Sun. Apr 18th, 2021

I’ve been checking you up, I’ve been tracking you down. Funny all the things that I’ve found.
Was it any surprise? Didn’t you realize? 
It doesn’t matter any more to you…
It doesn’t matter what I say…’cos you’ve got that look in your eyes.

My Camera Never Lies 

Bucks Fizz – The Camera Never Lies

One of the great joys for me in the writing of this blog is when those who follow it sometimes interact with it.

In some respects it’s a sign of my own insecurity as by either liking it on Twitter or leaving a comment, there’s some sort of proof positive that it is being read and there’s a reaction to it, whether approving or otherwise. If the blog generates some extra discussion about Cov that might not have occurred otherwise, well that’s a good outcome as far as I’m concerned. Whilst it remains a hobby, it’s immensely satisfying that there are those who read it with some regularity.

Better still, if in so doing it encourages a greater interest in the club, then really I couldn’t ask for anything more.

Which is why I am indebted to Paul Rossborough.

Paul and I will chat fairly regularly about Cov via social media and, whilst we’ve done little more than say hello in passing on a Saturday afternoon, he is someone whose opinions I value greatly.

Having read yesterday’s post, Paul forwarded me a photo that reinforces an observation I’d made about Luke Narraway.

Without wishing to repeat myself, briefly I’d said how impressed I was with Luke’s commitment to the club and that at the Fylde game on Saturday he was very vocal pitchside, especially whenever Cov had to defend (which in fairness wasn’t a great deal).

A little while after the post was published, Paul kindly forwarded to me a photo from the game that illustrates this perfectly. I should mention that I don’t know the origin of the photo so I can’t credit the snapper, but needless to say I would have done otherwise. Nick Meredith perhaps? Or Rob Clifford? Presumably its from Twitter or Facebook, so its in the public domain…but thanks anyway! (Nick Meredith has since been in contact to confirm that he took the photo).

The photo captures the moment that young Tom Emery blazes his way down the left wing on his way to dotting down for another 5 pointer…which makes for an interesting image in itself. Tom has certainly got a pretty broad smile on his face and you can only imagine what the forlorn defender is thinking – he’s can’t even bring himself to look up at that point.


However, it’s the background that is of most significance for me:


Notice the reaction of all three of the senior players. Narraway is clapping and looks to be showing his appreciation of those involved in the build-up, whilst Sammy Tuitupou fist pumps and Latu raises his arm in the air triumphantly.

The three most senior players showing the most reaction – it sort of tells a story of it’s own, doesn’t it?

Whilst the intention of the photo was presumably to capture what was happening on the pitch, the most interesting aspect of it is what’s happening off it.

The really impressive thing though is that this is either try number 7 or try number 9 – and yet their reaction is no different than had it been the opening score, or the one that ensured the bonus. With the game already well won, there is no lessening of their enjoyment. Both Sammy and Latu have already played their part in the first half demolition (Luke has yet to go on) – yet there is no loss of concentration or desire to retire to the stand and sit out the remainder of the game.

If I were a coach from one of the clubs in our league with expectations a top two or three finish, this is a photo that would give me nightmares.

Okay, they’ll know that all three in the photo are contracted to Cov, but there’s always going to be the hope that maybe they won’t be as committed to their rugby now they’ve dropped down a league or two – perhaps they’re just there to see out the last couple of seasons of their careers, playing in a less competitive environment.

Bad news guys….they’re here to win and to help Coventry back into the Championship after 7 long years in relative wilderness of National One. And their reactions show exactly how committed they are to that goal.

And if I were Jon Sharp – well, I’d be pinning it up on my office wall.

To see these guys come to Cov and show such commitment to the cause, and enthuse about the club in the way they have, has added greatly to the excitement of the season so far. They could have gone elsewhere, they all had other options, most of which were either in the Championship or Premiership, but they chose Cov…and that photo goes some way to show that they have bought into what the club is trying to achieve and really want to be a part of it.

It doesn’t matter what I say… ‘cos you’ve got that look in your eyes.

The camera never lies 

Great stuff…

Luke1And as a final observation on that photo, note the reaction of the Fylde players on the ‘bench’. They all look grim and resigned, especially the player leaning on his knee.

It’s probably made worse by the Cov supporters behind them cheering Tom Emery on.

Look closely again and you’ll see that Matt Price, Tony Gulliver and Brian King are far less emotive…their feelings are clearly more controlled and set the tone for the professionalism of the management and coaching staff.

