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The Quest for the 92
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Ronsaunders



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 5:52 pm 
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Foxes 1 - my experiences (and most of my friends) of the Madrid police are that they are the most violent and indiscriminate bullies that I have ever come across. The word "wanker" does not even begin to describe them and if I saw a Madrid police being rounded upon by people, I'd have no sense of guilt in justing walking past.
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sharrowblade
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 2:40 pm 
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Ground No 56, The Memorial Ground - Bristol Rovers

The week didn't start well, pipe and slippers and a mug of Horlicks on sunday night, set against the backdrop of an unlit log fire (Come on, I'm not made of money, you know), the wife turned adoringly and enquired in a soft velvety whispered tone if I had made any arrangements for Tuesday night.
Tuesday, the day of love, the night of passion...St Valentines Day. She twirled a finger in her hair, 'Is it Venice, she playfully teased. I was unresponsive, I couldn't believe I was sat watching a repeat of 'Dance Moms'.
I was hoping that would be the end of it but I was to be sadly disappointed....'or maybe a little cottage in the Lake District, or ooh I know a.... West end Show' she continued unabated. Finally, I had little choice but to end this madness.
'Please yourself luv....I'm off to Bristol Rovers' Laughing Who said romance was dead?

Picked the boys up from the School gates at 3 and headed South. The Sat-Nav map of the midlands had more traffic obstruction spots than the average teenagers face. I harked back to the halcyon days of my lorry driving youth and went down the A38. Normally I'd go through Brownhills, and skirt round Walsall, but I envisaged this being somewhat on the busy side. For some unexplained reason, I threw caution to the wind and headed straight to Spaghetti, it was a catastrophic and calamitous choice. As life ebbed away, ,Macca attempted to placate my well known hatred of 'Audi Drivers who push in' by devising a quiz. Unfortunately, that too ended badly, when he asked for names of 'Bond Baddies'. an argument raged with Danny... he just wouldn't take 'No' for an answer.

Eventually, the shackles of restraint were broken but the time lost had took its toll, any thoughts of a pre-match pint with Pastpirate had sadly vanished and we arrived with 10 minutes to go. The surrounding area was bedlam, it was poorly lit, and no parking to be had, so we went for a tour of Bristol before we found a cul-de-sac. At this point I confess I had no idea where we were.

On the skyline, that arc of light that proper floodlights possess radiated the night sky, the sound of the crowd getting louder as the ground came closer. It was old time, and all the better for it. We arrive 10 minutes after kick off, it doesn't bode well for programmes or teamsheets but fortune shone as we came through the gates the Media and ticket collection window was still open and they duly obliged.



Its packed like a tin of John West's, we don't see anything for half an hour until two blokes are carried out in need of Oxygen. Dan with reactions like a gazelle needs no invitation to fill the void, Macca with reactions akin to a 'Slug' gets left at the back. See you at halftime son Laughing



There's a heady atmosphere of alcohol, Cannabis, BO and them god awful vapour thingies. It may not be the most suitable ground for football, there's large parts of it which would be more at home as a wedding Marquee, but with a sizeable crowd, no visible space anywhere, it felt nostalgic, it felt like old time football.



The game isn't a classic by any means and it ends goal-less.

Enjoyed the visit and arrived back home at 2am, to find the Wife had been spoilt rotten with flowers, Milk Tray and some lingerie.

Funny that....I don't remember sending any:? ....Still not to worry, it was another point for the Blades and another ground for the lads.

Next Stop: Cardiff City
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sharrowblade
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 12:43 pm 
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Damn...lost Leyton Orient and Hartlepool in the summer.....but regained Lincoln so we were back to 55.

Ground No 56. The Cardiff City Stadium.....Cardiff City

The sun shone, it was the holidays, Cliff was on the Radio and we were heading for the Valleys.

There was five of us, My mate Brad and his lad Freddie, and the gruesome twosome and me. It was an uneventful trip down, with Brad regaling stories like when he once scored four goals at Glasshoughton Welfare, and still lost 4-1 Smile. The boys were ground hopping as usual, and they managed to get out and have a run about the pitch at Bromsgrove Rovers. Back on the road we couldn't find Monmouth Town so I rather foolishly agreed to go after the match. . We entered Wales, I confess to having mixed feelings whenever I'm across the border, the wife once accused me of sleeping with a girl from Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch. It was very upsetting at the time 'How she could possibly say that'. Confused

A little detour on the outskirts of Newport brought us to the little town of Caerleon. We stop for a pint at the Hanbury Arms on the banks of the Usk and Freddie produces a travel card game. Each card has a photograph on it, I glance over Danny's shoulder, he's been dealt OJ Simpson, Michael Barrymore and Amanda Knox. I though 'Hello, this is going to be a long game of Cluedo' Surprised

We're off around the corner to Caerleon FC, where's there is fevered activity, there's a game scheduled, it looks like it would be a classic. The centre forward has turned up late and is getting chased down the lane by a stray dog, the star midfielder is going through an intense fitness test which consists of two big Macs and fries and the back four show good organization as they keep in formation as they relieve themselves behind the main grandstand.
Seriously, I would have loved to have stayed, the little clubhouse looked very welcoming.



