Where did it all begin?

On the 24th January 2007 John Wright sent an email:

From: John Wright
To: <undisclosed recipients>
Date: 24 January 2008 12:00
Subject: Football Predictions
Starting from this weekend and running until the end of the season i will be arranging a football predictions competition.
The cost will be £1 per entry.
Each week i will send you an email with list of the weekends fixtures (generally this will be from the premiership & championship) – all you need to do is pick the outcome of each game. i.e. Home win, Away win or Draw. – Easy as that!
The prize fund each week will be 75% of the entry funds collected – with the remaining 25p accumulating over the season and will be split 70/30 between 1st place and the runner up.
I attached a copy of this weekends fixture list should you wish to join. I will also add your name to the league table as soon as you confirm whether you wish to take part.
Please then make sure you email me the fixture sheets with your predictions by 5.30pm friday.
You can play as little or often as you like – obviously the more you play the more chance you have of winning the grand prize come the end of the season.
Feel free to invite any friends/partners that wish to join aswell (just make sure you collect there cash as i’ll be unable to!)
Please let me know asap.
Thanks n good luck!
John

This email would reverberate throughout history and change the world for the better, forever. John couldn’t possibly have realised what he had done and single handedly incepted the greatest game known to Man.

Little has changed in the format of the game since that original game, aside from the cup competitions and now in its 8th season the game is going from strength to strength with 4 leagues and 70 participants stretching from Blackpool to Hamburg to Papua New Guinea and ages ranging from 5 years old to over 70!
Final standings for the first, short season haven’t survived but it was won by John’s future wife, Stephanie Davies, with his brother in law Andy Bennett in second place.

2008/09

Season 2 began in August 2008 with 23 taking part made up mainly of work colleagues, family members and friends. The full season saw John taking the prize money, pipping Paul Clarke into second place, a few fell by the wayside during the season, hence the pitiful scores at the bottom. The previous season’s winner, Steph had slipped down to 5 and second place Andy was enjoying mid table obscurity.
The final table:
POS NAME PTS
1 John Wright 315
2 Paul Clarke 314
3 Paul McDowell 306
4 Sean Crowley 300
5 Stephanie Davies 300
6 David Butcher 297
7 Chris Cole 297
8 John Bennett 295
9 Stewart Cole 292
10 Andy Bennett 291
11 Joe Bennett 284
12 Jeannie Bennett 282
13 Greg Ashworth 281
14 Mike Smedley 277
15 Jen Bellamy 277
16 Shonia McDonough 274
17 Matt Gough 273
18 Jason Bellamy 266
19 James Jardine 247
20 Emma Stephens 244
21 Carl Stevenson 240
22 Kerry Molyneux 144
23 Matt Allen 50

2009/10

Season 3 kicked off with the start of the Championship season in true Predictions Style, with the Charity Shield between Chelsea and Manchester United guest starring along with pre-season friendlies between Aston Villa and Fiorentina, Liverpool and Athletic Madrid, and who remembers fallen giants Portsmouth and Glasgow Rangers?!?
The now standard 40 game season was completed with a record points haul from Paul Clarke on 352, with David ‘Butch’ Butcher pushing John back down to third after the previous season’s victory.
POS NAME PTS
1 Paul Clarke 352
2 David Butcher 349
3 John Wright 346
4 Andy Bennett 342
5 James Jardine 341
6 Stephanie Davies 340
7 Stewart Cole 339
8 Paul McDowall 334
9 John Bennett 330
10 Chris Cole 329
11 Vicky Gayton 324
12 Joe Bennett 324
13 Sean Crowley 320
14 Jen Bellamy 317
15 Matt Bennett 316
16 Jason Bellamy 312
17 Mike Smedley 310
18 Shonia McDonough 302
19 Jeannie Bennett 295
20 Greg Ashworth 291
21 Matt Moss 285
22 Matt Gough 254
23 Carl Stevenson 244
24 Mark T 157
25 Emma Stephens 140

