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, June 13, 2012
Reading Town FC are a non league club from the county town of Berkshire, and not to be mistaken for their more illustrious neighbours Reading FC. They were formed in 1966 as Lower Burghfield FC and played local league football under several guises such as XL United FC, Vincents United FC, Reading Garage FC and ITS Reading Town FC.
In 1989 the club progressed to the Chiltonian League, where they enjoyed steady progress. In 1993 they took on their present title and moved to Scours Lane. In 1995 Town lifted the Premier Division title and won promotion to the Combined Counties League. They lifted the Berks & Bucks FA Senior Trophy three years later. Former England star Neil Webb had a spell as Manager during the 2000-01 season, but he could not replicate his success on the pitch.
For the start of the 2008-09 season, Town moved sideways in the football pyramid to take up a place in the Hellenic League. They added another county cup to their honours list soon after.
Town were relegated from the Premier Division at the conclusion of the 2014-15 season after two previous poor campaigns.
Reading Town will compete in the Hellenic League Division One East in the 2015-16 season.
Tuesday 22nd May 2012
I had the day off after finishing my night shifts at work. Fixtures were very thin on the ground, but I spotted that the Reading Senior Cup Final was to be played at the Madejski Stadium. With that as my main focus I decided to pop into a couple of grounds before hand for some photo opportunities.
I had been to Burnham, from where I caught a bus to Maidenhead. I then boarded a train, which conveniently stopped at Tilehurst station, which was the nearest to Town's home ground. Originally I'd intended to walk there along the Thames path, but time would have been tight.
The walk along Oxford Road was pleasant enough before I turned down Scours Lane, which had light industry before the railway bridge. At the other side stood the ground entrance, but to my disbelieve all was locked up, with the metal railed perimeter fence a long way from the grounds walls. It looked like my only view was going to be the one I'd snatched when passing on the train.
I wasn't going to give in that easily so I set off down the lane to try and get in at the far end. It was flanked by a couple of kennels and a yard for a fairground rides. The Thames path was stunning scenery, especially on such a lovely afternoon, but it didn't offer me any access.
I walked back round and found the main gate was now open with a white transit van parked up near the ground entrance. The padlock wasn't shut but it held the gate closed. I went inside to find the groundsman painting the lines on the pitch. I shouted across and asked for permission to snap away, and he said it was fine.
Scours Lane was a pretty decent venue with lots of room, especially between the goal line and the fence around the pitch. The playing area looked large. At the entrance end stood the changing rooms, offices and a clubhouse. Along virtually the full width of the pitch there was a cover with a couple of steps of terracing, with two rows of seats towards one end. A small cover stood well back down one side, with a modern seated stand opposite it. The rest of the ground was made up of flat open grass and hard standing.
I said my thank you and made my way out to catch the number seventeen bus round the corner on the main road. I had intended to go to Palmer Park Stadium, the home of Highmoor Ibis, but I decided a pint and a meal was a far more sensible option.
I'm glad I made the effort to go out of my way to Scours Lane. Maybe I would return for an FA Vase game against Scarborough Athletic in the future?