Jeff Hewett crowdfunder: "This is important."

Spring, 2001 the Beauwater Leisure Centre, Northfleet.

Maidstone United are losing 2-1 to Beauwater FC, one of the very worst teams in the Kent County League Premier Division. The standard of football is absolutely shocking as is the venue, one pitch of a number crammed into one of the few green spaces in Northfleet. There is no stand, no covered accomodation, no hard standing and not even a barrier separating the pitch from the 100 or so fans, all of whom are supporting the away team, because Beauwater literally have no fans. The game is repeatedly interrupted by balls invading the pitch, kicked on to the field of play by children playing nearby, or from the players on the adjacent pitch.

Having watched Maidstone blow a 1-0 lead, the man next to me is suffering as much, if not more, than everyone else. And at one point, in sheer exasperation, he yells: "This is IMPORTANT!"
I looked at him and nodded. It was a moment of shared pain and it was probably the most lucid summing up of what it felt to be a Maidstone fan at that point, with the new ground still 11 years away .

I didn't really know Jeff Hewett, but that's the point. How many people do you really know at football? Some are your friends, some are faces you've known for a lifetime without even knowing their names. Others you know to say hello to, even if you know nothing about their lives away from the game.

I doubt my conversations with Jeff totalled more than five minutes in all the years I didn't really know him. Once Steve Hemsley gave us both (plus Adrian Sharpe) a lift to Tonbridge station after a friendly at Longmead when we'd scored twice in the last two minutes to earn a 4-4 draw with Tonbridge Reserves. At the time we were almost euphoric to be playing in a proper ground, under lights.

I was catching a train back to Hastings, where I was living at the time. Adrian was going back to Worthing and Jeff was heading home to Southwick. It must have taken him hours to get to home games and yet he stuck with the club throughout the County League years, hence his pain a few months down the line when it looked as though we were blowing our chance to get promotion. He cared. He knew that it mattered. And he was, eventually, proved right. It was important.

I'm told that when he found out he was ill, he didn't want any fuss. Fair enough, but his contribution to keeping the club going during its darkest era shouldn't be overlooked. It isn't exaggerating things to say that without an extremely small number of people like him, we would not have a club to support today.

If you can support this crowdfunder, please do.

Generic end of season questionswaire bollocks

Yes ladies and gentlemen we've had to migrate the site, so welcome to our new home and our new look. Just as the club have Shipmanned what seems like half the playing staff, we've had to Pistorius our web design package for reasons that will bore the shit out of you if we go into them. (To surmise: it was Adobe being a BOC if you really must know.)

So here we are, back in amber, with something you might find easier to read on your phone or tablet. During the off season we'll be updating the site whenever we can be arsed, which probably won't be that often. In the past we've done occasional tributes to departing legends, but it'd take us a month to give a proper farewell to everyone who's left JWW in the week and a half since the season ended.

Some will be more missed than others (The Governor's departure was particularly hard to take), but our philosophy is this: departures are inevitable, unavoidable and almost always a cause for regret. If you wore the amber with pride, you're always welcome here and you'll be fondly remembered.

As a brief digression here: whenever a coach leaves it's common for the question to be asked: "what does he actually do?"
Some of you may remember an exceptionally short-lived publication called the Maidstone Adscene, when the lifelong Gillingham fan Peter Edwards (see the Maidstoneisaurus) asked this very question of a man called Wayne Jones. Jones wasn't gesturing enough during matches for the liking of some of the Main Stand regulars at Priestfield. He wasn't shouting things like "seconds!" and "runners!" and he didn't have an Allardyce-style ear piece to make it look like he was doing something important. It wasn't long before Jones was on the Senator Bob Dole.

The average fan (and no one would accuse Edwards of being that) finds it difficult to quantify a coach's output. An assistant manager doesn't pick the team and he doesn't play, so his performance can't be easily quantified in terms of results. The average fan doesn't know if the he's spent six hours on the road to scout the opposition, getting back at 2am. He doesn't know the miles driven, or the hours put in to find players as Peter Taylor did for Brian Clough. And so ladies and gentlemen, without knowing who said or did what, let's pause to acknowledge the part that Nicky Southall played in getting us from the seventh tier of English football to the fifth, and keeping us there. And wish him luck with whatever he does in the future.

The results of our comprehensive end of season questionswaire are in and you will no doubt be as astonished as we were by the findings.

We’ll go through them question by question in due course, but to surmise: you thought the season was worse than a 4 out of 10. You thought Boreham Wood were a “bunch of cunts.” And if you’re a buyer for Bostick, there’s a valuable commodity coming on the market very soon indeed.

On a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 being "absolute gash" and 10 being "fucking brilliant," how would you rate this season?

The average, was a distressingly low 3.86 out of 10. Three of you said six out ten, two of you said one and almost everyone else said three, four or five. It was, as a wise man once said: “one of them.”

What was you happiest memory of this season?

