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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

“The Gents” with Stan Bentley – “… one more FA Cup if you know what I mean”

Welcome to "The Gents" with Stan Bentley - The Yorkies' regular advice column for our valued readers. Bring your modern day problems and have them answered by the most valued voice - a 1950's journeyman footballer. "Back of the net!"
I don't make New Year’s Resolutions, but, rather pick one simple thing to make life more enjoyable or easier than the previous year. What would you do?
Marion Lisa – Toronto, ON

Planning for the future is a slippery eel my dear. Old Stan lives for the day. Carp for a dime and all that! Except Wednesdays, they’re rubbish. Always be ready for a Wednesday lass. But hey-ho back to your question… one thing… Alright – stay off the ocean, don’t travel outside of the United Kingdom, a healthy eating regime, sup less ale and settle down with a hearty and sturdy lady. Maybe get my hands on one more FA Cup if you know what I mean. Yours, Stan
Hi Stan!
What did a worldly man like you do for the holidays?
Jeff – Pickering, ON

Why do you instantly assume that my life is one big carnival circus Jeffrey? Don’t underestimate a bit of the old peace and quiet! Only plans I made were to attend the Southend United Alumni do at some restaurant down by the Thames. Almost made it as well! On my way I spotted a riverboat with a load of party lights. There was a massive food table with breads, meats, breaded meats and jellied starters, mains and puddings along with more ale than a Galway wake. Also, party boats have nautical stewardesses apparently – top trumps! Stumbled off of there just before sun-up but just as I heard the toot-toot from the docks I realized I left my trusty flat cap on the bar. I dove back on board the dark boat just as it was pulling away. Couldn’t see my hat but there was a hammock and I had a belly full of jellies so had a kip. Peace and quiet – it was the holidays after all!
How do you see TFC doing this year?
Marcus – Toronto, ON

9 Degrees S, 147 Degrees E

Dearest Marcus,

Humbles if this reaches you in a tardy way but it travels via international gyrocopter. First up, you had a grammatical error in your query – it’s not TFC, it is known as T of C on the high seas. The Tropic of Capricorn and I saw it just fine from the portal of my cabin on the wretched steamer ship HMS Splendid Albatross. You see, Old Stan’s flat cap had been left on that party barge but the boat I jumped onto in the murky hours was this dreadful cargo clipper on route to the deepest, darkest Indian Ocean with a hold full of Holy Bibles, shaving lather and giant portraits of our beloved Monarch.

By time I woke up from that post-party stupor I was chugging by the coast of Africa. Gone was the feast, the ales… the nautical stews. Instead, Old Stan became the ship’s head of calisthenics and yarns while being forced to see all the countries I never wanted to see. Belgian Congo, Togoland, Rhodesia and the Dutch Mauritius – not a single quality steak & kidney pie in any of them. Only entertainment was the BBC World Service on the wireless (Darlington in the FA Cup 3RD Round proper!).

After ages at sea we reached the savage cannibals and head-hunters of "Papua" New Guinea where we were met by a chief called "Tabooey Kablooey something or other". I called him "Bobby" and told him this would always be the British New Guinea to me. Nice enough lad. Ladies in his tribe had no time for LadyBlouses so there was that. Tried to teach them some footy but foreigners never understand the offside trap do they?

After a couple of days, two of the Albatross’ crew went missing. Probably swam to Australia for a decent pint. Had a slap up meal that night with Bobby’s lot. A bit gamey but tasted a wee bit of home. The tribe had a kickabout after. Useless ball though – looked like a big oval rock in a sack but they had two of them at least. After tea time, couple of the lads hung about me and started measuring my head for size. Something tells me these locals love a bit of the Old Stan and some gent is going to be surprised with a new flat cap any day now! Should be back home soon – tell Darlington I’m fit and ready for the 4TH Round!

Cheerio all, Stan

Have a problem, question or comment for Stan? Send him an email at or leave a message in the comments section below and it may be featured in a future issue… but you should probably hold on to it until the next Shipping Report…

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