. It had to be a red card for Bogle he did transgress according to the rules yet all the other cards the referee showed were not warranted. Away from this game it seems that the FA cup is being under stated by foreign managers. The teams they choose to play are mainly the reserves and so when a lower division team draws a higher notable team at home the supporters flood in to watch yet they are denied seeing the players they have paid to see because of a foreign manager choosing his reserves. This was not so pre premiership days. The stories of how the fans sat in trees on walls hanging out of bedroom windows and finding any vantage parts to watch an FA cup game are numerous. Alas those days are left in the past, it was displeasing to see only three sides of the ground being used at Pride park for the visit of Southampton, so if by fate Derby draw Manchester United at home for the fifth round will the North stand be shut? This is doubtful.

Agree? or disagree? Air your view or counter what is written here. You are most welcome to do so. Keep it clean or it will be censored, and post to Heanorrams2017@gmail.com

Preston North End  0   The Rams  0

There will be no challenges to the statement that this was a point earned by the eight players representing Derby County on a cold winters evening in Lancashire. Lawrence, Bryson and Evans were vacant. Waghorn was not fit so why was he chosen. Bryson could not be less interested and Lawrence should have asked to go to Huddersfield. Evans has not got the acumen and guile to play in the so called holding role. Were it not for  “yes listen Keogh”, Timori, Roos,and Holmes plus a lot of assistance from a totally insipid Preston forward line the Rams would have walked away from Deepdale with heads stuck firmly between their legs. It seems they do not enjoy playing on television on a Friday night. Credit was earned by Keogh who for once showed his class, with only one bad pass to give the ball away yet the lifeless midfield apart from Wilson, and a similar forward line apart from “Noogent” who tried valiantly to create something, the remainder could have sat on the bench and left it to those who wanted to get on with it. Having railed about the team it has to be accepted that other teams are not really wanting to beat the Rams they are wanting to beat Frank Lampard. Yet if this is the case why is it that as soon as the opposition get the better of the Rams, the Rams begin to collapse too easily. Has the bogey man come in and reminded them it is February and the time of year when they loose the plot and begin to play below par for a few games?  Injuries and suspensions apart, those who are told they are chosen to play have to have the self motivation, willingness, determination and enthusiasm to wear the shirt and do their utmost. Alas these personal attributes are grossly lax in those players who failed at Preston, on a cold frosty evening.


Old King and Cole are merry old souls, Who’ve signed for Derby County                         One’s an old Fox the other an old Pensioner, both need a cane or a zither for mobility

When Lampard came to Pride Park he knew the players had the tag of being the oldest in the Championship, so he declared to change all that and bring in younger feisty players. His intensions were good yet he has lost his way and the average age has changed, it has gone up a notch. There is an old Music Hall song whose lyrics are “Old soldiers never die, they just fade a way” A new verse has been written. “Old footballers never die, they sign for Derby County”. It is the opinion of many Ram fans he has signed these two for the sake of it and as an old pals act. Cole was everything good that a tongue could say, then out comes the truth, he is unfit for championship football. Well every one knew this except one person. Andy King has played in every division of the football league with the Foxes so why does he choose Derby? The problem is footballers think they are immortal and can sign for any club, stash the wages, and it matters not if they do well or do bad. Surely there must be a young enthusiastic lad somewhere in England who is wanting to play in higher class football, who will show he is willing to do well. Is it folly to send a young full back on loan then sign an oldie in his place who is not physically or even mentally fit?  Lampard has to be reminded that if by sheer luck he gets promotion he has lost three of his best players for the next season, so he must find replacements. He has lost the chance this January so will he be able to get players of the same ilk or better for next season, or does he look to his old pals from Chelsea?                                                                                                                  Drogba!, Drogba! where for art thou Drogba?

