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One of the things I have come to love about writing this blog is the way that, as I am coming to the end of a series of posts, another topic will present itself.  I am indebted for today’s title to my friend Rachel, who posted it during the England match as a prelude to a query as to whether it is possible that her new house could be haunted by the spirit of the old lady who had lived in it previously.

This rang a bell with me, as my house was also lived in by an old lady for many years before I bought it. The house was rented when it was built in 1910 and the lady in question was born in it and inherited the tenancy from her parents. She lived there until her death in around 1990, when the house was sold to a developer, and eventually, a few years later, to me. She died in St George’s hospital, not in the house, but nevertheless when I first moved in around 1995, I used to sense her sometimes on the stairs, although she has been gone for a long time now.

Rachel was understandably concerned since she had woken in the night sensing the old lady in question standing by her bed. Advice on how to get rid of this haunting, if such it was, varied from “Watch the football” to offers of exorcism. Suggestions as to how to proceed mainly centred on asking the spirit in question to leave, the assertiveness and accessories to this request depending in large part on whether it is perceived to be benign or otherwise.

More tomorrow. But now! *small fanfare* The Footballing Fact Of The Day.
The only horse ever to play professional football was Billie, a police-horse who played for Bolton Wanderers during the famous White Horse Final of 1923. Billie, who was in fact technically grey, was ridden during the match by PC George Scorey.  PC Scorey refused to take any credit for Billie’s impressive performance, saying afterwards “He seemed to understand what was required of him”. Billie scored one of Bolton’s two goals, helping to secure their victory over West Ham; a second goal was disallowed on the basis that it had been scored with his front hoof and therefore counted as a hand ball. Billie’s exceptional performance is commemorated by the White Horse Bridge at the new Wembley Stadium.  Rumours that Tottenham Hotspur’s stadium is named after an albino deer that used to turn out for the club in its early years remain unconfirmed.
That was The Footballing Fact Of The Day. I thank you.