football predictions since 1979
THE ORGANISERS

Mike Phillips
Mark Grunwell
Naz Rajan (Webmaster)

FPA MEMBERS

Here is a brief summary of the predicting history for each of our current members. This will show any Major or Minor wins and career average (in percent) from the top flight Results League, i.e. not including performances in the former Results League Division One (to be completed). For an all-time average, members need to predict two seasons to be entered in the all-time averages list.

Members may also like to submit a one or two line description, such as the team they support and their hopes/comments for FPA and the upcoming season. A photo would be good too.

TITLES refers to the 10 past and present major league and cup titles. There are four current leagues: the Joyce Phillips Standard League (JPSL); the Results League (RL); the European Super League (ESL); and the Members' Challenge League (MCL).

There are four cups: the Joyce Phillips League Cup (JPLC); the European Cup (EC); the F.A.Cup (FAC); and the Dave Boston Group Trophy (DBGT).

Other wins refers to all the other awards, from current tables, points and older leagues: the now defunct Amateur Results League (ARL) and there also used to be a Division One with two promoted to the Premier League each season, so there were minor awards for Division One Champion and promotion from Division One as runner up.

There are also the Homes, Aways, Draws tables each season, and a host of other awards relating to league performance such as top score, for example. These records are still being updated. There is also a minor cup, the Charity Shield (CS).

The following are being updated. Stats relate to the end of 2018/2019.


Khalid Aldhamen
Premier Debut: 2017-2018 (4 seasons)

Personal best: 46.30 (2017-2018)
Four Year Average: 43.52 (22/22)
All Time Average: 43.52 (51/59)

Current Rankings end of : 2020-2021, out of 21
Domestic Leagues: 21
Cups: 21
ESL: 18
Overall: 21


Supports: Barcelona




Sami Almudaris
Premier Debut: 2016-2017 (5 seasons)

TITLES: 3
Cups 3: JPLC (2), DBGT
Overall Success Rate: 1.66 (3 titles, 5 seasons)

Personal Best: 54.88 (2018-2019)
Four Year Average: 50.96 (6/22)
All Time Average: 51.28 (1/59)
50% Seasons: 3

Current Rankings end of 2020-2021, out of 21
Domestic Leagues: 11
Cups: 10
ESL: 19
Overall: 17

Supports: Al Ahli (KSA), Liverpool, AC Milan



Tope Bammeke
Premier Debut: 2020-2021 (1 season)

TITLES: 1
Cup: FAC

Personal Best: 48.13 (2020-2021)

Current Rankings end of 2020-2021, out of 21
Domestic Leagues: 15
Cups: 4
ESL: 14
Overall: 13



Supports: Manchester United





Jason Blackford
Premier Debut: 2013-2014 then 2014-2015 (2 full seasons);
2017-2018 on (4 seasons; total 6 seasons)

TITLES: 3
Leagues 1: ESL
Cups 2: FAC, EC
Overall Success Rate: 2.00 (3 titles, 6 seasons)

Personal Best: 53.20 (2018-2019)
Four Year Average: 47.48 (18/22)
All Time Average: 47.01 (28/59)
50% Seasons: 1

Current Rankings end of 2020-2021, out of 21
Domestic Leagues: 7
Cups: 17
ESL: 5
Overall: 10

Supports: Chelsea



Mark Crossley
Premier Debut: 2015-2016 (6 seasons)

TITLES: 1
Cups 1: DBGT
Overall Success Rate: 6.00 (1 title, 6 seasons)

Other wins (to be completed):
Draws Winner (1)

Personal Best: 55.56 (2018-2019)
Four Year Average: 52.38 (4/22)
All Time Average:51.14 (2/59)
50% Seasons: 4

Current Rankings end of 2020-2021, out of 21
Domestic Leagues: 4
Cups: 8
ESL: 17
Overall: 7

Supports: Crystal Palace





Alan Foster
Premier Debut: 2017-2018 (4 seasons)

TITLES: 3
Leagues 2: JPSL, MCL
Cups 1: JPLC
Overall Success Rate: 1.33 (3 titles, 4 seasons)

Personal Best: 50.84 (2018-2019)
Four Year Average: 47.65 (17/22)
All Time Average: 47.65 (23/59)
50% Seasons: 1

Current Rankings end of 2020-2021, out of 21
Domestic Leagues: 10
Cups: 3
ESL: 13
Overall: 4

Supports: Dunfermline Athletic, Tottenham








Daniel Grunwell
Premier Debut: 2006-2007 (15 seasons)

TITLES: 8
Leagues 5: JPSL, RL, PSL, PRL, ESL
Cups 3: JPLC, DBGT, FAC
Overall Success Rate: 1.88 (8 titles, 15 seasons)

Other wins (to be completed):
Homes: 1
Aways:
Draws: 2

Personal Best: 54.55 (2018-2019)
Four Year Average: 52.78 (1/22)
All Time Average: 48.63 (14/59)
50% Seasons: 7
Consecutive seasons of 50%: 5

Current Rankings end of 2020-2021, out of 21
Domestic Leagues: 1
Cups: 11
ESL: 4
Overall: 1

Supports: Gillingham, Chelsea









Elliott Grunwell
FPA Debut: Division One 1999-2000 (1 season)
Premier Debut: 2000-2001 (21 seasons)

TITLES: 10
Leagues 5: JPSL, RL(2), ESL, D1SL
Cups 5: JPLC, EC(2), FAC, DBGT
Overall Success Rate: 2.20 (10 titles, 22 seasons total)

