About Us

Firstly, thanks for looking at Goals and Wickets.

On this page, I will answer the following questions;

1. How did Goals and Wickets come about?

2. What is Goals and Wickets?

3. Who is Goals and Wickets for?

4. How can you make the most of this Goals and Wickets blog website?

5. How can you make the most of the Goals and Wickets Ebay Shop?

6. What can you do if you can’t find what you are looking for in the Goals and Wickets Ebay Shop?

7. What is the longer term plan for the site and shop?

 

 

1. How did Goals and Wickets come about?

My name is Mark Cripps. I am 61 and originally from North London. I now live in Greater Manchester close to Oldham Athletic and all the other numerous league and non league football clubs in the area as well as many local cricket clubs and Lancashire’s newly rebuilt Old Trafford cricket ground, a short drive away.

Also, with the M62 not far away, I am in easy reach of all the football and cricket of West and South Yorkshire to the east and Liverpool to the west.

I have worked in marketing and youth sports and I set up Goals and Wickets when bad knees forced me to give up sports coaching.

In many ways, Goals and Wickets is a reflection of my own personal history in sport which began a long time ago.

It was 1963. I was 7 years old. I remember standing in front of the TV and something called the F.A. Cup Final was on.

A team called Leicester City with a player called Stringfellow, were playing a team called Manchester United. Stringfellow, what a fun name, I thought. By the end of the game, I was crying as the gangly winger and his team had lost 3-1 but I was also hooked and made my first of many demands to my parents for a football.

Then shortly afterwards, I ran in from the garden and something else intriguing was on the TV.

Two large men who looked like angry spiders were charging towards a man in a white coat and when they reached him, they hurled a ball at ferocious speeds at another man standing not too far away who was holding a long bit of wood to protect him.

It was actually West Indian fast men, Wes Hall and Charlie Griffith bowling at England’s Mickey Stewart and John Edrich in the Test match. I was inspired and immediately went out into the garden, stuck three sticks into the ground and started to do a poor copy of Hall in an attempt to hit my own newly created wickets. I didn’t stop bowling for another 20 years.

At 11, a boy possessed, I scored goals (4 in my first match for Finchley County against Hendon County) and took wickets (7-14 against local rivals Woodhouse).

By 15, still obsessed, I had played for the county at cricket and the district at football.

By 18, after captaining all the school teams, I went off to Liverpool University where an amazing 3 years began playing for the University at both football and cricket; my life was very much full of goals and wickets (see blog post ‘ Chasing Sammy’).

In my 20’s, returning to North London, I played football for Winchmore Hill in A.F.A. football (Southern Amateur League) and then Burgess Hill Town (Sussex County League) when work took me down to live in Sussex.

In cricket, I played for Finchley C.C. (Middlesex League) at a time when they were not only one of the top clubs in Greater London but nationally too with an appearance in the National Club Knock Out at Lord’s (sadly, I had moved away by then and missed this significant day).

My choice of home down in Sussex was a terrific flat overlooking Sussex’s County Ground in Hove and Brighton & Hove Albion’s Goldstone Ground (sadly gone but not forgotten) was 10 minutes away.

I’d always been interested in a 3rd sport and in my late 20’s, I got heavily involved in tennis becoming a coach when I got fed up with the corporate world where I had risen up the ladder with commensurate expansion of company car size, salary and cheese plant filled office but also never ending pressure from the relentless requirements from the organisation to deliver more.

14 fantastic years running a junior tennis programme followed where I coached kids from the ages of 4 to 18.

But then my knees went and everything had to change.

With the expansion of the Internet and sites like Ebay, a rekindling of interest in Wisden Cricketers’ Almanacks after receiving one as a leaving present (thanks Maya) and with a large collection of old football programmes sitting in the cupboard, the seed was planted to get back involved with the sports which started me off. I began selling on Ebay in 2009.

Also, I had started to write about junior tennis back in 2000 (without friend Bob Mitchell, that work and this site would never have come about, so Mitch, a huge ‘Thank You’).

By 2010, I found myself writing long posts on Internet forums about football and cricket which people seemed to like. I turned many of these into articles and set up a blog on Google’s Blogger site as a place to put them.

