Memory Match – 05-05-07

Throughout the 2016/17 football season I will be contributing to the Wrexham AFC matchday programme. I will be penning a feature called Memory Match, a look back at classic Wrexham games from the past that I will share in this blog over the coming months.


Wrexham v Boston United

Coca-Cola Football League Two

Racecourse Ground

Result: 3-1

Wrexham: Williams, Spender, Williams, Pejic, Evans, Jones, Llewellyn, Roberts (McEvilly), Proctor, Done

Goalscorers: Valentine 56 (pen), Llewellyn 87, Proctor 90

Boston United: Marriott, Stevens, Clarke, Greaves, Ellender, Cryan, Farrell, Cooksey, Broughton, Green, Galbraith (Maylett)

Goalscorer: Green 39

Attendance: 12,374


A dramatic fight against relegation to the non-League doldrums was not on the radar of even the most pessimistic Wrexham fan as we started the season without defeat in the opening seven matches, including an impressive 1-4 win against Championship-side Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough in the first round of the League Cup.

However, a trip to the Crown Ground to take on Accrington Stanley ended in a crushing 5-0 defeat and all confidence went out of the window. The rot quickly set-in and we slumped from play-off contenders at the beginning of September to relegation strugglers by October 21, when Mansfield Town beat us 3-0 at Field Mill to leave us in 20th position.

Denis Smith just could not turn things around and following our FA Cup third round defeat at Derby County (3-1) he lost his job. Surprisingly, Brian Carey was handed the role of caretaker manager and tried in vein to inspire his new charges. Indeed, Carey did not record his first managerial win until his tenth match at the helm – a 1-2 win at Barnet’s Underhill in March.

This result didn’t give us the impetus we needed though and with just five games remaining we needed a minor miracle to avoid the drop. Cue three straight wins – Lincoln City (0-3), Torquay United (1-0) and Shrewsbury Town (0-1) – before a 1-0 defeat at eventual champions Walsall in our penultimate match set-up a winner-takes-all clash against Boston United at the Racecourse. A point was all we needed to reach safety while the Pilgrims needed a win.

A staggering 12,374 fans – the biggest Racecourse attendance for 27 years – gathered to watch Wrexham try to preserve their unbroken 86-year stay in the Football League. It was a tense afternoon that started with an appalling opening period with the only action of note coming when Francis Green ran on to a Mark Greaves pass, held-off Shaun Pejic and fired home a low shot that beat Anthony Williams between the sticks. We were staring relegation in the face.

Carey said the occasion had affected his team, who were “absolutely dreadful” in the first 45 minutes of a game he called “the biggest in the club’s history”. Thankfully, Carey delivered a spectacular half-time team-talk that worked wonders. Neil Roberts remembers it as the “hairdryer treatment”.

It took just 11 minutes for the boys to get on level terms when Danny Williams was pushed over by Boston’s Drewe Broughton who was actually on-loan from Chester. Chirk-born Ryan Valentine converted the subsequent spot-kick past ex-Wrexham goalkeeper Andy Marriott.

Paul Ellender went close for Boston, but the Reds finally settled their nerves in the 87th minute when Chris Llewellyn played a clever one-two with Mark Jones before cutting inside and letting fly with an unstoppable left-footed drive. The celebrations were complete in injury time when Llewellyn produced a back-heeled cross for Michael Proctor to head home in front of a delirious Kop.

Police and stewards stood no chance of stopping home supporters rushing onto the pitch at the final whistle. The mood had transformed from gloom to jubilation in just 45 minutes.

Wrexham finished 19th in the table, a comfortable four places above the last relegation spot with 51 points, five clear of Boston.


The Pilgrims’ directors, knowing relegation was all but certain in the closing stages of the match, swiftly entered the club into a Company Voluntary Arrangement [CVA] before the game had ended.

The financial rescue package is similar to administration and safeguarded the club’s immediate future despite being deducted ten points and suffering a double demotion by League chiefs.


The Sun’s #Lineker attack speaks volumes about… #Corbyn


gl1This is Gary Lineker. Gary is a former professional footballer with a long and distinguished professional record.

Both as a player who still holds the record for the most goals scored for England in World Cup Finals (10) and as a media presenter on, among others, BBC’s Match of the Day programme, BT Sport and BBC Radio 5, he is highly regarded and inspires considerable affection among the British public. He is not afraid to think outside the box, having famously appeared clad only in boxer shorts after making a bet that his old club, Leicester City, could not maintain form and win the Premier League, which he lost.

