Footballers’ quotes

My parents have always been there for me, ever since I was about 7. ”
David Beckham

“I would not be bothered if we lost every game as long as we won the
Mark Viduka

“Alex Ferguson is the best manager I’ve ever had at this level. Well,
he’s the only manager I’ve actually had at this level. But he’s the best
manager I’ve ever had.”
David Beckham

“If you don’t believe you can win, there is no point in getting out of
bed at the end of the day.”
Neville Southall

“I’ve had 14 bookings this season – 8 of which were my fault, but 7 of
which were disputable.”
Paul Gascoigne

“I’ve never wanted to leave. I’m here for the rest of my life, and
hopefully after that as well.”
 Alan Shearer

“I’d like to play for an Italian club, like Barcelona ”
Mark Draper

“You’ve got to believe that you’re going to win, and I believe we’ll win
the World Cup until the final whistle blows and we’re knocked out.”
Peter Shilton

“I faxed a transfer request to the club at the beginning of the week,
but let me state that I don’t want to leave Leicester ”
Stan Collymore

“Without being too harsh on David Beckham, he cost us the match.”
Ian Wright

” Leeds is a great club and it’s been my home for years, even though I
live in Middlesborough.”
 Jonathan Woodgate

“I can see the carrot at the end of the tunnel.”
 Stuart Pearce

“I took a whack on my left ankle, but something told me it was my
Lee Hendrie

“I couldn’t settle in Italy – it was like living in a foreign country..”
Ian Rush

” Germany are a very difficult team to play…they had 11 internationals
out there today.”
Steve Lomas

“I always used to put my right boot on first, and then obviously my
right sock.”
Barry Venison

“I definitely want Brooklyn to be christened, but I don’t know into what
religion yet.”
David Beckham

“The Brazilians were South American, and the Ukrainians will be more
Phil Neville

“All that remains is for a few dots and commas to be crossed.”
 Mitchell Thomas

“One accusation you can’t throw at me is that I’ve always done my best.”
Alan Shearer

“I’d rather play in front of a full house than an empty crowd.”
Johnny Giles

“Sometimes in football you have to score goals.”
Thierry Henry

On this day: The 20th of May 1845

The Last English Duel

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The designation ‘Last English Duel’ is chosen for a reason, as another duel between two Frenchmen was fought on English soil (Old Windsor) in 1852, with fatal consequences for the former naval captain Cournet. But the duel in Gosport on May 20 1845 was the last fought on English soil between two English protagonists, again with a fatal result for one of them.
Perhaps disappointingly for the last of its kind the matter was a rather commonplace and slightly sordid one. A well-to-do former army officer (though he had served but a short time in the Hussars), Captain Alexander Seton, though married paid rather too close attention to the wife of Royal Marine Lieutenant Hawkey. When the latter was absent on duty the dashing if it seems portly Seton called on Mrs Hawkey at her lodgings. Inevitably rumours reached her husband, who warned his wife off, but she still danced a quadrille with the wealthy Seton at Southsea ’s Assembly Rooms.
Unable to bear his implied dishonour Hawkey berated his rival, who protested innocence of the charges. Hawkey’s reaction was more Chaplinthan Preux Chevalier – he kicked Seton. A duel was agreed, seconds appointed, both young, which given they could (and indeed did) face charges as a result of the settling of the matter of honour was criticised by brother officers.
Hawkey may have been less than a true gentleman in his approach, as his kick had already demonstrated. He purchased pistols and tested them, choosing and marking the better one for himself. And when Seton missed with his shot and Hawkey’s failed to fire, honour satisfied he might have been expected to bow and leave. Not he: another shot was demanded; again Seton missed, but this time Hawkey hit his opponent. Where he was aiming – from a mere 15 paces – suggests a less than gentlemanly intention too: Seton was hit at his right hip, the bullet travelling round the pelvis and emerging through the left groin. Our view of Hawkey is added to by his immediate remark: “I’m off to France,” a decision promptly carried out. If there is any narrative justice in the world he was twirling his moustache-tips as he said those words.
Seton bled profusely. Eventually the flow of blood was slowed, but not stopped, and a surgeon from London was summoned for his help. As the medical cliché has it, the operation was a success but the patient died. A coroner’s jury brought in a verdict of murder; but at their trial the survivors of the fight (Hawkey and the seconds) were found not guilty, either swayed by Seton’s unsubtle advances to Mrs Hawkey, or by the defence argument that the operation had killed him not the bullet (and given the nature of 19th century medicine this was a distinct possibility).

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Will moustaches ever be as popular as beards?