Other wins (to be completed):
Division One SL Champion and promotion 1999-2000

Achieved Classic Status (SL,RL,FAC,LC,GT,EC): 2017

Personal Best: 56.89 (2007-2008) (All-Time 4)
Four Year Average: 49.43 (11/22)
All Time Average: 49.04 (10/59)
50% Seasons: 8
Consecutive seasons of 50%: 2

Current Rankings end of 2020-2021, out of 21
Domestic Leagues: 17
Cups: 15
ESL: 12
Overall: 18

Supports: Gillingham, Arsenal








Fiona Grunwell
FPA Debut: Division One 2000-2001 (1 season)
Premier Debut: 2001-2002 (20 seasons)

TITLES: 23
Leagues 7: JPSL(3), RL, PSL, PRL, RLD1
Cups 16: FAC(3), JPLC(5), EC(5), DBGT(3)
Overall Success Rate: 0.91 (23 titles, 21 seasons total)

Other wins (to be completed/tbc):
Division One RL Champion and Promotion 2000-2001

Homes: (tbc)
Aways: (tbc)
Draws: 1 (tbc)

Achieved Classic Status (SL,RL,FAC,LC,GT,EC): 2009

Personal Best: 54.70 (2013-2014)
Four Year Average: 52.06 (5/22)
All Time Average: 50.06 (3/59)
50% Seasons: 11
Consecutive seasons of 50%: 4

Current Rankings end of 2020-2021, out of 21
Domestic Leagues: 2
Cups: 9
ESL: 15
Overall: 5

Supports: Crystal Palace, Gillingham









Glen Grunwell
Premier Debut: 1980-1981 then* to 1993-1994; 1996-1997 to date
(33 seasons; 2 seasons in the former Division One)
*no FPA from 1982-1986

TITLES: 20
Leagues 12: JPSL, RL(7), PRL(3), MCL
Cups 8: JPLC(2), EC, FAC(4), DBGT
Overall Success Rate: 1.75 (20 titles, 35 seasons)

Other wins: (to be completed) :
Division One Promotion 1995-1996

Achieved Classic Status (SL,RL,FAC,LC,GT,EC): 2007

Personal Best: 55.37 (2013-2014)
Four Year Average 49.99 (9/22)
All Time Average: 47.65 (24/59)
50% Seasons: 10
Consecutive seasons of 50%: 3

Current Rankings end of 2020-2021, out of 21
Domestic Leagues: 13
Cups: 6
ESL: 9
Overall: 9

Supports: Liverpool, Chatham Town, Gillingham










Mark Grunwell
Premier Debut: 1980-1981 (35 seasons*)
*no FPA from 1982-1986

TITLES: 57
Leagues 32: JPSL(12), RL(10), PSL(2), ESL(4), MCL (3), PRL
Cups 25: JPLC(4), EC(8), FAC(7), DBGT(6)
Overall Success Rate: 0.61 (57 titles, 35 seasons)

Other wins: (to be completed) Homes 89/90; Aways 89/90; Draws 89/90, 93/94
Amateur Results League Champion
Charity Shield: 8

Achieved Classic Status (SL,RL,FAC,LC,GT,EC): 2000
Achieved Super Classic Status (SL,RL,FAC,LC,GT,EC,ESL,MCL): 2017


Personal Best: 59.03 (2016-2017) (All-Time 1)
Four Year Average: 52.60 (3/22)
All Time Average: 49.94 (5/59)
50% Seasons: 13
Consecutive seasons of 50%: 5

Current Rankings end of 2020-2021, out of 21
Domestic Leagues: 3
Cups: 14
ESL: 2
Overall: 2

Supports: Gillingham


Will Hughes
Premier Debut: 2015-2016 (6 seasons)

Personal Best: 52.58 (2016-2017)
Four Year Average: 46.75 (20/22)
All Time Average: 46.29 (30/59)
50% Seasons: 1

Current Rankings end of 2020-2021, out of 21
Domestic Leagues: 13
Cups: 20
ESL: 16
Overall: 19

Supports: Arsenal


Jacob Knight
Premier Debut: 2021-2022 (1 season)

Supports: Liverpool


Misha Konfektov
Premier Debut: 2020-2021 (1 season)


Personal Best: 48.80 (2020-2021)


Current Rankings end of 2020-2021, out of 21
Domestic Leagues: 11
Cups: 16
ESL: 7
Overall: 12



Supports: Spartak Moscow




Mark Lewis
Premier Debut: 2010-2011 then to 2013-2014 (including 1 partial season); then from 2017-2018 (total 7 completed seasons)

TITLES: 2
Leagues 1: ESL
Cups 1: DBGT
Overall Success Rate: 4.00 (2 titles, 8 seasons)

Personal best: 54.01 (2018-2019)
Four Year Average: 49.97 (10/22)
All Time Average: 48.22 (16/59)
50% Seasons: 3
Consecutive seasons of 50%: 3

Current Rankings end of 2020-2021, out of 21
Domestic Leagues: 20
Cups: 5
ESL: 20
Overall: 20

Supports: Manchester United



Ian Milligan
Premier Debut: 2010-2011 (10 complete seasons, 1 partial season)

TITLES: 1
Cups 1: DBGT
Overall Success Rate: 11.00 (1 title, 11 seasons)

Other wins: (to be completed):
Aways winner: 2

Personal best: 52.82 (2016-2017)
Four Year Average: 48.81 (16/22)
All Time Average: 48.68 (13/59)
50% Seasons: 3
Consecutive seasons of 50%: 2

Current Rankings end of 2020-2021, out of 21
Domestic Leagues: 7
Cups: 18
ESL: 22
Overall: 16


Supports: Leeds United





Khalid Mowad
Premier Debut: 2016-2017 (5 seasons)