2010/11

Season 4 was the last season in the original format of a single league and saw an impressive 29 taking part. The season kicked off in week 2 of the championship and the first week of the Premiership with a clash of the titans seeing Blackpool travel to Wigan to start their first season in the top flight since 1971.
The usual suspects were pushed back this year as Sean Crowley took the gloves off and came out fighting. Not satisfied with 13th position in 2010, Crowlstains came of age growing from boy to man and notching up his first victory with 344. Noob of the season award was handed to Jon Gleave who kicked off his first season with an impressive 2nd place finish. Let’s hope this wasn’t beginners luck!
POS NAME PTS
1 Sean Crowley 344
2 Jon Gleave 327
3 Steph Davies 326
4 Paul Clarke 323
5 David Butcher 321
6 John Wright 320
7 Carl Stevenson 319
8 Andy Bennett 317
9 Paul Mcdowall 316
10 Dave Royle 315
11 Stewart Cole 314
12 Stan Mossop 313
13 Joseph Bennett 313
14 Chris Cole 308
15 John Bennett 307
16 Shonia McDonough 302
17 Greg Ashworth 300
18 Matt Bennett 299
19 Jen Bellamy 299
20 Nick Royle 297
21 Mike Smedley 296
22 Vicky Gayton 295
23 Carly McDonough 290
24 Jeannie Bennett 290
25 Jason Bellamy 284
26 Matt Moss 274
27 James Hebblethwaite 201
28 Matt Gough 42
29 David Rothwell 41

2011/12

By the time the fifth season kicked off the number of subscribers had rocketed to 40! John made the decision to split the game into 2 leagues, offering weekly prizes for both Division 1 and Division 2. Division 1 contained the ‘cream’ of the predictions world, with Division 2 housing the new starters. The shake up was radical – whoever finished in the top 3 of Division 2 would be automatically promoted at the end of the season – they would replace the bottom three of Division 1. It was all to play for!
Alan Kettlewell topped the inaugural Division 2 with what would have been the best season score ever in the predictions of 356 in his first season.
This season saw a new Goliath in the Predictions world emerge. Stan Mossop began his domination of the top of the table with an almighty score of 362! Sean Crowley kept up his good form to claim second spot by 2 points from John Wright.
The first relegation battle was definitely one to savour, with Jen Bellamy and Carl Stevenson rooted to the bottom of the table, it was left to the last five minutes of the season to see Jon ‘One Season Wonder’ Gleave fall foul of a late Antolin Alcaraz goal for Wigan Athletic and fill the final drop spot.
DIVISION 1 DIVISION 2
POS NAME PTS POS NAME PTS
1 Stan Mossop 362 1 Alan Kettlewell 356
2 Sean Crowley 351 2 Mark Golden 354
3 John Wright 349 3 Chris Snell 339
4 Matt Bennett 345 4 Jonny Moss 338
5 Stephanie Wright 344 5 Emma Stephens 331
6 Paul Clarke 339 6 Dominic King 327
7 Now Then’ Mick 338 7 Tony Hayes 327
8 Andy Bennett 336 8 Mike Smedley 327
9 Greg Ashworth 334 9 Tracey Gleave 324
10 Chris Cole 333 10 Ashley Kennedy 324
11 Stewart Cole 332 11 Stacey Sutherland 323
12 Dave Royle 330 12 Joseph Bennett 322
13 David Butcher 330 13 Tom Procter 318
14 Luke Wright 328 14 Jason Bellamy 317
15 John Bennett 327 15 Jonathan Birch 311
16 Nick Royle 327 16 Teresa Ashworth 310
17 Paul Mcdowall 326 17 Carly McDonough 298
18 Jon Gleave 324 18 Jeannie Bennett 287
19 Carl Stevenson 320 19 Matt Moss 253
20 Jen Bellamy 312 20 Tom Waugh 249
21 Kevin Podesta 232