Then the thought of developing a site where I could write about football and cricket but also give people the chance to buy items too started to form and it was Leon Calverley at Door4 who outlined the idea of a site as you are seeing it now (he informed me that within the world of digital marketing, such a site is often referred to as an e-zine).

At this point, all my blog posts were about current issues and events in football and cricket although I did find myself developing an angle of looking at things then and now and comparing and contrasting to see if any conclusions could be drawn. There were no articles about memorabilia. But as time went by and the discussions about a possible site continued to evolve, I was also receiving requests from collectors about their club’s content within non club specific items of memorabilia, particularly annuals and magazines.

Having decided to go ahead with the site, it was a few days before work began that I decided to make the main emphasis of the blog actually about the memorabilia bearing in mind the lack of content on the Internet about the subject. I could always include all the other general football and cricket content which I had written on the first blog, especially bearing in mind that there was a memorabilia aspect to those pieces anyway (I always illustrated those blog posts with memorabilia where possible). Also, these more general articles would add another strand of interest for blog readers and I enjoyed writing them.

So this site is the result.

 

2. What is Goals and Wickets?

Goals and Wickets is a celebration of football and cricket, especially through the memorabilia of both sports.

This website is the combination of a blog and a shop: the opportunity to find out about memorabilia and to buy it.

The site’s content, unashamedly takes a nostalgic look back through the Annuals, Programmes and Magazines of both sports.

But the real lifeblood in both sport is what is going on now. So although Goals and Wickets is about enjoying football and cricket in the past, it is also about enjoying what is going on now. The blog articles in the Other Topics sections in both Football and Cricket will focus on topical issues in both sports.

The site is an opportunity to enhance your collecting knowledge through blog content which is both a tribute to the memorabilia of football and cricket and a nostalgic look backwards.

But it will also provide observations, analysis and reminiscences about changes in both sports, especially in the post war era with content on current topics too.

At any time, visitors can browse and buy memorabilia items of interest by clicking through the links to the Ebay Shop.

Goals and Wickets is really summed up by the sites’s tag line, ‘For the love of the game‘, for both football and cricket.

I hope Goals and Wickets will help you to make the most of your love of the game whether football, cricket or both.

 

3. Who is Goals and Wickets for?

Goals and Wickets is for fans of football and cricket worldwide.

You may be like me? Someone who loves both football and cricket. I was definitely one of those sports fans who were  bought up when there was a much more defined split between the football and cricket seasons. The football season began after the cricket’s Gillette Cup Final in the start of September and the cricket season began in late April pretty much after football’s F.A. Cup Final.

Many fans supported a football team in the winter and their cricket county in the summer. It was Blackburn Rovers either side of Christmas, Lancashire either side of the summer holiday; Bristol City through the cold months, Gloucestershire through the warm ones (hopefully). Birmingham City in Division 1 and Warwickshire in the County Championship.

Even now, when the global schedules of both sports are broadcast and reported on all year round, there are still many fans like this and Goals and Wickets has always had these dual interest enthusiasts firmly in mind as it has developed.

Of course, not everyone likes both sports, so Goals and Wickets is for the ‘football only’ and the ‘cricket only’ fans too. If you are one of these fans, the site been designed to enable you to enjoy it according to your individual preferences (see below).

But as well as being supporters of individual clubs and teams, visitors to Goals and Wickets may be part of some key groups of people who interact with both football and/or cricket;

– those involved in football memorabilia and / or cricket memorabilia (collectors, Ebayers, dealers and auction house staff).

those involved in the coverage of the sports (broadcasters, journalists, writers and webmasters, producers and researchers).

those involved in the history of the sports (archivists, historians, researchers and statisticians).

those involved with the running of the sports (coaches, administrators, officials and volunteer helpers)

I hope that any of the above might use the site for both personal and professional reasons.

Finally, I hope those looking for gifts for their partner, relative or friend will use the site. An item of memorabilia can be a lovely unexpected gift at birthdays, at Christmas or any celebration.

So although there are plenty of people who have little interest in football or cricket, they probably know someone who does. The items in the Goals and Wickets Shop are a list of possibilities for a great gift. I will help anyone who needs advice about what to buy.

