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Northern Ireland v Italy - 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifier

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Fan Letters: Will the real Tom Flanagan please stand up?

Flanagan’s display against Italy has puzzled RR reader Rob!

Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Tom Flanagan playing as part of a defence that kept Italy quiet. You couldn’t make it up.

I seriously cannot make my mind up with this lad.

He has been great for most of this season. However recently he’s been poor. Against Rotherham I thought he was particularly bad.

Is this the start of another turnaround for him???

January is right around the corner and I think we need a towering, powerful CB. Currently none of the defenders we have fit that bill... ok, maybe Arby but we need to be patient.

Seaham Rob

Ed’s Note [Martin]: Flanagan had a great start to the season, and if he’d been a new signing we’d have all been raving about him, Rob. He’s had a dip in form, as many others have, and hopefully he’ll return from international duty reinvigorated. That said, I do think we need a big, strong, first choice centre back in January – as naturally Flanagan does seem to struggle when up against a strong centre forward.

Northern Ireland v Italy - FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifier
Tom Flanagan was part of the NI defence that kept Italy at bay
Photo By Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Well, most interesting articles about Hipsburn Drive - I knew the god Charlie Hurley lived in our road, in one of the cul-de-sacs, my family lived further up when I was 11 to 14 years old and then we moved away...but I can’t let Sunderland go...ever!! Then there was the time when a friend and I knocked on Brian Clough’s door, a couple of streets away for an autograph - knowing what I know now that was rash! Needless to say we were sent away with a flea in our ear!

Hoping that LJ can get us out of League One - still plenty of games to go yet!

Robert Crowther

Ed’s Note [Martin]: Thanks for your email Robert – I can only imagine the response from Cloughie! Good times.

Soccer - League Division Two - Chelsea v Sunderland - Stamford Bridge Photo by S&G/PA Images via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

I know that the Roker Report is a football forum but today’s revelation regarding the racism at Yorkshire Cricket Club are worthy of some discussion.

As has been well reported in the Media Yorkshire CC have been well and truly identified as being institutionally racist, with one of their ex players stepping forward with the details of how he has suffered. Even having racial comments directed at him when he was burying his still born baby.

Today there was a meeting of a Parliamentary Select Committee, including Julie Elliott, where the English Cricket Board, the equivalent of the FA were quizzed about their role as was Yorkshire CC.

Following the accusation of racism at the club Yorkshire recruited an International Law firm to do an INDEPENDENT INQUIRY, the firm being recommended by the Yorkshire boss Richard Hutton who had worked for that firm. INDEPENDENT???????.

A report has been issued and it appears that much has been done to confuse and cover up the problem.

However on to the ECB, who on the evidence given today don’t seem to subscribe to KICK IT OUT, are worse than the FA as Regulators of their sport. Some people including me would say that is not news.

For decades, and I have been watching Cricket going back to the time when many of Durham’s games were played at Ashbrooke, in the Minor League. Throughout that time I have formed the opinion that the ECB favours Cricket in the South and had little regard for Cricket in the North East. The best example of this was when Durham were disciplined for some financial problems and were relegated. No help offered to over come the issues just put the boot in. This despite Durham bringing forward local youngster who were making the grade and were being selected to play for England at test level. The Public School boys of the ECB were once again demonstrating their bias.

Lately they have decided to discipline Yorkshire by removing the Test Matches from the Yorkshire Club, relegation for them no way.

I just hope that Durham CC get stuck into the ECB and get the matches that are being removed from Yorkshire kept in the North and played at the Riverside.

NB these issues are way beyond a few people booing the players taking knee at the SOL.

Mordey St

Ed’s Note [Martin]: A few issues to unpick there Mordey St, and I’m sure a few others will have their say. I enjoy my cricket, but you’re right – it’s primarily run by the ‘old boys’ brigade down south! The Yorkshire issue just shows that racism is everywhere, and hopefully the revelations that have come out – and the ill-judged actions of YCCC to sweep it under the carpet – will serve as a huge wake up call to those running all codes of sport, as well as encouraging others to come forward.


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