Local paper’s sports editor asks: Am I no Angel?

ANTON RIPPON has reported on numerous cases of newspapers getting banned by their local clubs. But down in Kent, a sports editor is asking fans whether he should ban himself

Kent and Sussex CourierSuperstitious lot, footballers. Got to be last out of the dressing-room, always put their shirt on in the tunnel, must be third out on to the pitch … that sort of thing.

Football fans, too. My neighbour at Derby County’s iPro Stadium panicked because his wife had washed his “lucky” underpants. First time he’s been without them this season. He calmed down when I pointed out that we’d won only two home games since Christmas, and it was nearly Easter

Now, however, this superstition lark is beginning to impinge on sports journalism. The Kent and Sussex Courier is asking readers if sports editor Glenn Garrett should be banned from covering matches involving Isthmian League club, Tonbridge Angels.

It turns out that poor Garrett might be cursed. Or, more to the point, he has become a curse.

For nearly a decade, through thick and thin, Garrett has followed the Angels. Up to the Conference League South and back again. Last season wasn’t great, but when the Angels went on a good run towards the end of the campaign, the Courier’s sports editor was always there … whenever they lost.

That bad run has continued. Since the end of November he’s seen them win only once. Now, after this week’s 1-0 home defeat to Metropolitan Police – Leon Smith picked the ball up just inside the area and curled a cracker past Anthony Di Bernardo and into the top corner, if you’re interested – it seems that the players have had enough.

After this latest setback for the Angels, the Courier reported: “Garrett was overheard in the newsroom saying: ‘I think they’re worried, they clearly spot me in the press box before the game and feel under pressure. I’m seriously worried about the team making the play-off final. I won’t know what to do’.”

The footballers could have a point. When other sports reporters have filled in, the team has enjoyed success. Lee Wilmot has seen four Angels games this season – three wins and one draw.

Rob Warlow watched the Angels twice in the past month and they have won both times.

For their biggest win of the season – 7-0 at home to VCD Athletic – another reporter, Mark Ritson, was there. Isle of Thanet Gazette reporter Jon Phipps also saw them win at Margate in the Kent Cup.

The only victory Garrett has witnessed since November was the 4-0 thrashing of Leatherhead – and Wilmot was also there that day, covering for sister paper the Leatherhead Advertiser.

It’s all adding up to an insurmountable case for Glenn Garrett to stop covering the Angels. Now the Courier has asked readers to decide through an online poll.

Just when you thought our daft old business couldn’t get any dafter …