From the archives – WIE 32 (Part 2)

WIE 32As promised, we bring you the following article from WIE 32, which was originally published in August 2000…

Game for a Laugh

After selecting my all-time favourite Wings XI in the last issue, I set my mind to thinking about an all-time worst XI. I am sure that most of you will agree that this was a much harder selection, but I’ve finally come up with a team having whittled them down from a preliminary squad of 87!!

I should stress that this is a purely personal selection and consists of players who have appeared in the last ten years or so. My sincere apologies to anyone who is upset at being selected or not selected as the case may be. There are undoubtedly worse players than some of those listed below, but my team is based on performances in a Welling shirt and the amount of effort and commitment shown whilst playing for the Wings.

This team would adopt a very trendy 3-4-3 system and, in my opinion, would certainly be good fun to watch!!

Goalkeeper: Jeremy Parsons

This was probably the toughest selection of the lot with so many outstanding candidates to choose from. I was very tempted to pick the fans favourite Maurice Munden who, much to my horror, has actually played one game for the Wings. However the vote went to Jeremy or “Gluegloves” as he was affectionately christened by some fans. If you can’t recall him, think back to an FA Cup visit to Swansea where he almost single handedly turned a 2-1 halftime lead into a 2-5 defeat.

Centre Back: Steve Perkins

I have a theory that any ex-d*rtford players who turn out for the Wings deliberately set out to sabotage our club. This theory will be borne out by one of my later selections. Steve is obviously an automatic choice after his full Conference debut against Scouseport where he found the net twice before halftime (unfortunately the net that we were defending in the first half!). Sadly Super Kev denied him the chance of a hat-trick by substituting him although we did manage to score another og in the same game.

Centre Back: Christian Barrett

Quite possibly another unfamiliar name to some of you. A player who graduated through the Kent League, and in true Welling tradition, was chucked in at the deep end with very little experience. We had been promised great things by the Welling hierarchy but, alas, Christian disappeared after about 15 first team appearances. I do recall that he had a little party trick where he took throw-ins which never actually made it on to the field!!

Sweeper: Micky Crowe

Playing in the middle of the centre backs would be Mr Crowe. My fondest memory of him was during a home thrashing many years ago by a Stan Collymore inspired Stafford Rangers. Poor Micky was having a terrible time and actually proceeded to help the opposition by putting one in his own net. At this point, my dad exclaimed “Crowe, you’re the worst centre half I’ve ever seen”. Bearing in mind that he has seen a lot of football including a great deal of Sunday morning football, this was indeed quite a compliment!

Left Wing Back / Midfield: Michael Harle

It has not been my policy to select current players, but now that he has been released and as Phil Neville has never played for the Wings, then Michael can claim his place in the team. Although I only really attend home matches, I can’t recall him having a good game and I’ve certainly heard some horror stories about his performances away from PVR. Another master stroke to have a younger, skilful and more committed player for the same position but rely on the ex-pro instead. At the end of the season Harle released and Harney retained. Nuff said.

Right Wing Back / Midfield: Steve Finnan

Or to give him his full title Steve (you should see what he does in training) Finnan. This may be a shock to most fans but, when you think about it, he achieved very little playing for the first team. Admittedly he was hampered by a virus for a long spell but was a very frustrating performer. I suppose in the long term the club has benefited financially and certainly Steve is carving out a very promising league career so good luck to him. But purely on his displays for the Wings, no one could have suspected that a league career beckoned (Ah, but you should see what he…..zzzzz).

Midfield: Luke Anderson

Another one in a long line of stereotype Welling midfielders. Probably owes his selection to the lengths super Kev went to sign him, only to bomb him out after a few games! From the programme notes you would have thought we were signing Roy Keane, but, as usual, he was just another very ordinary player. Perhaps he was played out of position – as Ruthers was the first choice – but he failed to make an impression and I believe is now plying his trade with Gravesend??

RobboMidfield: Steve Robinson (Capt.)

John Still, the current Barnet manager, once famously remarked when in charge at d*rtford that Steve Robinson is “twice the player that Andy Townsend will ever be”. So, by my reckoning, Robbo should have over 100 international caps and have commanded transfer fees in the region of £10 million during his career. He was definitely past his sell by date when gracing the field at PVR and developed ‘Paul Ince’ syndrome of shouting at others all the time while ignoring his own deficiencies.

If nothing else, we now know John Still knows nothing about football

Again the striking positions were amongst the hardest to decide upon. Whilst we have had to endure countless lazy bastards filling the forward roles at PVR, I have picked my three on a similar basis – players who somewhere deep down have definitely got ability but were just unwilling to share it with us supporters. No doubt you will have your own personal preferences, but I think my three would give defenders countless hours of… SLEEP!!

Attack: Mark Watson

His Welling career started in that world famous match with CAFC for the prestigious Crown Paints Trophy! At the time “Watto” was trying to secure a contract and spent the entire 90 minutes harrying the life out of the Charlton defence. He was big, strong and powerful and I for one was delighted when he signed. From that point on he did absolutely nothing for the cause. He appeared disinterested and, despite pleas from his teammates, appeared unwilling to contribute anything. He went to Sutton where, last season, he fared no better and has this season signed for our old friends from Woking (Jae Martin has my sympathy).

Attack: Darren Adams

There was no way that I could leave my old favourite “Dazzlin” out of this line-up. Perhaps I was against him from the start after the great swap deal we engineered by sending Mark Hynes to Dover – another great move from super Kev. Again there was obviously some talent lurking there somewhere but, at our level, people want to see effort and commitment as well. Darren occasionally produced a touch of class but antagonised the fans with his lack of passion.

Attack: Paul Sykes

Another one who was described as a wonder boy and a definite star of the future. There was undoubtedly potential there but, like his fellow two strikers in this team, his end of year report would say “very lazy and could do better”. Now plying his trade at Margitt although I believe he has suffered a long term injury. I know that the few hardy souls who travelled to Halifax some years back would be keen to see Paul again after his David Coulthard style salute to the travelling fans!!

Substitute: Les Cleevely

Almost claimed the number one shirt in his own right, but I feared reprisals if he was selected!! It is quite possible that our paths might cross again in the future so at least we may have the chance to marvel at his escapades and not be on the receiving end ourselves. The back pass rule change has not really helped Les as he tries to dribble around opposition forwards with very little success.

Substitute: Gary Collins

In keeping with a balanced team selection, here is another goalkeeper. Perhaps not a familiar name to some but a legend in his own household. I will always remember Gary for making ordinary saves look so spectacular and for one famous incident in particular. Long suffering Wings fans may remember a match at PVR in our Southern League days against Bedworth. Gary, upon “hearing” a phantom whistle put the ball down for a free kick only for the opposition striker to gleefully slam it into an empty net!! The goal stood and Gary’s cult status at PVR was assured.

Substitute: Maurice Munden

A disappointment no doubt to only make the bench, but after only one appearance it would be harsh to include him (wouldn’t it??). Maurice’s banter with the crowd was legendary and such gems as “I know where you lot drink” often caused great amusement with Wings fans. If it is any consolation at not making the starting line-up for this particular team then I’m sure that, at most other clubs, Maurice would undoubtedly have been first choice in their worst ever line-ups!

Manager: Kevin “INQ” Hales

This was clearly the easiest selection of the lot as he ‘inflicted’ a number of these players upon us. It also explains why we only need three subs as we never had five towards the end of last season as “INQ” picks his best XI and sticks with them through thin and, erm, thinner. At least I’ve selected three goalkeepers on the bench as with this team he would probably need them!

HalesI was intending to have a right good rant about “INQ” but, on reflection, I’m just bloody glad that he has gone although we will obviously miss his “extensive list of contacts” (what a pisser that was!). I just pray that we draw Stevenage in a competition next season and, regardless of the result, the whole Welling support can show him just what they really think of him.

