Duckers & Diving: Dead-eye Duckers dons shooting boots for award showdown
OUR dishevelled diarist Duckers is swapping his pen for his football boots as he looks to settle a score with a fierce rival which has been rumbling through the city’s business community for almost a year.
Judges in last year’s Midlands Media Awards couldn’t separate the heavyweight hack from his former BPM colleague Jon Griffin when it came to deciding who should be Business Journalist of the Year.
With typically British stoicism they opted for a good old fashioned compromise and awarded the pair joint custody of the trophy.
But with reputations on the line sharing was never likely to be an option and of course, ultimately there can be only one winner.
So how should they decide – a toss of the coin, a pugilistic prizefight to rival the Rumble in the Jungle?
In truth they’ve opted for something in-between – a one-off penalty shoot-out at Villa Park during the half-time interval between Villa’s forthcoming game with the star-strewn Manchester City on March 4.
The dynamic duo will be asking the 40,000 crowd to forego their half-time Bovril and support their winner-take-all showdown.
To add more spice to the clash, the pair have decided to turn the event into a showpiece fundraiser for popular Midlands charity Acorns. The organisation helps terminally-ill children and their families, providing hospice care at centres in Selly Oak, Walsall and Worcester. Villa has been a strong advocate of the charity, even carrying its name on the shirts of its players during the 2008/09 season. The club remains a partner of the charity.
The duo have called on the city’s business community to support the event and donations can be pledged at: www.justgiving.com/john-duckers
“We’ll also take cash and cheques,” said Duckers.
The event is being supported financially by Barclays Bank, which has purchased a small number of hospitality packages for spectators.
Dead-eye Duckers and Goal-shy Griffin will each captain two teams of three and the event will be refereed by regional Barclays executive Ray O’Donoghue. Heart FM’s Ed James, chairman of the Birmingham Press Club, will be donning a green jersey and standing between the posts as ‘goalkeeper’ for the night.
Former Villa players, England international Tony Daley and England B international Riccardo Scimeca, will also be taking part and Griffin’s Birmingham Mail is currently running a competition to find two youngsters, aged 11 to 14, to join in the fun and take two penalties each.
The Press Club is to fund tickets for the pair plus those of accompanying adults.
O’Donoghue said: “We are delighted to support this one-off event, which aims to help a very worthy cause.”