Month: August 2015

It’s all the referee’s fault…

ref3In order not to let music related posts dominate entirely, it’s time for a sports related post. A year or two back I was going to do an article on the abuse of referees for a certain football magazine. I never got round to it, but what I did do was compile a number of postings about referees from two message boards. One a now-defunct board for a local amateur league. In the main, these are posts from players who are unhappy with the referees the league allocated them. I also copied some similar postings from the message board of a certain northern football league team (not my beloved Bradford City, although no doubt some of the postings could have been from any similar club).These are posts from spectators.

They all deserve to be shared. I’ve left many of the spelling & grammatical mistakes as they were. The names of teams, posters & referees have all been changed to protect the innocent, and the not-so-innocent. I’ll leave the reader to make his or her own mind up about whether each comment says more about the person posting, the society we live in, or the referee himself.


 TOMMY: Something seriously needs to be done about the standard of refs in this league.
Yesterday was quite a day for a certain person.
*Fails to send a lad off for a knee high, 2 footed challenge
*Fails to give a a pen when our lad was clearly taken out with no connection with the ball.
*Gives a pen against us when our centre half clearly won the ball and forward fell over him.
Gives another pen against us when our keeper had ball and was running up to kick it out of his hands, their forward runs in front of keeper, gets knocked over- PEN!
*Sends our keeper off after Ref says ‘Your all acting like K**bs!’ to which keeper replied ‘there’s only one here!’
I’m not really one to go on abut refs on here but when 1 cost’s you a game like that nutter we had yesterday did, it gets very frustrating! never mind, he’s £32 richer and no ban or punishment for him!

ALBERT: What a shambolic performance! It’s an insult to the players for the league to send a referee of that standard for a top flight game! I genuinely can say that is one of if not the worst performances I have ever seen! Never up with play, guessing on decisions, then completely baffling both sides with his decisions! 3 players should have walked that game, 2 for Anytown FC, Lad from goonies for the worst ‘tackle’ ever .im sorry but for the ref to say ‘your all acting like a bunch of idiots is unacceptable but due to the shortage of refs he will get away scott free! Respect? Laughable concept! County made £76 quid by my reckoning yesterday!

STRIKER: Yesterday we had Mr.X who is a complete tool! He talks to people like s**t and throws cards at you if you simply talk to him. United FC are supposed to be reporting him and although we won i would back them in that complaint cos he is that bad. He’s reffed us 4 times in last 2 seasons and has been awful in all of them. I agree that the standard of refereeing has fallen dramatically this season.

PJ: We had a genuinely blind person refereeing what was in important relegation dog fight. A Mr X was the man and whilst we’ve had some bad ones he was indescribably bad. Both sides wanted the game playing like men and this guy was determined to spoil it. I would bet that through his glasses he couldn’t make out a car reg plate at 30 yards. Both sets of players looked on in amazement and he really can’t enjoy it. I should know better than calling him a XXXXing disgrace whilst shaking his hand and we won the game.

NAUGHTY BOY: Im currently serving a 3 game ban thanks to Mr X. He sent me off for a tackle which i will admit was poor and i was expecting to walk. The way he went about sending me off was nothing short of shocking after the melee that it had caused had simmered he pulled the red card out and went “BYE BYE” the guys lucky i didnt make him bypass his retirment home and put him 6ft under. We all no that been a referee is a hard job but im sorry that guy is not oogd enough to be doing district reserve football.

 ALBERT: I know I am harping on about this respect thing but to turn round and say ‘you are acting like a bunch of xxxx and think that is acceptable, then sending someone off for replying ‘there is only one here’ is downright farcical but the XXXXXX doesnt even have to state what the player said in his report as all he has to do is tick the box that says dissent! It is fair to say a complaint will be going in about him as he openly admitted saying it after the game to both our manager and our chairman who was not happy!

MAC: Same old story. Top top quality players complaining that they don’t have refs that are anywhere up to their own immensely high standards. Without those rubbishy refs you have no league to play in.
It’s same in virtually every league of this standard (& below) across the country – prima donnas complaining about refs. They are no worse in our league than those in other leagues.
Simple solution to the prima donnas – If you want better refs go and play in a higher standard of league.

DONALD: non of us deliberatly make mistakes we give what we see,you see it from a different angle to us usually,offsides are undoubtedly the hardest to give … and yes we snap and might say something we may regret later on. most of you accept the banter we have but when things arn’t going your way we are an easy target with no re-course but we get abused week in week out mostly because you don’t get the decision you think you should get.

ERIC: I ref the majority of our juniors home games and the abuse that you have to put up with from parents is unbelievable – you cannot see every thing and you can only make a decision if you think that you are 100% correct. We are not world beaters as players or managers – we are involved because we love the game – we make as many mistakes in the 90 mins as the referee’s if not more than them. I fully understand why young lads wont ref – it’s because we live in an age where everyone is an expert and no one accepts that maybe it was their fault they lost a game – we have a lot to learn from Rugby in terms of respecting officials more.