White Socks

From the archives – WIE 32 (Part 1)

This week we look back at WIE 32 from August 2000; the final issue of the fanzine. Erm, well, that is until 2010 and the small matter of the club having a large, unpaid HMRC bill forced our return again with WIE 33.

WIE 32This was a 32-page issue that “celebrated” the club’s relegation to the Southern League from the Conference after a 15-year stay, by hook or by crook, at the top of the non-league pyramid. But the real celebration for us, as reflected by the front cover, was Kevin “I’m no quitter” Hales’ decision to, erm, quit as manager. Mind you, he shouldn’t have had the option as he should have been sacked the moment our fate was decided at Hednesford. But, heh. All of which was covered in my editorial along with a plea to join the newly formed Independent Supporters Association.

A Wycombe supporting old work colleague of mine provided the next article titled ‘Fantasy Island’ in which he commented on the impact football clubs have on their supporters. This was based on his observations of me following Hales’ departure and the speculation on who might be his replacement. Apparently, I wasn’t in a good place! The fantasy was the names being handed about in hope rather than expectation.

Next, ‘Where did it all go wrong?’ by an unidentified author, which focused on three home games they thought had a significant contribution towards our relegation; the 2-2 draw with Altrincham in October, the 3-2 defeat to Sutton United in November, and the 1-1 draw with Dover Athletic in January. Next was an article by “Darren – behind the goal” who gave us the lowdown on football in Essex following his move through the pipe a couple of years beforehand. He concentrated on his visits to Canvey Island and, the sadly now defunct, Purfleet. Darren’s piece was followed by our review of the 1999/2000 season, which given that we were relegated, was a tough read.

We then challenged the Kentish Times – blimey, remember when local papers were a thing? – and their coverage of Hales’ departure. He was basically given carte blanche to give his side of the story and wasn’t challenged on his appalling record in the dugout. No, the KT certainly wasn’t the home of hard-hitting journalism.

White Socks then provided that true staple of the fanzine, his all-time worst Wings XI. And, so glorious was it, that we will bring you this article in full tomorrow. His choices brought a surprise or two but were based on their performances in a Wings shirt and nothing else. Anyway, pour yourself a stiff drink before reading it is our advice!

The centre spread was given over to a comparison between the teams in the Southern League that we were joining to our last time there in the 1985/86 season. We’d only be saying hello again to Fisher, Folkestone, and King’s Lynn. Trips to the likes of Bedworth and Gosport had been replaced by clubs such as Burton and Ilkeston. Deep joy.

An article titled “The British Disease” wasn’t about hooliganism, but about the perceived mental fragility of top British sportsmen and their inability to deliver when required. White Socks then provided another thought-provoking piece which analysed the timing of our goals for and against the previous season. It turned out that we’d thrown away a minimum of ten points in the final 15 minutes of games, which would have kept us up comfortably. Oh well.

Another unnamed correspondent reviewed Kevin Hales’ tenure and was positively upbeat about his departure. So much so that he or she had bought a season ticket for the first time in 16 years. Now that was a statement! Martin Kay then reminisced about his one season (1990/91) watching the Wings before he moved to Scotland and his visits to PVR then being few and far between. Get in touch Martin if you still follow the club’s fortunes.

In what was the issue of the unnamed correspondent, another one speculated on where the club went from there following the relegation with the hope that it would be the catalyst for better times. Hmm. This was followed by a space filling graphic welcoming Rambo back to the club following his appointment as manager shortly before WIE went to print.

The issue meandered towards its conclusion with our Euro 2000 diary, another short piece celebrating Hales’ departure (talk about a dominant theme!) and, finally, the fanzine’s own obituary. After eight years it was 32 issues and out…


From the archives – The Wingsaurus (Part 6)

Here we go with Part 6 and penultimate portion of the Wingsaurus, which covers the entries for S to U that were originally published in WIE 40 and WIE 41 back in 2013. You’ll see that we’ve made a couple of amendments to update them. We intend to include a significant update in our first issue back as and when the football resumes and we’re able to attend games again at PVR. So, please send your contributions to us at via the Contact page on our website).


Engin Salih – Back in the days when Fisher were throwing their money around, he was their keeper for a while and took some merciless stick from the terraces at PVR. At the end of one game he snapped and climbed on to the terrace at the Park End to remonstrate with the fans. After the initial shock (and much laughter) he was dragged off by teammates. We retired to the bar for a shandy and then I drove a couple of mates home. Imagine my surprise when, waiting at Welling corner to turn right, who should pull up alongside but Mr Salih. My mate wound down the window and tapped on his window – the look on his face was priceless as he revved up and shot off straight through a red light!

teddyCharlie Sheringham – Son of Teddy ‘enjoyed’ one season at PVR before buggering off for the riches on offer at Bishop’s Stortford. ‘Guess the age of Teddy’s latest girlfriend’ and ‘Is she older than Charlie?’ were popular games on the PVR terraces whenever Teddy put in an appearance. Probably.

David Smith – Left winger, part of the deadly attack during the Southern League winning season. Another to join the club from Maidstone, he went on to enjoy a career in the Football League with Gillingham, Bristol City, and Notts County.

Neil Smith – The first managerial appointment following Graham’s passing saw Barrie and Barry attempt to emulate the successful Adie Pennock gamble in giving Smith his first managerial role. That was where the similarities ended though, his reign a disaster from day one as the team struggled in the league, edged past the might of East Barkingside in the FA Cup and were dumped out of the Trophy by Wealdstone. A 4-0 hammering at Hampton finally put him – and us – out of misery. Currently using his extensive list of contacts as assistant manager at Bromley. Captain of the Reading side that knocked us out of the FA Cup in 2001 and, alongside Tim O’Shea, was part of the Gillingham team that became our only Football League victims in 1989. We should have known!

trophySouthern League – 1985-86 title win by then record 23 points, sealed with a 3-3 draw at Crawley Town. Believe I took a cold drink or two that particular evening.

Southport – Not our favourite opponents – we failed to pick up a point at Haig Avenue – though it is one particular contest at PVR that sticks in the memory: 1-0 down when John Farley’s attempted clearance cannoned off Glen Knight’s back we swiftly equalised through Tony Dolby. Steve Perkins notched two own goals and was hauled off before half-time to save the Hobbins the cost of a match ball. A valiant comeback down the slope reduced the half-time deficit from 4-1 to 4-3 before a breakaway goal sealed defeat.

Malcolm Spratt – A blast from the past who many of you possibly won’t remember. Malcolm Spratt was the foil up front for Mr Bartley. Now when Sky commentators tell you how the foreigners have brought diving into our game you can now tell them that is rubbish as Malcolm Spratt introduced the concept of diving over 30 years ago! John Bartley always used to loiter around the penalty spot like a true predator – not because that was where his teammate would always put the ball but because he knew there was a fair chance of a penalty being awarded when Spratty got anywhere near the area!

Squiffy’s – Offie next to the ground, below the knocking shop. Was a bathroom shop before becoming the club shop when the club had half a clue commercially. It didn’t last…

Supporters’ groups – There has been a few down the years. Currently we have WUSA and beforehand there has been (in no particular order) the Supporters’ Association, WUISA, Wings Supporters United. If you’re not a member of WUSA please consider joining and getting involved.

Swansea – Another glorious FA Cup failure. City centre traffic congestion afforded the travelling army a police escort to make the delayed kick-off. Paul Barron was cup tied because of his Cheltenham dalliance so it was Jeremy ‘glue gloves’ Parsons between the sticks. Nonetheless Joe Francis scored a belter to put us ahead, Duncan Horton gave away a penalty before Terry Robbins restored our advantage for a 2-1 interval lead. Then it all unravelled, and we suffered the long journey back on the end of a 5-2 beating.

