Off to: Marine

Once Mossley finally get round to deciding on a club anthem it’s quite safe to assume that ‘Oh I do like to be beside the seaside’ won’t be appearing on any potential shortlist. I’m sure the jaunty, organ based sing-a-long has its fans but as records go there’s no denying that it’s poor. A critique that can be applied equally to Mossley’s record on the coast.

Maybe it’s the sea air, a fear of seagulls or a protest at going to seaside on a coach and not being able to come back with a stick of rock and a kiss me quick hat but for some reason Mossley just can’t seem to perform when there’s a bit of extra ozone in the air.

And if there’s one place more than any other that’s been a frozen, windswept tundra for the Lilywhite’s in terms of positive results it’s Rossett Park, Crosby - home of Marine AFC. We had one good win there a while ago but it doesn’t disguise all the misery and defeats we’ve suffered; in fact they’re a sort of Asia to our US Armed Forces.

So, you may be thinking, what’s the point of turning up if history has already dictated that a negative outcome is inevitable? And if you are what kind of defeatist attitude is that? This is the season of upsets! Don’t believe me? Take last Saturday’s game; weren’t you upset at the end of match? See…

Ignore the fact that Marine is one of the favourites for promotion. Overlook the fact that they’ve got Mossley’s tormentor-in-chief Peter Comiskey upfront. Pay no heed to last Saturday’s results. Disregard practically every single result we’ve had there. Say pish and tish to the bookmakers who think all Marine have to do to win is turn up. Because we’re going to win! Or draw.

This will also be our first game against a Roly Howard-less Marine (their long standing window cleaner-cum-manager having stepped down a couple of years) for goodness knows how long but whoops of delight will be tempered by the fact that former Vauxhall GM manager Alvin McDonald has picked up the chamois leather and occupied the dugout.

Still, if the worst comes to the worst, you can always indulge in a game of spot the famous face as Crosby is something of a celebrity hangout. At one time or another people such as Beryl ‘Writer’ Bainbridge, John ‘BBC’ Birt, Lynda ‘Prime’ La ‘Suspect’ Plante, Anne ’Plastic’ Robinson, Cherie ’Coat Hanger’ Blair, George ‘Is he still alive?’ Melly and Kenny ‘Definitely dead!’ Everett.

One of its more ‘interesting’ former residents is Gerald Gardner, a legendary occultist and founder of the Wiccan religion (winner of the ‘best alternative faith’ survey in Which magazine). To be frank, if Heat ever did a spin-off magazine aimed at people who live on Werther’s Original and are regularly dusted for cobwebs, Crosby is where their paparazzi would hang out.

The town also has an association with one of the world’s most horrific disasters. Hand’s up, who said Liverpool? Sorry but you’re wrong, it’s actually the R.M.S. Titanic. The ship’s captain Edward Smith lived in Crosby as did Arthur Rostron, the captain of the R.M.S. Carpathia which was the first ship to answer the Titanic’s distress call and pick up survivors. The town was also the home of Bruce Ismay, the managing director of the White Star Line, who after the disaster lived out the rest of his days in shame. Scientists are still yet to determine whether this was because he jumped into a lifeboat whilst it was still women and children only or due to living in Crosby.

So when you go to the game keep your eye out because you’ll never know who you might see. The last time I went I managed to get a photograph of one of the worlds most prominent psychoanalysts taking Dennis the Menace’s dog for a walk. For a future update, and in case of déjà vu, I’ll try and dig out those Crosby stills of Gnasher and Jung.

Prediction: The head, optimistically, says draw. But we will win.