About Me

I have been involved in Horse racing in one form or another in the past 20 years, getting the bug from attending glorious Goodwood in the days when Trundle Hill was as busy as the parade ring. I am a studious form analyst, whilst also having an interest in systematic approaches. Combined, the two disciplines have served me well over the years. My personal preferences in racing are as follows. I enjoy the spectacle and the colours of Flat Racing in the summer, when the sun is out and the temperatures high, but for a betting perspective and occasion i enjoy the national Hunt season, and of course its culmination at Cheltenham. All Weather racing is not everyone’s cup of tea, but i believe it provides us form students with a level playing field which can make form reading that little more simple. My favourite horse are Persian Punch, Rock of Gibraltar, Denman and Monets Garden for various performances, there are others too, and also the likes of Nuclear Debate, CD Europe, Imperial Commander and Crack Away Jack, these purely financial

West Brom 1978/79 Team Shot

I am a Portsmouth Supporter for my sins. I was brought up by a Liverpool mad dad, so started off a red, until i reached about 7, when i met a girl whilst on a camping holiday, who’s family were from West Bromwich, I immediately became a Baggie. What a time to be a baggie as well. Little did i know it then, but watching a team managed by Ron Atkinson, containing the likes of Brian Robson, Cyril Regis, Laurie Cunningham, Tony Brown, Derek Statham. Tony Godden in goal, hero, as I wanted to be a goalkeeper at 7! Ally Brown was another name i remember. I was fortunate enough to still be a fan 30th December 1978 when they beat Manchester United 5-3 in one of the most famous games in their history.

It was almost a year to the day when i was taken to my very first football match for real. In a real stadium!! Well I say Stadium, it’s a ground, but it’s still standing……….just!

29th September 1979 i was taken to see Portsmouth at home to York City, I remember little about the game, but did recall going to school the next day going on about being at the game and seeing 7 goals. Yes 7! And “we”, see, i was now  fan, had won 5-2. I dont think i was really a Portsmouth fan by this stage, but there was something to happen not long after that changed that.

29th December 1979, see, nearly a year to the date after the West Brom v Man Utd game and just three months after myfirst “taste” of Division 4 (League 2, pmsl!), my father took me again,  (freezing), to Fratton Park in Portsmouth for my second taste of real football.  Half time, dad got out the flask, (they did that in those days), and we had soup if i remember rightly. What i do remember is that I said i was cold and wanted to go home. Oh how different things could have been. By the 90 minute mark as Portsmouth ran out 6-1 winners!. I was hooked. That was it, this team were unbeatable, I had only been to see them twice and they had scored five the first time and six the second. This was also in the days of 28,000 crowds at Fratton Park, even in the basement division. West Brom Smest Brom, I was a Pompey fan. I have been an addict ever since.

Bringing the Fa Cup back to POMPEY!

Here is the strangest statement you’ll ever hear. My biggest disappointment ever watching my team: The FA Cup final arrive until 2.50pm outside meaning that I had missed the build up to the game inside the new Wembley. Inside i discovered that although in the relative safety of Club Wembley, we were at the polar opposite end of the ground to the Portsmouth fans! The game was a drab unexciting affair, sat next to someone I had never met before at the “wrong” end of the ground. We won of course, but the lap of honour happened to be only a half lap at the “right” end. I walked back to Harrow to my car, and drove home on my own with nothing but my thoughts that the win in the quarters at Old Trafford and the excitement of getting to the final against West Brom in the Semi at Wembley were so much sweeter and the radio for company and celebrations. In all my years as a wishful Pompey fan, and always the underdog, the game didn’t come up to the excitement levels of the three match multi replay beating of Spurs at Fratton Park in two evening games, the Crossley drop and Alan McClaughlin stab home against Brian Cloughs Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup quarter final second minute, for us to stoutly hang on to the final whistle to set up a semi-final against the might of Liverpool at Anfield, and of course the unforgettable feeling of being in the clock end when Darren Anderton,  from a Warren Neil pass, broke through, one on one with Grobbelar and slotted the ball home, to send us into a frenzy never seen before!

