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

London

September 2015

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Cove



Cove FC is a non league football club who were formed in 1897, who come from the village of Cove, which in turn has become a suburb of Farnborough in north east Hampsire, around thirty five miles south west of central London.

For over eighty years from their formation, 'The Wasps' as the club are nicknamed, played in local league competitions. In 1981 they spread their wings further and joined the Combined Counties West Division. After securing a third place finish in the 1989-90 season, the club joined the extended Isthmian League for the following campaign.








Their spell at that level lasted until 1996 until they were relegated back to the Combined Counties League. The club continued to play in that leagues' Premier Division while building a solid youth structure.

Cove FC will compete in the Combined Counties League Premier Division for the 2013-14 season.









My visits

Saturday 14th September 2002

Scarborough were playing away to Farnborough Town in the Conference and I was going to the game with Dave Cammish. He was rather keen to watch the live lunchtime kick off between Leeds and Man Utd, even though his faith in travelling to such games was on the wain.

We arrived at Farnborough Main station in good time and Dave had sussed out a pub called the Thatched Cottage that looked promising. We arrived as they were opening, but after a quick check the barmaid told us that they didn't have Sky. This was not good as the area looked berift of pubs.


We set off towards the station once again, when I saw a sign that saved us a trek. My knowledge of non league football recalled that Cove were once members of the Isthmian League, but I hadn't realised that they were based next to Farnborough. I reckoned that their clubhouse could have Sky. Surely it was worth a try?

We walked down the quite Romayne Close, which led into the remote Squirrel Lane. It was like a back lane and seemed like an unlikely way to a football ground, but we were rewarded as the ground came into view. Even better was the fact that the clubhouse was open and they did have Sky and they were fine with us watching the game.

I went outside at half time to find a very basic venue. There was a little cover on the far side, but the near side was just flat and open with a few pub benches outside. It looked like there was once a stand of some description on the land. The ground had some hard standing all the way around it, with the rugby club just over the fence behind the right hand side goal.








I went back inside and watched the second half. Dave was happy as Harry Kewell scored the only goal much to the dismay of the southern Man Utd fans, before we said our thank yous and headed to our match.

Wednesday 20th June 2012

I was on a day off after my night shifts and I had headed to north east Hampshire and Surrey. I had just been to visit Fleet Town FC and had been taken by surprised by the distance between their Cawthorpe Park home and the railway station. However, help was at hand when I caught a bus from outside the ground all the way to Cove.

The journey took me through several villages and housing estates, before I alighted by Cove Pavilion and walked down Prospect Road under the railway to follow my route from ten years previously.








The ground was open with some works going on. It hadn't changed too much apart from the installation of spectator facilities on the far side of the pitch. Two small standing covers flanked the modern seated Ron Brown Stand.

I walked back down the lane and headed north to my next port of call, Farnborough FC.









1 comment:

  1. Was just looking to see who my local team Dunston UTS were playing next pre season and Cove FC is the 1st home game on July 13
    Your website then came up and I have had a look!

    I do my own groundhoppin' website www.geordietimes.com which mainly covers the grounds I have visited following Newcastle United's 1st team, reserves and juniors

    In total I have visited 300 grounds watching them, my last being 'The Stadium of Light' In Lisbon where Newcastle played Benfica earlier this year!

    I will give your website a mention on mine and it would be great if you could repay the commpliment!
    Cheers!
    Fink (the mad-sad groundhopper!)

    ReplyDelete