The Rams 2  Hull City  0

If this game was asked for a feedback rating maybe it could be pushed up to three stars. Three, because Waghorn playing his favoured role, got it there. His willingness determination and aggression and marauding has to be equalled by his team mates. He got the goals to win the game because he wanted too. Other players contributed yet not to their full potential, Timori decided that this game was to be his first “off it” performance. He had one of those occasions when as much as he tried it would not happen. Wilson was quiet as well even for his noted free kicks his mojo was absent. Huddleston lumbered about doing his usual which to a degree or so was well managed yet he is so slow at times and this came to the fore on several occasions. Bryson was named on the team sheet yet did nothing of note. Credit has to go to Holmes, Keogh, Bogle and Malone who gave a good account and Bennet who substituted the insipid Flo Jo. Hull came to Pride Park riding on the crest of a wave from being in the bottom four in October to sitting three points behind the Rams in February. As much as they tried from being motivated by their  over vocal and dancing trainer on the side lines the team were toothless in most departments which enabled the Rams firing on half power to get the win. Three points from every game is needed at this time of the season yet if the Rams fell into this lethargic attitude against better quality opponents or even teams such as Ipswich in the next game the points tally will be nil. How they were in the early part of the season to how they are now seems to be a backward step. Lampard may now be enjoying sleepless nights, the cause not being baby Patricia.


Mr Cole then Mr King were introduced to the Pride Park crowd in this game against Hull City. Both had a fairly good reception yet anyone looking around during the substitution would have noted that not every one was enthusiastic to applaud. The media response was underwhelming when the announcement was made when they were recruited which proves that only the management of the Derby County Football Club approved of the deals. In the last few seasons it seems that the noted players entering their twilight time have been snapped up by Derby with the hapless hope of a promotion, and even with a new man at the helm this manuscript is still being read. There is the opposite reaction though. These are two footballers who have enjoyed moments at the top of their profession alongside Lampard as it happens, so the three have lots of experience and knowledge that has to be given to up and coming players now enjoying success in the under 23’s, occasionally being named as substitutes for first team games, as well as assisting the first team players such as Bogle and Malone maybe Wilson, Marriot and Bennet to become more astute to bring success to the club and hopefully play top grade football for the Rams in the premiership. Were Lampard and his cohorts begin to scour the continent for players at the expense of home produce then why have Cole and King come to Derby? The F A have noted how many English players are used in the premiership in relation to foreign players, yet nothing can be done about it. If Derby was to get into that league Lampard could make the numbers up to about four or five of the teams manged by an English man, and could it follow that a high percentage of his players are from the British Isles as well?

Ipswich Town 1  The Rams  1

When the Rams visited Deepdale in mid Lancashire it was reported that the eight players gained a draw. The Rams visited Ipswich in the county of Suffolk this time it was none of the players that earned a draw. Apparently this was more than an under the moon performance which when analysed not one did anything to warrant a mention. Not one player could be rated higher than three out of ten. The game seemed within ninety seconds as if would be a goal feast for Derby after Lawrence scored, yet that was it, that was all they could do correct all the game so for the following ninety four minutes it was purgatory to watch. Ipswich, bottom of the league hardly won a game at home wanted to get three points sadly owing to their inability to play well they showed that their inability was far greater than Derby’s. Comments flew around that the team selection Mr Lampard chose was erratic by using King and Johnson in midfield, Wilson and Holmes being asked to play unfamiliar roles, and Waghorn who was an obvious target for the Ipswich defence to play the same as he did against Hull City, which was an obvious nonstarter. Lampard has played for several managers in his career, yet he seems to have gathered some of “The Tinkerman” ways in team selection. There is nothing more to be said about this game.