Syd – Barrie and Graham’s father Syd was known for being Sam Bartram’s understudy for many a year at The Valley. He was with Charlton from 1937/38 and then again after the war in 1946/47. He also played for Charlton during the war too when he played against Arsenal in the League South Cup Final but was on the end of a 7-1 defeat. He had previously played for Bexley Heath and Welling on the 6th April 1935 away to Canterbury Waverley in a 1-1 draw.


Steve ‘Teddy’ Payne – Allegedly walked into PVR one day to offer financial support: “what can I do to help?” and received the reply “we need someone to help out behind the burger bar.” Backed the club for several years as well as helping Pam serve the much-vaunted hot dogs in French sticks that were popular with both home and visiting supporters. Sadly no longer with us.

Teletext – ITV’s version of Ceefax and a godsend in the days before the internet and mobile phones for following matches that you couldn’t attend. One up away, goal scorer Robbins. A glorious long-range strike or scuffed in from close range? Who knew until the local newspaper came out the following Thursday? Then many minutes of nervous pacing around the living room, refreshing the page every few minutes. Cue premature celebrations when the clock hit 9.45pm; we must have held on. But then, sadly and inevitably, a 1-0 win turned in to a 2-1 defeat; a penalty in the 89th minute before the injury time winner.

townsendAndy Townsend – Probably the club’s most famous product, Townsend spent five years at PVR, not that anyone would pick that up from the passing mention in his autobiography and his desperation to get off the subject whenever ITV were showing Steve Finnan playing for the Republic of Ireland. Was sold to Weymouth where he only had enough time to have a quick look round the place before he was sold to Southampton. No doubt we had a sell-on clause in place. You what??!!

Trees – Or more specifically one tree in the middle of the terrace at St Albans City treefootball ground which was the reason for our prolonged spell in the Conference. It was a protected species and the ground committee for the Conference had to visit the ground to ratify their application for promotion. Welling had finished third bottom in the final relegation place and survived thanks to the committee’s ruling. Meanwhile, the tree in the corner of PVR vanished overnight and our Conference place was assured. Anybody would think that a Hobbins was on the ground committee. Erm, hang on a minute…

Typewriter – The technology of choice at PVR for decades. Years after the rest of the world switched to word processors and then computers season ticket holders continued to receive their renewal and fixture list bashed out on the faithful Olivetti.


“United!” – The oft heard chant of the PVR faithful. That is all.


From the archives – WIE 45

WIE 45This week’s rummage through the WIE archive stumbled across issue 45 from March 2015. It was a 32-page issue that came in the aftermath of Jody Brown’s (thankfully) short tenure as manager. Hence the (some say) hysterical front cover, which was our repost to his remarks towards the Wings’ support following comments in response to his excuses following the away defeat at Nuneaton. And what an absolute shitshow our performance was that day; I still get shivers thinking about it. At least it was Brown’s last.

Highlights from this issue included Tim’s friend Phil regaling us with the tale about when he was a steward at Millwall v West Ham. Phil properly lucked out there. Phil’s friend Tim took a moment to take a look at the club’s presence on Facebook, which included our own page and the numbers behind it. Tim also provided an article on pointless games, which we bring to you below.

White Socks critiqued the club’s somewhat appalling disciplinary record with his “Red Card Handicap” parody. Runners included Jake Gallagher, Chis Bush, Darren Purse, Joe Healy and Anthony Jeffrey amongst others. In an article titled “Fixture Farce” GaryH provided comment on our fixtures between 7th February and 21st March. In that period we had seven matches scheduled, of which all bar one were away. Yup, the fixture “computer” regularly did for us in the Conference. Those six away games included a little trundle to Gateshead on a Tuesday night and then Lincoln the following Saturday. Oh how we love a level playing field…

The interview with Barry Hobbins was the focal point of this issue in which he was incredibly open and candid in talking about all aspects of the club. It was a piece that got an amazing amount of positive feedback, which was certainly unusual and bucked the trend of the usual feedback we received!


It’s sometimes best to avoid late night conversations. Late night conversations about the most pointless of football fixtures are particularly dangerous. They can lead to challenges such as, “Go and find the most pointless game you can, watch it, and write about it – we’ve got a fanzine to fill”.

In all challenges it is necessary to define terms. So what exactly is a pointless fixture? Now certain sections of the media would probably say that anything below the Premier League is pointless. Others might say that is being generous – if it isn’t Champions League, it isn’t worth it. But you, the reader, are clutching a copy of WIE. You most probably obtained it at PVR before enduring a wet and miserable afternoon of Conference football. You might possibly disagree.

Friendlies are pretty pointless, agreed, but are not really competitive, so they will be discounted. League games can’t really be described as pointless given that someone always gets points at the end of them. Not necessarily us, but someone. So that just leaves a couple of options.

First – the county cups.

I appreciate that clubs tend to regard these games as an irritation, having more important matters on their minds, but personally I am all in favour of them. Yes, they are an excellent opportunity for our players to get injured; and with the cost of using the floodlights most clubs probably make a loss from every county cup game they play (and that is without factoring in whatever payments go to the players, if any). But on the other hand they represent our only realistic chance of winning anything, and of having that fun day out in Gillingham or wherever in May. In one cup we get to play a few random, rarely seen Kent teams and a few hated Kent teams; and journey to mysterious unknown suburbs in the other. Admittedly, watching our group of youth team players lose to dartford’s group of youth team players can be quite annoying, but annoyance shows concern, and concern indicates pointfulness. Which is not a word, but it should be.

So rejecting county cups as being worthwhile, if minimally, that leaves only league cups for the ultimate in pointless fixtures. But even here, in my early days I didn’t really appreciate how pointless league cups were. A couple of reasons: the first being a certain bicycle kick by Dennis Tueart in the 1976 final which won the League Cup for Man City. Clearly if players could be bothered to do that, and 100,000 people could be bothered to head to Wembley to watch it, and Brian Moore could get so very excited about it, league cups must be important. The only pointless aspect was the hours that everyone spent trying to replicate it in local parks.

And the second reason was my first experience of a live league cup game. That was the first round of the London Spartan League Cup in 1977/78, the Wings first year at PVR. In a decade where about the only way to get sent off was to have a massive and very noticeable scrap with someone (Norman Hunter v Francis Lee, anyone?), visitors East Ham United managed to get two players sent off – the second one for chasing the referee around a bit after his team-mate had been sent off. Excellent entertainment. We won 4-2 and went on to reach the final and win it – a triumph that has never been acknowledged in the honours section in the programme or the Welling website, for some unknown reason. So I left Banstead, scene of our glorious cup victory, with a very positively skewed opinion of league cups.

Three years in the Athenian League soon put paid to that. Whereas the Spartan League Cup included teams from two divisions, meaning there was the possibility of cup upsets – would the mighty Wings have an off day against plucky Thames Poly? Would lowly Beckenham Town cause a 1973 Sunderland v Leeds style shock in the final? – the Athenian League had just the one division. There was not a lot of excitement when the draw was made. An away trip to Edgware? Great. Given that in Big Football Liverpool had at last noticed the League Cup and duly won it for four years in a row, to add to their almost constant winning of the League, my interest in league cups pretty much died. They were dull. There was a fairly unpleasant defeat over two legs in the semi-final of the Southern League cup to dartford, with both games being spectacularly bad tempered, but thankfully other than that the Wings seemed to avoid any serious attempts at progressing in the things.

A one division league with a league cup competition? I must inevitably turn to the Bob Lord Trophy, the Alliance/Conference’s greatest idea. I can only imagine the excitement up in Barrow each year when the draw was made. Which far off point would they be travelling to on a Tuesday night? Of course, if you are going to have a national league cup competition, to be played midweek by part-time players, why not make it a two-legged affair? So they did. How the crowds must have flocked to whatever Trowbridge’s ground was called to see their second leg against Barnet, having already lost the away tie 10-1.

