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Hmmm. That lacks a certain oomph factor. It is certainly a grey day revealing little anyway. I can still see little bits of snow at the edge of the fields, so that in olde wives' terms means more to come. As long as it waits until late next week, I won't mind.

Small sports update. Sunderland now have two more injured players. David Meyler who just came back from a serious injury before Christmas, tore a knee ligament and is out for the season again. Poor lad. That will be over a year he has missed. At least he's young but he's such a good player with Henderson it limits our resources. Then Danny Welbeck tore his hamstring and that is usually a month to recover. So we now have around 10 first team players unavailable: You're only allowed 25 players plus youth team nowadays so we can barely get a bench out. At least it is the cup on Saturday. Bruce may wash his hands of that with all these injuries. We don't want our resources stretched any further.

Out: Turner, Welbeck, Meyler, Mensah, Cattermole, Onuoha, Campbell, and Zenden suspended after two yellow cards last night. All of them are starters or first alternate if someone is injured. I hope it doesn't scupper our best season in 10 years. We have had to shuffle all of the defence and we still have 11 clean sheets out of 22 games played. That is only equalld by Manchester City. It's better than Manchester Utd. and they are top!

The other news today is that Paul Collingwood is retiring from Test cricket from tomorrow, the last day of the Ashes series. It's a good way to go out and the best time as he has had a disappointing go with the bat this series. He is an excellent fielder though and that will be hard to replace. Also as a part time bowler it's nice that the last ball he bowled took the wicket of Michael Hussey who had been a thorn in England's side this series.






Now I'm sure you're all aware, because I tell you every time I post about him, that Paul was a pupil at the school where I worked and I knew him and his brother very well. In fact, the last time he was in school to do a bit of coaching, he recognised me and spoke. (I'm such a fangirl). So this feels like the end of an era as he is the last of the famous people who went to our school. Let's hope the Sports College status pays off in the future, because we were just an ordinary comprehensive when he attended. My friend Trevor, who I used to go to the football matches with, taught him the GCSE years and so he has got a pass in GCSE English should he need it.

David Gower was very complimentary about how well Paul spoke this morning when Nasser Hussein interviewd him and it was a really good honest self assessment of what he had achieved in his Test career including his short comings. He was never a fluent batsman and most of his innings were built on graft and determination. His best was a memorable 206 in Adelaide in the last Ashes tour when England were whitewashed 5 - 0. It was definitely the stand out moment in that terrible series. He has also taken some magnificent catches including one of many one handed leaps to get Ricky Ponting in the last test. Here are 3 examples to show the skill.






Good luck Paul, and I look forward to you turning out more for Durham this season. He might get to a few Sunderland matches too. He is a fan.
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