The Good, The Bad & The Ugly EFL

If you’re here for the silliness and the comedy we often portray in this round-up of the EFL, you’ll have to wait until next week.

This week, we’re forgetting football’s tribal roots and we’re unashamedly celebrating a weekend where the EFL came together.

So grab some tissues, dig out the Marley and Me DVD and feel the love. Here’s the Good, the Good and the Good from the EFL weekend.

The Good: Darby Day at Bolton 

Few Bolton home goals will have been greeted with such emotion as Craig Noone’s winner on Saturday.

The routine header wasn’t the best goal he’ll score in his career, but it wasn’t about that.

It was the celebration that made it so special.

This wasn’t a bicycle kick or a 40-yard volley. This was a beautiful moment of raw human emotion.

After nodding past Scott Carson just 10 minutes in, Noone set off like an Olympic sprinter.

He was only heading for one man.

The winger hot-footed across the pitch, hurdled over the advertising hoardings and gave his mate Stephen Darby a big hug.

Tragically, Darby was forced to hang up his boots after being diagnosed with motor neurone disease.

In the first game since his retirement, his team-mates paid tribute to him by walking onto the pitch with shirts bearing his name and his number 23 on the back.

The Trotters won their EFL clash with Derby 1-0. Whilst Stephen might not be out there with his pals anymore, he’s definitely still with them.

The result seems academic in the circumstances, but the win did give the Trotters a 9-point cushion above the drop zone in their battle for survival.

Darby now has his own battle to fight, one thing’s for certain, his team-mates are still with him too.

The Good: Moore togetherness spreads 

Just as Bolton players came together for their team-mate, 39 miles away on the Fylde coast, Barnsley players were doing the same for Stephen Croft.

Croft, who is a popular volunteer at the club was airlifted to hospital after suffering a heart attack, before the Reds’ clash with Burton on the 22nd of September.

Thankfully, his condition has since improved.

The Barnsley players paraded a shirt with Croft’s name on the back and were able to win in his honour.

Goals from Jacob Brown, Kieffer Moore (just had to squeeze in a pun) and Mamadou Thiam saw the Tykes run out comfortable 3-1 winners against Joey Barton’s Fleetwood.

Barnsley moved to within 5 points of an automatic spot as they push for promotion.

Make no mistake though, this one was for Stephen.

The Good: Roy of the Magpies 

Honestly, I’m not trying to make you cry, but if I haven’t got you yet I might be about too. Best not put the tissues away just yet.

Football was once described as ‘the beautiful game’ and the EFL delivered another heartwarming moment on Saturday.

We’ve all dreamt of scoring in front of the kop end for our respective clubs. For Notts County Roy Prentice, this became a reality.

The 94-year-old, who’s living with dementia, was invited to fulfil his life-long fantasy of scoring a penalty at half-time in front of the Notts County fans.

Roy’s goal-scoring exploits clearly rubbed off on the County players as they claimed their first win of the season, defeating Crewe Alexandra 2-1.

A spokesperson for the club told the BBC Roy is a “massive County supporter,” who wanted to score a goal in front of Meadow Lane’s Kop end before he died.

This video will melt your heart. There’s something in my eye.