With Movember on the way, and everyone from Brad Pitt to Patrick Grant sporting them, it’s time to ask if the moustache will ever be more than a charity stunt or ironic styling for hipsters?

Patrick Grant, Tom Selleck and Brad Pitt

November’s fast approaching, a month when, like leaves on railway tracks, moustaches are sent to test us. For the past 11 years, November has become synonymous with Movember, an honourable but pervasive Australian-born campaign aimed at drawing awareness to men’s health issues by encouraging them to grow a moustache for one month only. It’s a visual campaign based on the premise that growing one is so challenging to male vanity it’s only worth doing if a charity is involved. Although we cannot directly blame Movember, the success of the campaign (this year, the campaign is predicted to raise over £345m globally) sits in direct correlation with the waning coolness in moustaches. For the past decade, anyone with a moustache before or after November has risked becoming a punchline.

But perhaps that’s about to change. While almost half (42%) of us believe it is “fashionable for men to have beards”, almost the same number say “they feel pressure from others to keep their facial hair neat and tidy”, a facial kit box ticked only by the moustache.*

The trajectories of moustaches and Movember are now crossing, in a year when facial hair became the aesthetic calling card of hipsters: “I don’t know about this whole hipster association,” explains Travis Garone, one of the original founders of Movember. “All I know is that beards seem to be for cool kids but moustaches are harder to pull off and that’s why we’re sticking with them. They require confidence – they’re more of a statement.” In light of this, there are as yet no plans to co-opt the beard – imagine! – but it still raises a good question. Why did beards become cool, and moustaches not?
Justin Bieber in September 2014. Photograph: Pierre Suu/Getty Images
Despite being defiantly favoured by some men of a certain crowd today, the moustache has been abandoned or at least forgotten in the wake of hipster-bashing. While the beard has since become a byword for an overarching trend of retro-appropriation before peaking, explosively, over the summer – fashion historians should note we are currently chin-deep in Peak Beard – the moustache slipped through the follicular net, lost and forgotten. Celebrities do have them – Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Justin Bieber, even Patrick Grant of The Great Sewing Bee who notably went from beard to tache between series – but they’ve simply not been tarred with the same grooming brush as the beard.

In 2009, American journalist Wesley Morris suggested a correlation between the decline in moustaches and a general, waning masculinity: “You could say that a huge swath of American men have simply misplaced the self-confidence required to wear a single strip of hair on their lips,” he wrote in the Boston Globe, implying that now (or at least in 2009) the only people who succesfully wore moustaches – hipsters – were embarrassments: “It’s facial hair in quotation marks.”

There is some truth in this. Historically, beards are couched within two key subcultures: hipsters (now) and men bubbling with masculinity (then). Moustaches, however, have had a rockier journey. From cowboys, Tom Selleck and Groucho Marx through Hitler, Saddam Hussein, Charlie Chaplin, Poirot, Ron Burgundy, John Waters and Ryan Gosling on set of The Nice Guys, they have no fixed association and no ambassador, or at least not a nice one. Bora Esen, managing director of male barber The Groom Room in Dulwich, south London, thinks this is the problem: “People definitely, subconsciouly associate them with certain historical figures.” He should know. Of his eight thousand regular clientele, only three have moustaches, “and they’re the old boys”. It was only in the late 1970s and 1980s that they found a semi-permanent home in porn-friendly irony. But even that association backfired: whenever the media ran a negative story about Dov Charney, former chief executive of American Apparel, they used an image of Charney with his tache – this despite the fact that his dates back to 2004 and he only had it for less than nine months. “People were really attached to that image,” he told the New York Times.
Things took a turn for the worse in the late noughties when the moustache was co-opted by Generation Paperchase appearing naff-stalgically on mugs, notebooks and temporary finger tattoos, the new – shudder – Keep Calm and Carry On. This isn’t ideal for long-term wearers. Stylist and music consultant Phil Bush first grew his moustache in 2003, coincidentally the year Movember started. “It complemented my personal style and I needed something to help me stand out.” He has no plans to trim it off – “I’d feel rather naked” – although now he appreciates he is “just another prickly face in the crowd”.

American actor Burt Reynolds as Bo 'Bandit' Darville, in 'Smokey And The Bandit', 1977. (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)

American actor Burt Reynolds as Bo ‘Bandit’ Darville, in ‘Smokey And The Bandit’, 1977.

