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


September 2015

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Hatfield Main

Hatfield Main FC are a non league football club from the former mining town of Hatfield, which is located around six miles to the north west of Doncaster in South Yorkshire. The club were formed in 1936 and joined the Doncaster & District Senior League.

In 1955 Main progressed to the Yorkshire League, where they finished runners up at the end the 1965-66 season. The team fluctuated between the top two divisions, before becoming founder members of the Northern Counties East League in 1982. 

Once again the team won promotions and suffered relegations, before finding themselves in the Premier Division and finishing runners up in 1989. However, once again the club suffered another relegation, before winning back their status in 1995. Main were crowned NCEL champions in 1995-96, but were denied promotion to the Northern Premier League owing to ground grading issues, which prompted their manager and most of the players to leave.

In 1997-98 the team were relegated and in 2003 they withdrew from the league to rejoin the Doncaster & District Senior League. In 2005 they were accepted into the Central Midlands League, before reverting to local competition in 2010.

Hatfield Main FC will compete in the Doncaster & District Senior League Premier Division throughout the 2013-14 season.

My visits

August 1986

I was in a car driven by Chris Bemrose, a Hull City fan from Bridlington with another couple of fans on the way back from a pre season friendly at Doncaster Rovers. We called in at nearby Armthorpe Welfare before heading to Dunscroft, where Main's Welfare Ground was located.

The ground was pretty basic as I remember, with two small covers flanking the changing rooms and clubhouse block. The rest of the ground was flat open standing around the railed off pitch.

We got back into the car and went on to Thorne for a mini pub crawl before the journey home.

Wednesday 10th October 2012

I had stayed in Sheffield overnight and was heading to Barton-upon-Humber to see Scarborough Athletic in action. Earlier I had visited a few clubs, with Hatfield the last on my list before continuing by bus to Thorne where I was to catch a train to Hessle and to meet up with Fred Firman.

Somehow I'd got mixed up at Doncaster Interchange, finding myself on a bus I hadn't really intended on catching. It was going to Dunscroft, but little did I realise I'd be going down little roads in smart new estates around Edenthorpe, Kirk Sandall and Dunsville before I got to my destination. Even more agonies were to come as we veered off within sight of the grounds floodlights. I now had no time to kill to keep to schedule.

I managed to cut across the playing fields of Sheep Dip Lane to the ground, which was locked up. This was no worries as the perimeter fences were low enough to take adequate photos. The ground hadn't changed much from what I remebered, save for a stand behind the near goal with bench like seating, or what remained of them. There was now a hard standing path all around the playing area behind the fence.

I went on my way, with more bus dramas still to come. The times seemed to be out once again on the lists I'd copied from the website. However, I was still in good time to get to Thorne, but the ambitious preliminary plans to visit Thorne Colliery FC were definitely on hold. It had been a long time since I'd last stopped there, so I didn't realise I was in the town centre. So many shops and pubs had gone so it just didn't look the same. Eventually I realised I'd missed my stop when I was the only passenger left and we entered into the grounds of Trinity Academy.

I made a hasty retreat back into town and along Fieldside in time to catch my train to round off an excellent days groundhopping before the main event of the evening.

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