Still, it was not all bad. The result of a 1986 Quarter-final tie caught my eye: Weymouth 8 dartford 1.

By the time the Wings arrived in the Conference for the 1986/87 season the Bob Lord Trophy had mutated. Instead of a one-division cup it had been decided that the cream of teams from the three feeder leagues below should be added to it. Of course, with an expanded entry it needed an expanded name. So, goodbye Bob Lord Trophy, hello (deep breath) the “General Motors Acceptance Corporation Premier Inter-League Cup for the Bob Lord Trophy”. Snappy.

Happily we immediately got knocked out in our very first game, at Bishop’s Stortford (why, oh why didn’t they introduce group games, for added tedium?), but the following season was a different story. And it has a couple of strands. At that time I was sharing a house in Manchester with a bunch of scrotes, one of whom came from scenic Knott End (near Fleetwood) and was becoming increasingly annoyed by the careless memory lapses that made us think that the final sound in the first word of his town was a “B” rather than a “T”. Finally he announced that he didn’t really care as he wasn’t actually from Knob End at all but was born in Horwich, near Bolton. A quick bit of research and we discovered that Horwich had a team, called Horwich RMI, and so excited were we by the prospect of seeing an actual Railway Mechanics Institute that we piled into what I fear may have been a purple Allegro and headed North for a game.horwich

Horwich played at the superbly named Grundy Hill, on the kind of non-league slope made famous by Wycombe and Yeovil, the sight of which would have left John Motson reaching for his senior nappies. And they sold mushy peas. Well, not to us, but they were available. We rather enjoyed our afternoon – Horwich had a player called Faz, and that was rather good. And after initially being rather hopeless they came back and won, and that was rather good, too, so we decided to keep watching them.

And just as we started watching Horwich, so they started on a little run in the General Motors Acceptance Corporation Premier Inter-League Cup for the Bob Lord Trophy. Meanwhile, Welling had also started in the, oh, let’s call it the GMAC Cup. We had been lucky with the draws – a short trip to Croydon, a short trip to Bromley, and a replay. Beats training, I suppose. And then a home game v Yeovil. And then suddenly there were Horwich and Welling, both in the quarterfinals of a national competition. With mounting horror I realised that there might be a nightmare final, and all those Knob End jibes might come flying back in my direction, but fortunately the Wings did the decent thing and lost their quarter-final 0-2 at home to Weymouth.

Horwich were having a whale of a time though, and duly reached the final. There they were to play Weymouth, so a very narrow escape indeed for me, and the venue chosen was Horwich, on a Sunday afternoon. Weymouth arrived as the big Conference team, but didn’t much fancy the slope, the pitch, or indeed, Horwich. But they started suitably physically and flattened the goalkeeper in the very first minute, resulting in a long stoppage and the arrival in goal for the rest of the game of Horwich’s right back. Who then played heroically as Horwich went on to win the final.

So massively entertaining, but pointless? Probably not. Ludicrous would be a better word, perhaps. A sort of semi FA Trophy. But there was already an FA Trophy, so why play it?

The long-named cup eventually jettisoned its feeder leaguers, and disappeared in 2001, making a couple of zombie-like resurrections before finally fading out altogether in 2009 (I hope), saving everyone a lot of unnecessary bother. Which brings me back to finding the most pointless game I could. Welling no longer play in a league cup, so what could I watch?

One of the unfortunate side-effects of writing the fanzine is that we have to keep a more than cursory watch on certain other local teams, in order to take the mick as and when required. That means spending more time on their websites than is strictly desirable, to catch a glimpse of, for example, the 6000 cartoon supporters that will suddenly be occupying Ebbswait’s new mega-stadium. Mostly it is a complete pain – do I want to read Jamie’s programme notes? Not really, no – but occasionally dartford lose 6-1 to Dover, and visiting the website for a reaction is actually a delight.

It was on one of these visits that I noticed the “next at Princes Park” section. Next up: Celtic U-21 v Villarreal U-21 in the Premier League International Cup. The Premier League International Cup, for those who have better things to do with their lives and don’t know about such things, is “a four-group tournament involving some of the top Premier League Under-21 and elite development teams from England and other European leagues”. And Fulham.

celticNow this seemed excitingly pointless! There are eight European teams (including Celtic, but let’s not go there) but all games are to be held in England. There are group games! How very exciting! Particularly for those no doubt highly talented Spanish players of Villarreal, allowed to have a run around on a mud heap in dartford. Deliciously pointless.

But then my eyes strayed further down the page. The Premier League International Cup group game was the second game of the day at Princes Park. The first was in in something called the “Football Conference Youth Alliance League Cup”. Ah, a league cup! Promising!

I’d never heard of the Football Conference Youth Alliance. I was fairly certain that the Wings weren’t involved in it, as I had heard rumours that we had a team of 16-17 year olds somewhere in the Suburban League, although getting concrete information about that is extremely difficult, as the Suburban League seems to be deeply secretive. Perhaps they are worried about being discovered by the Gestapo, or something. There are occasional reports of a game taking place – a hint of activity on the Welling Forum, perhaps, but never an actual fixture list. All is hidden in mists. I will say this only once. And certainly no information on the Wings website (for which I actually have some sympathy, as maintaining websites is an utter pain in the backside).

Anyway, after a little research I discovered that the Football Conference Youth Alliance has 99 teams divided into 9 divisions from “Gateshead to Dover”, as the website proudly states. It is a league for those at academies who are combining education with football. I saw from the Wings website that we had an academy team, which I had assumed was the one in the in the Suburban League but thought I’d better check through the divisions anyway to see if we were represented. We weren’t in “London South East”. Nor in “Kent South London”. Nor “Kent East Sussex”. But there we were, much to my surprise, in “Beds, Essex and Herts” With Aldershot. Of course.

pointlessNow, I have no idea whether this team is different to the Suburban League team, or indeed different to the U18 team in the Kent Youth League, which we never hear about. But they appear to play on Wednesday afternoons. Somewhere. But no matter.

In their wisdom, the Conference Youth Alliance decided that there could be nothing more exciting than a league cup, and one of the ties was due to be played prior to the Celtic U-21 game. Looking at the draw, it was all rather sensible – Maidstone v Bromley, Hornchurch v Sudbury, Southampton v Basingstoke – nice and local, so dartford (reds) v FC United of Manchester rather stood out. To be played at 5pm on a Thursday night. What’s not to like?

Well, dartford’s not to like, for a start. And I have a particular dislike of FC Replica Shirt of Manchester, too.

It’s not for me to tell people what to do with their Saturday afternoons. People can support FC Replica Shirt if they like. But I do wish they wouldn’t be so holy about it. And so bloody pleased with themselves. Wikipedia talks of the supporters feeling “disenfranchised” – I wasn’t aware we actually had a vote in the first place. Then the FCUM website talks about how they were genuinely sick of the whole Premier League circus and so went off to form their own club so that they could “stick together and sing Manchester United songs”. That, rather than just watching their local non-league team, of course.

I’ve read how they started “at the bottom of the pyramid”. Hmmm. From personal experience if a bunch of people get together and decide to start a football club, with no ground, and no previous history, they tend to get fast-tracked into the lowest division of the nearest Sunday league. But apparently you can play the “But we are Manchester United supporters” card, and that gets you into Step 6, and the North West Counties League. Then you can spend some time being the best supported and richest team in the league (just like the real thing, eh?), parading around in your replica shirts which are, of course, too sacred to bear the name of a sponsor, while professing a huge understanding of non-league football. Righty-o. While describing yourself as the newest “punk football” team. Of course.