Pop culture aside, perhaps the main sticking point is this comparison between the two. Of course, beards and moustaches can co-exist “but moustaches have definitely suffered because of the increased popularity of the beard,” agrees Esen. “If you’re going to grow something, it’s going to be something which is easy to maintain.” Beards don’t require much grooming, while moustaches are in need of constant upkeep – and this goes against everything modern hipsters stand for. It’s also worth remembering that while beards have the dual effect of keeping one warm while hiding one’s chin, moustaches are almostly completely pointless, serving no purpose other than to reflect the fact that you can grow one.

Clive, a 27-year-old journalist from Peckham, grew his when he was “young, beautiful and fresh-faced but wanted to look older and more mature. Then I got rid of it when I started to look older and wanted to maintain an air of youthful beauty.” Of course this does suggest that they do serve one purpose – to age their wearer (beards have the power to age a man a decade, while moustaches are gentler on this process) and this was certainly a driving factor for Michael Evans, drummer in east-London band Citizens!, who grew his tache in 2010 because of “self-employed procrastination” ie boredom, but is reluctant to shave his off because it would make him look younger.

Of course, none of this helps if you can’t grow one at all: “It requires a thin top lip and a wide philtrum,” explains Esen. “Most people don’t realise that until it’s too late. Also, unlike beards, they don’t suit everyone.” Bieber, who wore one to the fashion weeks, is a case in point. But then for many men, this is the draw: moustache-wearers are the last remaining male subculture, a tribe naturally culled by growth hormones – and hell, we all want what we can’t have.

On this day: The 5th of May 1010 AD

Battle of Ringmere

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On May 5, 1010, a great battle was fought between the Anglo-Saxons and the Danes at Ringmere Heath. At battle’s end, it was the Danes who remained masters of the field of slaughter.

 On heathland five miles north of Thetford, was a turning point in the defence – or in this period lack of defence – of England against the raiding Norsemen, their brutal killing of the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1012 perhaps the nadir of English prestige. The incursions had been taking place again for some 30 years, with poorly organised resistance to the Viking forces whose arrival could come out of the blue, though in East Anglia Ulfcytel, probably the regional Ealdorman, nearly defeated Swein Forkbeard in 1004.
It was that same Ulfcytel, thought to have been a son-in-law of Ethelred, who had gathered a formidable force to face a Viking army led by Thurkil the Tall in 1010. Ulfcytel’s name is of Scandinavian origin, and at this time East Anglia was part of the Danelaw, dominated by the descendents of earlier Norse invaders who had accepted the authority of English kings, though ancient kinship gave the Danelaw no immunity from attack by the sea-raiders.
The raid had already taken in Ipswich and Thetford. For whatever reason, rather than avoid a pitched battle as was their normal strategy, the Vikings opted to meet Ulfcytel’s host. It may be that their confidence came from having traitors in the defenders’ camp, as once battle commenced most of the East Anglian fighters ran away, their cowardice sparked by one Thurcytel who led the flight from the battlefield. Only men from Cambridgeshire and a few others – leaders from Bedfordshire and Huntingdon died in the battle – stayed to fight. The raiding army crushed their remaining opponents, slaughtering many. Ulfcytel survived this clash, to perish six years later at the Battle of Ashingdon .
Ringmere did not only sweep away resistance to the Vikings in East Anglia. Further afield local leaders found discretion the better part of valour, avoiding confrontation with them as the horde pillaged the country. Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire were attacked in turn, Thurkil’s army reaching deep into Wessex before leaving these shores in the winter.