Sadly time is against us, and we have to leave, and we finally make it to Cardiff. Its been suggested we try the local 'Goals Centre' but we choose the car Park adjacent and it costs a Fiver. Still, Goals wanted £8, (we would have wanted 30 minutes on a pitch for that). Team sheets are scarce, but we manage to get a couple. Tickets are very reasonably priced £41 for 2 adults and 3 juniors. You can buy the Away end at Hillsborough for that.



Its a sit where you want policy, and as usual the boys head towards the back, to be fair it was going to be a decent view wherever we sat. The boys liked the stadium, its a tidy set up but sadly the team's performance doesn't quite cut it on the night. General Warnock has organised his troops well and we're beaten by the better team on the night.



On the way out I'm hoping nobody's remembered about Monmouth. It was a rash promise made in the madness of a hazy summer's afternoon, but I'm undone by Macca who is still wide awake as we head home.

Ultimately, the mission was futile, the sat nav wasn't having it, google maps wasn't it, and I wasn't having it. I had no excuse apart from 'What are we doing at Midnight, driving around Monmouth?'.

One day we will return.......aaaaaaaarrrrrrrggggggghhhhhh.

Next Stop: Sunderland
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Last edited by sharrowblade on Thu Sep 21, 2017 9:38 am; edited 1 time in total
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mark01



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 11:56 am 
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Hi Sharrow, I couldnt find Monmouth's ground either a few years back when they were playing in a Welsh fa cup game. Then I found out they had swopped grounds with the opposition!

It's just off the town centre and they share the ground with the rugby club!

regards, Mark

Glad you enjoyed the Bristol Rovers away 'pen'

PS Visited my 400th ground last week.
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sharrowblade
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:05 pm 
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mark01 wrote:
Hi Sharrow, I couldnt find Monmouth's ground either a few years back when they were playing in a Welsh fa cup game. Then I found out they had swopped grounds with the opposition!

It's just off the town centre and they share the ground with the rugby club!

regards, Mark

Glad you enjoyed the Bristol Rovers away 'pen'

PS Visited my 400th ground last week.


Nice one....Wow 400 Bow
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 10:24 pm 
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Ground No 57, The Stadium of Light, Sunderland

Away days, hours of planning, precise calculations of time and distance, and most important of all food supplies. If Macca doesn't get his bacon sarnie there's always hell to pay. Naturally, the best laid plans are rendered totally useless because of certain individuals inability to get out of bed....... I'm innocent I tell ya.

Depart 10:15am, arrive 2pm, not bad considering we've had two ground tours at Norton and Stockton and Billingham Town, and visited Wolviston FC, Peterlee (we couldn't find it again Surprised ), and Easington Colliery on the way up.



Peterlee....where's the ground dad?

Traffic is light as we come in from Seaham, I consider parking in the City Centre but decide to park the other side of the bridge. It pays dividends, Its a 10 minute walk to the ground, the area is fine and its free Laughing

Plenty of pubs nearby, such as the Victory where supporters from both sides were enjoying the sunshine. Arrive at Bob Stokoe's statue at 2:30 pm, programmes purchased and proceed to search for a team-sheet. There isn't any. Reception has high security, The ticket office have no knowledge and the girls in the club shop did say something but it was unintelligible. Broad Mackem, don't you just love it, Dan said it was unusual to have so many Portuguese working in the club shop Confused

Finally, in an act of desperation I invaded the media office and was promptly thrown out. A request for a team-sheet was refused, it wasn't so much a refusal more of a brutal put-down, I turned to the lads, I sensed the eyes were welling up, with bitter disappointment etched in expression , I just shrugged , I couldn't think of anything to say to them.

The Media officer must have noticed the tears running down the cheeks and in an unlikely moment of remorse took pity, and returned Haway, lads, 2 team-sheets for you......now get your dad to stop crying'.

The climb to the away section is a long and arduous affair, the weak were falling by the wayside with altitude sickness. On we went, higher and higher, on each floor there's a sign on the wall from Vinnie Jones saw more red than these floors, to the height of Jason Lee's haircut until we reached the pinnacle, 'this is the height that Chris Waddle's Italia 90 Penalty reached'. Nice touch that.



We're in the gods, 5 seats from the back, the lads are happy, I'm not my seat is broken and to add to this I've got the jolly green giant next to me who insists on sharing with Dan and me. The atmosphere is good, can't speak for the home supporters as they are miles away. We lead 1-0 at half time and deservedly so, the beginning of the second half felt a little surreal, large swathes of the home end are sparse. I never took Sunderland as having a big prawn sandwich brigade. With 15 minutes left United strike again and its game over, despite a late goal deep into injury time. Not many saw it, they'd already left.