Just a footnote – This “bottom of the pyramid” stuff. There WAS a team that started as a boys team in a park, and 23 years later found themselves playing in the Conference. Can’t quite remember who, though.

kaj3So, to the match. It was interesting to me to see which team I hated most, dartford (reds) or FCUM. As the game progressed, I realised that I actually favoured dartford (reds) (who were, true to their name, playing in blue). Maybe it was those Man Utd shirts. Maybe it was because teenage Manc haircuts had got stuck somewhere between an early Mark Robins and Kajagoogoo. Or maybe it was because the Mancs just whinged all the time, as Mancs do. Truly, a Whinge-a-thon between Mancs and Scousers would be a hard one to call – the Mancs just might shade it. Or maybe it was because one of the FCUM supporters had brought a big flag. To a youth team game. In dartford. On a Thursday night.

dartford (reds) won it (there’s a dartford (blues) in another division, in case you were wondering), so I think that was the first time I’ve ever been pleased that a dartford team won. And the Mancs got back on their bus to Mancland, still whingeing, after what was possibly the most pointless fixture I have ever seen.

But wait. What’s this? The cup continues. And it is Bromley (blues) away at…. Gateshead.


CAMRAG update

Hopefully you’ve had a chance to have a look at our new page dedicated to CAMRAG – The Campaign for Really Awful Graphics that was a feature of WIE during the 1990s. At the weekend, through the wonders of Twitter, we were alerted to these two wonderful examples. In the one on the left – which featured on the front cover of Lowestoft Town’s programme in the 1979/80 season – we see the player on the left (with a rather large head) seemingly distracted by the wonderfully coiffured hair and moustache of his opponent. And in the graphic on the right – from the front cover of Loughborough J.O.L.’s programme in 1987/88 – shows a player with interesting hands and, erm, over-developed shoulder muscles managing to keep the ball under close control. Magnificent.

From the archives – The Wingsaurus (Part 5)

Part 5 sees us closing in on the end of the Wingsaurus. But we aren’t quite there just yet. This time we cover the entries for P to R that were originally published in WIE 40 and WIE 41 back in 2013. Our thanks go to Mike Floate for his permission to use the terrific photos of PVR. You’ll also see that we’ve made a couple of amendments to update them. We intend to include a significant update in our first issue back as and when the football resumes and we’re able to attend games again at PVR. So, please send your contributions to us at (or via the Contact page on our website).


Pacing – As in pacing up and down. Welling leading by a goal with minutes to go. Why do we keep giving away corners? Why can’t we just clear it? These things and more lead to significant pacing about on the terraces, which, no doubt, is the main reason that they are in such a worn-out condition.

pvr 2
John Glover goes close against Blackburn Rovers. © Mike Floate

Park View Road (PVR) – The Theatre of Nightmares was once Fortress PVR, a ground opposing teams were delighted to leave with one point, let alone three. Those days returned with just one league defeat in 18+ months under Daysie’s management team (first time round). PVR is the name of the road. How very old-fashioned. Most grounds are called “Something Stadium” or “Something Park” nowadays, so how about a name change for us. Our suggestion is Road View Park.

pvr 1
Another view of PVR during the Blackburn game. © Mike Floate

Paul Parker – Having played for Manchester United and played in a World Cup surely management at our level would be a doddle. He started reasonably well, and we had a decent first season but then loco in the first Conference South campaign signing most of Dover’s rejects (Jamie Day excluded) and going on to use about 40 different players in half a season before he thankfully got the boot. We feel like screaming at him “Andy Arnott, Lee Spiller… WHY???”

Parking – The lack of parking space at PVR means the adjacent streets take the hit on match days and opposition team coaches all but block the road outside. Of course that could have been fixed had the gates on E&B&Q’s side been installed sensibly. But at least the club doctor gets the opportunity to mow down a few supporters driving to his car parking ‘space’ near the burger van on a match day!

parkinsonJack Parkinson – Signed by Andy Ford from VCD it appeared the gamble had backfired after a handful of disappointing performances saw him farmed out on loan to Margate. Come the end of the season he was not only a regular but also skipper and in the following three seasons he frequently attracted the attention of league clubs. The only debate seemed to be whether to play him at the back or in midfield, though WIE doesn’t consider that a debate at all – centre half every day for us. Trials at Bournemouth and Southend and an on/off move to Stevenage made it all the more disappointing when he signed for Woking.

Adrian Pennock – It was a big gamble by the Hobbins to appoint him over caretaker Daish, he continued the latter’s salvation from Paul Parker’s disaster. Spent most of his two full seasons in, around or indeed on top of the table, picking up several Manager of the Month awards, only to fade when it mattered. Buggered off to take on an academy role at mentor, Tony Pulis’s Stoke City and was often seen in the dugout when Sky had to lower themselves to showing the Potters.

Play-offs – Despite all the promise of the Pennock (twice), Ford (once) and Day (thrice) eras it took a while to finally nail down a place and then, having made a shambolically organised final at Ponces Park, the team didn’t turn up.

Andy Pugh
– The only good thing Neil Smith did for the club was to bring in a young pughPugh on loan from Gillingham. The move might only have yielded two goals in two months, both sublime strikes against Bromley, but the seeds were sown. One of Daysie’s first moves as manager was to follow suit, bringing back a player two years older, wiser and stronger, the highlight of this three-month loan spell being his hat-trick in the 5-0 thrashing of Woking. It was no surprise that Day was in for Pughie on his release by the Gills and 18 months of running defences ragged saw the striker seal a move to Cambridge United. We won’t mention the disappointment of him turning up to play for d*rtford. Bugger…


Mark Quamina – He’s only here because his name begins with Q. And we were desperate.

Queues – The insistence on adults/kids/passes turnstiles and refusal to use the E&B&Q ones leads to big queues – see “Right money only“.


ransomNigel Ransom – Another true legend of Welling and his appearance record alone is quite staggering. I think my best Nigel story was during an away game when he was about to be cautioned for a foul in a case of mistaken identity. Now the real culprit was Adrian Lemoine who was already on a yellow card. Not to be deterred Nigel told the ref it wasn’t him and pointed to his fellow defender. The ref duly issued the second yellow and then the red to Lemoine and we had to play on with ten…cheers Nige! In the still of night at PVR you can probably still hear the cries of “Nigel’s ball” and, if you’re really lucky, “You’re a goat, referee”. Earned his first red card in a Wings shirt in his 999th game.

Reading – Mammoth 1989 FA Cup second round tie before the Police wanted 10 days between replays and the FA thought penalties were great. A gritty 0-0 draw at Elm Park was followed by a 1-1 draw AET at PVR, John Glover equalising minutes after a twice-taken penalty had given the visitors the lead; both games refereed by Philip Don. So it was back to the open-air away terrace at Elm Park in the pissing rain for another backs-to-the-wall 0-0 AET, Trevor Booker missing an open goal with the last kick after Clemmo’s header came back off the bar. Three days later it was take IV at PVR. The Wings dominated the first half down the slope, taking the lead for the first time in the tie through Terry Robbins’ diving header but two second half strikes from Steve Moran ended our FA Cup adventure. But that wasn’t the end of our battles with the Royals. 22 years later we returned to the town for a first round fixture, this time at the Madejski Stadium with the home side perched on top of the old division 3 and captained by a certain Neil Smith. More importantly the referee was ginger tosser Hegley who sent off Peter Overton before Jamie Cureton scored the only goal of the game.

“Red ball!” – Les the tannoy man who, erm, was the voice of the PVR tannoy throughout the Athenian League, Southern League and early Conference days. Was extremely partisan and known for his shout of “Red ball” every time the ball went out for a throw-in. Rumoured to have fallen out with the club over a cup of tea.