This week, Gary threatened the Establishment’s preferred anti-immigrant, racism-promoting narrative by tweeting a message about young refugees:


As a result of his humanity, the evil emperor of the Establishment, Rupert Murdoch, set his unprincipled attack-dogs at The Sun onto Gary in…

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Government guidelines for PIP assessment: a political redefinition of the word ‘objective’

Politics and Insights


Thousands of disabled people have already lost their specialist Motability vehicles because of Conservative PIP cuts and many more are likely to be affected.

Personal Independence Payment is a non means tested benefit for people with a long-term health condition or impairment, whether physical, sensory, mental, cognitive, intellectual, or any combination of these. It is a financial support towards the extra costs that ill and disabled people face, to help them lead as full, active and independent lives as possible.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) have issued a guidance document for providers carrying out assessments for Personal Independence Payment (PIP), which was updated last month. It can be found here: PIP Assessment Guide.

The DWP Chief Medical Officer states that this is a supplementary guidance, in addition to “the contract documents agreed with providers as part of the commercial process, providing guidance for health professionals [HPs] carrying…

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Smear we go again: ‘soft-left’ journos ignore Enoch open-goal for fact-free Corbyn attack


Smear we go again.

Since Jeremy Corbyn was first elected Labour leader just over a year ago, either the right-wing media or, worse, the right-wing ‘left’ have desperately flung mud at him in the hope that something might stick.

The nature of these smears tells you everything you need to know about the motives of those behind them. Jeremy Corbyn’s impeccable record of standing up against racism, for human rights generally and of being on the right side of history on issues like the invasion of Iraq mean that a frontal assault on his policies and ethics is doomed to failure.

He’s still, as far as I know, the only serving MP ever to be arrested for an act of protest, for demonstrating outside the South African embassy in 1984, long before anti-apartheid views were mainstream:


The smear tactic

So the tactic of his opponents is one of ‘smear by association’…

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Memory Match – 15-09-34

Throughout the 2016/17 football season I will be contributing to the Wrexham AFC matchday programme. I will be penning a feature called Memory Match, a look back at classic Wrexham games from the past that I will share in this blog over the coming months.


Lincoln City v Wrexham

League Division Three (Northern Section)

Sincil Bank

Result: 1-3

Lincoln City: McPhail, Buckley, Reddish, Horne, Gray, Whyte, Campbell, Iverson, Reed, Robinson, Wilkinson

Goalscorer: Horne (pen)

Wrexham: Adams, Jones, Hamilton, Bulling, McMahon, Lawrence, Bryant, Frewin, Bamford, Snow, Waller

Goalscorers: Snow, Bryant (2)

Attendance: 7,490

After showing excellent form over the last couple of seasons, hopes were high that Wrexham could make the break through and win promotion to the second tier for the first time in our history.

Season 1934-35 had started well after we remained unbeaten in our opening five games before our trip to Sincil Bank to take on a newly-relegated Lincoln City side. In fact, our previous visit to Lincolnshire in April 1932 ended in a 0-0 draw – a point that secured promotion to the Second Division for the Imps under the tutorship of Harry Parkes.

City had their eye on a quick return to the second level. They were no doubt encouraged after winning their opening four games, only to lose their fifth match at Prenton Park against Tranmere Rovers (2-1). Would they be able to get back on track as they hosted the ‘Blues’ from north Wales?

The match was played in gruelling September sunshine, which resulted in a rock hard playing surface and a bouncing ball that made conditions tricky. It was Lincoln who started brightly with Bob Iverson collecting a ball from the left, only to shoot weakly and allow Ted Adams to clear the danger. With the visitors struggling to adapt to the conditions, Tommy Robinson set-up Jack Wilkinson to shoot from eight yards, but fortunately his effort was blocked by Alf Jones and went wide for a wasted corner.

These opening exchanges were not an indication of how the afternoon would pan out though. Far from it. Wrexham sorted themselves out and actually took the lead after only seven minutes. George Snow chased a ball down the left and pushed it past Jack Buckley. Lincoln goalkeeper Dan McPhail and Snow raced for the loose ball. McPhail proved victorious but proceeded to kick the ball against the on-rushing forward who found himself able to walk the ball into an empty net.

Wrexham were unfortunate not to increase their lead before the break. Harry Waller, William Bryant and George Frewin all went close, but Lincoln almost equalised when Charlie Reed crashed the ball against the underside of the bar.