Not sure what to make of it all, without running the risk of upsetting some of the form's brethren like Karb, but they do appear to be somewhat fickle with a penchant for leaving very early.

Exit from the ground is slow, and we're virtually the last to leave. We enjoy a casual walk around the ground, its quite entertaining watching the drunk stragglers from the visitor Coaches, patting the noses of police horses, and mumbling 'Ahhhhh.....I want one'.

Outside reception the players are coming out. Quick word and photo with Ched and then back to the Reliant. The day's been a good un' all round. Seaham Red Star and Stockton Town are paid a visit on the way back. So 7 ground visits in all. Back Home 9pm.



Tickets: £42 (1 x £22, 2 x £10)
Programmes: £3
Pint of Lager: Didn't have owt'. Surprised
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sharrowblade
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 10:12 am 
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Ground No 58, The Abbey Stadium, Cambridge United

I was on my way to see a man about a dog in all places....Colne, Lancashire, when I met up with Stanley Nick to buy some programmes for Macca's programme collection.

You can't beat a bit of dealing in a motorway service station Cool

Nick let slip about Accrington's impending trip to Cambridge, and the idea was set in place, Nick kindly offered to get the tickets and meet us at the ground on Saturday,

It was Remembrance day, so I took the lads to the American war Cemetery at Madingley on the outskirts of Cambridge. Beautifully designed, fascinating and deeply poignant. The message wasn't lost on the lads, people giving up their lives so the likes of us could go and have a pint and watch the game that afternoon.



And onto Cambridge, renowned seat of learning, a melting pot of culture, a world leader in theatrical circles and home of great sportsman such as Stephen Fry.

Its change since I went, the pub I used to go is an Indian restaurant, ah...the progress of man. We cross the Cam, veer left and park down by the Riverside. There's all manner of boats, Canoes, Kayaks and nuclear submarines. The boys watch all the fun and frolics on the River for 10 minutes before asking me what I thought. 'Set of Punts', now where's the pub?' Laughing

But, there's danger here at every turn, they stalk the streets, the pavement, the park, everywhere. A plague of locusts, they come from every angle, stealth like, silent assassins, they strike at speed, without a conscience, without warning, without morals, they have no comprehension of the degree of misery they serve, they abandon all codes of common decency and terrorise the inhabitants of this fair city. They dismiss with reckless abandonment those that dare stray within their domain. These are mean streets and these are their purveyors of doom, there is no escape......Cyclists, there's bloody millions of them.

Remarkably, we reach the ground unharmed, more by luck than owt else. Nerves shredded, the programmes are purchased, the team sheet proves a tougher nut to crack, we shuffle round to the Main stand where we're refused entry because we don't have tickets. Dan suggests 'I do the Steward' I decline Dan's preferred option, the Donald Trump School of Diplomacy and adopt a more sympathetic approach, where upon I'm duly rewarded with a nice colour team-sheet.

Met up with Nick, who provides the lads with a couple of badges and a few Stanley Programmes. Nice touch.



The ground is hotchpotch, a mish-mash of buildings, we're housed behind the goal, with a large run off area, which results in a conversation about its intended use. Dan reckons its a warm up area, inexplicably Macca's gone for baseball, whereas I've thrown one out there by suggesting its the home of the local Kabaddi team. Macca mutters something about Dad talking Kebabs again. Confused

We've been adopted for the day. Sadly, the Stanley faithful are in full voice, I say sadly because they are the worst singers I've ever heard and I refuse to believe that Accrington is wonderful.

The game is cagey, it needed a goal but never got one.



As we left, we circumnavigated the field that accesses the away end and runs the length of the ground. Its common ground used by dog walkers and cattle. Hundreds crammed onto the path, I foolish remarked that it would be funny if somebody just ran onto the field and launched themselves head first onto the floor, I didn't expect someone to actually do it. Suddenly, a lone figure broke the ranks, like a gazelle attempting to escape the hunter, a banshee possessed, it lasted a mere ten seconds, it was an exhilarating exhibition of raw running, there was gasps from the watching throng as the wannabe numpty stumbled and crashed head first into the sodden earth. It was juvenile at best, the actions of a madman.

I know, I know....... you should never laugh at the inflicted but I couldn't help it.

'What's your mother going to say, Dan' I sighed. Confused

In his defence, he claimed a Japanese sniper in the bushes got him, but in truth he was on uneven wasteland, carrying too much speed. and had short little legs. It was God's will and it was bound to end badly.

Remarkably, it was the best action seen all afternoon.

Many thanks to Stanley Nick for your time and co-operation.

