Bonjour mes Amis Violets,

Tough times.

Social Distancing. Hoarding. Economic strife. Political discordance. These are dark and challenging days. Fortunately for us, there are a few shining beacons of hope and positivity penetrating the darkness like Gorgeous Alan’s smile on a rainy late December day at Grists.

Several members of the club either work within, or have partners that work within, the NHS. Whilst there is limited need to highlight the criticality of their contribution, we’d like to take a moment to make clear the level of respect, appreciation and awe we have for you, especially at the current time, and in the face of such a daunting challenge. You are heroes, and we are grateful for all you do.

To the members and friends of the club keeping the country running by quietly going about their key worker jobs, we are equally indebted to you. You have our admiration and our respect. You too are public champions and we salute you.

This bastard virus promises to be the sternest test of the fabric of our society. Beyond enjoying our football, OTFC is built on principles of shared endeavour, respect for one another and fostering community both within and beyond the boundaries of the club. As such, we’d like to do what we can to support our community at this time.

If there is anything we can do to support anyone in the wider club network, or beyond, please click here to drop an email to or just connect to us via any of our social media channels and let us know how we can help. We’ll try to bring the full force of the OTFC network to bear to do what we can to assist (obviously operating within advice provided by government). Food drops, contacting isolated people, sharing resources etc., we’re up for it. Let us know.

Right, on to the usual nonsense.

Predictably, following an off-season ground inspection conducted by The Chairman last Friday, Grists is now bone dry. The Groundsman is apoplectic. Limited summer action (bar the odd dog deciding that the goal mouth looks a wonderful location for some business) may mean (many things dependent) we return to an absolute carpet for the late summer friendlies. We may even have to learn to pass to one another.

Some football was played since the last Peril sometime in the early Pleistocene, despite the recent weather most closely resembling the Neolithic Subpluvial humid period.

The 1s lost one and drew one, although Will assures me that if the season is called off now, and points are pro-rata’d from the 7 league games to date, they’ve won the league. I haven’t bothered to check, but I’m sure his maths is correct.

The 2s played 4 and lost 4, fighting valiantly, and winning the final half of their season 3-1 under the tactical genius of The Secretary. One of the games did involve an absolute battering away at Barn Elms, after which James Matthews channelled his inner Siegfried Sassoon and penned the following match report:

Twelve poor footballers
Lots of puffing and panting
Goose droppings on ball

The 3s smashed one oppo 6-0 early in the year, but have then returned to normal OTFC form and narrowly lost a few games in succession.

The 4s and 5s have been far and away our most successful teams in the latter part of the season, collecting a series of wins and draws apiece. Props to Conrad, Nader and Matt for scheming their respective resurgences.

The Vets played some football, had a few games cancelled, smashed a few friendlies out and generally had a jolly nice time. They are all now safely quarantined in their various nursing homes.

In a quite stunning turn of fate, it looks as though none of our teams have been either promoted or relegated this season, continuing a fine run of staying-up form enabled via any means available other than actually winning games of football.

Since the rest of the season was deferred indefinitely, the squads have been entertaining themselves with various activities and challenges, primary of which has been the toilet-roll-keepy-uppy-challenge. The current leader (based purely on volume of social media posts, rivalling only Ant Middleton for content-based follower-loss) is probably The Fixtures Secretary, with about 7. Given he’s a goalkeeper, this doesn’t bode well for general skills standards, but is likely an accurate depiction of them. Please do reach out to Kimber/Nichols if you have anything entertaining or mildly interesting to forward out via social media channels. Within reason/taste, obvs.

The Leadership Team (a loose collection of loose individuals with nothing better to do other than plot the rise and rise of OTFC) are currently working out some engagement ideas for the next 6 months of so. The first engagement idea is to ask the club for engagement ideas. If you have any engagement ideas, please forward them to Your Captain for consideration. More to follow.

Keep your chin(s, in some cases) up everyone. Follow the rules, look after yourselves and your loved ones and use the vast array of comms technology at your fingertips to stay in touch and look after one another.

“Every season has its peaks and valleys. What you have to try to do is eliminate the Grand Canyon.”

Andy Van Slyke

Le Peril.


Recruiting for OTFC Ladies next season

We are keen for any potential female players including current or former students to reach out to join the OTFC Ladies team. We are recruiting for anyone interested who would like to play competitive women’s football in a safe, friendly environment – training will take place for an hour on one evening a week at the Tiffin Sports Centre 3G pitch, playing competitive 11-a-side football on Sundays in south and south-west London as part of the Greater London Women’s Football League.

Please contact either Sophie Ramsbottom ( or for more details.

Weddings, Births, Familial Events

Yet to receive our invite to the wedding of the (next) year. Looking at you, James Matthews.


Not an awful lot to correct, other than Will’s maths. 13 points divided by 7 games = 1.86 points per game. The current league leader has 34 points from 15 games, and one team has 25 points from 11 games. I’ll stop there.

Gardening Tips

March is a critical time for Strawberries. Get sowing your seeds, planting your runners and focus on Alpine varieties. You could even start pollinating under glass. Also – now is the time to cover any bare spots or patchy grass with reseeding, and best to make sure the seeds are pressed 5-10mm into the soil and remain moist.