Just looking at this pick send shivers down my spine!

The Fa Cup final did not match up to the first time HarryRedknapp returned to Fratton Park after leaving us for the  unmentionables down the road, for us to thoroughly spank them and help them get relegated. And possibly my proudest moment as a Pompey fan some 31 years after first getting hooked was again in a game versus a Harry Redknapp side, after he had left us for a second time. This time, we had no players, Diarra, Defoe, Campbell, Crouch, Johnston, Distin, Kranjcar, Pennant, the list goes on, had all either left, gone to Spurs, or been shown the door cos we couldn’t afford to pay them. hell, we couldn’t even afford to pay the cleaners!, The club had gone to the dogs, we looked to have no future and were being wound up but found the resolve to get to the FA Cup semi-final to face Redknapps Spurs, under our former director of Football and erstwhile Chelsea manager Avram Grant. My proudest moment ever watching my team, and the memory that will stay with me for ever more of standing in Club Wembley once again, but this time at the “right” end with a tear in my eye, thinking how much better, and how much sweeter this Wembley experience was to the victorious Cup Final of 2008 and would we even have a club at the beginning of next season in the Championship? What a couple of years!!

Apart from that, I am 15 years happily married, love Golf and sunshine, preferably at the same time, am a huge music fan of all genres, and apart from Portsmouth, have three other clubs i follow as a fan rather than supporter. Valencia in Spain as the first stadium in Spain i ever visited, and I really enjoy Turkish football, the Super Lig is so open every year, I will always look for Fenerbahce results first. I’ve no recollection as to why I have latched onto them. Finally, my new found love is for Gharb Rangers in Gozo. The first Football match I ever attended in Gozo saw them beaten 8-1!!! The only was is up is it not. I am now a fan. Check out the Gharb Rangers section if you want to join me in supporting this club, I will attempt to relay as much information about them as possible on this site, with the help of my new found contacts in Gozo.


 

6 Responses to About Me

  1. Roger on August 29, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    Hi Mate

    As you know when I send out my tips, I always quote best price available with at least 2 bookmakers
    I am thinking is it possible to have your valuchecker best odds on my hotmail page to show the races I have tipped in…is this a technical nightmare

    Can you have a link to Rogergreenracing on your site.
    I pay 5p per visit for new visits..not a fortune butit mounts up
    Cheers

    • Marc Owen-Banks on August 29, 2011 at 1:37 pm

      Do you know how to insert html code on Hotmail. It’s really easy, just a click of a button. if you can do that, then i can give you the code to place on your mail.

  2. MidasTouch aka Colin Brown on September 3, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    Hi MOB

    Came across your site by chance so was somewhat surprised that you havn’t advertised it on the forums. Maybe it was whilst I was on holiday. Good Luck with your new site!

    MidasTouch

    • Marc Owen-Banks on September 3, 2011 at 1:39 pm

      Hey MT,

      Glad you found the site. Apart from the www button, i havent really put it out there. I am very happy for it to build on it’s own merits, and word of mouth from supporters like yourself is the best recommendation. I’m posting links on my facebook account and on twitter, but dont think it would go down too well if i were to make posts about it on the forums. Perhaps I’m shy!!

      Appreciate any recommendations though mate

      Hope you and yours are well, and hope you continue to enjoy the site as it builds. And dont forget to register for the BODUGI MOB games coming up!!

  3. GHARB RANGERS F.C. on September 12, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    HI THERE MARC!!!

    HOPE THIS MESSAGE FINDS YOU WELL. I AM ASSUMING THAT AS SOON AS I POST, YOU WILL RECEIVE MY EMAIL, RIGHT??? SO, IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOU CONTACT ME RE GHARB RANGERS…

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