TITLES: 3
Cups 3: FAC, JPLC, EC
Overall Success Rate: 1.66 (3 titles, 5 seasons)

Personal Best: 54.19 (2016-2017)
Four Year Average: 48.90 (15/22)
All Time Average: 49.96 (4/59)
50% Seasons: 3
Consecutive seasons of 50%: 3

Current Rankings end of 2020-2021, out of 21
Domestic Leagues: 17
Cups: 2
ESL: 6
Overall: 8

Supports: Chelsea









Mike Phillips
Premier Debut: 1980-1981 (35 seasons*)
*no FPA from 1982-1986

TITLES: 34
Leagues 21: JPSL(8), RL(5), PSL(3), PRL(3), MCL(2)
Cups 13: JPLC(2), EC(3), FAC(4), DBGT(4)
Overall Success Rate: 1.03 (34 titles, 35 seasons)

Other wins (to be completed): Aways 88/89, 93/94
Charity Shield: 3

Achieved Classic Status (SL,RL,FAC,LC,GT,EC): 1997

Personal Best: 58.05 (2013-2014) (All-Time 2)
Four Year Average: 52.65 (2/22)
All Time Average: 48.89 (11/59)
50% Seasons: 14
Consecutive seasons of 50%: 4

Current Rankings end of 2020-2021, out of 21
Domestic Leagues: 6
Cups: 6
ESL: 9
Overall: 6

Supports: Gillingham


Will Rajan
Premier Debut: 2021-2022 (1 season)

Supports: Leeds United


Rob Salter
Premier Debut: 2017-2018 (3 seasons)

Personal Best: 51.39 (2020-2021 new PB)
Four Year Average: 49.35(12/22)
All Time Average: 49.35 (6/59)
50% Seasons: 2

Current Rankings end of 2020-2021, out of 21
Domestic Leagues: 4
Cups: 13
ESL: 21
Overall: 11


Supports: Arsenal


Matthew Starling
Premier Debut: 2016-2017 (5 seasons)

Personal Best: 51.18 (2018-2019)
Four Year Average: 47.29 (19/22)
All Time Average: 48.02 (19/59)
50% Seasons: 2

Current Rankings end of 2020-2021, out of 21
Domestic Leagues: 16
Cups: 18
ESL: 8
Overall: 14

Supports: Tottenham









Matt Willing
FPA Debut: 2001-2002 Division One (1 season)
Premier Debut: 2002-2003 (19 seasons)

TITLES: 13
Leagues 5: JPSL, RL, ESL, SLD1, RLD1
Cups 8: JPLC, EC(2), FAC(2), DBGT(3)
Overall Success Rate: 1.54 (13 titles, 20 seasons total)

Division One SL Champion and promotion 2001-2002
Division One RL Champion and promotion 2001-2002

Achieved Classic Status (SL,RL,FAC,LC,GT,EC): 2012

Personal best: 55.22 (2018-2019)
Four Year Average: 50.92 (7/22)
All Time Average: 49.30 (7/59)
50% Seasons: 7
Consecutive seasons of 50%: 3

Current Rankings end of 2020-2021, out of 21
Domestic Leagues: 9
Cups: 11
ESL: 1
Overall: 3

Supports: West Ham


Predict Z
Premier Debut: 2015-2016 (6 seasons)

Predict Z is a Professional, online tipster who predicts goal scores so included in JP Standard League. Also included in the Results League. But we've added PrZ here not with the Pros below, because of current inclusion in the JPSL.

Personal Best: 49.52 (2017-2018)
Four Year Average: 46.22 (21/22)
All Time Average: 46.09 (32/59)







THE PROFESSIONALS


Professional entrants have a long history in the FPA, with the first entrant being The Sun (at that time represented by tipster Peter Campling) in the early years, and since then between four and ten professionals every season.

The professionals have won the Standard League once (The Sun) and the Results League five times over all the years: The Sun three times; Sunday Express and Sunday Mirror once each. So this means that the 'amateur' members usually beat them - and unlike the professionals, we don't get paid for it. I have written to selected professionals occasionally, informing them of this fact and had some interesting replies (which will be added here in time). I also congratulated The Sun's Gerry Skinner for his win in 1996 and had a nice reply which will also appear here (on the Records page).

In recent years we also included have Mark 'Lawro' Lawrenson, from the BBC, in our competitions, as well as some online predictors.

Note that we dropped The Sun from the JPSL for 2012-2013. In 2011-2012 we reintroduced The Sun to the JPSL, since it is the only newspaper we know of that forecasts the exact scores, not just Pools 1-2-X. However since there are so many fewer games for the Pools (and therefore Results League) than for the JPSL, The Sun missed many games from the JPSL in the 2011-2012 season. The Sun therefore had no real chance of winning this league so will remain as a 1-2-X Predictor in the Results League with the other newspapers. It looks as if the Sun's famous 1994-1995 title year win will therefore never be repeated, with the newspaper tipsters only ever being in the Results League.

In recent seasons, The Sun also suffered from the fact we started to predict all Saturday and Sunday games for the Results League, the same number as the Standard League, instead of following the traditional British Pools system, where a game or two is often not forecast by the Pros. This also put the other newspaper Pros at a disadvantage and we dropped them, in favour of some online predictors. At one time we even considered dropping The Sun, but as our best all-time Pro, and for historic reasons, we kept it.

This all changed in 2018-2019 where we reverted to the 'traditional' Results League, predicting only the games the professionals do (specifically, the newspaper predictors), which follows the English Pools system. This give the chance back to The Sun and other professionals to win the Results League again from an equal number of games.

