Both the name and strip come from a UK television programme called ‘Ripping Yarns’, featuring a number of the original Monty Python team such as Michael Palin and Terry Jones. ‘Ripping Yarns’ was made up of 6, 40 minute episodes totally unrelated to each other.
In one episode called ‘Golden Gordon’, which is set in in 1935, they tell the humourous ‘yarn’ of a football team called Barnstoneworth United who in the Yorkshire Premier League, had enjoyed outstanding success in the early 1920’s, but were now struggling.
Rather than persist with a team full of young players who are always getting beaten, all the players and the home ground are sold to a local scrap merchant, Mr Foggen.
Gordon Ottershaw (Golden Gordon) who is one of the few remaining loyal fans, determined to do something about it. Gordon dreams of Barnstoneworth being a great team again just like the Premier team of 1922, so in a last ditch effort, he rounds up all of the retired 1922 team members (who by now are geriatrics), and reunites them to play brilliant football once again.
From these origins a number of football clubs under the name of Barnstoneworth United, now exist throughout the world. For Australia there are five different Barnstoneworth United clubs in existence, in Sydney, Central Coast, Adelaide, Tasmania and of course Melbourne, ourselves.
Our Melbourne branch was formed by a group of ‘old’ football players in 1989 and after 25 years in existence, the Barnstoneworth United spirit is something cherished by both old and new players alike. We have modelled ourselves on the team from the TV programme, which in effect means that we play in a kit that consists of long sleeved shirts and shorts that reach below the knee.