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.
Saturday, August 11, 2012
AFC Kempston Rovers
AFC Kempston Rovers are a non league football club from Kempston, which is a small town connected to the south of Bedford, with the River Ouse dividing them. The club were formed as Kempston Rovers FC in 1884, playing for several decades in local league football.
In 1953 'The Walnut Boys' became members of the United Counties League, joining the new Premier Division in 1972. Rovers won the league title in the 1973-74 season and remained in that division until they were relegated in 1983. The club were promoted back to the Premier Division three seasons later as champions and then consolidating their status.
In 2004 the club turned to community status as they changed their name to AFC Kempston Rovers as Kempston Youth and Kempston Town clubs joined under one umbrella, to assist in their bid for funding.
AFC Kempston Rovers will play in the United Counties League Premier Division in the 2013-14 season.
Wednesday 1st August 2012
I was in good form when I mate my Scarborough Athletic supporting mate Ian Anderson to take in another match together. The weather was glorious and Team GB were doing well in an amazing Olympic Games. Indeed, Ian brought me the news of Bradley Wiggins gold medal as he collected me at the station.
We were heading to that evenings pre season friendly between Bedford Town and Cambridge United, but before hand Ian had kindly offered to show me a couple of new grounds for these pages.
I had originally intended to walk to Rovers Hillgrounds past the brewery where Bedford Town's much missed Eyrie ground once stood and over the Ouse. However, I wasn't complaining at the offer of a lift! We found the ground down Hillgrounds Road easy enough and Ian parked up while I went inside to have a look.
A gentleman came out and I asked if I was OK to take some photos? He was fine about it, after initially being concerned as to what we were doing.
The ground was neat and tidy with open flat hard and grass standing on three sides and a long stand containing both seating and standing in front of the clubhouse, changing rooms and Bedfordshire FA offices. Opposite was an all weather court and the dug outs. It was obvious that the funding had come through and had been used well.
We departed to make our way to our next port of call; Wootton Blue Cross