The Professional Biographies and Statistics:

• Newspaper professionals have their total seasons marked with an asterisk*, since more than one staff member/tipster has represented that newspaper over the years.

• Mark Lawrenson's career average is marked by two asterisks** since his statistics are only relevant to the former Lawro Results League (also known as the Premier Results League) which had less games than the Results League, so a direct comparison can only be made with other member averages from the same league i.e. LRL .The LRL member results percentages show a higher performance than for RL, as predicting Premier League with Gillingham FC is harder than predicting Premier alone! This is interesting though as it shows that all our career averages would probably be higher if we didn't predict Gillingham FC games.



Foot Stats
Premier Debut: 2014-2015 (7 seasons)

Personal best: 52.19 (2018-2019)
Four Year Average: 48.92 (14/22)
All Time Average: 47.80 (21/59)
50% Seasons: 1





The Sun
Premier Debut: 1981-1982 (35* seasons)
*no FPA from 1982-1986

TITLES: 4
Leagues: JPSL(1), RL(3)
Overall Success Rate: 8.75* (4 titles, 35 seasons)
*Pros do not usually enter Cups, and mostly only predict the RL, so a direct comparison with amateur members is difficult. Also difficult to compare with other professionals since most of them are only entered in the RL. The Sun has been entered, on and off, is in the JPSL too as goal scores are predicted as well as pure results.


Other wins (tbc):
Homes 93/94; Aways 87/88; Draws 87/88, 94/95
Charity Shield: 94/95

Personal Best: 55.85 (2016-2017) (All-Time 9)
Four Year Average: 50.83 (8/22)
All Time Average: 46.97* (29/59)
50% Seasons: 9
Consecutive seasons of 50%: 5


FPA HONOUR ROLL : Members Remembered



At the time Dave joined the FPA in 1988, he was friends with the Grunwell, Phillips and Springate families who were all active in the competitions then. Dave was actually known by all those close to him as 'DB' and we'd all known him since he was quite young, early teens. I met DB at the Gillingham Salem Church youth club. Already a big fan of Liverpool, Gillingham and football generally, we all used to play in the church team and also Subbuteo together, then years later, he got into computer football manager games.

In 1988, DB bumped into me one day. This was the era before email and I remember the street, and him saying he'd heard about this exciting predictions competition from Mark Grunwell, and could he join? Join he did, and at age 20 he went on to win the Standard League on his debut, the first person to do so (not counting the first 'official' season of 1980-1981). For that first title he beat Mark Grunwell by 1 point and stopped Mark winning it for a third successive time (this was finally achieved, by Mark Grunwell, but not until 2018-2019). That season 1988-1989, he picked up 41 maximums in 241 games over 30 weeks, a maximum strike rate of one every 5.87 games, or about 6 games on average, which was outstanding.

DB had to wait some time for his next title. Though not before he had started to suffer from the effects of his illness in 1994, then in 1995 he won his first cup, the Group Trophy. For a period in the early-mid 90s we used to contribute Five Pounds for membership so we could buy real 'silverware' for all our winners each season, and I had great pleasure in presenting DB with his engraved Group Trophy when he was in hospital. That and a regular piece of Mum's (Joyce Phillips) home-made cake cheered him up no end, on my visits to him in hospital.

Always a hard tryer in the FPA, he had to wait again for his third major title which came in the 1997-1998 season. That year he won a first and only Results League, beating Mark Grunwell by one result becoming the fifth winner of that title.

A further two years wait culminated in 2000 in DB's second cup, another Group Trophy, and his fourth major title.

That was DB's fourth and final major title, not a huge haul perhaps for the number of seasons and campaigns, but he often came close in other competitions.

A Maverick
DB was known, along with previous member Ken Morgan, for being one of the most adventurous predictors, going for some high risk results or exact scores, and he was the FPA's first 'maverick'. This meant that like Ken Morgan, he could pull off some spectacular exact score predictions which would suddenly push him up the leagues and get his hopes up.

The Bet
For many years DB challenged long-time friend Mark Grunwell that he would finish above Mark in one of any of the leagues and a Five Pounds bet was involved. In latter years this was upped to Ten Pounds and DB felt that with all the extra league competitions - the ESL and the MCL now added to the JPSL, LSL, RL and LRL - he should have a chance to finish above Mark in two of these to win his wager. Mark said winning that Ten Pounds was a no brainer, and sadly DB was often worse off each season!

DB The Person
DB was an incredibly generous person. He bought me a season ticket for Gillingham FC, and for another Gillingham fan who was unemployed and he wanted to help. I used to look forward to his posted or hand delivered predictions, that included many funny comments, and his visits which as he always maintained, were not to see me but for my tea making abilities!

In the 2013-2014 season, DB took a year off predicting in the FPA, but returned for the start of this 2014-2015 season, keen to start and to win his wager with Mark.

In his last season (2014-2015) from the start to early December he had been struggling in the leagues but he had a good run in the JPLC, where he made it to the semis and only lost by a point to fellow maverick Ken Morgan. He was enjoying the competitions, and not being online had been round to my house a few times to have a look at the website, which he thought was excellent. He was looking forward to the FA Cup and his personal favourite, the Group Trophy, in 2015.

Sadly Dave 'DB' Boston passed away less than two weeks before Christmas 2014, and is already missed by his friends in the FPA.

In the latter years of his life, due to his illness, DB became quite a private person and could often be seen walking the streets of Gillingham going from cafe to cafe and to the cinema, with his Gillingham FC regalia including shorts and a home and away coloured sock, regardless of the weather. There are no photos of his later years but we have a few of him in his Liverpool kit playing for the Church team when he was about 15. The lovely drawing above was done by Rev. Denys Gower of St. Augustine's Church, Gillingham, another Church he often attended. He was a real character and the FPA competitions won't quite be the same without him.