TONY: After several decisions against us in quick succession Richie shouted at the ref ‘Come on Ref we haven’t all come to watch you you know!’ The ref’s instant reply ‘Well no buggers come to watch you have they?’ He was right, 3 spectators (1 of theirs 2 of ours) at the game!


Personally I think it’s diabolical. The goalkeepers ALWAYS get decisions, like the one the other day agaisnt us, unbelievable. And they always fall for the diving twohats, as well as the classic Big Man v Little Man 3 good refs a season if your lucky in the Fizzy pop league. I can name you one good ref we’ve had this year, Mr X at Boro, and that’s it. Our refs are too card happy.

All the refs at the Lane this season have been a disgrace, and the ref the other night, alongside his linesmen, really need to step down from their positions.

Don’t like slating refs willy nilly but for years now it’s clear that standards, especially in our League, aren’t up to scratch. It’s a tough job particularly with the speed of the game and everything being scrutinised. I’ve noticed in more recent years that almost every week you come away slagging the officials, same when watching games on the box. They’ve always had stick but I’m sure it wasn’t as bad as today going back to the 80’s/90’s

I’m not quick to criticise referees as its a very difficult job. I certainly wouldn’t want to do it. Some decisions they make are literally stupid, and some mistakes may be laughable, but to manage a game for 90+ mins and make no mistakes is impossible. Whats worse is there are always smart alec sarcastic pundits who have every conceivable camera angle to judge your decisions by and then make fun of you. The standard of refereeing isn’t always good, sometimes it terrible, but I do have a lot of sympathy for refs.

Diabolical !! the problem with most of them is that they have never played the game. Its one thing to learn the laws of the game out of a book but it’s another to understand them properly. Very few of them can tell the difference between a bad tackle and a late tackle or a foul tackle and a dangerous tackle. Most of them love being the centre of attention and the sooner they realise that the best refs are those that you don’t notice, the better.

End of day… the ref’s have got a real tough job however, the linesman haven’t and some of their decisions are an absolute joke. The majority of ‘really bad’ decisions are the linesman’s fault. Top refs let the game flow well but even XXXX has had a number of shockers in his time.

Don’t blame it all on the refs. They don’t go into a game with the intentions of cheating any team it’s the cheating players and managers who do that’. What about banning players feigning injury and then getting up and running about like good un’s, and those that dive about to fool the ref. No sportsmanship in the game any more and it’s not the refs fault. Some of you lot complaining should try refereeing a game.

AND FINALLY…from Eurosport

A footballer who got red-carded four times in one match has been banned for two years. Ricky Broadley of Mountain Rangers received the cards in a Caernarfon district league cup match against Penrhyndeudraeth.The 29-year-old, who was already banned from Sunday league football, was sent off for stamping on an opponent during a brawl on the pitch. He went on to receive further red cards for first arguing with the referee, then throwing water over him, and finally confronting him angrily in the clubhouse following the match. He was also hit with a £75 fine by the North Wales Coast FA.

An amateur footballer who received six red cards in the same match has admitted his playing career is over after receiving a two-year ban. Paul Cooper, 39, got a second yellow card for dissent while playing for Hawick United against Pencaitland in the Border Amateur League. He then received another five red cards for verbal exchanges with the referee. Mr Cooper said he loved football but would now have to “find something else to do on a Saturday”.

“Unfortunately I’ve been in bother before with bans and I expected six months,” he said.

“But I was absolutely stunned when I got two years.”

RELAX…it’s only a remix

It’s probably my age, but i’m still adding to my collection of vinyl. Just last weekend I picked up an almost complete collection of Altered Images 12 inch singles, all in great condition, and I was well chuffed.

I’m still adding to my Frankie Goes To Hollywood collection. There are just a handful of discs I need but I’m going to have to work hard to find them, I won’t get them at a car boot sale, and even then a couple are well outside my price range. More about that later, but what I will say now is that ZTT records certainly made things interesting for the record collector.


7″ & 7″ picture disc

First there’s the 7” versions. There’s a few of them…the standard 7” and the picture disc 7” (did you know that if you have ‘relax’ on a compilation CD it won’t be the 7” mix, it’ll probably be the album version, which is slightly different). Then there’s the limited edition ‘last seven inches’ white label…both of them! One is a mis-pressing with ‘Ferry ‘cross the Mersey’ wrongly listed as the ‘B’ side and with A & B labels actually the wrong way round. The other is correctly pressed with ‘One September Monday’ on the reverse. Other ‘variations’ are available! I had to get a US copy of Relax with alternative chequerboard sleeve and slightly different mix to the standard UK 7” too…