1010: THE BATTLE OF RINGMERE Ulfcetel, the leader of the East Anglian armies survived the great battle at Thetford in 1004 and continued to defend the region. But in 1010 the Vikings returned. This time, Thorkell the Tall and Olaf the Stout led the invaders. They landed near Ipswich and marched to confront Ulfcetel’s army at Hringmara Heath. For many years it was assumed to be at Ringmere, where the Western tip of Bridgham meets the parishes of Roudham, East Wretham, and Kilverstone. Although more recent research points to another possible site of Rymer Point, four miles south of Thetford, most academics and historians believe it was at Ringmere. One of these, Cyril Hart, in his book The Danelaw stated that ‘Ulfcetel appears to have made no effort to defend Thetford directly, but assembled his forces at the centre of a wide expanse of open heath fivemiles northeast of the town. The site is of the greatest interest because it was an established meeting-place long before the 11 th century. The bounds of the heathland belonging to no less than six vills (parishes) meet at Ringmere, the settlements themselves lying on a two-mile radius on the periphery of the heath, which was evidently pasture grazed in common by all of the vills. Where three or more vill boundaries come together, we may conclude that Ringmere was probably the meeting-place of the two hundreds of Grimshoe and Shropham, though each hundred would have had in addition its own assembly point.’ Over a century before Hart’s description, the English Historical Review of 1896 conjectured how the Vikings travelled from Ipswich: ‘The Roman Road from Colchester to near Brancaster, part of which still exists under the name of the Peddars Road, lies a few miles to the west of Ipswich. A little more to the west of this road, as it crosses Roudham Heath, near Thetford is a Ringmere Pit, in the parish of East Wretham. It lies between Croxton Heath, Roudham Heath and Bridgeham Heath. We have here, I think, the heath of the Norse Hringmaraheior.’ If this conjecture is true, then all the Vikings, upwards of 7,000 Danes travelled through Bridgham on their way to the battle, and some of them probably came back the same way ransacking the region. At the battle, there were thousands fighting on each side. Two thousand men was the most an eastern shire could hope to raise, but with four to six shires involved, they may have equalled the Vikings in number if not in fighting skill. If the battle did take place at Ringmere, then the north-western tip of Bridgham must have echoed to the sounds of war. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records the events of May 5 1010 and the pillaging which followed. 2 Although Ulfcetel and Thurcetel were leaders of the English forces, their Scandinavian names indicate that they were the descendants of earlier Danish settlers. The Battle of Ringmere moved away from the siege warfare in England of the previous century – the defences of East Anglian towns had been disastrously neglected prior to 1010. The army assembled by Ulfcetel included contingents from East Anglia, Cambridgeshire and perhaps from Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire. Another new feature of 11th century warfare was the greatly increased mobility achieved by the use of horses. The Vikings took horses from their defeated enemy and harried the region for three months. A thousand years after the battle, some of the area around Ringmere and within the parish of Bridgham still echoes to the sound of warfare but of a very different kind – the all-arms battle training area owned by the Ministry of Defence! What of the warrior leader, Ulfcetel the Valiant? ‘He who fights and runs away, lives to fight another day!’ So it proved, but he finally met his end in 1016, probably at the hand of Thorkell the Tall or Jarl Eirik at the Battle of Assundun in Essex. He was fighting with King Edmund Ironside against Cnut (Canute), the Christian son of his old enemy, Sweyn Forkbeard. In 1940, in the early days of World War II, Arthur Mee in the King’s England series for Norfolk, records: A battlefield at peace Bridgham. It is said that on the heath nearby, the Danes were victorious in a battle with the Saxons; but all is peaceful now in Bridgham, where houses and farms straggle along the road, with the old church at one end among the trees, and the River Thet running through the meadows. Long may it continue!

“Shock new research reveals some beards contain more poo than a toilet”


OK, some facial growths may look like a toilet brush, but that’s as far as it goes.
According to multiple news sites, beards can contain more poo than a toilet


I was curious to read the original study to see what the basis was for the investigation and the actual results.

However, as far as I can tell there was no proper study, no team of microbiologists and no poo in beards. The origin of the story appears to be this segment from a TV news network in New Mexico, which involved a reporter swabbing a “handful” of men’s beards and then sending the swabs to a microbiologist in a lab to culture any microbes present.

The reporter then interviewed the microbiologist, John Golobic, who identified a few of the bacteria present as “enterics”, that is they are bacteria that normally live in the intestines.

“Those are the types of things you’d find in faeces,” he said.

And that’s all. Somehow, from this story other media organisations have managed to get poo in beards.

While it is true that human faeces are partially composed of gut bacteria, it’s not accurate to describe those bacteria on their own as faeces.

Further, even if this was a properly conducted scientific study with a large number of samples and published in a reputable journal, there wouldn’t necessarily be any cause for concern.

Human skin is home to great diversity of microbes, and it’s not unheard of for types of bacteria normally found in the gut, such as E. coli, to be also found on the skin.

So, if the stories aren’t right, are there any actual proper studies into microbes in beards?

I could only find a couple in a short amount of time, but there was one study in the journal Anaesthesia which looked at whether facial hair had any effect on the ability of surgical face masks to prevent transmission of bacteria.

The study found that bearded men shed more bacteria than clean-shaven men. The study did have a relatively small sample size though, with only 10 people in each category.

Another study in the Journal of Hospital Infection examined how facial hair affects the prevalence of potential pathogens such as Staphylococcus aureus (golden staph).

It found that having a beard actually reduced the likelihood of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and S. aureus being present on the skin. It also found that hospital workers with beards shed more bacteria than those without beards, supporting the earlier study mentioned.

However, the unbearded workers still shed enough bacteria to emphasise the importance of everyone wearing face coverings for sterile procedures, regardless of your facial hair situation.

