Welcome to volume two of my blog paying homage to the football clubs I've visited all over the world and the wonderful people responsible for keeping them going and looking after the stadiums, and in some cases basic grounds.

Since I was a little lad I've been fascinated in football and more so where games are played. With my love of travel and curiosity of the game I wanted to visit as many grounds and see games wherever possible. I was lucky that my Dad also loved the game and spent so much of his spare time taking me to matches. As I got older the boundaries widened owing to my location and increased wages to Europe and indeed the world. The sight of a stand or a floodlight pylon in the distance immediately hightens my senses and eagerness for a closer look.

I hope this site gives you the chance to share in my pleasure and experiences and maybe one day set you on the road to adventure. If you get half as much out of the hobby as I've done I can guarantee some great memories, good friends and stories to pass on to future generations.

Give your local club a go today. They'll be pleased to see you!

Everlasting thanks primarily to my late and very much missed and dearly loved parents; my Dad Bob Bernard and my Mum; Ann, who put up with endless years of football chat and my brothers Nick and Paul who gave me the chance and encouragement to do what I have. Thanks to all my friends who offer encouragement and Sally and Stan who inspire and give me great pride. Young Stan is showing a keen interest in my hobby!

Please feel free to post any comments (please use sensible language - I want everyone to be able to enjoy reading) or ask any questions relating to visiting grounds or events. If you want to see any ground reviewed please let me know. It will take quite some time for everywhere to appear, but make sure you keep having a look as the site is continually updated.

If you click on a lot of the pictures you will get a larger version on your screen.

I have also added links to video clips on youtube where appropriate for those of you who are bored of reading or are filling in time at work. I haven't always gone for the most obvious choices, but items that will be in some cases unusual but always historically interesting.

Click to see volume one of HAOTW.

Rob Bernard


September 2015

Friday, January 7, 2011

Scarborough FC Memories

Scarborough FC were originally formed in October 1879 by players of the town's cricket club and were originally known as Scarborough Cricketers FC. They played their first ever games at the North Marine Road Cricket Ground before moving to the nearby Recreation Ground.

After playing local football 'Boro' moved to the Athletic Ground on Seamer Road in 1889 in time to compete in the Northern League. After a short spell in the Yorkshire Combination, the club remained in the Northern League until 1926 when they spent a year in the Yorkshire League before moving into the Midland League. The league title was lifted in 1930, which was a great honour at the time in a very competitive league.

Finances were always tight and many appeals saved the club. In 1962 Boro joined the newly formed North Eastern League and lifted the title in the first season. The league wasn't as demanding as the club was used to, so they returned to the Midland League where they finished runners up.

In 1968 'The Seasiders' as the club were sometimes known as, became founder members of the Northern Premier League. The club thrived after local boy Colin Appleton returned as player manager after a fine career at Leicester City, Charlton Athletic and Barrow. He introduced players through an excellent scouting system who would help Boro reach four FA Trophy finals, winning an equal record three times as well as a runners up place in the league and lifting the league cup as well as regular North Riding Senior Cup wins.

For a detailed personal account and history from the times I first remember watching the club please visit: http://worldgroundhop.blogspot.com/search/label/Scarborough as well as other clubs to remember some memorable days on the road following Boro/The Seasiders/Seadogs both on these pages and at http://worldgroundhop.blogspot.com/
Below are some famous memories in the form of memorabilia. Most of my programmes are in storage (thanks Simon Keane, one of many wonderful mates I've made as a Boro fan) so I'm pretty limited at present as to what I can display on these pages.

I hope this page brings back some happy memories.

My first ever time at Wembley. Boro beat Wigan Athletic 2-1 after extra time. The game was exactly fifty years to the day after the first ever game in the stadium, the famous 'White Horse FA Cup Final' I went with my parents and grandparents on one of the four 'Football Special' trains with Nick being Boro's youngest fan.

A classic Wembley final. Boro came from behind twice to beat Stafford Rangers 3-2 after extra time. The special train took us to Wembley Central so we saw the 'beauty' of the High Street.

Another dramatic game against Dagenham. The Daggers were one up with around six minutes to go and were exhausted but looked like hanging on until Jeff Barmby tortured them. Derek Abbey equalised before Harry 'A' Dunn slotted home a last minute winner from the penalty spot. The joy was dampened just five days later when Boro's superb twenty one year old winger Tony Aveyard died following a clash of heads after a game against Boston United the Monday after the final. 

RIP Tony

In 1986-87 Neil Warnock joined the club as manager, signed a virtually brand new team and took the 50/1 outsiders to the title and become the first non league team to be automatically promoted into the Football League. The start of the first League season saw the club receive much attention from the media. The magazine above was published by the Scarborough Evening News.

After the first season in the League the club suffered on a few occasions from crowd trouble. For the second season they introduced a Membership Pass which gave the holder access to The Shed whereas non members couldn't go in leaving them open to the elements and affecting crowds. Chairman of the time Geoffrey Richmond even had the audacity to increase admission charges with the promise of putting up a roof at the Seamer Road End which was never delivered.

Boro were in the big time and in vogue with all clubs at the time had their own 'Clubcall'. Dialer's got up to date club information at a premium phone rate. The phone at the Post Office got some hammer for a while from the Seadog fraternity working there!