American 7

American 7″ pressing

'The Last Seven Inches' x2

‘The Last Seven Inches’ x2

If you have a smashing 12” copy of the ‘sex mix’ then the chances are you don’t actually have the ‘sex mix’. I went through this is in ‘Is That The 12” Mix’. The original 16 minute sex mix was mastered at 33rpm and had the cat no ‘12 ZTAS 1’. However, upon criticism that it was too long, an edited 8 minute version was then put out…at 45rpm in the same ‘sex mix’ sleeve and with the cat. no ‘12 ZTAS 1’. This didn’t appease the critics so Trevor Horn put out a new 7 minute plus mix…again with the same sleeve and – this is actually known as the US Mix or New York Mix and is the one that sold in 90% of cases. You can tell which mix you have by looking at the matrix number in the run out grooves. 1A-4U (or 1A-5U) is the US Mix which is pretty standard. But 1A-1U is the original sex mix and A-2U / 12-IS-ZTAS-1 the 8.20 mix. All are pictured apart from the original 33rpm pressing as I still need that. There’s also a 12″ picture disc that contains the US Mix…

I hope you’re keeping up because it gets a little tricker. ZTT records then decided to confuse everybody by reissuing the 16 minute sex mix at 45rpm but with ‘original mix’ written in big letters on the inner label (there was no picture sleeve for this pressing)…and if you’ve got a German 12” and the label indicates it is the 8.20 mix then it could be the US/New York Mix (as mine does) instead as there are several pressings emanating from there too. One thing ALL the UK 12″ versions have in common is the instrumental mix of Relax (with an acapella start) on the B side along with Ferry ‘cross the Mersey.

Twelve Inches of Pleasure

Twelve Inches of Pleasure

A couple of years ago Salvo music reissued a new 12” of Relax featuring a new ‘sex mix edition 3’ – it has a purple lettering rather than the standard peachy colour. It is open to debate whether this is a ‘new’ mix or one that had remained in the ZTT archives waiting to be discovered for the best part of three decades.

There’s a cassette single too….containing the ‘greatest bits’. This is a type of megamix which incorporates the best of all the Relax mixes. This ,along with every other mix has appeared on one of the many recent CD releases that Salvo music have put out since acquiring the rights to the ZTT back catalogue.



I might add that I always have a budget. I never spend more than £10 (including postage!) for a record, which is why the single sided ‘Warp mix’ of Relax is out of reach as it tends to go for upwards of £50. As it’s virtually the same as the ‘last seven inches’ version I won’t lose any sleep over that. There’s also a ‘Greek Disco Mix’, released only in Greece which is a cut and paste mix using bits of the 16 minute mix and 7” mix – this too goes for a fortune. The other I still need is the original sex mix pressing at 33rpm (mentioned above) ..not that rare a pressing but all of them advertised on discogs are actually the 45rpm version. Remember the key is that matrix number etched into the run-off this case it has to be 1 A-1U.. I’ll have it if you have it for sale please.

ZTT decided not to confuse all of us who liked Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s Relax 1984 follow-up TWO TRIBES. They didn’t need to replace any mixes in order to get the song noticed, simply because FGTH HAD been noticed by now – but they did issue their second consecutive number one in a large number of formats in the UK.

Two tribes 7

Two tribes 7″ & 7″ picture disc

There’s the standard 7” version, although amazingly that original mix (‘cowboys & indians’) is virtually unobtainable on CD. The 7” picture disc is a slightly different mix (‘we don’t want to die’) as is the American pressing (which I don’t actually have) which is the same as the album version (‘for the victims of ravishment’)

The 12” mixes are easily recognisable. The standard 12” with Lenin on the cover is the ‘annihilation mix’. The second, released a few weeks later, is the ‘carnage mix’. Both have an extra track, War , on the B side as well as an alternative version of Two Tribes (‘surrender’).. A third twelve inch version featured the ‘carnage’ mix on the B side with a remix of War (‘hidden’ mix) on the A side instead. War was not available on the 7” versions despite being classed as the double-A side in the UK.


‘annihilation’ 12″

'carnage' 12

‘carnage’ 12″

A fourth UK 12” was the picture disc, which had the same tracks as the third release before a final fifth disc -featuring the ‘Hibakusha’ mix of Two tribes, with War back on the B side . There was no picture sleeve for this one and for many years was considered a ‘rare’ disc.

I do have a sixth 12” disc – a rare promo copy that features the ‘carnage mix’ on side A and the (correctly-titled) US mix of Relax on the reverse.

'War (hidden)' & picture disc 12

‘War (hidden)’ & picture disc 12″ singles

'hibakusha' & 'carnage promo' 12

‘hibakusha’ & ‘carnage promo’ 12″ singles

The cassette single of Two Tribes is similar in format to that of ‘Relax’, pasting together bits of various mixes of the track.

I will keep collecting Frankie Goes to Hollywood releases. Unfortunately there are others 80s acts i’ll also keep collecting. Needless to say, I have an understanding partner & younger brother who is just as insane…his blog is at