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 their maintenance.

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 fortunate 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 heightens 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 try today. They'll be delighted 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. Stan is showing a keen interest in my hobby as he grows into a young man!

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


November 2018

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Wick & Barnham United

Wick & Barnham United FC are a non league football club who are based in Wick, which is a village on the northern edge of the seaside resort of Littlehampton in West Sussex. The club were formed in 2013 following the merger of Wick FC; formed in 1896 and playing in local league competition until joining the Sussex County League in 1964 and near neighbours Barnham FC

'The Wickers' spent eighteen years in the leagues' Division Two before being promoted. They suffered relegation in 1985, but bounced straight back up the following season. In 1990 and 1994 the club were crowned Sussex County League champions, and finished as runners up in 1997. However in 2003 they were relegated once again. After a couple of seasons they fought their way back to Division Two.

Wick were relegated at the end of the 2011-12 season.

Wick & Barnham United FC will compete in the Sussex County League Division Two throughout the 2012-13 season.

My visit

Wick v Shoreham - Postponed (Tuesday 17th July 2012) Pre Season Friendly (att: about 8 of us!)

I had finished my night shifts and had arranged to meet up with some old pals from Stanley in County Durham, who were heading to stay in Littlehampton and attend the Sussex v Durham County Championship encounter starting the following day at Arundel.

Phil, Joe and Bob were waiting for me at Victoria station and we had a good catch up on the train on the way down to the coast. Phil knew of my non league passion and asked if there was any football on in the area? I told him of the friendly at Crabtree Park, which was located a mile away from the Travelodge where we were to stay. The lads said they'd be keen to go along, especially when I mentioned that they had wghat was described as a good clubhouse on the website.

After checking in and a couple of pub stops we took a taxi from The George Inn, the local Wetherspoons establishment. I was a bit concerned as nobody was answering the phone at the ground, especially after my mate Gary Griffiths had turned up at nearby Arundel FC the previous night to find the game off.

My pals said we might as well go anyway as it was on the way home. We got out of the taxi to be greeted by a nice bloke who said, "you must be here for the game I've had to call off?". Because of the heavy rain he'd been unable to get the mower on the pitch, which had been left to grow. However, he cheered us by announcing that the bar was open! I went off to take my photos while the others went upstairs.

Crabtree Park was an adequate venue for the standard of football played there. There were turnstiles in one corner behind the goal with the clubhouse and changing rooms in the other. A small covered area for standing spectators stood near to the clubhouse along the touchline, while a bit further up on the other side was a seated stand. The rest of the ground consisted of a mixture of open flat hard standing and grass. I had been past it on a previous look at the home of Littlehampton FC while not realising its proximity.

I retired to the bar to join up with the others. The locals were really friendly and hoped for good weather for our cricket the following day. They hadn't produced a programme for that evenings game, but I was given one from the previous season. We had a couple of pints before walking round the corner to The Locomotive to carry on our evening.

I didn't see a game, but I had a cracking evening out!

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