Another good day out.
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bigearl79



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 24, 2017 8:48 am 
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Not been on for a while. Wembley counts this season of course, and as I never did White Hart Lane that put me up to 74. Rotherham in October took me up to 75. No more news one with Scunthorpe this season to come. May try and treat myself to somewhere if I can fit it in with our first team games.
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foxes1



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 4:35 pm 
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New ground coming up tomorrow Highbury (No not the old Arsenal ground, but Fleetwood Town for our F A Cup 3rd Rd tie) as I was one of the lucky 1000 visiting fans to get a ticket.
I normally travel by train but decided to give it a miss this time as there are no trains into Blackpool, so decided to travel by coach from the King Power Sradium bit of an early start 6.30am for the lunchtime kick-off (Bring back the old 3 o'clocks).
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bigearl79



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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 7:37 am 
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foxes1 wrote:
New ground coming up tomorrow Highbury (No not the old Arsenal ground, but Fleetwood Town for our F A Cup 3rd Rd tie) as I was one of the lucky 1000 visiting fans to get a ticket.
I normally travel by train but decided to give it a miss this time as there are no trains into Blackpool, so decided to travel by coach from the King Power Sradium bit of an early start 6.30am for the lunchtime kick-off (Bring back the old 3 o'clocks).


Try the supporters bar/club at the ground if you can. For a club at that level and support they are excellent.
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sharrowblade
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 10:19 am 
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Fleetwood

Best pub Strawberry gardens, with Syd Little from Little and Large.

Get in nice and early

Make sure you're behind the net and not to the side.

That is described as terracing but it isn't its a path, and unless you're at the front you won't see anything
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tufcprogs



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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 11:43 am 
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sharrowblade wrote:


Best pub Strawberry gardens, with Syd Little from Little and Large



Is this a new BBC2 travel show?
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foxes1



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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 12:49 pm 
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sharrowblade wrote:
Fleetwood

Best pub Strawberry gardens, with Syd Little from Little and Large.

Get in nice and early

Make sure you're behind the net and not to the side.

That is described as terracing but it isn't its a path, and unless you're at the front you won't see anything


Went in the Strawberry gardens pub before the game wished I had stopped there all afternoon instead of freezing my nuts off watching a poor game. The pub also did a Vardy No. 9 ale £3 a pint. What I will say about the football club itself is that it seems well run. We got charged normal league prices for Fleetwood also the programme was only £2. Still another ground off the list
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sharrowblade
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:04 pm 
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Ground No 59: Deepdale, Preston North End


Deepdale.... a destination that has forever haunted us.

An elusive Lorelei in the quest for the 92, calling from a far, across the Pennines.

Three times we had attempted to go, and three times we failed to make it, inexplicably I once bought tickets for the game, and put them safe. So safe, I found them 4 weeks later in a old Shoot Annual.

Finally the day had dawned and we were on our way.

We came in from the North, Junction 31A, and parked in the Sumners Pub car Park about 1:30pm. Sadly, The pub was more popular than pilgrims flocking to Mecca, the bar had a defensive wall around it, 10 deep, somebody mentioned that their were some foreigners in, but sadly, it wasn’t the Dutch Women's hockey team on a North West Jolly, so we decided to give it a swerve as we only had 90 minutes to kick off.

Its a 5 minute walk down the road, to the giant Meccano set which is Deepdale. Its blessed with the terrific statue of Tom Finney, Team-sheets secured, we're a little earlier than usual, so we head in for a pint and two large hot dogs as the boys hadn't had anything since breakfast, an unfortunate hindsight on my behalf. I'd fed the dog but forgot about them.
Macca's threatening to speed dial 'Childline'.

Its a festive atmosphere, amongst our happy band of supporters there were Santa’s, batman and Robin, a couple of Elves, and plenty of ugly supporters who could easily past for Reindeer. The Wise men had gone AWOL however and so had the team. We had a terrific view, of us being truly awful. Two poor teams on the day who carve out just the one chance between them and Preston took it.

We were that bad that Before the end.... I’m asking Macca for the number for Childline. I was going to turn myself in.

The Christmas spirit is lost on some of our merry band of followers, It was supposed to be the season of goodwill to all men, but that dangerous ingredient of frustration and probably about 16 pints of lager were coming to the fore as even one of the elves, was getting threatened with a kicking.

It was a case of away day blues, which was made worse when we stopped at the soulless abyss that is Bolton on the way home where we run a gauntlet of finger pointing and laughter, and a mocking voice of 14 year old who reminds us that we’d lost to Preston.
They’d lost at home to Burton, so I’m not sure they should have been taking the moral high ground, unless of course they were all Citehhh supporters.

Price: £40 (1 x £24, 2 x £8 )
Programme £3

Next Stop: Portman Road
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:15 pm 
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Ground No 60, Portman Road, Ipswich Town

Cup fever had obviously gripped Danny, as he was asleep all the way from Sheffield to Bury St Edmunds. As a recent recruit to being a teenager he'd been up late, what he had been doing I didn't ask and to be honest I didn't want to know.