So in summary: there is more crap in these stories about poo in beards than there is in beards. So chaps, you can all relax.

On this day: 26th April 1976

The death of Sid James

Sid JamesMANY a comedian has died the death at Sunderland Empire. Only one has died.Sid James laughed his last dirty laugh at the Empire on Monday, April 26, 1976. He was appearing in a suitably smutty comedy called The Mating Game. The old joke about the Sunderland theatre being a comedians graveyard clung to the incident, making it seem unreal.When Empire manager Roy Todds phoned the shows producer, Bill Robertson, to tell him the shocking news, Robertson thought it was a joke. “Sid James has just died in Sunderland,” said Todds. “Dont worry, everybody dies in Sunderland,” replied the producer.The Empire audience had even greater trouble realising that what it was witnessing was not a scripted piece of comedy.Sitting next to Sid on the stage was actress Olga Lowe, an old friend from his early days in his native South Africa. She returned to the Empire to film a documentary about Sid and she told me: “I came on, said my first lines and he answered as normal. Then I sat on the sofa with him. I said my next line and he didnt answer.”His head had slumped and his eyes had gone back into his head. I thought it was a gag. Well, you would with Sid. He was such a rascal.”Olga began to ad lib. Sid did not respond. Her ad libbing became more frantic. Realising something was seriously wrong, she edged out to the wings and told the crew to bring down the curtain.Stage hands ran to fetch technical manager Mel James.Says Mel, now one of the Empires longest-serving employees: “It was the only time I have had to ask if there was a doctor in the house.”Still the spirit of humour lingered. Mels request brought a laugh from an audience.He asked again: “In all honesty, is there a doctor in the house?”There was indeed a doctor present – sitting in the front stalls. Usherette Irene Young met him and escorted him to the stricken actor. But still it seemed ludicrous.”The doctor came out and he thought it was a gag,” says Olga. “But Sid was in a coma. The doctor called the ambulance and I believe he died on the way to hospital.” She adds: “It was awful. Ten minutes earlier, before the show, he had been the same old Sid, larking about and laughing.”After the curtain came down we sat in the dressing room, with a drink supplied by the theatre, not knowing what to say. We were all so shocked.”It was later reported that he had died on stage of a heart attack. He was 62.Sids wife, Valerie Ashton, was with him in Sunderland that night and was present throughout, standing in the wings. It was an open secret, however, that Sid had been having an affair with his Carry On films co-star Barbara Windsor.I spoke to the actress when she visited the North East to publicise her autobigraphy and she recoked that Sid would be turning in his grave if he knew the circumstances of his death.She said: “It (touring to provincial theatres like Sunderland Empire) was everything Sid hated. He liked his films and his television. The only time he did theatre was if he could have some lovely location. Like he would go to Australia and sail around the Far East to get there and stop off at Bangkok … then come back via America.”Many years after he died I was playing Birmingham and the old guy on the stage door said: I look at you, Barbara, and I remember Sid so well. The last time you was (sic) with him was in this theatre and he came back a few years later and he looked desperately ill.”Everyone said to him: Dont go up to Sunderland. He looked so ill, so unhappy. He went up to Sunderland and the rest is history.”According to showbiz legend Sid has never left Sunderland Empire. Soon after his death actors began to report strange happenings in the late stars dressing room, rumours that have always been denied by the theatre management. One who hinted at a disturbing encounter with Sids spirit was Les Dawson, who was in panto at the Empire in 1989. It is said that, in the year before his own death, Dawson refused to return to the Empire, claiming that the ghostly vision had been the worst experience of his life.Sid Jamess death at Sunderland Empire is referred to in Cleo, Camping, Emmanuelle and Dick, a new play by Terry Johnson, which opened this week at the Royal National Theatre in London. There is a possibility that the show will come out on tour. If it does, it seems only right that Sunderland Empire be included on the itinerary.`Answering the critics with a music hall revivalFOR years Sunderland Empires critics had complained that it was a relic of the music hall era.In 1974 it turned this tag to its advantage when it began to exhibit relics of the music hall era.Rooms on the east side of the building, in Garden Place, were converted into a music hall museum.At a cost of 30,000 it was fitted out like an Edwardian palace of varieties, complete with stage, seating and a chairmans rostrum.The museum, financed by Sunderland ratepayers and the English Tourist Board, was opened by Wee Georgie Wood, one of the few survivors of the Empires first great years.The Jarrow-born entertainer, who grew up in Sunderland and made his Empire debut in 1910, used the occasion to make a typically waspish attack on TVs The Good Old Days.His wish was for a school of variety art to be incorporated into the museum so that young entertainers could learn the real thing and not judge music hall by what they saw on the box.Wee Georgie, then in his 78th year, contributed a photograph of Shaun Glenville and Dorothy Ward and programmes from four Royal Command Performances.Among the other exhibits were Ted Rays violin, a suit worn by Stan Laurel and a cap belonging to that latterday Wee Georgie, Jimmy Clitheroe.The musem also housed thousands of playbills, comprising the most important collection of its sort in the country.Upstairs in the genuine Edwardian palace of varieties, the entertainment was of an entirely different complexion.Status Quo played there in November, 1974, Irish blues star Rory Gallagher was in concert the following month, and T Rex arrived in February, 1976, for a show that was briefly interrupted by a fan who clambered on to the stage.Cliff Richards gave sell-out shows in December 74 and November 75.Coronation Streets Pat Phoenix made a couple of visits, one in the comedy Marriage Go-Round with her Sunderland-born, former journalist husband, Alan Browning.Other TV stars who stopped off at the Empire on their rounds of provincial theatres were John Inman, of Are You Being Served?, in the comedy My Fat Friend, and the Golden Shots Anne Aston in Come Blow Your Horn.Peter Wyngarde, who had been treading the provincial boards since the 1940s, was by now a huge star on TV as Jason King. He added magnificent molars to splendid sideburns as Dracula – at the Empire in April, 1975.Another icon of the 1970s, the Onedin Lines Peter Gilmore, starred with 1960s wildchild Marianne Faithful in The Rainmaker.Jen

