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

Monday, November 7, 2011

Maltby Main

The original Maltby Main FC who came from the mining town between Doncaster and Rotherham in South Yorkshire, were formed in 1916 as a team for workers of the local colliery. They spent much of their time in the Yorkshire League before disbanding in 1965.

Maltby Miners Welfare were formed in 1970 and spent four years competing in the Sheffield Senior League, before joining the Yorkshire League. 'The Miners' gradually progressed through the divisions and had a spell in the top tier before they became founder members of the Northern Counties East League in 1983.

By 1990 Maltby had won their way to the Premier Division and installed new floodlights at Muglet Lane. In 1996 the club split from the miners welfare and reverted to their original name. In 200 the club suffered relegation owing to the lack of finance required to put hard standing around the pitch.

However they forced their way back to the top flight within a few years.

Maltby Main FC will compete in the Northern Counties East League Premier Division in the 2015-16 season.

My visit

Maltby Main 0 Scarborough Athletic 6 (Saturday 8th October 2011) Northern Counties East League Premier Division (att: 215)

I had booked train tickets from Doncaster to London well in advance of this encounter at a very low price. However, I was on night shift and travelling to visit my good friends Alain and Linda in Cornwall the next day, so I wasn't sure whether to travel. Added to this I was struggling to reach Maltby by public transport.

A chance meeting with Matt Lawson on the train after the midweek win at Pickering had got me a lift if I wanted one, so I decided to go and cheer on the lads.

It was a miserable drizzly day when I woke after a few hours shut eye to find out England had lost in the Rugby World Cup to France. I nodded on the train north to try and regain some energy. Matt and Nicola were waiting in the car. Us blokes were dropped off at the ground while Nicola went shopping at Meadowhall.

There wasn't a bar in the ground so we went across the fields with some other thirst Seadogs to the miners welfare for some lubrication before returning before kick off.

Muglet Lane was certainly not pretty, but it had a charm I quite liked. For a start off it had four traditional floodlights. A pavilion in the corner contained the changing and club rooms with a catering kiosk at the rear. Down that side there was just a single rail seperating the football and cricket pitches. Both goals had a hard standing path and grass behind it. The final side was slightly banked and had a seated stand and a covered shelter as well as open grass  and hard standing at the sides. There were various slopes and a few bumps all over the pitch.

Boro scored within a few minutes through Curtis Bernard but then had a little shaky period before taking the game by the scruff of the neck. The hosts were extremely physical and not short of verbals, but the Seadogs kept their discipline under testing circumstances. Skipper Tony Hackworth tapped in a rebound for the second after the home side had been reduced to ten men following a high tackle. If that decision was harsh, the Main players certainly received sympathy from the referee for the rest of the game. Some of the tackling was x rated and the language towards the official should have led to instant dismissals.

Joe Naylor added a third before half time when manager Rudy Funk shuffled his pack to had a physical presence to stand up to some of the thugish behaviour. Further goals were added by Ryan Blott, Bernard and Scott Phillips. In the end it could have been a lot more than six goals as Boro really excelled.

The host officials and fans were very welcoming, but their team were absolutely shocking.

Nicola picked Matt and I up and dropped me in Doncaster in time for a bite to eat before heading back to London in time for a shower and change and then work.

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