At Bury Town, he stirred then went back to sleep, as Macca and me went inside the ground. Preparations were in full swing for the afternoon's game.
I enquired who they were playing'
and got told 'Where'
I was confused so I said sorry, you're playing here aren't you.? Who against?
'Where'. Macca looked blank no change there then...and suddenly oh you mean 'ware' as in Hertfordshire. Cue sarcastic round of applause.

We moved on, Dan had finally come around, well to be honest I'd dragged him out of the reliant at Stowmarket Town, and then it was time for a pint, We found a pub in a Claydon just north of Ipswich and sat watching the Fleetwood/Leicester game and engaged in a conversation with some local tractor boys. There used to be an age when people would ask for a pre-match forecast but now its how many reserves have you got playing. Ah the magic of the Cup.

It doesn't take long to get into Ipswich, and find somewhere to park. The lads were dubious, 'why do you always park in the worst area'. Look, I said, its not that bad, the houses have all got windows haven't they. The boys weren't convinced 'Yes, but they haven't got glass in them'. I chose to ignore the barbed comments but secretly deep down I shared their reservations.

Its a 10 minute walk to the ground. They still have the old fashioned floodlights, so its relatively easy to find. Programmes purchased, but the team sheets haven't been done yet, probably due to all the reserves.

I liked the ground, Macca gave it the thumbs up too, not sure about Dan as he was nodding off. It wasn't a classic by any means, and is settled by a quality strike from distance, and in fairness we should have been out of sight before Town exerted some late pressure.

I seek out 'the firm', men with connections, hard core fanatics, they always come tooled up, with carrier bags, 'Alright lads, has anybody got of couple of spare team sheets'. Sorted.

Departure from the stadium is painfully slow, but at last we're out into the night air. Wemberlee's Arch is beckoning, doesn't sound as good as the twin towers... but still.
We head back to the van, but after 10 minutes I stop and ask the boys 'Where the hell are we'. They're no help. A lot of Ipswich fans stop to offer their assistance and laugh, bless them, 'Where do you want to get to'. I can only shrug, I've no idea where I've left the Reliant.
Suddenly we've gone all Dad's army, I'm saying 'we're doomed', Dan's saying 'Don't panic' and Macca's telling Dan 'Stupid boy'. We seek sanctuary underneath a streetlight and scan google maps, Bingo, the van is on it, I didn't know you could even track it. 'Its called technology dad' quips Dan. 'Yes, that's all very well, there's the van, that's good, and it appears stationary, that's good,.... but where are we?

We're officially lost, so we have no option but to head back to the ground and retrace our steps. Oh well, I enjoyed the walk.
Back home for 9:30, can't wait for the highlights on Match of the day.
I must say I really enjoyed the 5 seconds of coverage.
Tickets: £20 (£10 x 1, £5 x 2)
Programme: £2

Next Stop: The Custard Bowl
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:04 pm 
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Wolves, Molyneux Ground No 62.

It was Noon, it was dark and depressing. My god it was a wretched landscape. At every turn there was some unpleasant odour, and a feeling of danger with every step. For this was a forsaken Land.

'Okay, lads time to get up, and tidy your rooms before you come down.'

An hour later we were on the road, the early evening kick off had left us with an unusual lethargic feeling.

To fight off the insipid mood we stopped off for a pint in Cannock, I regaled stories of yesteryear, including one particular night in Cannock with one particular young lady. I do hope the wedding turned out well the following week.

Onto Wolverhampton, traffic is dense and the drivers denser. We get to within a mile off the ground when I branch off and park outside Wolverhampton race course. Its a 15 minute walk, we're strangers in a strange land and its beginning to rain.



We arrive outside the Custard Bowl, Macca declares that Wolves have the nicest toilets in the football League. I point out that was in the Stan Cullis suite, you were six at the time and you'd gone into the ladies by mistake.

Circumnavigated the ground, and purchased a couple of programmes from the World's slowest programme seller. It took three minutes to serve the guy in front and he was only buying one.
Team sheets were scarce and security at reception weren't playing ball, so I sent the lads up and they came back with one. Two was obviously pushing it big time.

At the away turnstiles, There's some argy-bargy at the turnstiles as 88 year old Doris is refused entry, the stewards are refusing to search her, I don't blame them, she looks like she's been hit by a bus and borrowed somebody else's teeth. Her husband isn't helping he's offering to take on all comers, his eyesight isn't what it used to be as he spends two minutes arguing with a bollard, and the bollard was making more sense. I'm not sure on what grounds these people are let out in the community but it was never going to end well.