2012/13

The predictions finally came of age when in August 2012, it grew to 4 Divisions and went international!
Buoyed by his Division 2 victory of the previous season, the Scottish contingent spread the word to Papua New Guinea (?) and an independent league for 20 of our foreign friends commenced.
Meanwhile back in Blackpool, the word had spread and we now had 3 divisions to play for.
The website was also launched which showed the live scores and tables updated on match days by John and the rest of the backroom staff.
Stan Mossop got motoring after Now Then Mick’s early form and took the lead in week 7 which he looked to have utilised and everyone thought he had the league title sewn up again, the bookies were rumoured to be considering paying out in week 36 when Stan was 6 points clear and home and dry. It was his to lose.
And lose it he did! 3 poor results in the last 3 weeks saw Stan finish in 4th position, with Matt Bennett pulling off a blinder to come from behind to win the trophy. At the other end of the table, Dave Royle and Luke Wright were happy to see a miserable season end while Butch and Stewart Cole lost out to John Bennett and Paul Clarke  to slip into Division 2. Speaking of which Joe Bennett romped home for the Division 2 title after a strong finish to the season. He was joined in Division 1 by Jon Gleave’s son Dominic King, and we saw a welcome return to the top flight by Jen Bellamy after a single season in the second tier. Jonny Moss also climbed into the upper echelons with a victory in the Division 2 play offs.
At the other end of the table mother and daughter combo Ellie Bennett and Jeannie Bennett both waved goodbye to second tier football while Steven Coles and Ashley Kennedy bowed out of the predictions completely!
Alex Rogan won the first Division 3 title and will be joined in Division 2 by Pete Louth and Chris Peel.
Over in Papua New Guinea, Tommy Alltask stormed the division with an impressive 303 (They didn’t start until week 5) and easily walked away with the international title.
Division 1 Division 2 Division 3 Division 4
Pos Name Pts Pos Name Pts Pos Name Pts Pos Name Pts
1 Matt Bennett 348 1 Joseph Bennett 331 1 Alex Rogan 335 1 Tommy Alltask 303
2 Mark Golden 344 2 Dominic King 321 2 Pete Louth 330 2 Neil Hallett 290
3 John Wright 341 3 Jen Bellamy 319 3 Chris Peel 328 3 Eric Surtees 284
4 Stan Mossop 340 4 Tom Procter 319 4 Jenny Rigby 322 4 Lucky Sanghera 281
5 Alan Kettlewell 340 5 Hayley Borkin 318 5 David Wolfenden 322 5 Simon Kelly 281
6 Sean Crowley 337 6 Jonny Moss 317 6 Mark Borkin 319 6 Carlos Nunes 281
7 Stephanie Wright 335 7 Emma Stephens 317 7 Kate Remblance 319 7 Ray Crispino 277
8 Chris Cole 329 8 Tony Hayes 311 8 Liam Smith 319 8 Pat O’Connor 266
9 Paul McDowall 328 9 Jonathon Birch 308 9 Danny Warren 318 9 Myles Kelly 255
10 Now Then’ Mick 320 10 Jon Gleave 306 10 Ben Wilmott 317 10 Ryle Conway 241
11 Chris Snell 318 11 Tracey Gleave 303 11 Jessie Wright 309 11 Rommel Mendoza 235
12 Greg Ashworth 314 12 Teresa Ashworth 302 12 Harry Ashworth 307 12 Mark Smith 234
13 Andy Bennett 314 13 Carl Stevenson 290 13 Alan Senior 307 13 Shane Hennedy 232
14 Nick Royle 311 14 Jason Bellamy 289 14 Mark Cruse 306 14 Daddy Bear 231
15 Paul Clarke 307 15 Natalie King 284 15 Ben Scammell 305 15 Keith Mabey 218
16 John Bennett 307 16 Stacey Sutherland 282 16 Joanne Atkinson 304 16 Andy Todhunter 156
17 Stewart Cole 303 17 Ellie Bennett 280 17 Lee Scammell 303 17 Kieran Woodhouse 154
18 David Butcher 303 18 Steven Coles 276 18 Anne Clark 301 18 Graeme Hird 120
19 Luke Wright 300 19 Jeannie Bennett 275 19 Robin Gentle 294 19 Ibr Mohammed 120
20 Dave Royle 292 20 Ashley Kennedy 266 20 Martin Honeysett 293 20 Stuart Somerville 117

2013/14

As season 7 began, gasps could be heard around the globe as a 5th league was incorporated into game! The band of ex-pat engineers who sunned themselves grafted in Papua New Guinea had made the decision to set up a new ‘Mega Bucks’ league with each of them paying £5 a week, and the prizes increasing accordingly, a bold step but proving to be a highly profitable move for Colin Stephenson who won 8 weeks on his way to an excellent score of 370! This eclipsed any score previously recorded in Football Predictions history, what a fantastic first season for a noob!

In Division 1 a fierce relegation battle was being fought all season long, with a merry band of 7 combatants threatened with the drop at any one time. Now Then Mick, Joseph Bennett and Jen Bellamy lost the war and ended up in the red, while Chris Snell, Paul McDowell and Nick Royle all breathed a huge sigh of relief as they joined the newly crowned Predictions Cup winner – Greg Ashworth – in Division 1 safety. Paul Clarke went AWOL throughout the season and will find himself playing Division 2 football next term. At the top it was a one horse race with Alan winning the division with an all time record haul of 397, gaining the top spot as early as week 20 and never letting go, despite a mini slump at the end of the season when he lost the European Cup to Stan Mossop and The Predictions Cup to Greg. Will the 10 point a week average ever be broken?