‘Scratchers:’ They’re illegal and they could be putting your health at risk

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They are called ‘scratchers’ and they are a growing concern for area county health officials. The term refers to tattoo artists practicing without a license, which is illegal in most states including Michigan, and they are usually doing it right out of their own homes.

While the offers they advertise seem like good deals with prices usually much cheaper than professional tattoo shops, Kent County health officials warn they could be putting people’s health at serious risk.

At the Magnum Tattoo Shop on Division Ave. in Grand Rapids, Eric Torres says he’s seen plenty of cases of people with poorly done and oftentimes infected tattoos coming into the shop to get them fixed.

He says the mantra he and the other professional artists in his field live by is simple: cheap tattoos aren’t good and good tattoos aren’t cheap.

“People want to go get a good deal and they’re not going to get a good deal, they’re going to get sick or they’ll get a crappy tattoo and it’s ultimately going to cost them more in the long run,” Torres said.

“There’s a lot of things that go into tattooing that the Average Joe doesn’t know about… and a bad tattooer or a home tattooer really invests in the fact that most people on average don’t know what the process is about.”


The Kent County Health Department recently issued a warning against these so-called ‘scratchers’ who continue to be a growing problem posing serious health risks in the community, according to Shane Green,  supervising sanitarian with the health department.

“What they’re doing is they’re opening people up to solid types of blood borne infectious issues, staph infections, even HIV, the hepatitis virus, from going to these people who aren’t licensed or regulated,” Green said.

“A lot of theses ‘scratchers’ don’t have the proper equipment to sterilize their equipment, they haven’t had proper training on blood borne pathogens and they’re just doing it in an environment that isn’t safe or sterile.”

With the number of complaints slightly up this year, Green says the county health department has investigated more than 10 different instances of people illegally tattooing just in the past few months.

Green said the problem became magnified after the law passed in 2010 requiring tattoo artists to meet strict guidelines to maintain their licenses. Those who didn’t follow went “underground” where they are able to get equipment on the cheap from websites like eBay or Craigslist.

“Anyone can order it, they think they’re an artist and start practicing on themselves or their friends and say ‘hey I can start making money this way’ and they start advertising on Facebook and it just starts growing,” Green said.

A quick check online revealed a starter tattoo kit goes for just about $60 on eBay.

The health department relies on tips from the public to catch the ‘scratchers’ and Green says with an address or a phone number, they can set up a sting or issue a cease and desist to the individual. If the problem persists after the cease and desist Green said individuals can be issued an appearance ticket requiring them to go in front of a job where they could face up to 90 days in jail or up to a $2,500 fine.

The county hasn’t had a situation escalate to someone receiving an appearance ticket yet this year.

“A lot of these illegals see it as an easy way to make money, they work from home, the equipment is cheap but unfortunately they are endangering the public’s health,” Green said.

At the shop where Torres works, he says they are held to a “laundry list” of requirements by the state health department which now helps regulate tattoo facilities following strict regulations passed in 2010.

