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

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Frickley Athletic

Frickley Athletic FC are a non league club from South Elmsall in West Yorkshire. The club were originally known as Frickley Colliery FC and were formed in 1910. The workers at the mine paid subscriptions from their wages to support the football club and local cricket club.

After a few years competing in the Sheffield Association League, 'The Blues' became members of the Yorkshire League in 1922. Two years later they joined the Midland League where they played their football until 1960 when the league was briefly disbanded. Frickley became the only Yorkshire club to play in the Cheshire County League, where they remained for a decade.

In 1970 the club rejoined the Midland League before joining the Northern Premier League in 1976. At this point they changed their name to Frickley Athletic. After a few years of doing well, Athletic joined the Alliance Premier League (Football Conference) in 1980. In 1986 the club reached the third round of the FA Cup before a crowd of 5,800 saw them go down in a local derby to Rotherham United. The team had several top players at this time including Russ Willcox and Paul Shirtliff.


After seven years playing at the pinnacle of the non league game, Athletic rejoined the Northern Premier League just a year after finishing as runners up in the Conference. In 1993 Frickley Colliery shut down, leading to some very tough times for the local community. Several managers tried to bring back the glory days to Westfield Lane. Karl Rose was appointed in 2012.

Frickley Athletic FC will play in the Northern Premier League Premier Division for the 2013-14 season.


My visit

Frickley Athletic 2 Scarborough Athletic 0 (Tuesday 12th July 2011) Pre Season Friendly (att: 177)

I was in Scarborough for the Yorkshire v Worcestershire cricket and it happily coincided with a pre season friendly at a ground I'd never previously visited. I was picked up outside the gates of North Marine Road by James Hunter and Geoff Osgathorpe, which gave a chance to ask for club updates and if there was any way I could assist.

We arrived outside the Westfield Lane ground in good time to go inside for a beer. As ever, there was a good turn out of Seadogs in attendance. The clubhouse was fairly basic but friendly. Many former team shots on the wall contained players who's appeared for both clubs.


Westfield Lane had been given a new title, The Tech5 Stadium in a naming rights deal. It was a traditional old venue which offered everything fans at that level required. The pitch sloped away from the large Main Stand which was raised and stood back. Open terracing ran all along that side in front and to the sides of the structure. The far side had a low cover with a few steps of terracing. Where the large colliery slag heap and colliery stood behind this side was now a landscaped hill with pathways. A small area of open standing was behind both goals with a fenced off area behind.


I had a walk around during the first half while trying to work out who was who in the new Boro line up. Frickley, who were two divisions above in the pyramid were fast, physical and impressive but the Seadogs still gave as good as they got before going behind to a worrying lack of marking from a set piece.


I enjoyed some fine old fashioned catering as I caught up with old friends for the first time in the new season. I watched for a while from the excellent view afforded in the stand. Frickley came out with a completely different eleven for the second half in their away strip. Boro also made plenty of changes. The home side went further ahead from another set piece, before Boro were somehow denied at the other end.


All in all it was a good, stern examination for the visitors against an able team. I quite enjoyed my visit to a traditional football ground with friendly home football fans. Even better news was that there was still a couple of days cricket to watch!

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