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.
Thursday, August 16, 2012
Wellingborough Whitworth FC are a non league football club from the market town of Wellingborough in Northamptonshire who were formed in 1973 after Wellingborough Ideal Clothiers folded.
The players of Clothiers also played for a local Sunday League team, Victoria Millers and after discussion started Whitworth. The club started out in the Rushden & District League and then the East Midlands Alliance.
After improvements were made to 'The Flourmen's' Victoria Mills ground on London Road, they were admitted into the United Counties League in 1985. In the 2005-06 season they won the Division One title but were not promoted because of ground grading issues.
Wellingborough Whitworth FC will compete in the United Counties League Division One in the 2013-14 season.
Friday 3rd August 2012
I was in Wellingborough after a pleasant day out at the cricket in Northampton and visiting some sports venues. My reasoning for being in the town after play was to visit The Dog & Duck to watch the pre season friendly between AFC Rushden & Diamonds and Luton Town.
I had read that the ground of Whitworth was next door in advance and sure enough both ground entrances stood next to each other. The gate appeared to be locked when I arrived, so I went straight to the clubhouse next door. However, I was determined to get a look inside the home of the Flourmen so just before half time I gave it another go, especially after I saw some cars parked down the drive.
I walked down and got speaking some gentlemen who appeared to run the club and were meeting for a drink. They were most welcoming and not without a fair bit of rivalry in them for their next door neighbours. Ones first comment was, "so you've come to have a look at what a proper pitch looks like?"
In fairness the playing surface did look in fine nick. The ground was also neat without being anything special. The entrance end was behind a goal, with all the facilities in the corner. I was told there was formerly a larger clubhouse until it was burned down in an arson attack. Alongside the buildings was a modern seated stand, stood back from the pitch. There was a small cover along the near touchline and behind the far goal, but apart from that the ground consisted of flat open grass and hard standing. Beyond the far touchline there were dug outs on the half way line and a practice pitch behind. The large Whitworth's factory looked on in the distance.
I said my thanks and went back next door for a beer and to watch the second half of the friendly, contemplating that the two games between Diamonds and Whitworths later that season should attract large crowds and a financial boost to The Flourmen in particular.