From the 2015-2016 season, the Group Trophy is renamed as the Dave Boston Group Trophy, or DBGT. Whilst not the most times winner of this cup, it was the only cup competition Dave won, and he won it twice. Since he was known as 'DB' and liked to be called that, we feel he would be very happy for this cup to be referred to as the 'DBGT'.

Mike Phillips, August 2015



Predictions Record
Seasons Predicted: Top Flight:24
Division 1:1
Titles:5
Cups:2 (Group Trophy twice)
Leagues:3 (SL 1, RL 1, SLD1 1)


Between 1994-1995 and 2001-2002, there was both a Premier League and a Championship (Division One as we called it), since we had so many Predictors back then. DB was relegated at the end of 2000-2001 into Division One, but was promoted the following season as Champion. This constitutes a minor title, as do any Amateur Results League wins. There are other minor titles up for grabs every year, such as Best Homes, Aways, Draws, the 50% Club, and the season opener Charity/Community Shield, some of which DB may have won, but all these stats need to be updated, perhaps next year. We have 30 years of records now!

All Titles
1988-1989:Standard League Champion
1994-1995:Group Trophy Winner (v B.Roberts-Jones, 15-9)
1997-1998:Results League Champion
1999-2000:Group Trophy Winner (v J.Phillips, 12-10)
2000-2001:Division One Champion (SL) and promotion to Premier League
Results League Personal Best:50.79 (2004-2005)
Results League Career average:44.88 (25th on all-time table of 48 twice finishers)
Results League 50% Seasons:2 (1998-1999, 2004-2005)


Joyce Phillips - Mum - was a sports fan, a football fan, and a Founder Member and big supporter of the Football Predictions competitions. An Arsenal fan foremost, with a secondary interest in the Gills, Mum loved her footie. No-one has done more over the years to encourage the competitions, and without Joyce the competitions would probably have folded in the late '90s. But let's go back to the beginning.
When growing up I was always aware of the sport on TV that Mum and Dad watched. In particular, football was always on, especially the big matches: F.A.Cup, European Cup/Champions League, England games etc. When the first full Predictions league started up in 1980-1981, it was natural that Joyce would join in. I ran the competitions for the first two full years until 1981-1982, after which the competitions stopped and there was a five year gap until 1987, from which date the competitions have run ever since. I continued to run things until work and study became overbearing, and Joyce offered to take over in 1997 for the 1997-1998 season. Mark Grunwell and me helped out where we could. She ran all the competitions, meticulously by hand, until the end of 2009-2010, a run of 13 years; a year longer than I had run them for up till then. But these are just numbers. Joyce not only ran the competitions well but was appreciated and loved for her chat and humour. Predictors would call in each week, give in their scores then have a good talk. Predictors looked forward to this, and I know Mum enjoyed doing the competitions for this reason. Mark and Fiona Grunwell, Dave Boston, Glen Grunwell, Matt Willing, Ken Morgan, and all the Predictors who have joined and left the Leagues over the years, had this pleasure of the weekly chat with Joyce.

Over the years Joyce became a successful and competent Predictor, but she had to wait for much of that success. She first won the League Cup in 1988-1989, then four more times up to 2005. Her first League successes came in 2001-2002 with the Standard and Results double (a 17 season wait), and then her first FA Cup in 2004 (a 19 season wait). Her most successful year was in 2005-2006 when she won the League double, the European Cup and the Group Trophy, becoming one of only 6 Predictors in history to win all 6 'majors': both Leagues and the four Cups (the others being Mark Grunwell, Mike Phillips, Glen Grunwell, Matt Willing, Fiona Grunwell). She last won the Standard League in 2007-2008. Additionally, of the 'minors', Joyce won the official Amateur Results League four times between 2002-2003 and 2008-2009.
Last year, Mum's serious illness and hospitalisation meant she was clearly unable to run her beloved Leagues so me and Mark took this back on, but Mum continued to predict, for many weeks from a hospital bed. She returned home and followed the football avidly again, cursing when Arsenal lost, studying the results for her predictions each week. She talked about getting involved in organising things again, even if only in a reduced capacity, but as we all know Joyce passed away peacefully in April, just 3 weeks before season's end, age 74. Just before she died, Arsenal finally won away after a period of poor form. She will be hugely missed by all past and present Predictors.


Mike Phillips, June 2011
Predictions Record
Seasons Predicted: Top Flight:26
Division 1:1
Titles:14
Cups:8 (LC 5, FAC 1, EC 1, GT 1)
Leagues:6 (SL 3, RL 2, SLD1 1)

*Note: between 1994-1995 and 2001-2002, there was both a Premier League and a Championship (Division One as we called it), since we had so many Predictors back then. Joyce was relegated at the end of 1993-1994 into the first ever Championship, but was promoted the following season as Champion. This constitutes a title, whereas the four Amateur Results League wins are secondary wins. There are other minor titles up for grabs every year, such as Best Homes, Aways, Draws, the 50% Club, and the season opener Charity/Community Shield, some of which Joyce probably won, but all these stats need to be updated, perhaps next year. We have 26 years of records now!
All Titles
1988-1989:League Cup ( v T.Phillips 2-1)
1994-1995:Division One Champion (promoted back to Premier League after 1 season)
1997-1998:League Cup ( v M.Keen 10-10, on results)
1998-1999:League Cup ( v R.Wellings 5-4)
2001-2002:League Cup ( v D.Boston 5-5, on results)
Premier Standard League Champion
Premier Results League Champion
2002-2003:Amateur Results League Champion
2003-2004:F.A.Cup ( v M.Grunwell 6-5)
Amateur Results League Champion
2004-2005:League Cup ( v F.Grunwell 7-6, replay)
2005-2006:Group Trophy ( v M.Phillips 9-8)
European Cup ( v G.Grunwell 11-10)
Standard League Champion
Results League Champion
Amateur Results League Champion
2007-2008:Standard League Champion
2008-2009:Amateur Results League Champion




