TheFrozenNortherner has christened his office Chateau D, if and while I may not be in quite the same predicament as Edmond Dantes it should at least give you an idea of my position within my workplace, it should also demonstrate that I have at least read one book. Everyone should read something whether it is War and Peace or the Beano (showing my age here). Unsurprisingly, it will come as no great shock that sports biographies are among my favourites. Here starting at number 10 are my selection to put on your bucket list.

Captain of Hungary: Ferenc Puskas

The first sports book I ever read seems a bit dated now, but as an eleven year boy back in 1966 it was an unbelievable account of a player who was probably the best European player of that time or any other time for that matter. Puskas was with Alfredo Di Stefano part of the greatest double act that football has seen or is likely to see. Before he ended up at Real Madrid he had an equally great partnership with a player probably long forgotten, Josef Bozsik. Growing up together as kids in the then Budapest suburb of Kispest their relationship on and off the field was almost telepathic. Both players were at the hub of the sensational Hungarian team of the early fifties, who were defeated only once in fifty games between 1950 and 1956. Unfortunately the game they lost was 1954 World Cup final, losing 3-2 to West Germany. The book takes you from his early childhood with Bozsik all the way to them playing football together with the national team. Puskas was a player who I guess would have played for nothing, unlike the pampered so called stars we have to deal with today. I still occasionally read it forty nine years after reading it for the first time. Emotional!!

Boszik (in the sunglasses) with Puskas together in more informal surroundings


J Fitzpatrick dark brown suede “Greenwood” Oxfords
J Fitzpatrick dark brown suede “Greenwood” Oxfords

There is no doubt that I have major problems with shoes. I love them and can be a right royal pain in the backside if can’t get the ones I want, or even worse ones I can’t afford. So let us be clear when talking shoes, what I wear on my feet is dictated by my financial situation. Living and working in Newcastle severely limits your choice, you can buy over the internet but this is not something I would chose to do when it comes to shoes. Ideally you should visit a good shoemaker who knows what they are talking about and will listen to what you are looking for, offer good advice and avoid the sales pitch. However there are no bespoke shoemakers in the north east and even if there were there is no chance of me being able to afford them. Up here the TFN has found there is a very limited choice with regard to the top end brands such as Edward Green, GJ Cleverley’s, Gaziano and Girling or John Lobb, but please correct me if I am wrong. I would love a pair of any of the aforementioned makes but you have to be realistic, for me a good pair of ready to wear shoes is about as far it goes. There are some great choices in the mid-price range such as Cheaney, Church’s, Grenson and Loake etc. Currently at the top of my list are the shoemakers J Fitzpatrick and Crockett and Jones who make shoes that I like and can be bought now and again. Both makes are very good; Crockett and Jones are long established brand and produce an extensive range of top quality shoes. J Fitzpatrick (who has only been in existence for a short period) also produces an excellent selection of shoes and is the brain child of Justin Fitzpatrick aka The Shoe Snob.

Crockett and Jones Barrington Oxford

Neither of these shoes can be described as cheap and may require quite a bit of saving before acquiring, but believe me they are well worth the expense. Buying them in the north east is difficult, Crockett and Jones be bought at Palmers Menswear in Jesmond . But there is no chance of getting a pair of J Fitzpatrick up here, none whatsoever which is a pity because they are very good.


Can somebody please explain to me what on earth these are?

The Nike Magista

Kids, or shall I say kids’ parents are buying these in their droves, retailing at £120 you have got to be mentally insane to buy these for your child. You would never play football in these monstrosities and they are certainly not a fashion item, so why would you purchase them? Well, like most things advertised the kids will see players like Neymar or Christiano Ronaldo wearing them, so they must be good and perhaps they will make us play like them. Wrong! Nike the company responsible for making these eyesores, along with a lot of other multinational business that now own the majority of all major sporting goods enterprises, have gone publicity mad and are exploiting the market to saturation point. Nike was once a company that built its reputation on producing a great track shoe; this has not been the case for a very long time now. This company has lost its soul as well as its credibility; it is now all about the mighty dollar and nothing else. When Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman started the company up in 1964 as Blue Ribbon Sports, they traded out of the back of Knight’s automobile. Both men were ambitious and visionary; however, the company they built has nothing to do with sport anymore and is more about greed. Nike should have stuck to the track and field market as they originally intended, but as their appetite to outdo Adidas took over, which has led to the disappearance of any moral and ethical values. Steve Prefontaine must turning in his grave. SWOOSH.


TheFrozenNortherner is an opportunity for me to air my views on subjects that I like but also things that frustrate and annoy me; I am not a journalist and have no experience of writing any type of article on any subject. Most blogs that I read are very good and they mostly involve clothes, music, film, literature and sport in no particular order. Therefore these are the subjects I would like to discuss and debate.

Globalization has made has made all of these topics readily available through the internet and in general it is my opinion that this has made people lazy. I now find myself faced by the Playstation generation at every turn and it is not some that I am embracing easily. The younger age group can barely get of their room never mind do something constructive whereas the 30 to 45 age band are lying on the couch watching Sky Sports listening to people like Jim White talking utter garbage on the hour every hour.

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The Shape of Sport to come the dreaded Playstation (Scary!)

This commercialism frenzy is driving me insane; it dictates what people wear, what they eat, what they drink, what they listen and which sport they watch. It is draining the life of my body, is this, the direction we want to go, god I hope not. Hopefully this blog will provide you with some insight to things that I care about and raise some questions.