Rugby can be such a cruel game and in that single photo one can identify a whole array of emotions. It wasn’t too long ago that Cov supporters and players were feeling something pretty similar when Blackheath, Rosslyn Park and Esher did for us on our travels last season and it’s not hard to imagine just how the Fylde players must be feeling at the moment the photo was taken.

This season is going to be something of a struggle for everyone involved with Fylde Rugby Club…hopefully, by the time we play them at the BPA things will have picked up somewhat.

I can only wish them well.


Just for info – the coach for the next away game, to Cambridge, has just 4 seats left.

Still over a week and a half to go and there could well be some very disappointed supporters, so best get in contact with the Supporters’ Club ( sooner rather than later.

As I understand it, Quent is investigating the possibility of either putting on a bigger coach, or running a second one should the demand arise. It might well be that the remaining seats  have been already taken, so it’s worth getting your name to Quent asap – if it is a case of needing a second coach, there would be a waiting list and once there are enough on it to ensure that the break even point for both coaches has been reached, then the second can be booked.

In addition, seats are already being reserved on the coaches to Old Elthamians  and Darlington – I imagine if Darlington remain in the top two or three, the coach for that game will fill up a good couple of weeks beforehand.

The popularity of the coaches is a further example, if one is needed, of just how much interest there is in the team at the moment. Success breeds success and it looks like we might well be taking a second coach to an away game before too long, something that few if any could have envisaged 12 months ago when we only managed one win on our travel before Christmas last season.

And now look at us…

Loughborough on Saturday, never a fixture to attract one of Coventry’s bigger crowds in any season, should be a decent indicator of whether the increase in attendance figures this season is something of a temporary surge or is now becoming a trend. Moseley and Blackheath would always bring in bigger than average gates, but the Bishop’s Stortford attendance of 1703 was probably unexpected. Anything approaching that and I’m sure there will some celebration in the boardroom…continued gates of this ilk will bring in some much needed revenue, especially when there is just the one home game in the whole of December (against Ampthill).

Unfortunately, there’s only one Zoo Sports Shield fixture as well, and that’s on the same day as the Ampthill game, so if you’re hoping to watch Cov at all in the run up to Christmas, then getting your name down for the SC coaches during that period might well be a good idea.


Bucks Fizz – winners of the 1981 Eurovision Song Contest…to be honest I made my mind up about them years ago (see what I did there?), but for those prepared to give them the benefit the doubt, here’s ‘My Camera Never Lies’ which reached No 1 in 1982.



By Tim

15 thought on “Every photo tells a story…Cambridge…attendances”
  1. Hi Tim – Dom is a crowd favourite and its probably no secret that most of the OEs tries come from their backs. He is originally from South London and is employed as a PE teacher at Eltham College. As to his defence I think it is sound enough. Certainly was tested in the play off at Sale and came up trumps. However I do speak as an ex 14 myself and tackling was something I tended to avoid!

    I have been to nearby Blackheath twice this season and seen Plymouth and Ampthill both lose right at the death. Two very similar teams with strong packs but frail at the lineouts.

    You and the Coventry travelling support will be made most welcome at College Meadow on November 11. Its quite a thrill to see big names from my youth such as Coventry, Moseley, Fylde, Rosslyn Park and Blackheath roll up to our field for the first time. Be warned though facilities are basic – trouble with planning permission for ground improvements so I’m told. So no stand, seating, tannoy, clock or other things you might expect. Lots of trees if it rains! Note also kick off will be 2pm as there is no adequate lighting.

  2. Hi Kevin…many thanks for your kind comments!
    Just out of interest, how’s Dom getting on this season – I see he’s topping the list of current try scorers, so I guess he’s doing ok! Is he popular amongst supporters? Has he fitted in well with the rest of the team. Great finisher and always gave 100% but might not have fitted in with the current side given his defence wasn’t the strongest element to his game? Early days still as far as promotion is concerned – Plymouth, Blackheath and Ampthill will have something to say in the final outcome for sure. There are some big matchups at the top too over the next few weeks – the table will have a different look to it come Christmas.
    Looking forward to visiting OE in the not too distant future.

  3. Very interesting blog for any National League supporter. Am commenting as a member of Old Elthamians who subscribed after finding this by chance when doing a search on Dom Lespierre. I imagine I will still be reading when you are in the Championship next year!