 

4. How can you make the most of this Goals and Wickets blog website?

The site is set up for visitors to choose what they look at based on what they like.

The key to using this site is how you use the header keyword links at the top of every page and the categories and tags on the pages, once you have entered the main sections of the site.

As far as your sport preferences, if you like football, click the Football header keyword link at the top of any page and you will take yourself to the Football homepage.

While on this page, you can find out about the history of football memorabilia by clicking on any of the posts in each of the three columns on Annuals, Programmes or Magazines.

Or if you click on the category title Annuals, for example, this will take you to a page showing you to a feed of all the posts on that category.

If you click on the 4th category header for Other Topics (far right), this will take you to a list of posts about the world of football in general. These posts are usually illustrated with items of football memorabilia.

While on any football page, you will also see a set of tags on the left hand side, one for Clubs and one for People. Click on any one of these and posts will come up where that club or person has been tagged to a post or posts.

You will also see a list of general Tags (on the left hand side of the Football homepage and on the right of all other football pages). These tags have been used for all other links other than Clubs and People, like the individual titles of some of the memorabilia (e.g. Charles Buchan’s Soccer Gift Book or Charles Buchan’s Football Monthly magazine).

If you like cricket, you can click the Cricket header keyword link at the top of any page and you will be taken into the Cricket section. The Categories, including Other Topics, tags, pages and posts work in exactly the same way as in the Football section.

If you are only interested in football, you can go to the football section and stay there.

If you only like cricket, it’s the same. You can go to the cricket section and stay there.

Of course, if, like me, you are interested in both sports, you can switch between sports by using the header keyword links on the top of every page.

If you click the Blog header keyword link on the top of any page, this will take you to a Latest Articles list showing the posts most recently put on the site from both sports and all categories. On this page, you will see the tags for both football and cricket on the left hand side of the page, so you can make your navigation choices accordingly.

 

5. How can you make the most of the Goals and Wickets Ebay Shop.

At any time, if you want to browse and buy items from the Goals and Wickets Ebay Shop, you can get directly to the Shop’s Homepage on Ebay by clicking the Ebay header link at the top of every page or any of the green Ebay Sales banners which appear on every page of the site.

When at the Shop homepage, you can use the left hand side menu categories to click on any category that you are interested in (e.g. Football Annuals or Cricket Magazines).

Now at the category page, the menu will show all the titles available.

Also, while on any one of the category pages, you can type in your club’s name to the upper left hand side shop search box and then click ‘Search’.  This search will bring up all the items across all the titles which have content for your club in them.

You can also perform this type of search when at the shop homepage to see what items with your club content are available across all categories.

 

6. What can you do if you can’t find what you are looking for in the Goals and Wickets Ebay Shop?

Let me know what you need.

Send me an e-mail via the Contact page of the site with a summary of what you collect.

If there are specific items, then let me know what these are.

Like many Ebayers and dealers, I buy large job lots of items in order to obtain the items I am really interested in. This means that at any given time, I have considerably more items in stock than I have listed for sale.

Also, if you send me your Wants lists, I can keep these in mind when attending auctions to buy new stock.

 

7. What is the longer term plan for the site and the shop?

My vision for the longer term version of this site is that it will develop into an essential reference site for collectors who are looking for items of memorabilia with their club’s content.

From my master collections, I aim to go through the individual issues of the titles, especially the annuals and magazines and put archive reference posts on the site giving the highlights of the content according to club and player.

Much preparatory work in this area has already been completed. So now the site is up and running, the task is to start putting on the posts.

The more posts I put on, the bigger the site will become as an archive of what content is in which publications by club and player.

Collectors will be able to use the Tags to click on their favourite club and/or players and look through lists of posts which contain relevant content (e.g. the Football League Reviews have Aston Villa content in them or the Playfair Cricket Monthlies which have Hampshire content in them). Hopefully, when they have found what they are looking for, they can then switch into the Goals and Wickets Ebay Shop and find the items in question listed for purchase.

In this way, both blog website and Ebay Shop will only get bigger and better, so I hope visitors and buyers will be patient and keep returning.

If they do, I am aiming to make their loyalty worth while by providing an expanding and increasingly comprehensive reference resource and supply of available memorabilia.

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