Judge Mackie QC delves into football history.

Those long days in court drag, so it is hardly surprising that judges occasionally feel drawn to reminisce about a bygone era. So it was for Judge Mackie QC the other day, while presiding over a rather tawdry financial matter between a financier and Watford FC.

Delivering a judgment in a fairly nondescript case, Mackie was clearly pining for the terraces as he embarked on an evocative delve into association football’s golden age.

‘This case has been about money rather than the real purpose of a club which is playing football,’ stated the judge, with just a hint of the Fast Show’s Ron Manager.

‘I will not leave a case about Watford Football Club without recording my gratitude to and admiration for one of its players, the late Mr Tommy Harmer.

‘I still recall vividly an otherwise miserable Saturday afternoon in 1961 or ‘62 when, playing unaccountably in the third division, dancing and weaving his way repeatedly through the opposition like a butterfly with determination, he brought worthwhile delight and pleasure to thousands.’

Maybe so, yer honour, but Tommy wasn’t a patch on John Barnes.