Tuesday, October 04, 2005


A stirling fellow

Jude Stirling may have made himself an instant cult hero at Oxford United, with his infectious personality, his ungainly posture, his powerful shots, and his incredible throw-ins, but it looks like he inherited his all-round good-guyness from his old man.

Clasford Stirling (left) set up Broadwater United, based on the Broadwater Farm estate, where PC Blakelock was murdered by a rampaging mob 20-odd years ago. As a result of his initiative, around 25 youngsters have gone on to play for the youth teams of various London sides, including Arsenal and Spurs, and (just as importantly) the football has enabled the kids to have a purpose and stop mashing up the manor.

According to this article on the BBC web site Clasford works 14 hours a day, every day, and hasn't had a holiday in seven years. No wonder his lad Jude has an attitude that endears him to everyone who meets him, and if he is half the man his Dad is he will go far. Clasford also makes time to watch Jude play (he was sat just in front of me at Barnet last weekend), and hopefully his presence will encourage Jude to do his stuff. Also hopefully, perhaps Oxford United might be added to the list of clubs that has benefited from the good work Clasford has done with Broadwater United.

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