Over in Division 2 Kate Remblance stole the show with a remarkable 379! She had a tough battle to keep Jenny Rigby at bay, but led the way as early as week 20, only dropping behind Jenny in week 23 before regaining the top spot in week 24 and never letting go. Stewart Cole sees a welcome return to the top flight after grabbing the third automatic promotion placing. The play offs ended with the return after a 4 years absence from the top flight for Emma McStevenswell.

Elsewhere Mark Yates topped division 3 ahead of Carl Riley and Kristian Stephens. Mark’s final score of 380 was another great first season and sees Mark bowing out as champion as he has elected not to proceed any longer. When asked about his glorious victory, Mark has been quoted as saying of his victory: “Eh? Football what?” Well Done Mark! The fourth promotion spot was taken by Andrew Graham as he stopped an end of season slump which saw him drop from the third automatic promotion spot to scraping into the play offs. At the other end of the table Jeannie Bennett finished rock bottom. Thankfully there’s no relegation from Div 3!

Over in the Papua New Guinea league there was only ever going to be one winner of the main pot with Richie Clarke scoring an admirable 362 and after taking the lead in week 9 he never really let go. Richard Wiseman finished the season in second after an exciting battle with Lucky Sanghera and Alan ‘Daddy Bear’ Kettlewell Senior the First throughout the second half of the season. A search party was sent out looking for Leon Smart and his predictions, but they never returned.

Division 1 Division 2 Division 3 PNG Division 1 PNG Megabucks
Pos Name Pts Pos Name Pts Pos Name Pts Pos Name Pts Pos Name Pts
1 Alan Kettlewell 397 1 K Remblance 379 1 Mark Yates 380 1 Richie Clarke 362 1 Col Stephenson 370
2 Stan Mossop 384 2 Jenny Rigby 373 2 Carl Riley 378 2 Rich Wiseman 355 2 Carlos Nunes 358
3 Mark Golden 383 3 Stewart Cole 366 3 Kris Stephens 378 3 L Sanghera 343 3 Tommy Alltask 355
4 Chris Cole 382 4 E Stephens 364 4 Steven Riley 366 4 Daddy Bear 342 4 Neil Hallett 352
5 Jonny Moss 371 5 Tracey Gleave 361 5 Terry Boulton 361 5 Philip Sizer 331 5 Eric Surtees 349
6 Steph Wright 367 6 D Wolfenden 361 6 Jessie Wright 359 6 Peter Godfrey 330 6 Daddy Bear 348
7 John Wright 366 7 Alex Rogan 359 7 Andy Graham 354 7 John Battle 325 7 Lucky II 339
8 Sean Crowley 366 8 Chris Peel 356 8 Holly Townson 352 8 Pat O’Connor 317 8 John II 332
9 Big John 363 9 Jonathon Birch 353 9 Drew Passmore 350 9 Keith Mabey 310 9 Barry Kane 329
10 Matt Bennett 360 10 Ben Wilmott 343 10 Ellie Bennett 347 10 Kevin Coyle 308 10 Jeff Finn 326
11 Dominic King 360 11 David Butcher 339 11 Robin Gentle 346 11 Tommy Taff 307 11 Greg Bradley 326
12 Andy Bennett 359 12 Pete Louth 339 12 Dan Wright 346 12 Myles Kelly 304 12 Jim McAvoy 321
13 Greg Ashworth 358 13 Luke Wright 339 13 Gavin Collins 345 13 Mark Smith 300 13 Joe McBain 317
14 Nick Royle 353 14 Jon Gleave 339 14 Anne Clark 343 14 Norman Phillips 299 14 Kevin II 313
15 Paul McDowall 351 15 Tony Hayes 338 15 Max Wright 339 15 Mal Jackson 298 15 Peter Low 301
16 Chris Snell 342 16 Mark Borkin 333 16 Ben Scammell 336 16 Ryle Conway 296 16 David Mackie 291
17 Now Then’ Mick 338 17 Dave Royle 331 17 Harry Ashworth 331 17 Graham Axup 289 17 Ray Crispino 283
18 Joseph Bennett 338 18 Tom Procter 314 18 Chris Reece 328 18 Rom Mendoza 282 18 Shane Hennedy 281
19 Jen Bellamy 332 19 Mark Cruse 313 19 Sam Myall 327 19 Simon Kelly 272 19 Simon II 276
20 Paul Clarke 265 20 Jason Bellamy 299 20 Jeannie Bennett 300 20 Leon Smart 191 20 Barry Bradley 207

