Tag Archives: non-league

Asserting a right

Tuesday 20th October 2020, 7.15pm (day 3,344)

Atherton Collieries FC, 20/10/20

Going to see a football match is such a simple, harmless thing, and no one is compelled to do it. Our Glorious Leader and some associated bureaucrats, desperate to deflect blame away from the fact they’ve all been promoted above their level of competence, are desperate to take this pleasure away. Region is being played off against region, town against town, neighbour against neighbour even, and simple, harmless things are suddenly not so simple any more. What a farce all this has been, and a no-deal Brexit still to come.

This is about half an hour before kick off at Atherton Collieries’ very fine little ground, by the way. The hosts were smiling at the end — the scoreboard read 5-0 by full time.

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Unequivocal guidance

Wednesday 7th October 2020, 6.55pm (day 3,331)

I’m not a ‘mask shamer’. There are plenty of people out there who for one reason or another can’t wear one, particularly not for any length of time, and everyone else just needs to live with that fact. But all the same, this signage did make me laugh.

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Some great trees (and a bit of football)

Saturday 26th September 2020, 2.15pm (day 3,320)

Calder 76 landscape, 26/9/20

Now that’s a serious tree.  Surely it predates everything else in this photograph except the hillsides.  And it’s probably seen a lot of football too.  (The willow’s not bad either.)

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The 15:10 to Manchester

Saturday 19th September 2020, 3.10pm (day 3,313)

15:10 to Manchester, 19/9/20

Not sure that I have previously managed to categorise a post as ‘sport’ and ‘transport’ simultaneously.  A shame the ball could not make it into shot as well…

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Not the tea hut

Saturday 12th September 2020, 2.55pm (day 3,306)

Runcorn Town, 12/9/20

I like straightforward signage like this: though as should also be apparent, in this case, it was giving false information. The football ground, with its backdrop of very heavy industry, is that of Runcorn Town.

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Pre-match warm-up

Saturday 29th August 2020, 2.40pm (day 3,292)

Steeton FC, 29/8/20

Travelling abroad may be curtailed at the moment but there’s still plenty of my own country I haven’t seen and going to football matches on Saturday afternoons is, as far as I am concerned, as good a way to see it as any. The village of Steeton, near Keighley, provides a picturesque backdrop to the warm-up exercises of the visiting Avro FC. I like the contrasting colours and the impressive house that pops up above the trees at the top.

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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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