NORMALLY at this time of year we would be looking towards the sharp end of the season, to then celebrate our achievements at the club dinner, present a few awards and look forward to a well-earned rest.

Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic has slammed the breaks on those end of season plans and we now find ourselves with an enforced early break.

Clubs and their players all around the country will be experiencing a whole new weekend life; this will involve such things as speaking to the wife or partner.

A friend of mine told me that after he started speaking to his wife again, he found she had been made redundant from Woolworths.

As social distancing continues, and conversations with our nearest and dearest become more strained, there was a clearly heard collective sigh of relief when it was announced that off-licences were exempt from closure.

Of course social distancing is not a major problem for us at Northwich, it is something to which we were subjected for many years by those clubs who believed wrongly that they were somehow better than us!

Our dear friend Brian Williams’ funeral has taken place and very sadly without the number of people who would have been expected.

And then we heard of Ian Watkin passing. It would be wonderful again if members were able to rise to their feet on the morning of the funeral, and raise a glass

Ian (Ewee) would have been bemused but thrilled. Six feet apart was a foreign concept to Ewee, always standing by your shoulder with a Guinness in hand.

Due to current guidelines a funeral will not be the celebration of the lives they deserved.

Hopefully, when this dreadful thing has passed we can unite and celebrate their life. Rest in peace, fellas, and thanks for the memories.

But what do you do in lockdown? Many started with Sudoku, and quickly discovered you can have enough of that and crosswords too!

Many of your wives or partners must have second sight because immediately the lockdown came into effect you had been dragged into visiting B&Q, and indulged in buying copious quantities of decorating materials.

They quickly then decided that going up and down ladders and steps at your age had now become out of the question, as she didn’t want to risk her income or having to visit A&E.

The rugby player’s life was then turned to total chaos as it was rumoured that all the major supermarkets are revising their parking regulations. To avoid possible collisions, it is proposed that it will be compulsory to reverse park.

They think that this will also vastly reduce the number of people parking as about half of UK drivers struggle with this skill! You guess which half was then dispatched to social distance for two hours before getting lost between the bread, groceries and milk aisles.

As I mentioned in a recent piece our next season’s destinations are now known.

Clearly it’s not just I that is scratching around for something to do. A fellow dodger has been on Google and Street Map and armed with his abacus has calculated that we will travel a distance of 2000 miles in pursuit of glory next season. Who would ever have thought that we would be travelling such distances, it’s comparable to driving a round trip to Budapest.

This vast amount of travelling will surely try that gallant band of supporters who pack the front half of the coach for the away trips. Apparently we will need two coaches due to having to sit six feet apart. Mind you there are already a couple of the guys that nobody wants to sit near anyway!

For those of us suffering withdrawal symptoms from not visiting ‘The Club’, home isolation continues.

However I have taken the opportunity, as the government has encouraged, to learn new skills and as such I have acquainted myself with the intimate workings of the Dyson, Indesit and other domestic appliances, simply to stop getting bored.

I honestly cannot see why domestic engineers (or wives and partners as they also known) make such a fuss about it all.

Some humour has been evident during these dour times. If you get the chance have a look on our Facebook pages.

And now, as we conclude we should consider some missed awards, those most sought after accolades based on personal experience, but mostly rumour and hearsay.

Butter fingers – Pat Fray

Most welcoming Club (for lunch) - Northwich RUFC

Mothercare award for best dummy – Tom Husband

Best away day – Douglas (IoM)

Worst weather – Douglas (IoM)

Best Player – Not saying, his head’s big enough already

In the hole award – Frazer for digging it

I am sure you will all have your own recipients as well.

ALL of you – as club members, players, coaches, volunteers, supporters, and sponsors - are part of this great club where our ambition is as strong as ever. We will continue to keep you updated on a regular basis and look forward to welcoming you all back to “Mossy” when life eventually gets back to normal. In the meantime…

Carl, while reminiscing about Ian, recalls “He was in the famous fighting 5ths team that went to Ashton Upon Mersey, got changed, taped and greased up, warmed up, all ready to play, our captain went to find the opposition captain only to be told they called it off the night before”.