In February 2016 FPA members were shocked to see the news via Facebook BHFS page that Barry Roberts-Jones had passed away. I had the great pleasure of working with Barry; 'BRJ' to many of us - when I worked for the financial services branch of Lloyds Bank (Black Horse Financial Services or BHFS). Since the FPA had been revived in 1987, and the Results League introduced in 1989, Mark Grunwell had dominated the competitions, but when Barry entered in 1990, he won the league double winning both the Standard and Results leagues on his debut. Suddenly we had a new and sharp predictor and a genuine battle for titles with a football-mad chap who knew the game.

Barry's prediction skills were boosted by his amazing football knowledge. He was an obsessive fan of Charlton Athletic FC, and when he moved to Gillingham to take the BHFS job, he was a 2 minute walk from Priestfield Stadium, home of Gillingham FC, which he told me wasn't an accident he chose that house! This meant that if Charlton were playing a long distance away, he could go to see The Gills instead, and I went with him a few times. He could name, and had been to, every league ground in England, and he knew the name of every league manager.


BRJ with Mark Oliver (another BHFS predictor from the 1990s) after a BHFS 5-a-side match at Priestfield Stadium, Gillingham, around 1992

Mark Grunwell won the following year's league double, then Barry won the double back the following season; that year, 1992/93 was his most successful as he also picked up a third major for the year, winning the FA Cup. These were great times with these two top predictors, and back then the leagues were boosted by many BHFS folks so we regularly had 20+ in each league - hard seasons to win. When I left BHFS, Barry continued to collect all the predictions from BHFS staff for many years, and for temporary periods he ran the leagues, compiling the tables.

He had another success in 1996/97, winning the League Cup, his sixth major title. BRJ and BHFS staff continued to play a role in FPA for a few more years but by the early 2000s all our circumstances had changed a little and his last season was 2000/01, after 11 seasons of FPA.

Barry still holds the 7th* highest success rating of titles won to number of seasons entered, winning 6 titles in 11 seasons. Four of his seasons were 50%-plus results finishes where 50% is seen as a personal benchmark season for quality predicting. Remember that the 1990s were a much tougher time for members than today - results percentages were much lower on average so Barry's four 50% seasons were quite an achievement; there were fewer competitions and therefore fewer titles on offer to win; and some of the seasons Barry was involved had the most people, so he achieved success in what was an arguably tougher predictions world. Had he continued predicting I feel sure he would be in the top five all-time averages and would have won many more titles. He definitely stands out as one of the 'all-time greats' of FPA and would easily be in a greatest top ten.

At work Barry was a great bloke, he knew his job well and he was a social person, involved in and often organising 5-a-side football at Priestfield (I posted some photos of this on Facebook's BHFS page not so long ago), and he played for the Black Horse Cricket Team too. He also took part in pub and music quizzes. I remember those long summer evenings, when the Black Horse team played the White Knights made up of Mark Grunwell, Glen Grunwell, Dave Boston and myself. Barry was always up to play and up for a laugh. It's a shame we don't have more pictures of him; he was a very liked and popular person.

Mostly though I remember him as a strong family man, close to his wife and children, and he was also a deeply spiritual person, doing a lot of work for his Church.

Though I hadn't seen 'BRJ' in a long time I was still sad to hear this news and all FPA thoughts were for his family who were and are left without a husband and Dad. Once again, we are reminded that football gives us pleasure but is not the most important thing in life, despite Bill Shankly's famous comment.

If the FPA had a 'Hall of Fame' - perhaps we ought to start one - BRJ would definitely be in it.

*statistic as at the end of the 2019-2020 season


BRJ with Mark Oliver again. Barry wearing the shirt of his team - Charlton Athletic FC


All Titles
1990-1991:Standard League Champion; Results League Champion
1992-1993:Standard League Champion; Results League Champion; FA Cup Winner
1996-1997:League Cup Winner
Results League Personal Best:50.70 (1990-1991)
Results League Career average:47.90 (10th on all-time table of 49 twice finishers, at 2016)
Results League 50% Seasons:4 (1990-1991, 1992-1993, 1995-1996, 1999-2000)
Completed seasons:11
Titles:6
Leagues:4 (SL 2, RL 2)
Cups:2 (FAC 1, LC 1)

Mike Phillips, August 2016



Predictions Theory


We have come a long way since the FPA started in 1979, and since then many other amateur and professional forecasters have joined the fold. Much has changed since those early days and we have learnt a lot. When we examine our FPA records, the same people (amateur members and professionals) seem to win, or get the highest averages, or usually finish near the top. Why?

Over the years people have developed methods and strategies to come up with their predictions and to work out what they think teams will do. Not only in this organisation, but if your search online under football predictions you will find a large number of predictions sites, all offering the chance to predict and some of them offering theories on how to win at predicting, in the football pools or at the bookmakers. Naturally some of those, and our systems, work better than others, and what works for one person may not always work again or in the same way. Here we look at a few theories of predicting.

