The Postbag

Cod Almighty | Postbag

Getting shirty at crap Basque football grounds

17 November 2021

Phil Ball keeps the postie busy and our official shop is, somewhat unexpectedly, in demand.

Merch Alert


Any update on the new t-shirts now the Cod Almighty SNOS is "up and running"?

I need a new one for Christmas as my others seem to have shrunk (specifically around the belly area) these last few years.


from Charles Lumley

Letters Ed responds: All our t-shirt making expertise has left the building, but we'll see 

Kaixo Donosti

I've long wondered to what 'Basque Diary' refers, but the reply to my point about Harry Clifton has moved me to find out. Santuxtu was a terrible ground to visit but a great place for the locals - my son played there several times for Antiguoko (and Real Sociedad cadets). I've got a great photo of him playing there, along with several Antiguoko players who went on to be pros.

So... what's the connection and who is it? As you know, I've been here so long my nose and ears have grown into Basque-like shapes and my face resembles a rounded pintxo.


from Phil Ball

Letters Ed responds: It is yours truly, Phil. Once a Santutxu resident and season ticket holder. No, not the best ground (my personal favourite was Garmendipe) but it does offer good views of the Ascensor Begoña and the chimney in Parque Extebarria if you're into industrial architecture. The tortilla at Maiona was perfectly runny too. Aguuuurrrr!

Procrastination stations

Dear Postbag

I'm just trying to avoid working for a few minutes, and having just read Monday's post-Aldershot Diary I can't help but reflect on the new (and admittedly well-written) tendency to provide us with a sociological and historical survey of the towns and cities we visit, as part of the Bananarama experience. I live in the Basque Country now, but in the foggy past I too visited many of these outposts, often with a Town scarf dangling below the trouser end of my duffle-coat.

Aldershot was the latest community to be pre-match profiled, and the profile was indeed a bleak one. In fact Monday's diarist confessed that she was happy for them to have won because it might have lifted their spirits, living, as they do, in such a shit-hole. Now the obvious problem with this, amusing though these profiles are, is that in the latest rankings of 'The Top 50 worst places to live in England 2021' Grimsby sneaks into 16th place, with Aldershot down in 30th. I tell you this before an Aldershot fan, proud of their community, points out this irony.

Whether or not you consider these rankings to be entirely subjective or based on some sort of objective reality, might I suggest that we take this into consideration on our next visit? Solihull I believe? Now that looks like a posh sort of place, and does not figure in the top 50. Could be ripe for a piss-take and that's fine, but as an ex-Grim/Cleggy resident I'm always a bit wary of going too far when attacking other places, and equally wary of over-defending the place in which I was raised. Tricky balance, I know, but it's helped me to waste a bit of time in the office.

Keep up the good work and UTM.

from Phil Ball

What's on your mind? Usually the post-bag is brimming following four losses on the spin. Need to kill sometime at work like our continental bretherin? Got an idea for a t-shirt? Email us.