Beating Gillingham was the clear winner in this section, with the pleasure only enhanced by the way some of them reacted. Ok, so the lone invader who tried to cross the segregation line was clearly “a clitoris short of a full minge” but the way they reacted to their equaliser suggested they’d mistaken a Kent Senior Cup quarter-final for a Champions League tie.
The next most popular memory was the 4-2 win at Cheltenham (“fucking sceneage” said one of you and I think we all know what you meant) followed by the 3-1 win at Chester which ensured we’d stay up.
Stuart Lewis joining the fans at Orient and in the Elvis End when he was suspended was popular and one of you said: “Goochie getting chucked out Macclesfield.”

And what was your personal low point?

A rich and varied field here. Solihull away was the equivalent of Vietnam for many who were there. Even our most Panglossian (look it up) supporters were left moaning “the horror, the horror” in the wake of a performance that was apparently even limper than the one Trump gave Stormy Daniels.
Losing 4-0 at home to Boreham Wood was bad, one fan thought it was all too much when Delano hit a corner falg with a shot and Tranmere at home was a personal low point, not helped by the fact I nearly got wiped out by a cunt in a white van driving through the tunnel to St Peter's Street.
One of you said: “When the ref gave us fuck all for Effiong bum raping the big wave. Just makes you laugh that we got nothing for it.”
Then there was: “my mate getting his finger broken by a stray ball in the warm up.”
Another said: “standing next to Dave U at the urinals and not being able to avert my gaze.”

What was the best ground you visited (with Maidstone) this season?

Tranmere, Wrexham, Aldershot and Cheltenham were all nominated at least once. There was one mention of Maidenhead because of “the trains”. The surgical, corporate Milton Keynes got a few mentions, although as Gerry Rafferty observed: “It’s got no soul.”

And the worst?

Gravesend got several mentions. Dagenham’s staggering £21 entrance fee was a classic cockney rip off. One of you said: “Being told I would be denied admission to Bromley if I refused to be frisked. Given the lack of signage specifying this, they were in the wrong. I'm 62 FFS!”
However, the overwhelming winner was, inevitably, the Chateau du Hunter: Boreham Wood.
Who were the best away fans at JWW this season?
The Fylde Seagull got an honourable mention, Aldershot’s were described as “very noisy” and Tranmere were popular for turning up after their game at Dover had been postponed, thus diverting several thousand pounds destined for Uncle Jim into our account. Merci, et bonne chance contre les salauds de Boreham Wood!

And the worst …The bromance with Dover is well and truly over. Their crack squad of Stone Island wearing 14-year-olds, singing songs about the IRA and inviting women to “get their tits out”, proved about as popular as a Marine Le Pen book signing in a Halal butchers. This desperate pack of future EDL members were way ahead of their nearest challengers, Woking, who have a similar problem: half a dozen day-release trainee gammons are Max Cliffording their club’s reputation.
One of you went for the simple: “Boreham Wood, because they are cunts.

Has the stewarding at JWW improved, deteriorated or stayed the same?
No real change here, although the fact that no one called them “absolute cunts” this year can probably be taken as a sign that things might be improving slightly. We are indeed making progress if a man can turn up in a hi-viz jacket and not have it confiscated because the risk of him dying of hypothermia is outweighed by the possibility his jacket might confuse the elite match day security unit.

Was any pleasure you derived from GNFC's play-off fuck-up outweighed by the nausea of knowing that we'll have to play them again next season?
General ambivalence, summed up by the response: “Kedwell’s face at the end was satisfying but having to go back to their IKEA/Holiday Inn shithole is a terrible thought. They’ll only beat us again too.” 

What's more terrifying, the thought of a Trump-triggered nuclear annihilation, or the sight of a dozen Dover fans clad in burberry, rampaging through the 'Stone?
We remain hopeful that a deal may yet be struck where Trump’s supporters and Dover’s yoofs are the only victims of some kind of Mutually Assured Cuntaggedon.

Do you think Medway Council's decision to sponsor the 01634s is an outstanding deal for the local taxpayer, or tantamount to flushing thousands of pounds of hard earned cash down the Junior Hoillet?
“I don't live in 01634, don’t fucking care how on what they spend the tax payer money. If they dont like it riot, that should help promote the hovel.” 

Who has the more difficult job, Jim Parmenter's hairdresser or Danny Hunter's PR manager?
Responses to this ranged included the slightly biblical: “The Hunter: he is an abomination,” and the idea of his PR man struck most of you as being about as appealing as being Norma Tebbit’s fluffer. One of you, somewhat cruelly, said: “Saunders’ dietician, he is getting porky.” There was a widespread acknowledgement that Uncle Jim’s hairdresser is an artist. A word that’s been used to describe Jim himself in fact, albeit in a slightly different context.

Competition time: how much glue will Danny Kedwell make using the latest industrial practices?
One of you was sensible enough to point out that “he might yet end up back here.” Another thought we were being too harsh on him (yeah, sorry) and yet another remembered him as a pacy winger who played for us when Jim Ward was in charge. Most of you said anything between 2 and 300 million metric tonnes.