The Result or the Score?
Should you focus on the result - home, away, draw - or the score? Does it matter? Obviously they are linked. In the FPA we have one main league based on pure results (the Results League) and one main one based on exact scores (the JP Standard League). Some feel it is best to focus on the result, work out whether it will be home, away, draw then worry about the exact score afterwards. Others feel that if you focus on the score, the results will take care of themselves. If we have a season with many goals per game then it may be hard to predict too many draws since we do not get many 3-3s or even 2-2s. On the other hand, a low scoring season will tend towards 0-0 draws and 1-0, 0-1 scores for homes and aways, respectively.

Packer Theory, or The Packer Law
It was Bill Packer way back in the 1980-1981 season who said if you put a row of 2s for the home team and a row of 1s for the away team, you can always get some points, and he became the first proponent of homes wins with a 2-1 score. Others followed suit and have had much success with it over the years, Mark Grunwell most notably amongst them. However over many years there have been seasons with 1-0 or 2-0 dominating and in other seasons, many goals flying in and 3-2 and 4-3 being almost common. To stop anyone putting all the same score every week, and to avoid an endless set of predictions of say ten 2-1s, 2-0s or the same draw or away score, we introduced the 75% rule that says you can only use the same score for 75% of your predictions. That keeps it interesting and different, and the Premier League does seem to produce many more high scoring games these days: probably due to the difference between the mega-stars of the Manchester and London clubs (Arsenal and Chelsea) coming up against strugglers. At any rate there is no pattern to what scores will pop up each week. Some years ago I used to bet on exact scores at the bookmakers and had some success, but you do not get good odds for predicting any game with fewer than four goals in it!

Reverse Packer Law
There is an argument that there are times when a team finds it a disadvantage to win at home and they are doing better away, for an extended period. This Reverse Packer Law then favours aways and a mirror score to Packer theory would be 1-2. This has certainly happened in recent years with some Premier teams having a stronger away record than their home form. Also Gillingham FC were for a couple of seasons very poor away and had the worst away record in all the four main leagues. Then suddenly they had a season where they hardly lost away but struggled at home. However to have a bit of an insight into whether the Reverse Packer Law is taking place, a bit of knowledge of team form is required.

Rajan Theory
This is only called a theory and not a law, as this was an experiment tried by our Webmaster Naz Rajan in 1980-1981, the first of his two seasons. Naz argued that since most people that year were favouring homes (Packer Theory), he would try putting mostly 1-1 draws (back then there was no 75% rule so this was possible). Unfortunately, apart from some basic information we have, most of the records for that first full season are lost now, but we know that Naz did not make the top four so it clearly was not a winning theory back then!

Team Form
The most common sort of information on a team is form. The newspapers and internet tipsters always offer the last 5 games (sometimes 6) for every team, home and away. On the internet sites it is possible to adjust this to as many or as few recent games as desired. But how many recent games influence a team's performance? Is it more important to look at all a recent team's form or divide it into home and away? If they won their last 3 away games does it mean they have a good chance of winning the next away game? Bearing in mind a team usually plays at home every other week, an away win 3 games ago might be 6 weeks back, so how relevant is that game to now?

League Tables
It is usually true that a higher team in the league may have a good chance of beating a lower one, and you may look at how many points above a team another team is.

Historic Form
Another popular system is to consider historic form. For example, a team has not won away at a particular ground for say 25 years, or a team can't score more than a certain number of goals home or away or against a certain opponent. There may be some merit in this but it takes a lot of research. Many of the online previews of games usually provide some of these details.

Team News
Are the players happy with their manager, team rotation, form - is their morale good? Are they missing their star striker, defender, goalie? If so that could influence a game. You look at the team news in the morning and may see that half of the team is out with the flu - could that influence your prediction?

Team Manager
A team could be doing very well, or struggling, based on the manager and their relationship with the players. A team having to play just after their manager has been sacked could have a detrimental effect on moral. On the other hand, players may try extra hard to impress a new manager. And on that note, would players try harder if they knew their national manager, such as for England, was present at the game?

Statistical Analysis
Various predictions sites out there advocate studying the results statistically. This was tried in the FPA for a brief experiment in the 1990s, where a computer programme called 'Poolswinner' was purchased and entered into the former Division One. It did win the league but despite having all the results constantly updated, it always favoured homes over aways and draws (and we don't need statistics to tell us there are generally more homes), and hardly ever forecast a draw - so much for a 'pools winning' programme! No doubt there are other methods and algorithms where trends could be studied similar to those methods applied to the money markets.

Method Predicting
Here you come up with a plan and stick to it. You feel for example there will always be about half homes, a quarter aways and a quarter draws, and that's what you put each week regardless. You have to work out which will be which of course, but once you have your 'banker' teams to win at home and away, filling in the undecided games as draws is then made easier. Like a Foreign Exchange trader, you don't change the method even when you have a week when your trade strategy is not working (i.e. there are 80% draws or aways in a weekend's games - it happens). This can work, but takes nerves of steel to stick with it week in, week out.

End of Season Patterns
Often the final league placings are not decided until the last few weeks or even the last week. Teams near the top are still playing for those sought after European places, whilst teams that have been doing badly near the foot of the table suddenly get a new lease of life and their form jumps as they fight to avoid the drop.

Cups
All of the above can apply, but there are always some givens. We know that in the (Capital One) League Cup and in the F.A. Cup the big teams of the Premier League will probably get to the latter stages, the non-leaguers going out first, followed by the lower division teams. However these cups are knock-out competitions and there are always some upsets, particularly in the League Cup in September where every year at least one Premier League team will slip up, and a manager may be saving the better players for an upcoming Premier or UEFA fixture. Likewise in the 3rd Round of the FA Cup, always early in January, where a major Premier team, used to good passing on a nice pitch, has to go to some windswept lower team ground in cold, wet conditions, can often be the victim of a giant-killing side. But which big team will it be to fall? 'The cup is great leveller!'

