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.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Yeading FC were a non league football club from West London, whose roots could be traced back to 1960. They amalgamated with Hayes FC to become Hayes & Yeading United FC in 2007.
Yeading played many seasons in intermediate and junior football for many years before they were granted senior status in 1984 when they became members of the London Spartan League and moved into The Warren at the bottom of an industrial estate on Beaconsfield Road near Southall.
In 1987 'The Ding' were promoted to the Isthmian League. In 1990 they won a promotion as well as winning the FA Vase against Bridlington Town in a replay at Elland Road after a scoreless draw at Wembley, with future Football League star Andy Impey in their line up. In 1991 they reached the Isthmian League Premier Division, where they lasted for seven years.
They were back in the top division by 2004 when Johnson 'Drax' Hippolyte took over the reigns as Yeading, with future Premier League star DJ Campbell in the team, drew Newcastle United in the FA Cup third round. The match was switched to Loftus Road, where a crowd of over 10,000 plus millions watching live on TV saw the Geordies end the dream. The Isthmian Premier League championship was secured as the club were promoted to Conference South.
In 2006 Yeading were soundly beaten 5-0 by Nottingham Forest in the first round of the FA Cup.
Talks had been progressing regarding a merger with near neighbours Hayes for some time with the plan to use The Warren. The merger finally took place on 18th May 2007 as Hayes & Yeading United FC were formed.
Yeading 0 Aylesbury United 5 (Saturday 27th October 2001) FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round (att: 340)
I had passed The Warren at high speed on many occasions as it could be viewed from the main Great Western line out of Paddington station, and thought it about time I attended a match.
The ideal opportunity came in the FA Cup. The round was given increased coverage on the radio for a change and I had quite a selection, but I really fancied the game at Yeading against their Buckinghamshire opponents who were a level above in the pyramid.
I caught a bus from Willesden to Acton, where I got on board a bus that travelled through the heavy traffic of Uxbridge Road through Ealing and Southall, before I got off at the top of Beaconsfield Road. It was a good ten minuted walk down the desolate and windswept road to the stadium.
The Warren was a tidy enough venue, but nothing spectacular. There was a small cover behind the goal at the near end. The entrance side had a covered seating and standing area with the clubhouse on the second tier offering a great view. Unfortunately the blinds were drawn at kick off to satisfy FA rules. The rest of the ground was open hard and grass standing with the dug outs on the far side.
I had a couple of pre match beers before going out to jooin the large away following, who brought flags and balloons to give the game a real atmosphere. Any chance of an upset was soon dispelled as The Ducks were simply far too good for their hosts. They ran out easy 5-0 winners, with veteran forward Dwight Marshall bagging a hat trick.
I went back upstairs at full time and got chatting to some jubilant visitors who were waiting for the first round draw, which was to be screened live at the end of Grandstand. I was rather more melancholy, as it transpired Scarborough had gone down 3-1 in their local derby at Whitby Town. Reports were bad and my Dad later described it as the worst Boro display he'd ever seen.
The Ducks fans weren't overjoyed at being drawn away to Port Vale, but I reasoned with them, it was better than not being in the Cup! I left and walked back and reversed my journey home. I needed a few beers to try and cheer myself up, but the result was still the same the next morning!
Friday 20th October 2006
I had a day off work so I decided it was time to update my photo collection and get round to visiting some West London grounds. I took the tube to Uxbridge and then caught a bus before walking down Beaconsfield Road.
It was a pleasant enough day and I was happy to find a gate open past the stands. Another pitch behind the ground belonging to.... looked in decent condition as well as did the ground and clubhouse of...further up the road on the way back.