  4. I would probably go for >1600 but less than B/S for sure, they seemed to bring a decent number last week.

  5. Hi Bob, thanks so much for taking the time to comment – and for your kind words. It’s just a hobby, albeit one that has grown far more than I ever expected it would. Your support is really appreciated and hopefully, you’ll be able to read of more successes in the coming months, both on here and other social media sites, It’s a potentially very exciting 18 months in the offing.
    Up the Cov!

  6. Hi Mark – many thanks for taking leaving a comment, it is always much appreciated.

    It is, indeed all about the fun of writing for me. Should it ever cease to be enjoyable I won’t continue posting, that’s for sure. In truth, it was easier in the first year when Cov were in difficulties on and off the pitch – I liked having a voice and was always prepared to be positively critical, but critical nevertheless. There’s not much call for that at the moment…!

    I’ve no history of writing anything prior to this, other than a few school reports every year and although my subject was English, I would have made a far better scientist other than for one or two poor decisions in my formative years with the result I had nothing else to fall back on after I left uni.

    Those who can do – etc etc

    JW’s involvement has been one of the key factors in ridding the club of an us and them tag that it had for several years previously. Communication between Cov and the supporters is excellent now and the Messageboard is so much quieter as a result as there is far, far less to moan at these days!

  7. Thanks Cliff – the blog, the Supporters, Club, the Forum, Twitter, Facebook – the more the word is spread the better. I honestly wrote as a way of keeping myself occupied – it never takes over the day, unless I want it to and it is just a hobby – although it is gratifying others will read it, too

  8. He is indeed! I don’t even try and discuss things pertaining to Cov with Sue, other than the score on my return from a game! What’s your estimate on Saturday re; Attendance – I’m going for 1546?

  9. Hi Mick – bit harsh on Rob, never found him that awkward, but many thanks for your kind comments. Sometimes I think Sue is grateful I’ve got a hobby and am not constantly under her feet! she might even get to the return game at Moseley before Christmas. Two games in a season…can’t be bad!

  10. Tim I must give you thanks and praise for your blog. I try to read it daily. Always find points of interest throughout the reading. Also your comments have encouraged me to attend on Thursday evenings. This i have found to be of great value to me. Rowland Winter gives his views and asks anyone if they have any questions ! This is to fan who devours anything Cov manna from heaven. just send my Thanks to Sue for letting you continue something that must take a lot of quality time to put together. Very many thanks form that awkward bloke that sits in front of you.

  11. He’s a good bloke Tim, that Paul Rossborough.

    I enjoy reading your blog and all things Cov rugby related and it’s nice to share thoughts/comments with someone like-minded – my girlfriend will listen just to humour me, whereas it’s nice to get some genuine, knowledgeable comments in return.

    In terms of attendances, I would like to think they are indeed on the rise, I was surprised at the 1703 for B/S if slightly disappointed for the Moseley figure.

    I would love to participate in the away day travel but not sure the partner would be too keen just yet. First step, get her along to a few more home matches then maybe ask her along on the coach one day!

    Thanks Tim.

  12. Happy to say it was one of my pictures, taken from behind the dead ball line at the housing estate end late in the second half. I took several of that run in and the build-up to it.

    For the record, it, and a couple of hundred other shots from the game are in an album on the club’s Facebook site. It was one of the dozen or so I sent through to John Wilkinson for press use on Saturday night from my B&B in Blackpool.

  13. It’s a double passion Tim – your commitment to writing it and the commitment of blokes like me to reading it. So it obviously works very well both ways. And judging by the number of comments in response which your blogs generate, and the number of different readers who make those comments, it’s a win-win situation all round.
    It’s much easier for us blokes to read your blog, of course, than it must be for you to write it, even though you enjoy it so much. For that we owe you a sincere debt of gratitude but would ask you to keep up the good work!

  14. After three decades in journalism, I can say never mind whether people like, dislike or ignore your efforts. Writing is fun. Writing about a passion in life is even better. And it’s easy when your team is doing well.
    I enjoy reading it because I’m a Cov exile and can’t bring myself to look at my former ‘paper.
    It’s another way of helping me keep in touch with my home town club and for that, I’m grateful. Now that Wilko is on board, Cov’s own PR machine is much better, too.
    Keep up the good work.

  15. Tim, found your blog last season and have become an avid reader eagerly awaiting each new item. Keep up the good work – quality repoting on all things Cov Rugger, thanks.

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