“Every one of our artists are blood borne pathogen certified, we know how to break down our equipment and set it up, we’re not cross contaminating and bringing bad stuff back into our work area,” he said.

Magnum also has a $5,000 sterilization system for cleaning equipment and maintains a detailed log of how equipment is sterilized, and when and who it’s used on in order to keep track in case a contamination occurs.

“We know exactly everything that comes out, should someone get sick,” Torres said. “We can look at their batch number, what was sterilized, look at clients before and after them, sort everything out and have sort of infection control plan.”

To find out if tattoo shop or body art facility in Michigan is properly licensed, a list can be found on the Michigan Department of Community Health website.

Grandad football hooligans return to Cambridge United in pursuit of 1980s-style violence

Grandparents are among a hardcore of Cambridge United hooligans coming out of retirement to try and revive the dark days of football violence

 The club has identified a group of about 10 men, some aged in their 50s and 60s, who are hijacking the club’s name in pursuit of the kicks they got in the 1980s from arranging fights with rival firms and causing trouble on match days.

They have been largely absent from the Abbey – perhaps distracted by the toils of raising families – but are returning to the club following its return to the Football League and encouraging young people to get involved, the club says.


Cambridgeshire police say they have seen an increase in the “severity and volume” of football-related disorder this season.

 Cambridge United bosses are working with police to keep them out of their “unashamedly family club” and are launching a wide-ranging campaign to promote respect and fight discrimination in the community under the national Kick It Out Season of Action banner.

Club chairman Dave Doggett is set to launch its campaign at the home tie with Accrington Stanley tomorrow.

Speaking to fans in his match programme notes he will say: “Unfortunately football clubs still attract an undesirable element of society that appear determined to ruin the enjoyment of real supporters of football clubs.

“Our promotion to the Football League appears to have encouraged our ‘risk’ from the 1980s to come out of retirement.

“Many of them are grandparents trying to encourage the next generation to join their ‘gangs’. It sounds pathetic but unfortunately it is reality. We are working closely with police.”

Mr Doggett added: “Hopefully the reality of the potential consequences will dissuade some of our younger supporters from becoming involved with these undesirables. Our football club is too important to so many to allow a few to ruin our great sport.”

The “undesirables” amount to just 0.2 per cent of those going to games at the Abbey, Mr Doggett said.

A season ticket holder told the News that a group about 30 “fans”, who include those who indulged in football violence in the 1980s as well as young people, turn up to some games looking for trouble afterwards.

One said: “They arrive after the game starts and then leave before it finishes to find a fight.”

U’s fan Peter Woor, who remembers hooliganism in the 1970s and 80s, said football hooliganism has not been truly banished.

He said: “It lingers on in games against Southend and Luton. There’s a tension and you feel threatened so I don’t go to those places anymore. It’s not worth it.

“Most places are fine though, but you still tend to go to away games and keep your colours hidden. I remember the 1970s and 80s and it was horrendous and of course it’s nothing like that but it’s still a problem.”

On “fans” his age taking part in hooligan behaviour he said: “These people must have something missing in their lives to want to do this. It’s very sad.”

Cambridge United supporter Simon Dobbin, 42, has been in a medically-induced coma since he was attacked after the U’s game with Southend on March 21.

Essex police said he was an “entirely innocent victim” who they believe was set upon by a group of men who went out with the intention to attack Cambridge fans.

Inspector Steve Kerridge, Cambridgeshire Constabulary’s lead officer for Cambridge football, said the force has enjoyed a “long and positive working relationship” with Cambridge United.

He said: “We have seen an increase in football-related violence and disorder amongst a very small minority of people, both in Cambridge and other locations when the club has travelled.

“The tragic events recently leading to a serious injury in Southend have been reported widely and sicken us all.

“The club is working hard with us to ensure that those who use football as a vehicle for violence and disorder have no place in the terraces or association with Cambridge United.”

He said they are using football banning orders, which impose “stringent court-backed” restrictions on individuals.

He added: “The increase of risk activity both in severity and volume this season means regular consideration of this level of intervention is once again – and sadly – justified and necessary.”


U’s launches Kick it Out campaign

Cambridge United is waging a war on the “unacceptable prejudices” that still exist within football and society.

The club, which says it is determined to snuff out the problem of “undesirable elements” attending games and build on its family roots, is stepping up its work in the community to help stamp out discrimination and promote respect.

They have designated tomorrow’s League 2 game against Accrington Stanley as their Kick It Out day and have offered discounted tickets to disability, girls football and community groups.

The campaign aims to tackle all forms of discrimination, including racism and sexism, by visiting schools and supporting good causes in the community.

