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.
Monday, February 6, 2012
Blackpool Wren Rovers
Blackpool Wren Rovers are a non league football club based in the south of the Lancashire seaside resort in Squires Gate near to Blackpool Airport. The club were formed in 1931 as Wren Rovers FC playing in local football.
In 1972 'The Wrens' joined the Lancashire Combination and then became founder members of the North West Counties League in 1982. In 1990 the club changed its name to Blackpool Rovers to reflect the town they represented.
Rovers had one promotion before they decided to resign from the league in 1998, changing their name to Blackpool Wren Rovers FC at the same time. They became members of the West Lancashire League, where they went on to spend extended spells in the Premier Division, finishing as runners up in 2012-13.
Blackpool Wren Rovers will compete in the West Lancashire League Premier Division in the 2013-14 season.
Wednesday 1st February 2012
I had finished my night shift in London the previous morning and travelled up to Blackpool to watch the Seasiders match against Coventry City before heading to Manchester to take in the Bolton Wanderers and Arsenal clash.
I got up earlier than intended as my body struggled to readjust to my new sleeping pattern so I headed out to Squires Gate on the bus at just gone 8am. It was very cold by the coast, but the sun was shining. I got off the bus and cut across The Shovel car park, which backed onto Bruce Park.
I was quite impressed by the ground considering the status of Rovers. It was quite apparent that it had staged a higher standard of football in the past, although it was starting to show its age and lack of care in places.
At the Blackpool End there was a full length shallow cover which carried on around the Squires Gate FC side and round the top corner by the clubhouse and changing rooms. It also continued behind the goal. However, some sections were now missing down the sides. A small stand stood alone on the Pub Side, with the rest of the ground consisting of hard standing and grass. There was little room between the pitch and the boundary fence.
I had the shortest walk ever to the next venue. In fact I could stand near the corner flag and see into two grounds at once! It seemed crazy that two clubs tried to upkeep two grounds so close, but that's football and its rivalry for you!