The History of Barnstoneworth United FC
Between 1976 and 1979 Michael Palin and Terry Jones made a nine part series for the BBC called ‘Ripping Yarns’, each episode with a different theme. Episode 8 was called ‘Golden Gordon’ and tells the story of the final days of Barnstoneworth United, a team playing in the Yorkshire League that had seen better days. In the 1920’s the team were very successful but by 1935 they were struggling and the fan support had dwindled. Golden Gordon Ottershaw (Michael Palin) is the clubs biggest fan and spends his entire life surrounded by everything Barnstoneworth even naming his son Barnstoneworth.
After suffering an 8-1 defeat, to Brighouse, who’s centre forward wears glasses, Gordon returns home and smashes the front room up in disgust, and throws the clock through the window. The club calls an emergency meeting at the Barnstoneworth United Social Club, which Gordon also smashes up. The chairman informs the members that the club is to be sold to the ‘Foggen Scrap’ company, who will name a crushing mill in honour of the club and that the following Saturdays cup game against Denley Moor Academicals will be the last game at the Sewerage Works Ground.
As the team can only muster four players, Gordon decides to go and round up all the stars from the early 1920’s to play the final match. The team win “8 bloody 1” and Gordon goes home to announce the victory and the family smash up the front room and Mrs Ottershaw (who’s “going to have a baby”) throws the clock out of the front window much to an amazed passerby (John Cleese) to end the episode.
Barnstoneworth on the NSW Central Coast
There are now numerous Barnstoneworth teams around the world inspired by the series including teams in Adelaide,Tasmania, Melbourne and Sydney with a heavy migrant presence, particularly Scottish & English. Barnstoneworth United Central Coast have been playing in the Central Coast Over 35 leagues for some 20 years, expanding into the current 8 teams and featuring players from Australia, Scotland, NZ, England, Ireland, Italy, Greece, Argentina, Costa Rica, Chile and the odd mutant that could be from anywhere.