Shamik Das

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Jermaine Beckford before he was famous


DATELINE: Tuesday, October 25th, 2005, a Hellishly cold night; the venue: Chestnut Avenue, Northwood, a million miles from Old Trafford on a crisp, Sunday afternoon, 75,000 in the stands, millions more watching on TV.

Welcome to the world of Leeds’ FA Cup goal hero Jermaine Beckford up until a few years ago. A stunning goal at Old Trafford today, chasing down a long ball, controlling it, slipping it between Wes Brown and the hapless Tomasz Kuszczak into the net; a missed penalty and a fluffed one-on-one back then.

And how, you might ask, do I know this? Well, that game five years ago was when I made my debut as a reporter for the Non-League Paper, a game that sticks in the mind, along with the teams and players who graced it.

So earlier tonight I clambered up into the loft, dug out my old notebook and reminisced.

Beneath the reporting instuctions - Wealdstone v Hampton & Richmond Borough, 7:45pm kick off, 170 words, email tomorrow morning - are my match notes.

Behold this brief selection:


H/T: Leaves scattered across the pitch. 1st half - way too many long balls, way too many fouls.

68’: Stones 9, clean through, hits the keeper’s legs, right footed. Controlled the through ball, should’ve scored.

89’: Stones 9, penalty, weak, to keeper’s left, comfortable save.

Man of the match: Hampton 9 - Beckford’s opposite number.

Quite a rise to fame for Beckford, and good luck to him. It’s always good to see someone you’ve known about come good, and it’s equally refreshing for someone who’s made it up from the bottom to receive the plaudits and experience the glory.

It could just be the start, if rumours are to be believed, with a move up into the Premier League in due course. One things for sure: he’s come a loooooong, long way from the Ryman Premier League.

He’a a great talent; long may his rise continue.

3rd January 2010: Manchester United 0-1 Leeds United
25th October 2005: Wealdstone 1-2 Hampton & Richmond Bor.


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