It is establishing a culture of “total respect” in the club and first team players have been visiting schools to spread the anti-discrimination message and promote healthy lifestyles.

Dave Doggett, the club’s chairman, said: “The campaign is aimed at highlighting all of the unacceptable prejudices that still exist within a civilised society.

“It never fails to puzzle me why the simple principle of treating people with the same respect you expect from them is not universally accepted.”

He added: “As a club we are committed to work in the community making a difference to people’s lives. Our players regularly visit schools.

Last year the players explained to youngsters that they do not have to accept being bullied at school or in the playground. This year we are working with the NHS to promote healthy lifestyles.”

28/03/15 Sky Bet League Two - Hartlepool v Cambridge United - Hartlepool, Cambridge

Danny Kerrigan, of Cambridge United Community Trust, said: “Cambridge United are committed to ensuring our club is free from all discrimination, and with the help of Sepura, the trust’s headline sponsor for 2014/15, we will spread this message to the wider community.

“One of the major themes of the trust’s work is inclusion. We are dedicated to celebrating diversity and offering opportunities, regardless of any consideration of age, gender, race, sexuality, ability, or any other characteristic.”

On this day:The 23rd of April 1564 and The 23rd of April 1616

Birth of Shakespeare,  Death of Shakespeare


The date of Shakespeare’s birth, annoyingly for historians of drama, has never been proved, though there are very good reasons to suppose that April 23 is probably correct. Even if the date is not correct, surely the greatest dramatist the world has yet seen would appreciate the choice?

What is known for sure is that William Shakespeare ’s existence was registered on April 26 1564, when he was baptised at the Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon. It was usual to baptise children rapidly after their birth, given that so many died shortly after entering the world and it was believed those not baptised could not ascend to heaven.

The more romantic reasons for April 23 being accepted as William’s birth-date are that it seems right that he should have been born on St George’s day, England’s greatest writer born on its patron saint’s day; and that he died on April 23 1616, the dramatic coincidence of birth and death days also fitting. As his memorial gives his age as 53, and he died on April 23 1616, logically he must have been born on or before April 23.

Shakespeare was almost certainly born at a house his father owned onHenley Street in Stratford. Stratford at this time was an important market town, the rich agricultural lands around it providing the basis of the town’s wealth.

John Shakespeare , the poet’s father, was a reasonably well-to-do leather goods maker and dealer in farm produce – his wife Mary (nee Arden) was the daughter of a prosperous farmer who owned land. Two siblings, sisters Joan and Margaret, had died before William was born, and five more were born after him.

While scholars will continue to argue, and to write books about, the precise date of Shakespeare’s birth, the lack of certainty chimes nicely with much of the rest of his life. It cannot be proved, though it is believed, that he went to the grammar school in Stratford. There are whole years of his life in London missing as far as factual records are concerned. Where he got the knowledge upon which locations for his plays are based is far from sure. It is even regularly suggested that he was not the author of the plays that bear his name. What background could be better for these great works than anonymous and mysterious neutrality?

Death of Shakespeare

Given the sheer volume of his work, it is hard to believe that Shakespeare was only 52 when he shuffled off this mortal coil – and that he had been in effective retirement for several years before that (he produced no further plays after 1613, and his last three works were collaborative efforts).
Like much of his life, there is mystery or at least a lack of clarity about his death. We know for sure he was buried on April 25, because the records of Holy Trinity Church in Stratford tell us so. It is presumed he died on April 23, partly because a funeral two days later would have been usual, partly because as that is St George’s Day and the date on which he was born is thought to be April 23 there is poetic symmetry to it.
Equally the cause of his death is not known. Shakespeare made his will on March 25 that year, less than a month before his demise, and some scholars conclude from what is seen as a shaky signature that he was already ill, thus preparing for death by getting his affairs in order – famously bequeathing his wife Anne his second best bed. A rather colourful story related 45 years after his death – albeit by onetime Stratford vicar John Ward – is that the playwright had contracted a fever during a drinking session with Ben Jonson and the poet Michael Drayton, a fever that eventually killed the bard. We do not know.
Examination of Shakespeare’s remains could potentially yield answers, but he lies safely entombed beneath the chancel of Holy Trinity, a stone above his resting place bearing a curse on anyone tampering with the grave: “Blest be the man that spares these stones, And curst be he that moves my bones.” Not perhaps his greatest words if indeed, as legend has it, he wrote them. Better to remember him for rather finer lines – perhaps from Julius Caesar: “When beggars die, there are no comets seen; The heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes.” We can but trust they did so for our greatest wordsmith.

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