Thick skinned or otherwise, we have been learning more about the hot property that’s claimed to be football’s most egregious shirt.

Bedale Town’s kit, sponsored by nearby sausage maker Heck, was last year merely named the world’s seventh worst.

This time, insists club chairman Martyn Coombs, they’re really cutting the mustard. “It’s game over. We’re looking worldwide to arrange a match against the second worst but they won’t beat this one. It’s better because it’s far worse. Last season the reaction was phenomenal, this year it’s been doubly phenomenal.”

They’ve also been scouring the internet in an attempt to find who their closest contenders might be – from a shirt covered in broccoli to another which appears to have herring. Windsor FC’s union jack shirt carries the logo Macron, though may be more a nod to the league sponsor than to the entente cordiale.

Since the hot dog kit was launched a few weeks back it’s featured everywhere from Indonesia to Argentina, from Russia Today to the Ripon Gazette.

The Sun’s headline was “Banger or clanger?”; the Star, assuming some German knowledge among its readers, supposed it “Wurst kit ever.”

Norwegian television spent last weekend in Bedale, simply relishing it. Since there’s not a direct link to hot dogs, the Who All the Pies website has had fun, too.

Things may have been a bit more difficult to describe on radio, but Martyn – retired PE teacher and football referee – rose magnificently to the challenge.

“I astonished myself on TalkSport by suggesting that the design was like the Crick and Watson double helix only with ketchup and mustard,” he recalls.

“I didn’t even know that I knew about the unravelling of the DNA molecule.”

Last season’s kit, more beans and sausages than a cowboy’s breakfast, helped promote Heck. This year they’re part of a major fund raising drive for the Prostate Cancer charity.

They’re part of Team Garby, set up following the death in 2014 of Steve Garbett, who lived in Leeds but was a Sunderland fan and a close friend of former manager Simon Grayson.

“Simon’s been absolutely brilliant, given up a lot of time and called in a lot of favours for the cause,” says Martyn.

Headed by Steve’s son Dave, they’re nearing the original £150,000 target and have just raised it to £250,000 – much of it raised from cycling challenges. Martyn himself has ridden almost 10,000 miles since the initiative began.

Heck have agreed to produce 200,000 special sleeves for their sausage packs during Prostate Cancer awareness month in May next year, with 12.5p per pack – up to a maximum of £25,000 – going to the charity.

They also hope to persuade celebrities – even the England football team – to pose as hot dogsbodies.

A “seasoned ticket” idea for Bedale games – sadly nothing to do with being mustard flavoured – has been put on hold, however. “We’d only have been charging as fiver,” says Martyn. “Despite all the publicity we’re still only watched by one man and a dog.”

So what do those who must resemble a barbecue butty make of their new strip? “We unveiled it at the annual presentation night and the first reaction was abject horror,” the chairman admits.

“Their opinions have changed quite quickly. Honestly, they absolutely love it now.”

*For the sartorially discerning, replica Bedale Town shirts can only be obtained from – 25 per cent of all purchases going to Team Garby. The guy’s bought an awful lot.

A few miles south of Bedale sits, comfortably, the ancient village of Thornton Watlass, mentioned in the Domesday Book and much featured in programmes like All Creatures.

It’s a delightful place of around 250 souls, mostly clustered around the village green and none, so far as may reasonably be ascertained, of the wretched oftcumden tribe who buy a house near a sports ground and then complain that sport’s played on it.

The village green’s the cricket field, the road 15 yards inside the boundary and the Buck Inn immediately behind it. If the field moves in, it’s not to save a single but to avoid getting knocked down.

Last Wednesday the villagers hosted Richmond Mavericks, last game of the season in the Wensleydale Evening League second division, a joyous and greatly sporting competition.

“Are they real mavericks?” asks a chap in the Buck before the start.

“Only some of them,” says his mate, no less obliquely.

It’s a glorious, oh-to-be-in-England sort of an August evening, Roseberry Topping clearly visible 25 miles to the east, the pavilion part of the village hall.

A notice advertises the services of a new child minder at nearby Crakehall – one or two of the home side might almost qualify for her services – another seeks a new clerk for Thornton Watlass, Burrill with Cowling, Thirn, Rookwith and Cliburn-on-Yore parish council.

The last incumbent, presumably, retired with writers’ cramp.

Adam, the older bairn, opens the bowling for the Mavericks, Owen, his younger brother, made a guest appearance earlier in the season and smote 22, precisely as many as the big lad has managed all season.

The considerable consolation is that another couple of victims should, he thinks, make him the league’s leading wicket taker for the second successive season. The Mavs call him Mossy, a bit confusing because Ross McDonald – Watlass’s top scorer – answers to Rossy.

Between the action, the column finds itself musing on what’s wat, and whether Thornton had one less.

The home side’s innings ends on 109-5 after 20 overs, two sixes thumping into the tiles of a house beyond critics’ corner. One then continues its parabola towards the A1. They still haven’t found it, and might earlier strike gold.

Andrew Hines, known as Beansy, claims three wickets, the bairn the other two before becoming club umpire for the Mavericks’ innings. He’s a big lad, the white coat worn as the late Mr Giant Haystacks might have worn a tutu.

Mike Layfield, more familiar at Richmondshire in the NYSD, hits his accustomed 50 before compulsory retirement. “Sloppy” Joe Southgate, late on parade, atones with a hard hitting 31.

They win by five wickets, the nifty electronic scoreboard glowing improbably in the twilight of an idyllic evening.

The next day it’s confirmed that the big lad has again won the award for most second division wickets and tied for most in the league. The boy done well.