football predictions since 1979


Mike Phillips
Mark Grunwell
Naz Rajan (Webmaster)


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 2022/2023.


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).

For some years we also included have Mark 'Lawro' Lawrenson, from the BBC, and we have introduced various 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.

Current Professionals - Biographies and Statistics:

FPA HONOUR ROLL : Members Remembered

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.

Naz 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.

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.

Some Professionals (newspapers) have been represented by more than one person, but we have amalgamated them here under the one banner. For example, we have four or five names who represented The Sun over many years though we don't list them here, and The Sun still counts as just one entity/member (alas, The Sun was our oldest and longest serving Professional, but stopped publishing 1-2-X forecasts in 2022)

127 amateurs and professionals have now passed through the FPA competitions (98 amateurs and 29 professionals)

Bold text = Members participating in the current season
Italics = short names, nicknames, or known as
(F) = Founder members from the first trial season 1979-80
(P) = Professionals
XYZ = Affiliation where appropriate

Affiliation (groups or companies where members were introduced to FPA):
ARO: Aramco (KSA)
BHL: Black Horse Life (UK)
CBL: Chemical Bank London (UK)
DOE: Dept of Employment (UK)
EXP: Exprodat (UK)
KSA: Met in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
MKA: Mid-Kent Astronomical Society (UK)
MOD: Ministry of Defence (UK)
SYC: Salem Church Youth Club (UK)
SSC: Sturdee Social Club (UK)
UOG: University of Greenwich (UK)

Those with no affiliation listed were already existing friends or introduced by friends

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

    *Gillingham FC's goalkeeper, early 1980s

  • Information on past and current members. This page is being updated for 2023-2024

    Breakdown of current active members:

    UK = 68%
    KSA = 23%
    Australia = 9%

    Breakdown of teams supported:

    Gillingham = 6
    Liverpool = 4
    Arsenal, Chelsea = 3
    Crystal Palace, Leeds United, Tottenham = 2
    Al Ahli = 2

    Manchester City = 1
    Manchester United = 1
    West Ham = 1
    Charlton Athletic = 1
    Chatham Town = 1
    Dunfermline Athletic = 1
    AC Milan = 1
    Barcelona = 1

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