Monday, April 16, 2007

Up The Iron














Scunthorpe United Football Club won promotion to the second tier of English football on Saturday.Home to Huddersfield.2-0.
It will be their first visit to what is now the Coca Cola Championship in forty three years.
Amazing,given that they were one of the favourites to be relegated at the start of the season and quoted at 66/1 odds to win League One.
Over the past fifty years Scunthorpe,nicknamed "The Iron",have consistently been one of the least successful clubs in the Football League.Every promotion since 1972 has been followed by instant relegation.
Claims to Fame
In the 1970s three English sportsmen of note played for Scunthorpe.Former Liverpool and England players Ray Clemence and Kevin Keegan played for Scunthorpe early in their careers while the English cricketer Ian Botham made 7 appearances when the team was in the lower divisions.
Another odd claim is the so-called "Scunthorpe Problem".In the middle of the word "Scunthorpe" is an obscene four letter word starting with 'c'.Obscenity filters on computer search engines tend to block the word because it is interpreted as a swearword.Often you will see variations of the word or the use of asteriks or stars to get round this glitch.
Why?
I've been following the rollercoaster fortunes of this small North Lincolnshire club since the 1980's.The big teams like Manchester United or Chelsea hold little attraction for me.Its the bread and butter,dour football fluctuating fortunes that claim my attention.
The heartbreak of losing promotion playoff chances in 2003,narrowly avoiding relegation to the Conference League in 2004.A turnaround in the 2005 season finishing in second place to Yeovil to win promotion to League One.
In 2006 The Iron finished in 12th place staying in League One to end their 49 year period without staying out of the bottom division for consecutive seasons.
The current season looked like a continuation of former seasons.The former long established manager of ten years,Brian Laws,left in November and the clubs physiotherapist Nigel Adkins was appointed as manager.There followed a club record run of 19 games unbeaten as the club led the promotion race since around Christmas.The chant "Who needs Mourinho,we've got our physio" gained currency as Adkins and his team advanced to promotion at Glanford Park.
I've been to Scunthorpe once before in the 2002/03 season and watched away games at York and SouthEnd and a third round F.A Cup game against Leeds at Glanford Park.
There are three games left in the current season to clinch the title against Tramere,Blackpool and the final home game against Carlisle.All things going well I shall be there at Glanford Park on May 5 when the League One Cup is presented.
Check out the link to Scunthorpe United on my webpage.
Up the Iron.

1 comment:

K.W.Wan said...

Congrats mate! You must be chuffed.

Saints seem to be finishing the season on a low, commiting footballing kamikaze on the brink of a play off place.