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

Monday, July 23, 2012

Shoreham



Shoreham FC are a non league football club from the West Sussex port and seaside resort of Shoreham-by-Sea, who were formed in 1892. After several years of local football 'The Musselmen' became founder members of the Sussex County League in 1920.



The club left that league in 1927 for a five year period and in 1951-52 were crowned as champions. They went on to retain the title in the following season. The club were relegated to Division Two in 1960-61, but regained their top flight status at the first attempt.

Shoreham went down once more but were promoted in 1972-73. However, their Division One stay lasted just twelve months. The Division Two title was lifted in 1976-77;  returning to lift their third Sussex League championship in the 1977-78 season.

The men of Middle Road were relegated once more in 1981-82, from which they recovered and went back up with another Division Two championship win in 1984-85. The 1991-92 season saw the next demotion, but Shoreham rebuilt and went back up two years later with yet another Division Two title.

The final season of the old century saw another disappointing relegation, but once more Shoreham regained their Division One slot at the culmination of the 2001-02 campaign. The 2003-04 season saw the Musselmen drop down to Division Two once again.

Joint managers Fred Proto and Jason Rutherford took the club straight back to Division One in 2004-05; their debut season at the helm. From there the team consolidated and remained in the top flight of the Sussex County League.




In 2013 Stuart Slaney became the new owner of the club, as he looked to expand the junior set up at Middle Road. He was joined by Ralph Prodger in 2015 who became joint owner and chairman of the club.

The Sussex County League became the Southern Combination Football League, where Shoreham were placed in the Premier Division for the 2015-16 season as the team narrowly avoided relegation.

However the 2016-17 campaign was to be a very different story. Shoreham led the table for much of the season, but were overtaken by Haywards Heath Town. Their rivals were deducted nine points for fielding an ineligible player after the season was complete to hand Shoreham the title and secure promotion to the Isthmian League.


Shoreham FC will play in the Isthmian League Division One South in the 2017-18 season.


My visit

Friday 30th November 2008

I had decided to use a day off work by heading down to Brighton and discovering some football grounds in West Sussex. After a arduous coach journey and a train ride calling in at Southwick FC I alighted at Shoreham station.



As usual on these jaunts I had planned ahead and copied some maps as well as general directions. I walked up Buckingham Road before turning right into Middle Road, where the club were listed to play. It was a lot further along than I'd imagined, but thankfully I came to an open field with the clubs' ground at the other side of it. However, there was no path across to the entrance.

I did find a path past the far goal but I couldn't get a view of the enclosed arena. It came out on Dolphin Road, which served an industrial estate on both sides. I had hoped to see the sea and some evidence of a seaside resort, but I was left disappointed. The gloomy weather didn't help matters either. I later discovered that the River Adur and another stretch of land stood between me and the coast.



I was starting to think I'd never find my way to the ground. I took a chance and walked up Dolphin Way with light industry on either side of it. At the top was the entrance to the ground. I would have thought some kind of signage would have been helpful?

The Middle Road ground was a neat enough venue with a small cover at the centre of the far end. The near touchline had a Main Stand with blue bucket seating and multiple pillars which I would imagine spoil a lot of viewing, although the dug outs had sensibly been placed opposite. The clubhouse was further along from it along with the changing rooms in the corner. The rest of the ground had hard standing all around the pitch and then flat open grass.

I left after getting some images and continued along the road that bordered the railway in a relaxed mode as I'd missed my intended train. However, thanks to a decent service I was soon heading to my next destination; Lancing FC.









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