At the start of the second half, Johnny Campbell threatened to restore parity on a couple of occasions before Tommy Bamford escaped the clutches of Alf Gray to force a spectacular full-length save from McPhail. Our sense of frustration soon increased when Horne converted a controversial Lincoln penalty, awarded after a linesman adjudged Jimmy Hamilton to have handled the ball. This was the first goal that we had conceded on our travels that season.

Our sense of injustice was quelled late in the afternoon when Bryant grabbed a brace. The first followed a mazy run by Frewin that presented Bryant with a simple tap-in while his second was a header from a Waller corner to extend our unbeaten start.


However, the third position that we attained after beating Lincoln was the highest position we managed all season and signalled a downward spiral.  We were held to a 2-2 draw at home against league leaders Tranmere Rovers in our next match before losing three on the trot – Chester (6-2), Halifax Town (3-2) and Rotherham United (0-1).

We then lost Tommy Bamford and William Bryant to Manchester United in October. This was a double whammy that would hurt most clubs, so it was almost with a sense of surprise that we then went seven matches without defeat – including four wins.

Our inconsistent season continued with five straight defeats and our patchy form finally saw us finishing the season in a disappointing mid-table position (11th).  A season that had promised much, ultimately delivered little.

Meanwhile, Lincoln City finished the season in fourth position.

Two new centres for independent living are a step closer

Is excited to be involved with the creation of a Centre for Independent Living for north Wales with FDF.


Two new groups have been selected to run centres for independent living. The selection was made by Disability Wales and their project partners, The Wales Co-operative Centre, and the Dewis Centre for Independent Living. The centres will be located in Ceredigion and Flintshire. ‘The FDF’ will operate the site in the North, and a combination of Disabled People Together, Mencap Ceredigion, and Creative Lifestyle Solutions will run the centre in Ceredigion. Taken on Monday 26th September 2016, the decision will support the Welsh Government’s Framework for Action on Independent Living, and the centres will increase access to independent living.

The successful groups will now receive more intensive and bespoke training from the Wales Co-operative with Dewis Centre for Independent Living also supporting them. The focus will be on equipping them with the business planning skills to turn their idea from an early stage concept into a reality. They will be sorting out the detail of their plans, and setting up the centres.

Rhian Davies, Director of Disability Wales, said:

“We are delighted that following an eighteen month long programme of training, development and coaching working with 65 disabled people across Wales, we have achieved our goal in being able to select two emerging Centres for Independent Living and support their development over the remainder of the Enabling Wales project. CILs are social enterprises that deliver services run by disabled people for disabled people and offer a new and creative model of provision in line with what people actually need to achieve independent living and well-being as well as maximise scarce resources.

The Ceredigion centre will focus on providing information and advice. Its services will be based at ‘Y Hwb’ and be provided directly by ‘Y Hwb’ or its three key partners, Mencap, CLS, and DPT. At the site there will be training and workshops; disability equality training; self-advocacy; signposting and referrals; a disability forum; a one stop shop; satellite services; a weekly drop-in for parents and carers; a ladies’ club; a men’s club; and a young person’s club; Help Llaw; social events; members’ discos; gateway clubs; support brokerage; social enterprise development; allotment space; lifetime advocacy networks; support on hate and mate crime; campaigning; lobbying; and fundraising.

Rhiannon Hicks, Project Officer for Enabling Wales at Disability Wales, said:

The Ceredigion Group were successful as they showed a strong understanding of organisations led by disabled people for disabled people. They also have a strong commitment to the social model of disability, as well as good partnerships with relevant third sector bodies.”

The Flintshire centre will provide: equipment hire; help with managing personal budgets; empowering and campaigning; transport; recruitment and training of personal assistants; befriending; social groups; respite for carers; Buzz, an 18 – 30s group; blue badges; technology; and assistance completing application forms.

Of “The FDF”, Rhiannon Hicks added:

The FDF were successful as they have a strong track record of project delivery, and of securing funding. They also have strong partnerships. I very much look forward to working with both groups in the next stage of the project.

Carl Sargeant AM, the Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Children at the Welsh Government said:

Congratulations to the two groups who were successful with their proposals to establish Centres for Independent Living. This is the culmination of the Enabling Wales project which has been funded over the last 3 years by our Equality and Inclusion Grant. I am sure that, with the support of the Wales Cooperative Centre and Dewis CIL, they will develop and grow into sustainable enterprises which will promote independent living for disabled people and provide them with the services they need to support their well-being.” 

