Not so many happy returns. Just some more nasty niggles


Birthday number 37 produced two unwanted gifts. Not your standard knitted jumper or pair of socks, something much worse. A first competitive defeat in management and a recurrence of Gilmore’s groin. I’m not sure which is more painful.

Redbridge Jewish Care, one of my former clubs, ended North London Raiders A’s unbeaten run at match six. We face them again in the cup on Sunday by which time I hope that my injury improves. That said, I’m finding it hard to play and manage but an injury to Stuart Simons has forced me to come out of semi-retirement one more time.

One piece of news to come out of the Raiders B camp is that recent signing Mike Hershman is the team’s new bleep test champion with a score of level 16.7.

● I played MSFL super-agent the other day to help Division Three Zig Zag ease their goalkeeping crisis. Jonathan Tiller, my brother-in-law, has joined DJ Neal Cohen’s motley crew in Division Three. A delighted Cohen said: “We welcome Jon, an experienced goalkeeper who has played Maccabi and Masters football for many years.”

● MSFL Premier Division leaders North West Neasden A will be flying the flag in the Sunday FA Cup when they take on Hammer in round three. Matt Stock and Sammy Ross are unavailable as the team looks to take another step towards the final at Anfield.

Joint-manager Jamie Cole said: “A lot of people are happy we made the third round, but I’ve always had the attitude that we should go that one step further. Anfield is five games away and it’s important that we keep that dream alive. We’ve got a really good team spirit and I’m pretty confident we’ve got the players and the attitude to win this game.”

● Hatton Garden jeweller Lewis Malka completed the ING New York City Marathon in 4:39. Completing his eighth marathon, Lewis raised more than £7,200 for Meir Panim, an Israeli-based charity As Lewis explains, “The money raised will feed more than 200 Holocaust survivors for a month. I love the idea of an electronic food card, because instead of queuing up for charity food parcels, it allows people to preserve their self-respect and to choose their food and essentials by themselves.” Running with an injury he finished only nine minutes slower than his last marathon, although he found himself being overtaken by “an Abba double act in handcuffs and a six foot parrot”.

● For any aspiring runners out there, the Gauchers Association, a Jewish charity supporting sufferers of the rare genetic disorder Gauchers Disease, has a limited number of places left for the London Marathon 2010. They will provide full support to runners. Email me if you are interested.

● Northern Ireland Friends of Israel are hoping to raise £1,500 for Soccer for Peace through a signed football shirt auction. Jerseys up for grabs include Manchester United, Arsenal, Maccabi Haifa and the Israel international squad. More details at

Thanks for all your birthday messages.

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