Relegation – It had been a long time coming – and many thought we were immune due to the Conference’s very local HQ (in Crayford) – but in 2000 the inevitable happened and the club suffered relegation for the only time in its history. Take a bow, Kevin Hales.

Tony Reynolds – Another to sign from Maidstone with a point to prove Rambo patrolled reynoldsthe left flank during his playing career. Most likely remembered for breaking his neck head-butting the post – and playing on – during the 5-0 win over Merthyr that followed Nicky Brigden’s sacking. Jumped at the chance to be manager when Kevin ‘I’m no quitter’ Hales quit. He started off like an express train until a 5-0 thrashing at Margate derailed his futuristic 4-3-3 formation; the 5-3-2/3-5-2 reaction got bogged down in the winter but produced a spirited late run to grab fourth spot on the final day. “Judge me when it’s my team” syndrome struck the next year as his team avoided relegation with a week to spare.

“Right money only” – Oft-heard cry from the gates or the season tickets/passes turnstile whenever there’s a queue to get in. WIE can’t work out why it’s right money only…

Anthony Riviere – Fleet footed noughties wing back/winger criminally wasted since he left us at various other clubs. He could have played League football, but instead fell out with Paul Parker and underachieved thereafter.

robbinsTerry Robbins – Midget striker Inchy was signed from Crawley Town to provide the goals once scored by John Bartley and immediately struck up a partnership with Gary Abbott. Harried defenders and chased dead as well as dying causes he had a habit of scoring against – and pissing off – Kettering which is fine by WIE. Rather less successful spell as manager before having a belated stab at the big time with Barnet.

From the archives – WIE 17

WIE 17WIE 17 – a mammoth (for us) 40-page issue – hit the streets in September 1996. And below we bring you a couple of articles from this issue; the first is hot on the heels from our feature article from issue 13 which gave the true story behind the origins of the club nickname. This time we provided some suggestions for a club motto. Then we bring you the CAMRAG – Campaign for Really Awful Graphics – contributions to this issue. They really are a thing of, erm, great, erm, beauty.

Anyway, this issue’s editorial was a little bit more upbeat than usual because the football on display at PVR in the early stages of the season had been a bit more promising than usual. And we were pleased that the club had appointed Steve Wells as fulltime Commercial Manager in the summer, which was definitely a step in the right direction. Next up was the month-by-month review of the 1995/96 season, which didn’t make for particularly happy reading. Well, it wouldn’t would it when you finish 19th in the Conference and are knocked out of all four of the cup competitions entered by lower league opposition.

An unnamed correspondent “enjoyed” a visit to Sittingbourne’s Bourne Park for the Kent Senior Cup Final in which Ashford Town beat Charlton’s stiffs 3-0 with ex-Wings Stuart White and Tony Reynolds in the victors’ team. Tim then regaled us with his experience of Euro 96, which didn’t sound like too much fun.

Next, I provided an account of my meeting with Wings manager Kevin Hales. To be fair to him it was a full and frank interview in which he didn’t resort to the tired old clichés. But we covered that off with our cliché-ridden predictions for the new season. And Terry finished the issue with his views of the Slough Town supporters who had come to the early season game at PVR with an assortment of musical instruments. You won’t be surprised to hear that he wasn’t very complimentary.

Another Bright Idea from WIE

During the summer months I had a thought. No, it wasn’t my only one and no, it didn’t hurt. Bastards.

Our club badge is very ordinary indeed, just Pegasus with ‘Welling United’ written underneath. I just thought that we could pep it up a bit.

It could be kept simple by adding a bit of history. Move the club name above Pegasus and have ‘Formed 1963’ underneath. All very well, but still drab. I happened to be flicking through my July copy of FourFourTwo when I came across an article about Scarborough FC. And my attention was drawn to their club badge which includes their club motto ‘No Battle, No Victory’; of course, we should have our motto incorporated into our badge.

That is where my terrific idea hit a slight snag. The club hasn’t got a motto, and that, I think you would agree, would appear to put the kibosh on my idea. But I’m made of sterner stuff, the small matter of no motto wasn’t going to stop me. We’ll make one up. An initial question is whether the motto should be in English or Latin? Because of the club’s lack of history and tradition Latin is really a non-starter. But I think the option should at least be explored.

My first line of thought was, naturally, on a sporting theme. Phrases along the lines of ‘No Pain, No Gain’ have been thrown in my direction over the years by various sports teachers/coaches, and with a bit of massaging we could have ‘No Gain, Just Pain‘. That’s got a bit more of a Welling feel to it! Or maybe we could borrow Scarborough’s and make a subtle addition so that it reads ‘No Battle, No Victory, Oh Well That’s That Then‘. Super. But I don’t think the club will wear it, literally. Another possibility along the same lines is ‘Battle With Valour, Or At Least Until We Go 1-0 Down‘. No? Shame, I thought that one was quite catchy.

Right then, let’s consider the Latin options. If the grammar of what follows is incorrect, I don’t care, as I found Latin the most boring of subjects at school. And, thankfully, I only spent two years sleeping through it.

Now, we all know that the club isn’t the most affluent in the Conference, but over the years we have become rich in emotion. Therefore, something along the lines of ‘Dolore Affici‘ (To feel pain) could be deemed appropriate, similarly ‘In Sordibus Luctuque Iacére‘ (To be in great trouble) would also suit us quite nicely. ‘Angoribus Premi‘ (To be tormented with anxiety) would be a terrific motto for our annual fight with relegation, but only really suitable for the tortuous last couple of months of the season. So this one will have to be discounted as you can’t really just wheel out a motto when it’s needed.

And now we pause for the semi-serious ‘Animos Militum Accendere‘ (To fire with courage), but no, it doesn’t quite fit, does it?

A good motto would be ‘Prosternere Profligare Hostem‘ (To rout the enemy) but does have an over-the-top warlike tone to it. Besides, how often do we stuff the oppo? If we decided to go down the Manchester United road and have a different kit for every day of the week, we could have a playing away north of Watford in the FA Trophy kit. On this we could have the words ‘Cladem Accipere‘ which mean ‘To suffer a defeat’, which may not represent a motto, but nevertheless is extremely apt.

That’s enough of the Latin, it has given me a killer of a headache. Back to English, and the good old reliable proverb. Always good for a laugh and possibly the answer in the quest to find a credible motto.

One proverb that caught my eye immediately is ‘Never send a boy to do a man’s job‘. With the Wings’ history of being all too ready to throw the kids in at the deep end, this one is almost cringingly suitable. Another to fall into this category is ‘If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys‘, which kinda sums up many of our Conference squads. Although it contradicts a lot of our performances I like ‘Union is strength‘, which, if nothing else, implies team spirit.

Although this piece has been mostly irreverent towards the subject of a motto, I do believe that the club should adopt one. And being the most senior club in the London Borough of Bexley, maybe we could share the Borough’s motto ‘Boldly and Rightly‘. It may be the start of closer ties and cooperation with the authority, which can only be good news for both parties. Or maybe not.


From the archives – The Wingsaurus (Part 4)

Here we go with Part 4 of the Wingsaurus with the entries for I through to O that were originally published in WIE 40 and WIE 41 back in 2013. You’ll see that we’ve made a couple of amendments to update them. It’s still intention to include a significant update in our first issue back as and when the football resumes and we’re able to attend games again at PVR. So, please send your contributions to us at (or via the Contact page on our website).


Inflatables – Started as one-off at Dorchester with pink flamingos; evolved into different one for each away game. Thankfully now a thing of the past.


Jailbirds – Derek Richardson, Ian Crouch, Tony Sinclair, John Parry, Kevin Dennis, Dazzlin’.

Colin James – Unsung star who turned a muddy bog into the best pitch in the Conference. Talents eventually recognised by Leyton Orient.