We're on the lower tier, on the back row, this as we discover is not the best place to be. The rows don't sit parallel to one another, which gives it a slightly strange viewing experience. There's Wolves fans directly above us, no protection from anything that might be thrown down, the executive boxes are directly behind us, and somebody at Sky thought it would be a good idea to have a firework display before the game. Sadly, the smoke cleared, so we were forced to witness the horror show. The home fans are in good voice and its a cracking atmosphere, which went up a notch after 5 minutes when they scored. The capitulation had begun and soon the game had been taken away from us. The half time entertainment was mixed. On the field there's a couple of touring U7s Chinese teams who are playing better than United, I confess I thought they were great, alas in the box behind us, we have a grown man undressing and gyrating and slapping his rather large belly in a bizarre mocking ritual. I was half expecting him to be sporting a large tatoo of 'The Doog' and going by the name of Phil.

Into the second half, and our keeper who'd obviously was under the influence of either watching the Oriental kids or drugs or probably both, launched himself like Bruce Lee at one of the opposition and is sent off. As they attempted to locate the Wolves player's head, a cat ran down the side of the pitch towards the Wolves hard core, and as I lent round to see if the poor thing had escaped, I tumbled down a couple of rows of seats, I smashed both my knees and was having trouble standing up. I pretended it hadn't hurt but it had, there was scant sympathy from the boys, more like ridicule, and when Wolves scored from the resulting free kick it hurt even more, and more still when somebody lent over from above and enquired 'Have you actually paid to watch this.'How very droll.


Where's that bloody cat gone!

I turned around to avert my eyes and came face to face with the fat guy, who was now in overdrive, it wasn't pretty, there was smear marks all over the window. That about did it. The final whistle couldn't come quick enough.

Programme: £3
Tickets: £46 (£1 x 30, £2 x £Cool

Nbext Stop: The King Power, Leicester City
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:32 pm 
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In order:

1. Sheffield United
2. Lincoln City
3. Grimsby Town
4. Port Vale
5. Bolton
6. Scunthorpe
7. Walsall
8. Notts Forest
9. Doncaster
10. Burton
11. Notts County
12. Hull City
13. Everton (Dan Only).
14. Wigan
15. Burnley
16. Chesterfield
17.Bury
18. Swansea
19. Manchester United
20. Carlisle
21. Oldham
22. Bradford
23. MK Dons
24. Rotherham
25. Newcastle
26. Coventry
27. Crawley
28. Oxford
29. Shrewsbury
30. Leeds
31. Crewe
32. Middlesbrough
33. Manchester City
34. Bristol City
35. Stevenage
36. Aston Villa
37. Fulham
38. Colchester
39. Northampton
40. Peterborough
41. Sheffield Wednesday (Macca Only)
42. Hartlepool
43. Fleetwood
44. QPR
45. mansfield
46. Spurs
47. Rochdale
48. Barnsley
49. Swindon
50. Gillingham
51. Morecambe
52. Blackpool
53. Huddersfield
54. Southend
55. Millwall
56. Charlton
57. Bristol Rovers
58. Cardiff
59. Sunderland
60. Cambridge
61. Preston
62. Ipswich
63. Wolves
64. Accrington Stanley
65. Reading

64 Current League Grounds for both of them.
Surprised
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 11:08 pm 
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Ground no 64, Wham Stadium, Accrington Stanley.

I first visited Accrington around 20 years ago, I was out cycling with some lads from the Rochdale Cycling Club, when we stopped off in the town centre. One of the boys had a pink Colnago. I confess it was not my choice of colour, but I was envious, it was a Colnago, and I was on some gas works tubing. One of the local youths came up, took one at the Colnago and said 'Pink! What are you, some kind of Poof'. I thought 'Hello....welcome to Lancashire'.



Later, I stopped off at a chippy in nearby Oswaldtwistle, and caused great consternation when asking for a chip butty, after 10 minutes we finally arrived at 'Oh, tha means a balm cake with chips'.

Fast forward to modern day, and forum member StanleyNick has kindly met me, to show us another memory of yesteryear Peel Park, former home of Stanley. There's not a great deal left but its a little bit of their history, they're proud of it and rightly so.



'its just a bit of grass'. declared Dan. 'Au contraire, young Daniel, you and your brother are just Philistines' I countered. 'We don't come from the middle east' declared Dan, Macca stepped in 'That's Palestine you numpty'. So its on down to their current home, the Wham stadium, named after an 80s pop band, Respect. Wink

I visit the club shop where I buy a 'join the revolution' wrist band, and a packet of fizzy cola bottles, and then promptly, left the band on the counter, but at least I had the sweets.

It was a jolly welcome we received in the bar, one of the locals asked if it had been a long trip from Cambridge. You're mistaken mate, We're 'Sheffield United' , he paused for a moment. 'I watched you last night mate, what a piss poor team', A career in the diplomatic corps awaits you sir.

Team-sheet acquired A pint of Stanley Pilsner and all's well with the world. Chatted to Nick for half an hour before allowing him to return to normal people. He's a top bloke.