The Europe Effect
A team on the road in Europe may have to play on a Wednesday or Thursday night then play a big Premier League game on the following Saturday, with players fatigued or injured from their European exploits.

Your Own Performance
You may find you have more of a 'knack' for predicting homes, or aways, or draws. You could then predict more of those. How can you find out? Have a look at the Homes, Aways, Draws tables (based on the Results League) that follow the RL and LRL tables each week.

'Gut Instinct'
There are those who feel you should ignore all these details and just go with what your gut tells you, and the first score or result that jumps into the thoughts. For example, in 2001-2002, I was living abroad and did not have internet at home, did not see any English football on TV or in the papers, and only glanced at the Premier table once a week on a Friday night at work. If on a Saturday I would walk to work in the morning, have a quick look online at the games, and put down the first idea I had for the result and score. No form, no team news, no stats. That year I won the Standard League, so it goes to show you don't always need to be a football 'statto' to win. Go with what feels right!

Mike Phillips

Roll Call: Complete Members List


Here is a list of all members who have ever taken part in the FPA, past and present, full or part seasons, amateur and professional.
Bold text = Members participating in the current season
(P) = Professionals
(F) = Founder members from the first full season

Note that The Sun is represented more than once, where we know the name of a Sun tipster for a particular year (we have historical records for some of the other newspaper tipsters too, to be added).

115 amateurs and professionals have now passed through the FPA competitions.

  • Alderson, Tracey (F)
  • Aldhamen, Khalid
  • Almudaris, Sami
  • Arena, Hugo (F) Hughie; Mr Rum Baba
  • Atkins, Arthur (F) Ace
  • Babinet, Luke
  • Bailey, Daniel
  • Baker, Steve
  • Ballard, Martin
  • Bammeke, Tope
  • Blackford, Jason
  • Boston, Dave DB
  • Brinson, Paula
  • Burch, Paul Burchy
  • Burrluck, John (F)
  • Ceefax (P)
  • Clare, Paul
  • Clarke, Chris (F)
  • Cross, Mel
  • Crossfire (P)
  • Crossley, Mark
  • Crowther, David
  • Daily Express, The (P)
  • Daily Mail, The (P)
  • Daily Mirror, The (P)
  • Dale, Bert (F)
  • Dawson, George (F)
  • Dolal, Dhowal
  • Dummott, Alan (F)
  • Enwright, Gordon (F)
  • Evans, Dave (F)
  • Evening Standard, The (P)
  • FootStats.com (P)
  • Foster, Alan
  • Free, Michelle
  • Frost, Clive
  • Golloghly, David
  • Grunwell, Daniel
  • Grunwell, Elliott
  • Grunwell, Fiona
  • Grunwell, Glen (F) Eddie
  • Grunwell, Joseph
  • Grunwell, Mark (F) The Emperor
  • Grunwell, Tracey
  • Guardian, The (P)
  • Hannan, James
  • Hatherley, Vic
  • Horton, Brian (F)
  • Hayas, Moteb
  • Hughes, Will
  • Humphries, Ian
  • Independent, The (P)
  • Jones, George
  • Keen, Malcolm
  • Keen, Tina
  • Kent Evening Post, The (P)
  • Kent Today (P)
  • Keohane, Nina
  • Khalid, Fakhar
  • Knapp, Lewis
  • Knight, Jacob
  • Konfektov, Mikhail Misha
  • Lawrenson, Mark [BBC] (P) Lawro
  • Lewis, Mark
  • Lovelock, Helen
  • Lowrie, Jim
  • Milligan, Ian
  • Morgan, Ken
  • Mowad, Khalid
  • Muggridge, Jamie (F) Jeb
  • News of the World (P)
  • Oliver, Mark Ollie
  • Oracle (P)
  • Packer, Bill (F)
  • Parker, Darren
  • Parker, Melanie
  • Phillips, Joyce (F) Joycie
  • Phillips, Mike (F)
  • Phillips, Edward Ted (F)
  • Poolswinner Gold (P)
  • Predict Z.com (P)
  • Rajan, Naz (F)
  • Rajan, Will
  • Reid, Jeff (F)
  • Rezilta.com (P)
  • Roberts-Jones, Barry BRJ
  • Salter, Rob
  • Sancto, Dave
  • Scott, Steve
  • Sherman, Darren
  • Sherman, Mike
  • Shrubsole, Brian (F)
  • Slater, Paul
  • Slater, Rob
  • Smith, Anthony
  • Springate, Arron Ay-ran, The Blob
  • Springate, Dennis Den
  • Springate, Susan
  • Starling, Matthew
  • Sun, The (P)
  • Sunday Express, The (P)
  • Sunday Mail, The (P)
  • Sunday Mirror, The (P)
  • Sunday People, The (P)
  • Sunday Telegraph, The (P)
  • Sunday Times, The (P)
  • Taylor, Paul
  • Telegraph, The (P)
  • Thompson, Danny
  • Tidy, Mike (F)
  • Times, The (P)
  • Today (P)
  • Turnbull, John
  • Wallbank, Mark
  • Wallbank, Matthew
  • Webb, Dave (F) DJ Webb, Webberan
  • Wellings, Richard
  • Williams, Neil
  • Williams, Tony
  • Willing, Matt
  • Young, Dave (F) Mr D.Young
  • Young, Johnny (F) Thumbs; Ron Hillyard


  • Information on past and current members. This page is being updated for 2019-2020


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