BBC Radio Kent – The club has never enjoyed the best of relationship with them. Welling’s not in Kent unless we have a big game when the Kent/London border moves to Roseacre Road. Have been banned by the club on occasion.

kscKent Senior Cup – Victorious in 1985 v Dover, 2000 v Folkestone, and 2009 v Whitstable. Losing to Maidstone at Priestfield the day they got promoted. £12 entry – you’re having a laugh!

Knocking shop – No. 65; During latter Conference days Yeovil fans searching web for PVR discovered there was a flat of ill repute above Squiffy’s, workplace of ‘Joanne’. Accessed via the rear, fire escape-style stairs, it prompted plenty of entertainment on the road end terrace during breaks in play as unsuspecting punters arrived/departed.

Kings Lynn – Not the most hospitable place that I have ever been to see Welling play but fondly remembered for a penalty taken by the late Stuart White which, if you look up late at night, you can probably still see travelling through space!


Andy Legg – Former chairman of the supporters’ association turned referee. Known as Dr Skids by all at Bexleyheath Cricket Club. Was over-eager in responding to the plea over the tannoy for a qualified official in the crowd at Dartford’s Watling Street ground. Fell down the stairs of the stand in his haste, knocking himself out in the process. Concussion meant he remembered none of the evening’s events. But we did…

Lennie Lawrence – The Hobbins’ other friend in football.

orientLeyton Orient – 1-0 up through Les Berry’s early bundled effort the Wings defended stoutly until the last 10 minutes when Terry ‘sacked at half time’ Howard and Mark Cooper scored. Kevin Hales also featured for the home side in a match refereed by Graham Poll.

Loans – Synonymous with donations. The ’42’ which turned out to be 41/39/whatever who raised 60k in a week to save the club from the taxman.

London Senior/Challenge Cup – Remembered mainly for a 12-0 win against Southall back in the day. We’ve won the Senior Cup on two occasions in 1989/90 and 2018/19. The Challenge Cup was won in 1991/92 when we beat Dulwich in the final at Hayes Lane, which saw crowd trouble on the pitch after the game.


standMain Stand – That creaking, rusty and wooden structure that somehow is still standing after many years of rain, wind and clearances (see H). Despite being tarted up in the early 2010s, it is still the quintessential non-league football stand with pillars blocking the view, wooden seats and grumpy occupants who come to life when an opposition player lunges in on a Wings man in front of them.

Malcolm – Another famous fan who is still with us and still gives his encouragement week in week out from the cricket ground side. A real fixture at PVR and absolutely loves his football and will talk to anyone and everyone about all things Welling. WIE salutes you sir!

Maurice Munden – Goalkeeper who did the rounds of Kent/SE London clubs; Exceptionally easy to wind up, he even ended up on the terracing at half-time in a pre-season friendly at Folkestone to confront one fan who’d been baiting him. Made one appearance for the mighty Wings, away at Gateshead – take that, Mo!

mudMud – Synonymous with the PVR pitch in the early days until the club spent serious money on drainage and employed Paul Gillard and Kevin James as groundsmen. Tony Pamphlett couldn’t help himself but to throw some of it at Wings fans when playing for Dartford at PVR. Well, his team were on their way to a 2-0 defeat.


Nuneaton – Booted out of Conference in 1987 on a technicality (not having enough seats), they were in financial disarray and earned us the first of our relegation reprieves.


On a Wing and a Prayer – Short-lived (though not as short as Flying High!) fanzine during the FA Cup glory years.

Open-air toilets – Lovely, not. Derided by home and away fans alike though they offered one (dis)advantage if you positioned yourself well – you could watch the game through a gap in the wall.

From the archives – WIE 13

WIE 13WIE 13 came out in March 1995 and was a 24-page issue. My editorial reflected on the team’s recent form, which had included a 5-1 home defeat to Bath City (with our keeper Andy Hopping playing with a cracked shoulder-blade), a 3-0 defeat away at Ilkeston Town in the FA Trophy, and a 4-1 win over Dagenham and Redbridge. Unsurprisingly I was a little unhappy with Terry Robbins’ efforts as manager.

Below we have reproduced the article from an unnamed contributor – but, being honest, it’s probably Tim – which recounts how the club got it’s, er, beloved nickname of The Wings. And we also bring you a scan of a “competition” we ran; for that read “we were just being clever”. But it made us smile.

Another unnamed correspondent recounted their experience of going to the 4-3 away defeat at Kettering and the aforementioned defeat at Ilkeston, which occurred over a joyous three-day period. To lighten the mood, White Socks provided a short multiple choice that would have helped you see things from the manager’s perspective while Tim decided it was “time to give the old WIE treatment to Dartford FC”. Isn’t it always time?!

We then had an account of the joys of watching Premier League football with another unnamed correspondent’s tale of going to Wimbledon v Leeds United. And what a wonderful time they had watching a high quality 0-0 draw. Or something. Tim then shared the joys of watching the Wings reserves play against Gillingham’s stiffs in the Capital League at Priestfield in front of a fervent crowd of around 150. And, sadly, I think I remember going with him. Anyway, we taught the Gills a footballing lesson, of course, as we returned with an 8-1 defeat.

Terry’s article entitled “Beware of the Strange Breed” provided some handy tips for spotting and avoiding groundhoppers. He was so knowledgeable he could well have been one himself…

The issue came to its conclusion with a German subscriber’s report of his first visit to PVR for the 2-1 win against Yeovil and Terry expanded on the possibility for including a celebrity in the team following Gillingham’s experiment where they brought in Wolf from Gladiators in their reserve team. Unfortunately he didn’t feature in our earlier debacle. Readers’ letters and our end of season questionnaire rounded things off.

What’s in a name?

“Come on you Wings” comes the cry from the motley band standing behind the goal, in a futile attempt to inspire their heroes to venture as far as the opposition half. The Wings??? What sort of a nickname is that? After an extensive investigation by your WIE staff, the truth behind the name can now be revealed.

Like many things that are crap and inappropriate, Welling’s nickname was designed by a committee. In this case it was the (now defunct) Welling United Supporters Association that did the work, who, being appalled by the paucity of imagination shown up to that time (we were called “Reds” or “United” in the non-league handbooks of the early 1980s) set out to put matters right.

Now, choosing a shiny new nickname is not as easy as it may seem. Particularly in a place with as much excitement, history and character as Welling. For, let’s face it, Welling hasn’t got an awful lot going for it, has it? It was formerly a heath through which ran the London to Dover road, but nowadays there is no more heath, just lots and lots of houses. And some pubs. And romantic Welling Corner. With that cannon. And some traffic lights. And that fortified bookshop. And that’s about it.

Still, our intrepid committee were more than prepared to devote several hours to the problem, and before long a healthy shortlist had been prepared. So how do you feel about these then? “The Parksiders”. Yep, our ground is next to a park. Well spotted. Next please. “The Parkviewers”. Yep, we play at Park View Road. Not quite as imaginative as “Parksiders”, but good, solid, functional. If not utterly dull. “The Highwaymen”. Ah, a clever one. Alluding back to Welling’s sordid and mysterious past when villains of the night plied their trade on Shooters Hill. Which is quite near Welling. “The Bubonic Plaguers”. A somewhat facetious repost to the “Highwaymen” referring to the fact that there is a large plague pit under Blackheath, which is also quite near Welling. “The Reds”. One to win the conservative vote. It had served us well in the past, so why bother to change it? “United”. But surely that’s our name, isn’t it? “The Wellies”. Ah, a personal favourite. A big boot could have been incorporated into a new club badge, as a counterbalance to the subtle skills displayed by our players on the field of play. If only.

None of the above were deemed acceptable, so after a quick foray through the animal kingdom, where it was discovered that most of the good ones had already been claimed – Lions, Tigers, Foxes, and, erm, Fish and Ducks (but not Aardvarks) – the committee was on the verge of admitting defeat.

