Life After Football takes you in his chauffer-driven Merc* to the outer reaches of Tamworth, I drag you on foot to the foothills of Accrington. Only on pub blogs will you visit the REAL England.

I assumed that Oswaldtwistle was named after the Accrington left back from the season they were expelled from the League, but that was Oswald Thistle. Very different.

The main football connection with the town is that chap;

See the source image

Half a pint of Thwaites Original if you can name him. He made 10 appearances for England in the period before the notorious “Every Englishman with two legs shalt play for Engerland” policy was repealed.

There’s a large shopping village in the old mills, and an award-winning sausage shops, from where I purchased a Cumberland ring (NSSS 3.5) to accompany that Duchess de Bourgogne.

Hard to believe now, but as recently as March 2020 (yes, then) I was in Oswaldthistle ticking the Vault, a micropub where I couldn’t take photos so didn’t bother to blog about. Within a week I had no material and resorted to musical posts and Fen walks.

So I’ll have passed the Black Dog, and probably thought “Typical Thwaites, never make the GBG with all these Lanky micros”.

Wrong again.

Bit quiet midweek, just a young couple hiding from me round the corner. Don’t blame them.

All the usual Thwaites pumps turned round, just the one house beer.

But no-one to serve me.

He’s down in the cellar” shouts young bloke.

He emerges, like Mr Benn, cheery and apologetic. We share consoling words over lack of trade and I suddenly realise why so many pubs open at 4. Or not at all. “Not enough trade for the Thwaites” apparently.

It’s a pleasant plain community pub, clean and welcoming.

And whatever that beer is it’s cool and foamy (NBSS 3.5), just like most of the beer this summer.

But the problem facing the Black Dog lies in the words of Arlo Parks, whose modern classic of the same name contains the immortal line “Let’s go to the corner shop, and buy some cans”.

Get out and save pubs, folks.



  1. Aye, let’s save pubs.

    Trouble is, Martin, that in many pubs there’s always at least one who wants to announce to the world what namby-pamby nonsense he thinks the covid19 measures are by coughing and or sneezing, and with no attempt at all even to cover his mouth and nose.

    Carry a few tissues mate, or better still go outside.

    You’re killing pubs – more than the smoking ban ever did too, pal.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I was at that game. Rarely felt as euphoric as on the final whistle. The Cambridge winner was one of the greatest goals I ever saw at the Abbey, though it doesn’t look quite as good on the little telly.


  2. It’s true. I have a chauffeur driven Merc which Duncan, Mark Shirley, Pete Allen and Mudgie take in turns ferrying me to all these obscure pubs in the Midlands…
    I pay them all in Bass tokens 🔺

    Liked by 1 person

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