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Offley discovered Counsel propping up the bar at The Sportsman. A veteran of the Lancashire Leagues, Counsel soon struck up an entertaining brand of wit and repartee with Nathan Brodie, becoming firm chums as they discussed the various merits of Manchester City and Manchester United. Whereas Brodie has spent his entire life supporting the Red Devils, Counsel reportedly only transferred his affections to City after their recent takeover, thereby making him the only real Plastic Manc at the club.
After initially distinguishing himself against Lilley as the man who dropped the catch that lost the match in the final game of the 2008 season when he somehow contrived to drop a sitter from the dangerous Gareth Tompkins, Counsel struggled to get on the pitch in 2009. He sustained a broken nail during the first week of nets and then hurt his leg in his first appearance of the season, capping a wretched afternoon by falling down the steps of the pavilion. He spent the rest of that afternoon happily practicing his seven iron in the yonder fields whilst his teammates toiled in the hot sun. There’s alway another season to show his steps , fitness and golf providing . . . .