The Oliver Postgate Memorial XI

Risking the accusations of being somewhat fey and whimsical, I cannot let the sad passing of Oliver Postgate (12th April 1925 – 8th December 2008) go unmarked. For me, and people of my generation, his work lit up our childhood (and beyond).

He leaves behind a remarkable body of quirky, fascinating stories and characters.

And so I bring you the Chelsea team v CFR Cluj as seen through the prism of Oliver Postgate characters.

(In order to aid your enjoyment(?) these are the relevant programmes in which the characters I have chosen appear. I have taken the liberty of using quotes from these and other sites to provide impressionistic embellishment to my choices.)

Pogles’ Wood, Noggin the Nog, Ivor the Engine, The Clangers and Bagpuss.

Starting eleven:

Petr Cech (Owen the Signal from Ivor the Engine)

“Owen the Signal inhabits a signal box near Ivor’s shed and makes an occasional cameo appearance in the episodes.”

Jose Bosingwa (Mr Dinwiddy from Ivor the Engine)

“A very odd, possibly insane miner who lives in the hills and digs for gold. He enjoys explosions and mining. In fact, his mountain is full of gold, but as soon as he digs it up, he puts it back again. He often has need of new boots.”

Alex (Major Clanger from The Clangers)

“His armour is to protect him from things that fall from the sky.”

John Terry (Thor Nogson from Noggin the Nog)

“Although he may not be a Nog of great intellect, Thor Nogson, the Captain of the Royal Guard is strong and brave in adversity.”

Ashley Cole (Small Clanger from The Clangers)

“…being notable for his experiments by which he learns and pushes back the boundaries of his world.”

John Obi Mikel (Jones the Steam from Ivor the Engine)

“…is just an ordinary engine-driver who is there to cope with whatever has to be coped with, and enjoy a cup of tea from Ivor’s boiler.”

Michael Ballack (Mr Charlie Banger, the Circus Ringmaster from Ivor the Engine)

“Banger’s Circus features Lion taming, high-wire acts, clowns and horse riding, but best of all were the elephants, and best of all the elephants was Alice.”

Joe Cole (Tog from Pogles’ Wood)

“Having been made into a living being, he could not in all fairness be sent back to being a lifeless toy… Tog was hiding in a tree because he lost his scarf and was upset.”

Deco (Ronf from Noggin the Nog)

“…the strongest and tallest of the little people who live in the Hot Water Valley, stands only knee-high to a Nog. But what he lacks in stature he makes up for in strength and stamina.”

Salomon Kalou (Professor Yaffle from Bagpuss)

“…is the most complex of the characters, and moves around more than most, being nailed to the floor with tacks to prevent him falling over.”

Nicolas Anelka (Olaf the Lofty, the Court Inventor from Noggin the Nog)

“Although Olaf’s inventions are invariably ingenious, so they are also invariably unreliable, often with dramatic results.”


Didier Drogba (Bagpuss)

“…is a magical cat. When he wakes up, all his friends come to life.”

Juliano Belletti (Hedgepig from Pogles’ Wood)

“…had little to say but later in Pogles’ Wood his role developed into a speaking part.”

Wayne Bridge (Pippin from Pogles’ Wood)

“He is in fact a changeling child, the son of the King of the Fairies – whose silver crown attracted some unwelcome attention.”


Luiz Felipe Scolari (Mr Pogle)

“…is a skilled craftsman. He’s clever with his hands, and made the stilts for Pippin and Tog. He leads blackberry picking expeditions, even though these aren’t always successful and they end up with a barrow-load of rabbits instead.”