Category Archives: Sport

Half-time break

Tuesday 7th August 2018, 7.50pm (day 2,539)

Half-time, Haslingden, 7/8/18

More football, OK, perhaps I am overdoing it. But today’s shot can also get in for its picturesque qualities. Half-time in the West Lancashire League at Haslingden St. Mary’s FC, although the players in yellow are the visitors, Fulwood: 2-0 up at this point, they go on to win 4-0, while the rest of us get distracted by the sun setting over the hills.

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The winning goal

Saturday 4th August 2018, 3.35pm (day 2,536)

Nelson goal, 4/8/18

Saturday afternoon, 3pm, there are football matches going on all round this country, and the chances are at the moment I will be present at one or other of them. But I don’t always get lucky and capture the winning, and only, goal scored on the day. The blue-clad number 4, Brett Doogan (and there’s a name of the sort only possessed by non-league defensive midfielders) gets the header in for Nelson FC in their match at Chadderton.

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Start of the season

Saturday 28th July 2018, 3.00pm (day 2,529)

Gretna FC, 28/7/18

It’s that 3pm Saturday feeling again. OK, I admit it, this is actually my second game of the 2018-19  season — you don’t think I went to Rhyl on the 12th just to take the air, now, did you? — but the first to be depicted on here. The balmy weather broke definitively, particularly over Gretna, which is just over the border in Scotland and was whipped all day by a very chilly wind coming straight off the Irish Sea. Under this grey blanket Gretna FC, in white, and Edinburgh University FC trot out for their first game of their seasons, in the Lowland League, all full of optimism and hope, something that 90 minutes later the students probably maintained better than their hosts, seeing as they deservedly won 3-0.

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Tour de France (on TV)

Friday 20th July 2018, 4.45pm (day 2,521)

Tour de France on TV, 20/7/18

The Tour de France belied its name and came through Hebden Bridge (and past my front door) in 2014 if you recall, but here it gets seen in less direct and energetic form. The week comes to an end in the pub, instead. Well, this is what normally happens.

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Last match of the season

Sunday 3rd June 2018, 2.30pm (day 2,474)

Pre-match warm-up, 3/6/18

It is undeniable that there have been a lot of football matches on this blog this season, 2017-18. But today was definitively the last. The players of Ellan Vannin — a.k.a. the Isle of Man — warm up before their ConIFA World Football Cup tie with Barawa — a.k.a. the Somalian diaspora in London. If you want to be a country and play international football, ConIFA is the place to do it. But this did not diminish the day: like most of the other 39 games of my season (not all depicted on here….) it’s been enjoyable. But less football for a while now. I promise.

 

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End of the season

Saturday 19th May 2018, 4.45pm (day 2,459)

Poulton FC celebrations, 19/5/18

37 competitions into my football season and this was the penultimate one today, Division 1 the West Lancashire League, where I saw champions Poulton FC lift the trophy. The post-match — and post-season — celebrations are about to start here. It’s been a fun way to spend a season but it’s getting tiring and I’m a little glad we’re moving into summer: but by late June I’ll probably be missing it.

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Champagne celebration

Saturday 28th April 2018, 4.25pm (day 2,438)

Appleby celebration, 28/4/18

The football season is nearly over. Competitions are being resolved, trophies awarded. I forewent the possible pleasures of a hike today to go and see someone actually win something, in this case the Westmorland Senior Cup (competition 34 of my season), and congratulations to Appleby for taking the trophy with a 3-1 win over Kendal County. Their three dozen rather drunk but enjoyably boisterous travelling fans enjoyed the win just as much as the players did. At this level of football almost every game is a local rivalry: one reason why they’re worth supporting.

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The man in the middle

Saturday 14th April 2018, 2.30pm (day 2,424)

The referee, 14/4/18

Hate ’em or hate ’em, the game couldn’t run without them, at any level — particularly way down in the football capillaries, which is where I was today (West Riding County Amateur League, competition 30 of the season)…

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World’s Oldest Football Club

Saturday 7th April 2018, 3.40pm (day 2,417)

Sheffield FC, 7/4/18

More football, I’ve been packing in the games while being off work. Sheffield FC reign indisputably as the world’s oldest association football club, being founded in October 1857 which, to put it in perspective, was three and a half years before the American Civil War broke out. They have been going steadily along for the last 160 years without ever having made much of an impact in sporting terms, thanks largely to their having steadfastly refused to embrace professionalism back in the 1880s. But they’re still around, a mecca for football tourists the world over (like me let’s face it) if the graffiti in the toilets is anything to go by, and they still have their little community of fans, like this guy, who may well have been in this spot for many decades. Metaphorically at least. Not a great day on the pitch though — they lost 4-0 to Leek Town. Don’t worry — only a month now until the end of the season.

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The next generation

Wednesday 4th April 2018, 8.25pm (day 2,414)

Dulwich fans, 4/4/18

Yeah, I know, more football, but I am spreading the love for another few weeks yet. And teams like London’s Dulwich Hamlet, exiled from their own ground thanks to asset-stripping owners seeking to crush them (and thus playing tonight in Carshalton in Surrey), need our support, and the support of the next generation of fans too. In this regard they are doing well enough, it seems. But those who think community assets like sports clubs should be protected from these kinds of depredations could check out the Save Dulwich Hamlet web site.

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