As we braved the outside,.... had to really as I stumbled out of the bar, the full realization of the situation came across me. The temperature was positively Baltic, we positioned ourselves behind the goal, and then...... the horror, not only, as is well documented that Stanley have 'Hell's Choir' they're joined by a solitary drummer, stood 5 yards behind us. We made a rapid escape to the corner, where the boys likened me to Adolf Hitler.
Macca's gone all General Von Paulus at Stalingrad 'its freezing and you've shafted us'.



By half time, they had lost the feeling of their toes and almost everything else, Macca's kitted out like an Artic Ninja. I too was suffering, my speech had become incomprehensible and I was drooling like a vegetable, those bloody fizzy Cola bottles had dissolved the coating of skin from my tongue.



Its got 0-0 written all over it, the boys can't contain themselves, they're engrossed in the game. Unfortunately its rock paper scissors. Stanley need a push, and they get it, a firm one in the back of the Cambridge centre half and from the scrappy melee that followed the ball found its way into the net. With 5 minutes to go, there's requests all round to go, from the reality of 'I can't feel my hands anymore Dad to the more fanciful 'we can beat the traffic dad'. I'm aghast at these requests.. I stammer in incredulation.. 'But, But, But we might miss a goal feast'. It was a decision not to be taken lightly or in haste, but 2 seconds later I folded 'Come on then....Lets go'.

Out the back of the stand a group of 5-7 olds were playing football with a plastic water bottle, Dan chuckled 'they've been out the back the whole of the second half'. How do you know?' I was puzzled. 'One of them nut-megged me at Half time', he confesses. Oh Lordy.



Back to the Reliant, the sunshine was a mask of deceit, heater on full blast, and as we passed Accrington Cemetary, news filtered through from Hillsborough. The reaction was in unison, 'Sheffield Wednesday's f****d it up again'. The clean version naturally.

As we head out of the town, there's a man stood on the last roundabout in Accrington, he's a billboard man advertising Domino's, there's an a outpouring of sympathy for him, the lads really felt for him, 'he's going to die from exposure, that poor..poor man...what do you think dad'. Well it certainly makes you think doesn't it, I confessed to the boys. 'Its wrong innit', Dad' .
'Yes, sadly I have to agree with you. It is,....I was going to have a kebab tonight but I' think I'll go for a pizza now'. Cue groans all round.

The route home was dominated by one topic of conversation, if you had to name a football ground by an 80s pop band what would you call it. Personally, I thought 'the Fields of the Nephilim' had a ring to it but in the end we decided that Sheffield Wednesday should rename theirs 'Dire Straits'.

Many thanks to stanleynick for his help again with the tickets, Peel Park and the day as a whole. Top man.

Tickets: £20 (1 x £10, 2 x £5)
Programmes: £3
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:25 am 
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Ground No 65, The Madjeski, Reading.

Sorry missed this one out.

Got some funny looks, as I was parked up outside the school gates with a bag of sweets, but hey ho. The boys were getting picked up straight from school. The trip down was punctuated with snow flurries, sunshine and bad driving from anyone in an Audi.

But we didn't care, It was -4, and we were wild eyed loners mocking the 'Beast from the East', on board the last Reliant out of Sheffield heading for deepest Berkshire, and yes, it was bordering on Insanity.

With a stopover for something to eat we arrived in the middle of a snowstorm, at 6:30pm, It was £10 to park at the stadium, so needless to say we were in for a walk, the nearest bastion of free parking civilisation didn't appear to be very civilised so we had to bite the bullet, and pay a Fiver for parking on the nearby Industrial Estate. At this point, I didn't care anymore, there were icicles hanging from my hooter and other body parts were experincing severe tingling sensations. I've never been so cold.

Its a 10 minute walk to the ground, which looks impressive from a distance. Teamsheets are very hard to come by. but I did get one eventually. We're on the front row, a good view, lads are happy, but one thing was puzzling me, the teams were lining up, but where was everyone, kick off came and still nobody was here, did the Reading faithful realize that the entertainers were in town. Clearly not.



The ground was only a quarter full. United away days are so often an abatoir of hope, but for once we start well, and get our reward when we bundle the opening goal in after 10 mins. Just before half time, plea's of 'hit it', are for once heeded and Duffy's screamer makes it 2. In fairness, we should have been out of sight by 4 or 5, and I could have been back home, had the feet up, in front of the fire, and a mug of Horlicks all in time for midnight.

Alas, it was not to be. At halftime we wander downstairs in the hope that some idiot has the audacity to set a flare off, so that we all can keep warm. It didn't happen, so we return to our seats, frostbite beginning to set in. Then without warning Reading score, and then get a penalty, which they miss, and then it happened.

