Tag Archives: stadium

No one watching

Saturday 25th September 2021, 3.00pm (day 3,684)

Widnes FC, 25/9/21

Saturday afternoon at Widnes FC, who attracted just 77 fans, officially, to the large stadium that normally houses the rugby league team. Even for a rugby-favouring town, that’s a rather pathetic crowd. I was one of them, but this was one of those games I could have done without; maybe the choice of shot is intended to convey this feeling.

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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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Half-time sprinkling

Saturday 19th October 2019, 1.50pm (day 2,977)

Half-time sprinklers, 19/10/19

Another shot of water caught by sunlight, but here the water is not being naturally produced. Half-time at the City Academy stadium in Manchester, where the under-23 team of the Richest Club in the World were to happily get their comeuppance, slipping to a 1-0 home defeat to Brighton’s under-23s. Which of course I found highly entertaining.

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Back in time

Saturday 27th July 2019, 2.20pm (day 2,893)

Palmerston Park, 27/7/19

The post title has a double meaning. ‘Back in time’ because Palmerston Park in Dumfries is a very old-school football ground, particularly at this, the Terregles Street end. The brickwork! The pylons! I doubt this scene would have looked a great deal different in the 1950s.

‘Back in time’ also because the weather is like February here…. no, come to think of it, February was nicer than this at times. This photo is taken in conditions of around 14ÂșC and teeming rain. The thought that over the last week, the UK might have experienced its hottest ever day, was laughable at this point.

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Pride Park press box

Wednesday 13th March 2019. 7.35pm (day 2,757)

Derby press box, 13/3/19

Work to do tonight in my occasional moonlighting role as a football journalist, seeing me in the press box at Pride Park, Derby, and afterwards, with work to do to make a crap game of football (Derby 0 Stoke 0) sound interesting. As did these other guys, many of whom exuded a sense of ennui about it all. Does it matter that the principal subject of this photo is not reflected in the screen of his own laptop? If so, well, that’s just the way it worked out.

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Etihad Hawk

Thursday 1st November 2018, 7.55pm (day 2,625)

Etihad hawk, 1/11/18

This picture needs some explanation. For the second time in a few weeks I visited the Etihad stadium, home of Manchester City, for a football match (there were reasons). While watching City do what they usually do, that is, barely break sweat but win easily, it was easy to be distracted in the first half by the activities of what appeared to be a hawk, or kestrel, that had taken up residence in the roof and kept flying between two of the stands. At one point it clearly dropped something that it was holding in its claws yet still managed to swoop down and catch the prey before it hit the ground (and or landed on someone in row F). I just about managed to capture it here in flight, even if it is not very definable. It may not be all that good a photo but it is still more interesting than the night’s football.

Postscript: As my Facebook friend Margaret pointed out after I posted this, the bird may well have been on professional duty; birds of prey are a good way of keeping the pigeon and other pest population down in a stadium like this.

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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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Ball girl, Raith Rovers FC

Saturday 5th May 2018, 4.35pm (day 2,445)

Ball girl, Raith, 5/5/18

The football season comes to its many and diverse ends, each club finishing in different ways with different emotions. Raith Rovers of Scottish League One have managed to blow their hopes out in the last three games, promotion hopes have disappeared and at the final whistle today all was over. It was a very melancholy place all round — club, and town (Kirkcaldy in Fife). Maybe this picture captures something of that.

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At the Amex stadium

Saturday 16th December 2017, 2.55pm (day 2,305)

Amex flag, 16/12/17

Welcome back to the Amex Stadium, Brighton, venue for several previous shots: all of which were preludes to victories by the mighty Brighton and Hove Albion. Today’s score versus Burnley: 0-0, so I lose my 100% win-only record there, but still, a point’s a point.

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