In a brand new series, this blog chronicles the story behind a longstanding five aside team, The Gammy Knees. I’ve been part of it since 2008, so I’ll have to allow others to talk about the origins. In this post, founder Rick Humphries explains how it all began…
The history of the Grammy Knees is layered with heroic stories of myth, intrigue. Was ‘Little Will’ really only 3ft tall? Did Roberto Baggio have a spell playing at right back? And did the team’s landlord score a 60 yard screamer? While many of these stories happened instead to the Pro Evolution team of the same name, the reality is a little more mundane.
The Gammy Knees were formed from a group of mates, all students at Nottingham Uni and living together on what was (according to The Sun) the street with the highest crime rate in the UK – Kimbolton Avenue. Will Collett in goal, Rick Humphries ‘on the left’, Matt Graham in defence (when veteran stalwart Mark Nichols wasn’t injured… which was never) , Josh Kitson the midfield general, James (thought he was Robert Pires) Small playing loose and fast with his position, and ‘Little Will’ Knibbs the poacher upfront.
We didn’t fancy our chances at all when we decided to enter a small Uni-based indoor 5-a-side tournament at the start of the 2006/2007 season but it meant that we needed a name. Depending on who you talk to, the name is either based on the scabby knee that I had at the time, which anyone who’s attempted a slide tackle on an AstroTurf pitch will know about, or it was based on the knee injury that kept Mark Nichols from “representing England at youth level”.
So the Gammy Knees were born, and surprisingly enough we moulded ourselves into a pretty good team! Navigating our way through the league stage undefeated, and winning our semi-final too meant we had a shot at glory in only our first competition….”