A reading player allowed the ball to go out of play so another Reading player could receive treatment. But, there was no Reading player down, nor did any Reading player then go down, nor did any Reading player inform the referee for the need of medical assistance. The ref allowed United to carry on with a throw from the half way line. 5 seconds later the ball was in the Reading net, as Flecks, speculative 40 yard pass landed on Billy Sharp's foot and he cushioned the volley home, and as United wheeled away in celebration, all hell broke loose with a number of Reading players chasing Sharp in protest, they're obviously unfit as they couldn't catch him.
Somebody let off a flare. Inconsiderate fools, they should have done it at half time so we could have shared the warmth.



There's now a lot of hostility coming from the home crowd nearest to us, apparently we've cheated.
It could have been a mundane evening but it wasn't. It was a good un', like when you were younger and you'd go out with a big group of mates but one night, a lot of them would stay in, and the rest would just make the best of it. It ends 3-1.

On the walk back to the Reliant, about 400 yards from the stadium, our paths crossed with about 70 or 80 home fans. The lads were about five yards behind me, they'd got their heads down, and were quiet. the first of Reading's contingent, a respectable dressed bloke in his fifties, came past and said something to our Dan, I turned and asked ' did he say something?, 'F****** cheats', confirmed Dan, I paused, looked back and shouted 'Really?,.... saying that to a 12 year old?'...He legged it.
The lads both asked me to leave it. The rest of the home fans were nearly upon us, so common sense and dignity won through. So we shrugged it off, with Dan saying 'they should learn to take better penalties'. Yes indeed. We refused to let it sour the evening.

The Highway Agency would do that by closing the M1 on the way back.

Back home at 3am. By then it was -6.

Tickets: £26 (Family section)
Programmes £3
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A Sheffield United Programme guide


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2018 11:31 pm 
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Ground No 63, The King Power, Leicester City

Friday afternoon, plans were laid and the hour set, tickets checked, it was a trouble free run down the M1 and arrived Leicester around 5. Not the best time time on a friday but hey ho, we'd been lucky. The waiting was over, FA Cup 5th Rd, we left the Reliant on a side street within a mile of the ground, I've got a feeling, its not a good one, I need the bathroom, we head for the nearest high street, say your prayers boys, that there's a pub nearby, because there comes a time when you have to put your life in the hands of the gods, and that time was now. As we hit the strip, there it was, an oasis, in a concrete jungle, it was a further 50 yards of hell and anguish but we made it, drinks swiftly ordered, I made a bolt for the haven of the bathroom, I will not disclose much more, only to say, there was no lock, no light, no water and no towels, basically nothing worked, I thought I was back in Falaraki.

Still the atmosphere in the pub was friendly, warm and cordial, I confess I had little knowledge of our wherabouts, google maps had us just outside St Ettienne in France. We leave with 45 minutes to kick off, reinvigorated I attempt an impromptu game of Don't stand on the cracks, I'm a master of this, its not every day you see a bald bloke mincing his way down the high street, it could be worse, Macca's claiming he can see the Statue of Liberty, crikey those J2Os must be strong. Of course he's right , there really is a statue of Liberty.

Programmes purchased from an old girl in a little cabin.
That's £3.50. please' she proudly announced
£3.50 there usually £2 at ours, I reply
'Yes but they're very good' she said almost apologetically.
She sold the dream to me 'Oh go on then... I'll have three' Sad



Team-sheets got from reception, and then into the ground. We're near the front, its not ideal, but its different and the wall of sound proves ample consolation. The grand old competition has had its critics over recent years for variety of reasons but to be fair, Leicester have a strong side out against our reserves.

Its tight, with Mahrez orchestrating, Vardy stalking our defence, the United faithful reminded him, that he's a 'Wednesday reject', he scores and then he's reminded some more. We exert some late pressure, and should score, but the keeper denies us with a great stop. That Kasper Schmeical he's a one, isn't he, he's waving at the Lino suggesting he needs glasses, he's down on his knees, beating the grass with his fists, I wouldn't mind but does he have to do that before every goal kick?

Its not Filbert Street for sure, but for a modern ground, I quite liked it, its relatively easy to park, to get away from, near the M1 and a decent atmosphere on the night.



We are vanquished, dreams of Wembley, crushed yet again, we funnel down the thoroughfare that leads from the ground to the Statue of Liberty, we're flanked on our right by student residential blocks. In full view of thousands, there's a young lad in the window, playing the guitar, I must say Harry Styles has let himself go a bit.

But Dan's attention is focused elsewhere, Fifth Floor, Two O'clock Dad' he whispers

I didn't need telling twice, Charlotte from Melton Mowbray was gyrating around a pole whilst cleaning the windows with her ample booty. I was really impressed I didn't even know our Dan could tell the time.

Stopped off for food, in a Leicester Suburb, to finish the day off, the KFC was very popular, it took 25 minutes to get to the front of the queue, to be informed that due to supply problems they had no chicken, no fries or anything to drink. Really appreciated that.

Back home: Midnight
Tickets £25 (£1 x £15, 2 x £5)
Programme: £3.50
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