Historical spell check fiasco

cuttingThe article transcribed below dates from May 2 1996, when it appeared in the Braintree & Witham Times (more usually known as the Brainless and Witless, quite appropriately as will become clear).

The journalist whose by line it appears under, Eve Sweeting, may or may not be married to the music journalist Adam Sweeting. She ought to be though.

The article, about an Essex youth football club, is intrinsically humdrum, but it was livened up by someone’s injudicious use of a computer spellchecker. They clearly set it to run, perhaps accidentally, accepting all suggestions without checking for themselves to make sure the corrections were sane.

Unfortunately I didn’t save the following week’s paper, which contained a corrected version of the article, but I have managed to retrieve most of the original names that ended up being mangled by the spellchecker. They are:

She’ll Brochures …………………… Sheila Broadhurst
Reg Lowbrow …………………… Reg Whybrow
Dived Brainlike …………………… David Brinkley
Jockey Martin …………………… Jackie Martin
Paul Drilled …………………… Paul Eldred
Brain Smith …………………… Brian Smith
sums …………………… mums
East Angling …………………… East Anglian
under-as …………………… under-8s, 9s, 10s or something.

If anyone knows the true identity of Deny Spires or Peter Fur, please get in touch.


Valley Green celebrate silver anniversary

Club kicked off with just three boys


ONCE there were three boys who wanted to play football.

Now there is a club with a membership of 80 which is celebrating its 25th anniversary and counting its numerous cups and championship trophies.

Witham’s Valley Green Youth Football Club celebrated its anniversary with a special veterans match on Saturday.

And it all goes back to those three boys who used to kick a ball about on a small patch of grass on the corner of Guithavon Road and Guithavon Valley in Witham.

As the club explains, in its souvenir programme, it took a woman – She’ll Brochures – to get the club off the ground – and she became the first manager.

It was in September 1971 when Mrs. Brochures found that managing about 100 boys was too much to cope with that a parent’s meeting was called, resulting in a committee being formed.

As club president Reg Lowbrow says: “Valley Green has grown from strength to strength over the past 25 years and is well known and respected.”

The club today caters for boys and girls between the ages of eight and 16 and in June will once again host one of the finest five-a-side tournaments in Essex, attracting more than 140 teams from all over East Anglia and beyond.

Says Mr. Lowbrow: “An important feature of the club’s successes, and continuing progress, is the contribution made by its hard working management committee, to which much credit and gratitude is given.”

A social committee has also been formed of sums and dads to concentrate on raising funds for the club’s activities, which include sending one team a year abroad to play.

Club chairman Brain Smith says: “We are constantly being told by the Football Association and the media that the quality of youth coming through is poor, and that our youngsters do not have the required skill levels to compete internationally.

“This is why Valley Green has introduced its own training programme for managers this year.

“In July, 15 of our managers will be attending an FA leaders course. Paul Drilled, manager of one of our under-nine’s teams, has already taken the course and will soon be taking the FA preliminary coaching badge.”

He added: “The future of the club looks very good. We have a number of people who are totally committed to its future.

“Managers, coaches and parents are all pulling together to get the best for their children.”

The club’s achievements so far this year include Deny Spires’ under-as team reaching the East Angling Sunday Youth Cup final; Peter Fur’s under as and Dived Brainlike’s under as winning their respective league cups.

But there is one cup that has always eluded Valley Green – the East Angling Sunday Youth Cup. They would dearly love to win it in their anniversary year.

• For the record the silver jubilee players’ reunion match on Saturday attracted a crowd of 300 plus Witham’s deputy mayor, Jockey Martin. Witham Town won, 2-1.

Said Mr. Smith: “After the match there was a huge party in the Witham Town clubhouse. Lots of old friends had the chance to reminisce about the good old days.”

The club is now stronger than ever with nearly 200 boys and girls being coached.

Most of the “lads” who started with the club went on to play football as adults.

Said Mr. Smith: “The future looks very good.”


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