Cometh the hour, cometh the man. “I’ve noticed that if you take the E and the two Ls out of Welling”, said the man with the dodgy perm, “you get left with WING. We could call ourselves the Wings. Then we could take the Kent horse, put some Wings on it, and we’ve got ourselves a club emblem.”

“But that’s utterly shit” exclaimed the rest of the committee.

“Got any better ideas?” retorted he of the perm (who later became a Jehovah’s Witness).

But they didn’t, and so Welling became “The Wings”, and have subjected to crap newspaper headlines, “WINGS FLYING HIGH”, “WINGS FALL OFF” ever since.

Mysteriously none of the rest of the Conference have adopted our exciting alphabetical method of choosing a nickname. But if they had, how much more peaceful would our Boxing Day games be against the Doves of Dover? And could the Elves of Telford sustain their fine reputation as a bunch of northern cloggers?

There would also be two “Kings” of the Conference, a name surely most appropriate for the humble and modest Woking and, again, unsuitable for Kettering who can never reach beyond second in line to the throne. As for Yeovil, they would be just plain Evil. Which somehow sort of fits.

“The Truth”

WIE 13 a

From the archives – The Wingsaurus (Part 3)

Time flies, so we bring you Part 3 of the Wingsaurus with the entries for F to H originally published in WIE 40 and WIE 41 back in 2013. Remember, it’s our intention to include a significant update in our first issue back as and when the football resumes and we’re able to attend games again at PVR. So, please send your contributions to us at (or via the Contact page on our website).


Fanzines – Of course you have one in your hands; well, virtually, kind of. ‘On a Wing and a Prayer’ was a predecessor to WIE as was Flying High.

Steve Finnan – “You should see what he can do in training” Graham Hobbins used to finnansay. Was sold to be part of Barry Fry’s 50-man squad at Birmingham. He promptly went on holiday, got alcohol poisoning and missed pre-season. Dropped down to Notts County where he shone as a right back. Joined Keegan’s Fulham revolution. All set to move to Man City but last-minute interest from Liverpool saw him trade Craven Cottage for Anfield. Picked up a Champions League winner’s medal in 2005 despite being subbed at half time with the Scousers 3-0 down.

Fisher Athletic – Were one of Welling’s biggest rivals in the eighties. A trip to Salters Lane was always taken with a degree of trepidation due to the locals you would encounter at the ground, and also making your way to, and home from the ground. It was wise to keep one eye on the game and another on the lookout for things like bottles and other objects falling from the sky. They were just as bad on the pitch with probably some of the hardest (and that’s putting it politely) players that the Wings played against; Dave Mehmet, Barry Little, Paul Collins and the Shinners brothers. When the Shinners brothers ran out on to the pitch birds fell silent and people in nearby houses drew their curtains.

Five hundred and one – Bingo! Everyone’s a winner when playing guess the PVR crowd…

floodlight(Fallen) Floodlights – Mini tornado blew one over and the rest were condemned. Itmeant early kick-offs and one win and three defeats from four ‘home’ games at Ponces Park/Stonebridge Road which effectively cost us play-off place.

Flying High – Some of you may remember this as the fore runner to WIE. Anyway I think we all realised that, although it was our first delve into the fanzine world, some of the content was probably a bit near the mark and might have upset a few people. Anyway when the owner calls you at home on a Sunday night threatening all sorts it is safe to say that there wouldn’t be any more issues!!

fordAndy Ford – Worked wonders at Gravesend and Northfleet before a rather harsh sacking; Brief stint as assistant to Westley at Stevenage; Appointed as Neil Smith’s successor; brought Phil Handford back to save the club from relegation. Predictably quit over lack of budget and made to look rather silly when Jamie Day took largely the same squad from the lower reaches to the fringes of the play-offs inside six months.

Barry Fry – Has taken more than of his fair share of Wings players over the years. Abbo, Finnan, Barnes, Hanlon, Braham-Barrett. Was the star turn at club’s Sportsman’s evening when he stood on chair, whacked his head on the low ceiling before turning the air blue for 90 minutes.


Ghost goal – Ah, yes. This was the glorious occasion of, having missed him scoring the winner against Cheltenham, the News Shopper wheeled Sam Appiah back out on to the PVR pitch long after the final whistle for a photo of him ‘scoring’ the winning goal. Priceless.

Gillingham – Only league club to succumb to the mighty Wings. 0-0 draw at Priestfield followed by 1-0 victory courtesy of Mark Hone’s header in front of the club’s largest home crowd of 4,020.

Gumbi – Every club has its famous supporters although thankfully nobody like that fool at Pompey! One of my abiding memories was of an old chap who stood down the front at the road end. He was there for years and had no teeth so hence was twatchristened “Gumbi”  One time the ball went out of play behind the goal and was booted back on to the pitch – unfortunately it hit our old friend on the back of the head and he toppled over like a parrot falling off his perch! I heard a story he had emigrated with family or perhaps he just became too old to attend PVR any longer. RIP “Gumbi” – gone but not forgotten.

Guy Earl of Warwick – The pub right next door to PVR. Has had more landlords than we’ve had hot dinners. Also a source of tension between club and fans over the years with club believing that fans should drink in the Wings Bar however bad the beer was.


halesKevin Hales – “I’m no quitter”. Except that he was. Ran away not long after sealing our relegation from the Conference. Remembered for his reactive substitutions. Needed the fans to tell him Paul Wilkerson was available to save us from his mate, Andy Harris. Should have risen up through the leagues as a youth team coach.

Halifax – Conference champions thrashed 6-2 at PVR on the final day of the season thanks to a Mark Hynes hat-trick. No wonder we swapped him for Dazzlin’ a few months later!

Phil Handford – Barney Rubble lookalike, playmaker (i.e. set-piece taker) in the late 80s/early 90s glory years. Remembered for his free kick against Bath. Later returned to PVR as assistant to both Pennock and Ford.

Richie Hanlon – Goalscoring midfielder who made his name during 1997/98 campaign. Another to join Barry Fry, he returned on loan for the start of the ill-fated 1999/00 season when he was played wide right by the tactical master Hales but still managed to be top of the club’s scoring charts despite being recalled in December.

Hednesford – Opening game 2-1 loss at PVR. Final game at their place needing to better Forest Greens’ result or three goals better if the same result. One up through Rivs, second disallowed when offside on-loan Steve Barnes tapped in on goal line. Missed penalty, red card for Ruthers and hit bar. Kettering subbed their keeper, Forest Green scored twice late on and we were relegated. Quiet afternoon really.

HMRC – Is paying them compulsory?

hobbinsHobbins – Without Syd, Graham, Barrie, Barry and Pam there would be no Welling United. They created the ultimate family-owned club even living at PVR during the club’s early tenure of the ground. Graham’s untimely death was a shock and things were a struggle off the pitch until they sold up to Mark Goldberg. Brothers Barrie and Graham were cruelly depicted as Laurel and Hardy in early editions of WIE. Good job we’ve grown out of that.

Hoof – Which has been the standard defensive tactic for all Welling defenders since the late 1980s. Particular specialists include Paul Copley, Wayne Brown, Russell Edwards and Anthony Acheampong. And we love them all.

Andy Hopping – Goalkeeper who started the home match with Bath in January 1995 with a broken collarbone. At 4-0 down within half an hour he was subbed. Nice one, Kev…

Duncan Horton – Made his name passing the ball back to Paul Barron before leaving hortonfor Uncle Barry’s Barnet, then Wycombe Wanderers before returning to PVR for a second stint. Hard as nails defender, best remembered at WIE Towers for kicking Clive Walker six foot in the air and taking his booking. Walker didn’t go near the ball for the rest of the game.