As the successful groups become centres for independent living, they will be able to support other groups on their path to become CILs. While these centres are being set up, Disability Wales will produce a toolkit for the process, and eventually, the hope is to see a centre for independent living in each of Wales’s counties.

The two new centres will open in March 2017.

The runner up in the process will continue to receive support through the project ‘Enabling Wales’. Disability Wales is spearheading ‘Enabling Wales’ with its partners Dewis Centre for Independent Living and the Wales Co-operative Centre. It seeks to promote independent living throughout Wales via development, training, coaching and consultancy. The selection of two new centres for independent living is the final stage of the Enabling Wales project, which has been funded by the Welsh Government.

The Social Model of Disability asserts that social barriers are the main causes of disabled people’s problems, rather than their impairments. Those barriers include people’s attitudes to disability, as well as physical and organisational barriers.

DPAC’s Response to the ending repeat assessments for severe, lifelong conditions


This morning Work and Pensions Secretary Damien Green announced that disabled people with permanent or progressive conditions would no longer have to go through repeat assessments.

We need to see the detail before we can welcome this, and we know that DWP are masters of manipulating the detail of complex social security policy to disguise some of their worst misdeeds, so we will be scrutinising very closely when formal announcements are made.

Already people are starting to ask some awkward questions about this announcement. Does it cover PIP as well as WCA? What conditions are covered? Will the atrocious practice of frequent reassessments of people in mental distress continue, which can only be seen as deliberate harassment which can only lead to a worsening in people’s mental health?

But for the people who now will be spared reassessment and uncertainty, of course it will be a huge relief. Potentially it could save tens of thousands of disabled people a lot of stress, fear and uncertainty about their financial security. Plus the announcement contains a public admission by Green that the WCA process is stressful and harmful to claimants.

But we can’t help but wonder how it took the geniuses at the DWP eight sodding years, since the WCA was introduced by Labour, to work out there is no point in reassessing people who cannot get better.

Actually we think that this has more to do with reports from earlier this year that assessments of disabled people are costing more than they save and a need to reduce costs, than any sense of humanity from a DWP that we know and loathe.

When making his announcement Damien Green said “I believe in a welfare state where you have got to be hard-headed, but you shouldn’t be hard-hearted.”.

Perhaps if Green didn’t want to be seen as hard hearted, he shouldn’t have voted in favour of Universal Credit, the Bedroom Tax, the Benefit Cap, limiting the annual rise in benefit payments to 1%, the ESA Wrag £30/week cut, and the closure of the Independent Living Fund (and those are just a few examples of his dark hearted voting record.)

This is of course just pre-conference spin to try to improve the Tories toxic reputation on their shabby treatment of disabled people.

If May and Green want disabled people to see them as anything other than dark hearted thugs in posh clothes, they will have to start by reversing a string of atrocities enacted on disabled people by a government in which both May and Green were cabinet ministers.

But what Green’s announcement does show is that the fightback against the atrocities of austerity is starting to work. The Tories have realised that they now have gained a terrible reputation as persecutors of disabled people and their worst fear of widespread public revulsion of this is actually beginning to happen.

Also this conference season we’ve seen both Labour pledge to scrap WCA and “Punitive Sanctions” (a welcome step in the right direction) and the Liberal Democrats to scrap WCA and more. If you can believe any pledge the LibDems make any more after tuition fees and their enabling of the Tory led Coalition that caused disabled people so much harm.

And from Labour, again we need to see more detail, we need the emphasis to shift from the mantra of getting disabled people into work to a recognition that policy for disabled people must be about full inclusion in all aspects of society not just employment. And a recognition that many disabled people can’t work. And we want from Labour an apology for bringing in the WCA in the first place and a full admission recognising the harm that they have caused.

But at least these policy shifts are sign that all the major parties are beginning to take disabled people’s rights more seriously at long last, but both Labour and the Lib Dems have a long way to go and the Tories have the breadth of continents to travel before DPAC will be able to state that any of the major parties policies are adequate for disabled people.

So while we can take a little time off to celebrate a small victory, now is the time to pile on the pressure.

We call on all of our members, supporters and allies to fight even harder.

Lets force more concessions from May and Green, now that they are realising they are vulnerable to our fightback, and that we can toxify the Tory brand so thoroughly that they will be remembered for ever as the Party that made disabled people’s lives a living hell.

If you can get to Birmingham to oppose the Tory conference – here are the protests that DPAC will be running or tanking part in. Join us there.

But just as importantly, if you can’t get to Brum here are the online activities we have prepared to toxify the Tory Conference online.