Tag Archives: non-league

A welcome return

Saturday 8th August 2020, 3.20pm (day 3,271)

Oxenhope Recreation, 8/8/20

Everything has become so messed up during the Great Fear that standing in a field on a glorious, sunny day with a couple of dozen other people is now considered less ‘safe’ than, say, driving down the M1 or operating heavy machinery.  But I still welcome the return of some level of competitive sport, something this country (and others) misses more than it realises.  My first football match for 147 days, or 21 weekends, and the first pre-season friendly for Oxenhope Recreation FC, the guys in orange, against Keighley Athletic.  I guess it’s about a 50/50 chance whether the season to come will actually be finished, but for now, I don’t care.

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Acceptable levels of risk

Saturday 14th March 2020, 3.30pm (day 3,124)

Football geezers, 14/3/20

Senior football across the UK was suspended as of yesterday. I, these guys (who have doubtless been coming to the same spot, probably with the same chairs, for decades) and three hundred other people got their fix at AFC Blackpool of the North West Counties league. The crowd included a large number of fans of Sunderland FC who had been due to play in the town this afternoon but could not. Alas, it then also began to include a number of the local idiots who saw here a chance to wind up these visitors free from the distractions of police or stewards. A microcosm of a usual Saturday for various people therefore.

The point is that if this kind of thing isn’t available, then for good or bad, people will go find it where they can. I suspect Britain, and the world, currently needs sport more than it realises.

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Beneath the castle walls

Saturday 7th March 2020, 2.55pm (day 3,117)

Richmond Town FC, 7/3/20

The walls of the castle at Richmond, North Yorkshire, have been there for some 900 years now: they’re not as intact as once they were, but still form an impressive backdrop to the town — and here, its football club. I lived near here for a few years in the mid-1990s, it always seemed like the ‘big city’  in a way but it’s a tiny town in actuality, a sign of how far out in the sticks I was at this time. I don’t miss living there and haven’t been back much at all, but it was pleasant to return for a day trip today.

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In Vill we trust

Saturday 22nd February 2020, 3.30pm (day 3,103)

Vill Powell, 22/2/20

Spent the Saturday in the same kind of place I spend most Saturdays, and the same will be true of these guys seeing as they are the first team coach (Stacy Reed, left) and manager (Vill Powell) of Brighouse Town FC. And as this has become my favoured local team — i respect the work of both.

Incidentally it’s interesting that the various face auto-recognition algorithms in play on my Mac spot one of these faces but not the other. Photos suggests I tag Powell’s face, but not Reed’s: Facebook is the reverse…

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Joe at the football

Sunday 16th February 2020, 3.10pm (day 3,097)

Joe at football, 16/2/20

In recent months Joe’s average rate of appearance on the blog has dropped, this being the first since 10th November, and that was just his back — 6th October as a proper portrait. The blog reflects life however, and maybe we just aren’t hanging out together as much as we used to. But this Sunday we did, getting a football fix after a blank day yesterday: mind you, it was cold. Anyway, one can use this as a check on his growth since he turned up the very first time in September 2011, more than half his life, and 3,088 days, ago.

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Down the touchline — Bedford Town FC

Tuesday 11th February 2020, 7.35pm (day 3,092)

Bedford Town, 11/2/20

Bedford is one of the largest towns in the UK not to have a professional football team. But who needs all that big-time professional crap. Their town’s footie ground entertained me amply well without it. Albeit coldly.

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Football in the golden hour

Saturday 18th January 2020, 4.25pm (day 3,068)

Sunset, Boldmere St. Michaels, 18/1/20

The suburban acres of Sutton Coldfield, north of Birmingham, make a not-unimpressive debut on the blog thanks to a) the efforts of Boldmere St. Michaels FC (in white) and their opponents Newark Flowserve, in today’s encounter with the depths of English non-league football; and b) a rather decent sunset, the sort that makes you feel we have been temporarily translated onto Mars, or the fervid atmosphere of one of the outer gas giants.

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Cougar Park

Saturday 21st December 2019, 3.25pm (day 3,040)

Cougar Park, 21/12/19

I have been to, and photographed, 75 football matches so far in 2019 (with probably one more to come), but I have begun sparing you the actual action shots on here for fear of monotony. But you can have this one, as I like the way the stand roof splits off the landscape above. This is Cougar Park, usually full of rugby league fans (a strange bunch…), but, for the remainder of this season anyway, the football tenants are Steeton FC, here in green: visitors Prestwich Heys were the winners today, 3-1.

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The snack bar, half time

Saturday 9th November 2019, 4.00pm (day 2,998)

Snack bar, Liversedge FC, 9/11/19

As I post this on Sunday evening, I already know my weekend has consisted of two football matches. One was far more entertaining than the other and played out in front of 87 people (officially) in a relaxed atmosphere where no one’s bag was searched, there were no drug-sniffer dogs and no one questioned whether I should or shouldn’t be bringing a camera into the ground. The other, less entertaining but far more expensive one, was played out in front of 73,556 (again, officially) people and, well, all the other things. Guess which of the two games this is.

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That’s your summer over

Monday 23rd September 2019, 8.10pm (day 2,951)

Rain at Brighouse, 23/9/19

The weather, so glorious on Friday and Saturday, took a decisive turn for the worse tonight — one I fear will not be retrieved. And my first class of the 19-20 academic year is tomorrow. Definitively, the summer is over.

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