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.
Monday, October 22, 2012
Leighton Town FC are a non league football club from the Bedfordshire town of Leighton Buzzard, which was the opening point of the Grand Union Canal and was the nearest town to where the Great Train Robbery took place.
'The Reds' were formed in 1885, playing local league football before changing their name to Leighton United and becoming founder members of the South Midlands League in 1922. Thirty years later the club were also founder members of the Hellenic League, but they reverted to their previous league after just two years.
In 1963 the club reverted to becoming Leighton Town, going on to be crowned league champions four years later. They joined the United Counties League for the 1974-75 season, but after a two year spell they re-joined the South Midlands League.
The 1991-92 season saw Town being crowned champions of the Premier Division, which led to promotion to the Isthmian League. A couple of divisional titles followed in the ensuing campaigns before the re-organisation of non league football saw the club placed in the Southern League. From the 2009-10 season, neighbours Aylesbury United shared an agreement to share Bell Close after they were evicted from their home ground.
Craig Wells was given the onerous task of managing the team for the 2013-14 season, as the club decided not to play its players in a bid to correct the financial troubles and debt. He lasted a full season before being replaced by Craig Bicknell.
Former Town boss was put in charge for the 2015-16 season, but he departed in October, with Stuart Murray taking over team affairs.
Leighton Town FC will play in the Southern League Division One Central in the 2015-16 season.
Aylesbury United 0 Kidlington 2 (Sunday 14th October 2012) FA Vase Round One (att: 159)
I entered Bell Close for the first time not quite sure what to expect? What I found was a decent enough homely old fashioned ground, which was now looking a little tired. A lick of paint and the repairs of one or two of the fences would have made it look good, but I guess it must have been extremely frustrating if vandals undo the previous good work.
The near end had a couple of steps of terracing and the clubhouse and changing rooms behind. The snack bar had its own little roof for diners. The left hand side of the pitch bordered the towns cricket club, with spectators only having access down a third of the pitch. Opposite this was a mixture of open flat hard standing and grass, with a neat seated stand straddling the half way line. At the far end stood a long cover with a couple of steps of terracing, with an exit and turnstiles in the centre, which were out of use.
It wasn't the best stadium I'd ever visited, but give me something traditional close to the town centre like Bell Close rather than a souless out of town site with plastic and metal stands.
For a description of my day out and a match report, please go to the Aylesbury United page at: