Category Archives: Sport

The tired corner

Saturday 11th September 2021, 3.55pm (day 3,670)

Tired corner flag, 11/9/21

A 5am alarm call, pick up the car, pack the car, engage in a five and a half hour drive from home to Dundee (a pretty good run, in fact). Pick up key for Joe’s new flat, travel to said flat, unload car, hang around a bit to check all was OK and then…. well, what would you to do unwind from all that on a Saturday afternoon? Something different perhaps, but my habits are well enough ingrained. I did feel like this corner flag at Dundee Violet FC, however.

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St Pol Striders, 24 hours in

Sunday 8th August 2021, 11.40am (day 3,636)

St Pol striders, 8/8/21

The Striders are a local running group. Yesterday, they set out to run a 5km lap, on the hour, every hour, for 24 hours. This was taken at the end of the last one. Jilly, in the middle with the white top, did 20 of these laps — thus, she has run 100km (or over 60 miles) since Saturday, with a couple of hours of dozing at about 3am. I am in awe of this; if I walk more than about 10 miles these days I feel knackered and have to rest for a day or so.

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The season’s first goal

Saturday 10th July 2021, 3.20pm (day 3,607)

Berwick Rangers, 10/7/21

I try not to overload this blog with football pictures but nevertheless this was the best one of the day, spent on my first proper visit to the border town of Berwick-upon-Tweed, which feels neither English nor Scottish, and is all the more interesting for that. Not a day of great photography light, but that’s my only complaint, and the ground of Berwick Rangers FC was a fascinating relic with its speedway track and paraphernalia, and then those grey towers behind — a maltings, apparently. The ball is on its way in for my first witnessed goal of the season.

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Let’s have another celebration

Monday 31st May 2021, 5.40pm (day 3,567)

Morecambe at Wembley, 31/5/21

No apologies today for adding the second football-related celebration of the weekend. At the start of this ravaged season — just one aspect of our emptied recent lives — there were many reasons to not anticipate that it would end at Wembley stadium, but here we are. The final whistle has just gone and those fans of Morecambe FC that were permitted to enter, as part of an attendance of 9,083, still greatly below the capacity of this fine ground, celebrate the 1-0 win (with thanks to an admittedly outrageous penalty) over Newport County that takes them up to the third level of English football for the first time in their history. And thanks to Clare (who was also present, of course) — I could be there. A poor game, yes, but a great day out.

And this is also the 100th London pic to appear on the blog, meaning the capital turns up about once every five weeks, on average.

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End of season celebrations

Saturday 29th May 2021, 4.55pm (day 3,565)

Padiham celebrations, 29/5/21

Rimington FC, in orange, wait to be presented with the trophy for winning the East Lancashire League’s end-of-season rump competition — what was allowed them after the wasted (and perhaps pointless) months of lockdown. 400 people gathered at Padiham FC’s fine little ground on the edge of Burnley, witnessed a magnificent game of football (4-4 with the winners taking it on penalties), remembering how good it is to come together, and not to stay lonely and apart. The kid sums up these feelings.

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Watching through the dugout

Monday 17th May 2021, 8.15pm (day 3,553)

Brighouse dugout, 17/5/21

A photo of several things. Firstly, the football. Clare insists that the mark on the lower part of the dugout looks just like a sheep. Brighouse manager Vill Powell (with newly-shaven head) makes his second personal appearance on the blog. But most of all it is a photo of a crowd, in a football match, in a proper ground. Finally we can do this kind of thing again. And life is the better for it.

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Spectator accommodation, Sunday morning

Sunday 9th May 2021, 10.45am (day 3,545)

Social distancing not a problem at Sabden FC of the Pendle Charity Sunday League. Actually there were about 30 people watching, and presumably most of them went home happy enough after their morning’s entertainment as the home team won 9-0. The main stand of the Nutter Barn ground is, endearingly, made from a recycled bus shelter. The photographer’s bag makes an appearance to bottom left.

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Tree portrait

Wednesday 5th May 2021, 6.00pm (day 3,541)

Stockwood Park tree, 6/5/21

This tree has a noble aspect. I like its seeming formality and the way the guys disport themselves below it in various ways. I like the little cloud fluff that it seems to have caught in the top branches. Pictured in Stockwood Park, Luton — a town which makes a classy debut on the blog (though see also tomorrow).

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Not the ‘Super League’

Wednesday 21st April 2021, 6.50pm (day 3,257)

Brighouse Sports FC, 21/4/21

In a week when the ‘big clubs’ either took the piss by calling a massive bluff, or finally over-reached themselves with their hubris, it seems apposite to put up a picture of some actual football: you know, the sort where there’s still competition, intimacy, and interest. Plus, a nice background at Brighouse Sports FC of the West Yorkshire League D2 (they’re the ones in yellow, and won 4-0). I find it ‘Super’, anyway.

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Embrace the crowd

Saturday 17th April 2021, 4.35pm (day 3,523)

Crowd at Eagley FC, 17/4/21

I decided yesterday’s photo was a misrepresentation, so here is a definite example of a crowd. And if people hadn’t wanted to be there, they wouldn’t have been there.

Before anyone gets too obstreperous I will observe this is a long zoom taken down almost the full length of the football pitch. The vertical white posts are each about two meters apart. As we saw when all this kicked off a year ago, it’s quite possible to use a camera to create the impression of crowding where none exists. But it was still good to see at least 70 people at this match (an entertaining game at Eagley FC in Bolton). In any case, the sooner we start to feel close to one another again, the better.

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