The 1990-91 season saw Boro finish one place and two points from the play offs. Highlights were the wearing of the controversial Black Death kit and the introduction of Tommy Mooney. Memorable games were the two all home draw with York City after being two down, the Friday night game in horrendous conditions at home to Wrexham with a sub seven hundred crowd and the three one beating of Peterborough United. We went out of the League Cup to Rochdale and the FA Cup at home to Leek Town, both at the first hurdle.

One of the major problems that blighted Scarborough FC. There were simply far too many Complimentary Tickets. It was not unusual to see them being handed out or sold on the cheap in the pubs of Falsgrave pre match.

1991-92 was a disappointing season as Boro finished eleventh and Mr Richmond introduced a rugby league club, Scarborough Pirates which helped ruin the pitch and annoy fans immensely. We went out of the League Cup to Southampton in the second round after a breathtaking win against Preston North End. Wigan Athletic ended our FA Cup hopes in the first round at the McCain Stadium. The kit was awful as well with Boro parading in red and white strange shaped boxes.

Billy Ayre was a hero as a player in the 1970's but he couldn't quite do it as a manager, albeit with John Russell as chairman. However we did have a decent FA Cup run as we knocked out Chesterfield, Port Vale and then drew 0-0 with Watford, which saw the return of Tommy Mooney. The latter two Cup games were all ticket matches as the Seamer Road End was being made ready for the building of a brand new East Stand. How little we knew!

Other highlights were winning 2-0 at Fulham, and a two legged League Cup tie with Middlesbrough after knocking out Hull City in which we lost both games 4-1. The ticket for the home game is below.

By the 2000-01 season the club had been relegated and spent a season in the Conference. The money troubles that had blighted the club on and off throughout its history were back in a major way. We'd suffered the embarrassment of Russell selling the club to Anton Johnson and retrieving his shares. It looked like the club were about to go bust but it entered administration and negotiated a CVA which it would fail to meet. The game above was a demoralising 1-0 defeat to Dagenham & Redbridge with times so hard that the programme was of the cheapest quality possible. The team ended the season in tenth place and going out in the 4th Qualifying Round of the FA Cup to Leigh RMI.

After a couple of seasons of continual struggle on and off the pitch Russell Slade saved the team from relegation and the following season took the club on its greatest ever FA Cup run. Hinckley United were seen off in the 4th Qualifying Round and next up were bottom tier high fliers Doncaster Rovers. Karl Rose scored the only goal with ten minutes left in front of the Match of the Day cameras and a crowd of 3,497, including many away fans who nearly wet themselves at half time when it was announced at half time that we would be running a mini bus to the midweek away game at Leigh. Oooh the embarrassment.

Boro travelled to Port Vale in the next round http://worldgroundhop.blogspot.com/search/label/Port%20Vale and came away with a memorable 1-0 win through Ashley Sestanovich in front of 4,651 including at least a thousand Seadogs who created a great atmosphere. This set up an away game with Southend United http://worldgroundhop.blogspot.com/search/label/Southend%20United and a superb 1-1 draw. Just short of a thousand Boro fans made a racket. The return game saw as packed a Shed as I could ever remember. Crowds were in areas normally shut off. I can only conclude that every fan there had 72" waists as the gate was given as 4,859. The winners already knew that they would be at home to Chelsea in the next round meaning the result had a huge bearing on either clubs future as both were struggling financially. A few minutes from the end, the tireless Jimmy Kelly chased down a ball near to the corner flag and drove it across to where the indifferent Mark Quayle tapped home to start mass celebrations. I'd travelled up on the morning of the game and had to travel back through the night to go straight back to work. I was cheered up by chairman Malcolm Reynolds telling Radio 5 listeners that this result would sort out the clubs' finances and keep us in business for years to come.

The Chelsea game brought Scarborough FC into the attention of the world. Even people at work in London wanted to talk about the game with me. The match was shown live on Sky with a lunchtime kick off. The cartoon above (click on it to see a larger version) was in the Mirror of the morning of the game and relates to the financial crisis at Leeds United. It made us all laugh in the West Riding pub that morning while breakfasting on Sammy Bairstow pies and beer. Those were the days! The town was like it is on Boxing Day. There were a few shoppers but all the pubs were packed out with people cheering the team on. Everyone wanted a ticket. The following home game saw a crowd of around 1,400. It highlighted more than anything the struggle that the club faced.

The Chelsea game itself was brilliant. Boro gave it their best shot but John Terry was world class and probably saved the multi millionaires. Well Mr Terry with a little help of the referee Barry Knight, who turned down a blatant hand ball that would have given Boro a penalty and a possible lucrative replay. I remember so clearly Frank Lampard hitting the bar from about 40 yards after a couple of minutes and fearing a real drubbing, but the lads were magnificent. The official gate was over five hundred more than the Southend game, yet there was far more room. A very memorable weekend. I ached at work on the Monday!

I think our last really great day at home was the Boxing Day derby with York City. I'd seen England capitulate in the Test Match in Cape Town before struggling down to the Commercial as I didn't feel too well. I'm glad I made the effort. All the lads were in and I found the sad news about the Tsunami which had destroyed the area I'd been just a few weeks earlier. Boro absolutely hammered City who had a big following. It was up there with the 4-2 game back in December 1992. City were a comedy act at the back and even managed to have a man sent off for time wasting when 3-0 down. The very wet weather helped the game as Boro ran riot.

To join the facebook group which shows far more memories of Scarborough FC and Scarborough Athletic FC, please feel free to go to:  

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