Last week ended with a four piece Parrot taking the stage at Nuneaton Borough F.C.'s "Player of The Year " Awards at The Sperrin Brewery Stadium, Liberty Way. Myself, Arnie, Dave Parr and Malc Gurnham did the honours. The Programme of events and presentations dwelt much on the club's recent re-naming-"Town"-but I still prefer to use the name most Nuneaton fans are familiar with-they'll always be "The Boro " to me.
At Saturday's "do" we shared the entertainment duties with our old friends "Off The Cuff," who opened the live music proceedings around 8pm. We'd last shared a stage (or rather a marquee ) with them a couple of years ago, at an open air concert to commemorate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. Events were running an hour late by the time we were called up on stage, but we managed to give a 200+ (all-ticket!) audience " All Over Now," "The Odeon,", "If I had Possession," "Down Our Street " and " Over the Hills and far Away," before the set was truncated. It was nice to see some of the tables singing along with the local songs, but sensible to halt early or we'd all still be there Sunday morning. By the looks of 1987 Cup Final hero Dave Bennett..he probably was!
Later, following the First Team presentations, we kicked off the third session by performing "Need Your Love So Bad and " Bring it On Home," with a sort of Off The Parrot Ensemble. These two songs also featured Derek Warren on drums, Jon Murdock on keyboards and Greg Daffern on guitar. Off The Cuff then finished off the evening with a typically accomplished set. All the night's proceeds went towards the Mary Anne Evans Hospice. Along with the shirt auction, I reckon they must have made four figures.
This is me and my mate Giorgio in Malia last year. I'm wearing a Boro Away shirt and he's in his Flamenco (Brazil) shirt. You'll have to click on it to see Giorgio, due to me being a little stockier than he is. Clearly, as a "Boro'" Season Ticket holder I'm biased, but I felt the strong emphasis on youth and community work on Saturday did the organisers great credit.Expertly compered by BBC's Dave Sharpe, the evening demonstrated the evident grass roots rapport between players, fans and the club officials. It is a model many bigger clubs could learn from. And the fact that the very likeable, and very grounded Theo Streete, carried off all the Player awards, was heartening. Well deserved.
Earlier in the week we'd had a rehearsal on Tuesday and I'd done a solo spot at The Larder, a café in Atherstone on Wednesday. All were in good voice in this military-themed eatery, with Phil Benson, Malc Gurnham, The Beesons, Cyder Annie, John and Elaine Meechan and Catherine Cope all joining in with vocals and instrumentation to entertain diners. We had a mix of traditional and contemporary songs. I sang the late Rod Felton's lovely song "Curly" and "Over The Hills."