2014/15

Division 1 Division 2 Division 3 PNG Division
Pos Name Pts Pos Name Pts Pos Name Pts Pos Name Pts
1 Sean Crowley 351 1 Kristian Stephens 343 1 Dan Wright 338 1 Daddy Bear 340
2 Mark Golden 348 2 Mark Borkin 342 2 Katy Riley 336 2 Greg Bradley 337
3 Alan Kettlewell 337 3 Carl Riley 340 3 Sam Myall 335 3 Eric Surtees 334
4 Chris Cole 334 4 Robin Gentle 337 4 Anthony Considine 323 4 Junior Kelly 326
5 Emma Stephens 333 5 Holly Townson 335 5 Andy Talbotini 320 5 Rich Wiseman 322
6 Paul McDowall 332 6 Jon Gleave 332 6 Jamie Rigby 320 6 Norman Phillips 316
7 John Wright 332 7 Joseph Bennett 328 7 Tom Procter 318 7 Richie Clarke 310
8 Stewart Cole 331 8 Jonathon Birch 325 8 Marc Podesta 317 8 John Battle 303
9 Jonny Moss 330 9 Luke Wright 323 9 Jimbo The Red 315 9 Tommy Alltask 303
10 Stephanie Wright 329 10 Andy Graham 316 10 Craig Rigby 309 10 Simon Kelly 296
11 Matt Bennett 326 11 Jessie Wright 313 11 Dave Royle 301 11 Lucky S 277
12 Jenny Rigby 325 12 Drew Passmore 313 12 Harry Ashworth 300 12 Will Kendall 185
13 Greg Ashworth 324 13 Ben Wilmott 307 13 Max Wright 298
14 Big John 319 14 Alex Rogan 307 14 Jeannie Bennett 296
15 David Wolfenden 319 15 Pete Louth 307 15 Anne Clark 290
16 Nick Royle 318 16 Steven Riley 307 16 Ben Scammell 289
17 Tracey Gleave 314 17 Ellie Bennett 306 17 Sean Louth 208
18 Andy Bennett 310 18 Paul Clarke 300 18 Mark Cruse 193
19 Chris Snell 309 19 David Butcher 195 19 Ben Reader 193
20 Stan Mossop 226 20 Tony Hayes 195 20 Richard King 189
 
2015/16

Division 1 Division 2 Division 3 PNG Division
Pos Name Pts Pos Name Pts Pos Name Pts Pos Name Pts
1 Jonathan Birch 348 1 Nick Royle 337 1 Louie Davies 330 1 Eric Surtees 342
2 Big John 347 2 Chris Snell 330 2 Max Wright 323 2 Daddy Bear 334
3 Alan Kettlewell 343 3 Ben Wilmott 330 3 Daniel Bradley 322 3 Carlos Nunes 329
4 Stewart Cole 339 4 Dom King 325 4 Tom Procter 318 4 Bill Lowrie 327
5 John Wright 330 5 Katy Riley 323 5 Jake Turner 317 5 Richie Clarke 316
6 Carl Riley 329 6 Dan Wright 321 6 Mark Robinson 309 6 Norman Phillips 311
7 Mark Golden 327 7 Tracey Gleave 320 7 Andy Talbotini 306 7 Johann Streicher 310
8 Emma Stephens 325 8 Harry Ashworth 312 8 Andy Bentley 306 8 Tom Healy 308
9 Jon Gleave 325 9 Anthony C 310 9 Luke Robinson 305 9 John Battle 304
10 Mark Borkin 324 10 Sam Myall 306 10 Mark Morgan 304 10 Greg Bradley 300
11 Steph Wright 322 11 Pete Louth 306 11 Jeff Smith 300 11 Tommy Taff 299
12 Chris Cole 321 12 Paul Clarke 303 12 Adam Carlisle 292 12 Lucky Sanghera 298
13 Greg Ashworth 319 13 Jessie Wright 303 13 Jimbo The Red 289 13 Tim Forshaw 266
14 Dave Wolfie 318 14 Luke Wright 302 14 Jeannie Bennett 289 14 Andy Hall 263
15 Andy Graham 317 15 Marc Podesta 302 15 Martin Spencely 283 15 Jamie Ingham 253
16 Jonny Moss 308 16 Dave Royle 301 16 Steve Moseley 268 16 Sean Killingbeck 174
17 Robin Gentle 308 17 Anne Clark 300 17 Martin Honeysett 258 17 Charlie Dixon 169
18 Joe Bennett 262 18 Drew Passmore 286 18 Bruce Davies 257
19 Jenny Rigby 219 19 Ellie Bennett 239 19 Ben Scammell 195
20 Sean Crowley 213 20 Jamie Rigby 219 20 Callum Yates 168

2016/17

 
To be continued…