The result against Ipswich was a good result. I goes to prove that if the Rams cannot dominate a team bottom of the league then they are simply not good enough for any kind of promotion. It has been written several times in this column that there is a nucleus of players suitable for better football, yet they are let down to much by the apathetic attitude of others who are too inconsistent. There has to be a core of at least nine with the substitutes able to drop in and continue as if they were chosen to start. To constantly change faces and change positions, continuity is lost hence why they win one draw one loose one and so on. This result will bring a reality check to all those participating and if they fail to understand it the team will languish in the championship for ever and a day whist other clubs will steamroll over them and prosper. Every home game attracts a good crowd who come along to hopefully enjoy a good game and see them win. They also anticipate seeing a good exciting enjoyable performance. The same applies with the away crowd. The expense they incur balanced by the ineptitude of the players does not inspire an avid fan to seek another away ticket. The next game is against another premiership team, if the Rams decide to play as they did against Ipswich then the result could be more than an embarrassment.

Brighton and Hove Albion  2  The Rams  1

On arrival home from the football match the greeting is “Have you won” the answer is “No” ” Why” is asked “Because they played like two bob donkeys”  That sums this game up in the vernacular yet it is so potent. Reading the last sentence of Comment for the Ipswich game and the forecast became reality. The team was set up incorrectly according to a host of fans. Lampard chose players who are out of form and played others out of position. His reliance on having beaten Manchester United and Southampton was not going to continue at the Amex with the players he chose to play, and all the sceptics were proved correct. The enthusiasm commitment and ability was left to only five players namely Roos, Bogle Keogh  Timori and Wilson. The other six starters only made up the numbers. Bryson does not merit a mention he was pathetic and does not deserve another game for the Rams. Huddleston also might as well find a seat in the Toyota stand for the remaining games. Waghorn who has shown his acumen at centre forward was chucked out on the wing and could not get a kick. Nugent is past it and he too is ready for retirement. Holmes had the worst game he has ever played in which is a shame he has to wait before every game to see where he is put to play and is expected to do his job, is there any wonder he failed. Brighton set of to ensure they were not to be humbled. They had done there homework on these Derby players and were aware of how to play them They knew Wilson may be a threat so they “smashed” him on every occasion. The way the Rams played was abysmal. The back four albeit played football well their positional play has to be questioned. Hanging about three yards out of the penalty area then sending long passes up field was shameful. Not once did they use the distance to run the ball and send a shorter accurate pass. Lampard substituted Malone just to let Cole play (old pals act) in the second half at the expense of leaving Bryson and Huddleston to continue instead of putting Waghorn in the centre and maybe Bennet on the wing or even Marriot with Waghorn as forwards and going Four Two Four. This game showed the naivety of Lampards thinking and giving his favourites the shirt. What those sitting on the bench must have been thinking watching such a pitiful showing by their team mates can be imagined without any difficulty.


There would be no bets on how silent the bus would be on the M1 back to Derby carrying the Derby County fraternity. So how silent would the other buses be carrying those two thousand fans who rose from their slumber early in the morning to be at the Amex for the 12.30 kick off. If compensation was available them all the lot should claim. It was an insult by the Rams team to go out and capitulate so easily. Other teams were watching so when it comes to the league games they know now what to do to humiliate the players wearing white and black or what ever colour they decide to play in. That may be the shirt colour yet the attitude from too many of the Derby players is yellow. Lampard is now realising he has a set of footballers who think they are immortal and will be named for every game irrespective of whether they will represent the club with their full intentions. Those chosen to sit on the bench and watch must be aggrieved knowing that they can be much better than the chosen few. When Marriot came into the game the front row picked up markedly, he has been missed tremendously. If he remains fit at least that is one plus note. The midfield players have to be changed quickly. They were non existent at Brighton and in retrospect have been insipid for the last few games. Evans is not wise enough, King may be an answer that has to be seen. Maybe the Four Three Three formation needs to be changed to Four, Four, Two to accommodate Marriot and Waghorn on the front row and possibly Wilson, King, Johnson? and Bennet in the mid field. What ever Lampard decides he has to dismiss Bryson and Huddleston they are just out of it all together. As the league is developing the teams above have played more games than Derby, however they have the points, Derby have to earn them. If the standard of the way they played at the Amex is anything to go by then those potential points will not be got.