Category Archives: Sport

A lack of optimism

Saturday 6th October 2018, 3.25pm (day 2,599)

Dukinfield Town, 6/10/18

Dukinfield Town of the Manchester League Premier Division have just scored their fifth of the game. It’s safe to say their opponents, Chadderton Reserves, have an uphill struggle to get back into it. I guess here you don’t need to ask which team are which.

Although the game I saw today involved their reserves, rather than the first team, this gives Chadderton FC the dubious distinction of becoming the first team to twice be depicted on this blog conceding a goal (see also 4th August 2018, at their place).

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Sprinklers in action

Saturday 29th September 2018, 2.05pm (day 2,592)

Etihad sprinklers, 29/9/18

Football again, but definitely not non-league today. The Etihad Stadium is the home of current, and probably future, champions Manchester City, where even the pre-match watering of the pitch is done on a suitably grandiose scale. To call these massive jets of liquid ‘sprinklers’ rather diminishes them. Better a picture of them in the sunlight than of anything that happened on the pitch today, anyway — at least from my ‘visiting fan’ perspective.

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FC United get their second

Saturday 22nd September 2018, 3.35pm (day 2,585)

FCUM goal, 22/9/18

I am giving myself more and more opportunities to become practiced at sports photography — specifically, football. I hope this isn’t boring for you, my followers. But I’m enjoying it. FC United of Manchester, who are like the non-Evil version of that other United of Manchester, of whom I’m sure you’ve heard, put themselves 2-0 up in the FA Cup against Colne (where I was a fortnight ago), thanks to some unidentifable part of no. 9’s anatomy. Getting shots like these is largely a matter of luck, I have decided; pro sports photographers take hundreds of shots per match, I bet, and probably end up with half a dozen usable ones.

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Sending off

Saturday 15th September 2018, 3.35pm (day 2,578)

Sending off, 15/9/18

Thirty-five minutes in and the day goes from bad to worse for Tow Law Town, in the stripes; already 4-0 down at this point they have just had a player sent off, as well. Mind you seeing as the final result was 5-2 to hosts Nelson FC, technically this improved their performance.

The reason I like this picture is that the referee looks, to me anyway, to be about fourteen years old. A clear sign of middle age on my part, I know. Brave chap either way. Look at the size of the guy behind him, for instance.

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How to save £8

Saturday 8th September 2018, 3.15pm (day 2,571)

Behind the fence, 8/9/18

I’m all for getting freebies when they are available but come on, it’s only £8 to get in and see your local non-league football team (in this case, Colne FC of the Northern Premier League D1 West) and you can stand under cover, out of the rain. You’re just being tight, is all.

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Watching the match

Saturday 25th August 2018, 3.30pm (day 2,557)

Hyde fans, 25/8/18

My summer holidays reach their conclusion this weekend. The one remaining day, Sunday, is my 49th birthday, so today also marks the end of the 7th year of this blog. So now you know how many days there are in 7 years (with two February 29ths). We came back from Berlin in the morning, but there was no point hanging around doing nothing for the rest of this Saturday so I did what I — and many thousands of people up and down the country — often do in such circumstances, and went to watch a football match. Today’s venue, Ewen Fields, home of Hyde United FC, also brings up a milestone as I make it that this is the 50th football ground to feature on here. But the picture is generic, if you like — I just like the image of the different people on here all doing their thing.

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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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