Dripping Yarns with David Arnold

THIS Saturday’s home game against Concord Rangers offers a great opportunity to grab yourself some ideal Christmas gifts, all themed to the Mighty Rooks, of course.

Dripping Pan shop manager, Barry Haffinden will be pleased to show you his extensive collection of club regalia and all kinds of associated items.

New stuff includes very fetching woolly hats, caps and Lewes FC scarves, all of which sell for just £11 each. I also think it is well worth splashing out £9 to acquire the wonderfully well-named ‘Rook Sack’ – the perfect place to stash your giant bucket-sized Lewes mug (£6.50) or Polo Shirt (£19.50). Other clothing items comprise training tops (£25) while kids can acquire rain jackets and training jackets for just £15 each.

At the heart of the collection are the replica home and away shirts that cost £30 for children and £35 for adults. Should you wear your shirt for a kick-about down at the local park then what better way to grace your silky skills than to play with a red and black Puma football – yours for just £12.

Of course, there are occasions when wearing a replica shirt might not be a suitable thing to do. Even so, whatever the dress code you can still sport the Lewes FC badge with pride what with ties and cravats being available for £12 and stylish cufflinks costing just £10.

More and more fans seem to be collecting the imaginative Lewes FC match posters. I know for a fact that a lot of the posters I distribute down the Cliffe end of town are eagerly snaffled up by souvenir hunters as soon as the game in question has been played.

Anyway, Barry has quite a few examples for sale at just £2. When framed and hung on a wall these posters make superb conversation pieces and excellent football memorabilia.

Barry says he first began following the Rooks in earnest in the early days of the Jimmy Quinn era when he recalls it was very often a case of one man and his dog watching.

“Although I currently live in Seaford I was a Lewes resident for 30 years,” he said, “and when I was younger I did play for one season in the Lewes reserves but was always too prone to injury to get any farther in the game.

“The Lewes player that most impresses me this season is our captain, Steve Robinson. He’s like a machine at the back and very little gets past him.

“I do enjoy the special atmosphere at the Dripping Pan but I must confess to also being a big Spurs fan. I went to White Hart Lane last weekend when Tottenham beat Bolton 3-0.”

This is the first season that Barry has got actively involved as a volunteer with the Rooks: “I went along to the Essex United friendly in the summer and got chatting with then Lewes FC Director, Ben Ward. He told me they needed someone to run the club shop and I said I’d give it a go.

“I enjoy it and get to meet a lot of fans. I want to see the product range extended and I’m currently looking at getting club pennants, key rings, pens and maybe Lewes FC umbrellas in stock. Plus I’m very much open to ideas for other stuff, so please come and see me if you have any suggestions or perhaps would like to give a helping hand in the shop.”

I’m pleased to report that Barry has also joined the Committee of Lewes FC Supporters Club, contributing ideas and enthusiasm at our monthly meetings in the Rook Inn.

Tomorrow morning will see Barry helping man the Lewes FC display stand in the town centre precinct between 10am and 1pm before he moves on to the Dripping Pan where the shop will be open from 1.30pm to 5pm.

Please note that he cannot take payment by credit card.


Lewes paid a rewarding visit to the Met Police on Wednesday evening in a Ryman League Cup fixture. I don’t believe any arrests were made. That is, unlike on one occasion some years ago when a police side drawn from officers serving at the large Killingbeck police station played St Nicholas FC in the Leeds Floodlit League.

The police were 2-0 down by half-time and looked to be headed for defeat. Then, suddenly, one of the Killingbeck players realised why the St Nicholas No 11 seemed so familiar: he was on the Leeds police wanted list!

A phone call was made to on-duty colleagues and, within a few minutes, the opposition player in question was under arrest. It was a double blow for St Nicholas as, not only was the man their key striker, but also there was no substitute available. The police side capitalised on the situation to launch a spirited fight back that saw them eventual 6-3 winners.

League Secretary Malcolm Cuthbert was quoted in the local newspaper: “Officers from Killingbeck police station arrived at the ground just after the start of the second half and hauled the player off.

“There’s nothing in the rules to stop a police side arresting one of the opposition players if they are wanted for a crime, but I suppose it does give police teams an unfair advantage.”

Out of interest I looked up the recent form of St Nicholas FC who now play in Senior Division B of the Yorkshire Amateur League. They’ve played 11 games so far this season and haven’t picked up a single point, a sorry statistic that makes me wonder if they’re still playing with just 10 men!

PS. THE closest footballing neighbours to Concord Rangers are Canvey Island FC who also happen to play in Ryman Premier. Canvey Island is dubbed ‘the second team on the rock’ by Concord fans. Despite being just a mile or so apart, it took 17 years before the very first league meeting of the two sides took place, last February when Concord won 1-0.