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

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Linlithgow Rose

Linlihgow Rose FC are a Scottish junior (non league) football club from the town of Linlithgow West Lothian, which is located twenty miles west of Edinburgh. Linlithgow is a commuter town with history, being the birthplace of Mary, Queen of Scots. Linlithgow Palace was once one of the most prominent royal residences in northern Europe.

Rose were formed in 1889 the well supported club moved into their Prestonfield home in 1949 as they won several trophies and were crowned the champions of the Edinburgh & District League on several occasions, with the first title coming in the 1964-65 season. Rose crowned a fine season by also winning the Scottish Junior Cup as Ballieston Juniors were beaten 4-1. They returned to Hampden Park in 1974, but on that occasion Cambuslang Rangers proved too strong.

The 1974-75 season saw the first of nine SJFA East Region titles arrive at Prestonfield. The final win came in 2001-02, which was also the same campaign that saw a second Junior Cup being lifted after Auchinleck Talbot were beaten. Linlithgow returned to the final the following season going down by an only goal to Tayport.

After re-organisation Rose were placed in the SJFA East Region Super League, where they were crowned champions for the 2003-04 season. A further title came in 2006-07 and for a third time the team completed the double with the Junior Cup win coming against Kelty Hearts. As a result of the win and a change of policy from the Scottish FA, Rose were allowed to compete in the Scottish Cup the following season. They reached the fourth round where they they went out to eventual finalists Queen of the South.

Successful manager Jim Sinnett resigned in 2008 after a successful time at the club before Linlithgow went on to win the 2010 Junior Cup Final, beating Largs Thistle in the final with a goal from Kevin Donnelly and Dave Baikie as manager. Mark Bradley replaced Baikie in December 2011, leading the side to a third place league finish at the end of the 2011-12 season.

Rose reached the Junior Cup Final in 2013, but were defeated by Auchinleck Talbot at Livingston. In June 2015 David McGlynn took over as team manager, quickly overseeing a fine Scottish Cup run all the way to the fourth round and a home tie with Forfar Athletic.

Linlithgow Rose FC will play in the SJFA East Region Super League in the 2015-16 season.

My visit

Tuesday 29th January 2013

Ideally I try to watch games on as many new grounds as I can, but time, distance and money means that it would mean I would go without seeing some really excellent venues. Therefore, when I have spare time and/or I'm visiting a new places I try to get to see new towns and football clubs and broaden my knowledge.

It was on such an occasion that my Dad was held up to join me in Edinburgh, so rather than wasting an opportunity I planned a day of groundhopping around the capital before heading out into West Lothian on the train.

Unfortunately the weather wasn't the best, with heavy showers coming down at regular intervals. This was a shame as Linlithgow High Street looked to be very nice and the conditions didn't really do it justice. It was definitely not short of pubs, as I counted nine! I continued past Linlithgow Cross, up the hill to Preston Road where another steep slope and bridge over the railway took me to Braehead Road, where the club was to be found.

It was just gone 1pm so the kids from the academy just down from the ground were streaming out. The gates to Prestonfield were shut, but I still managed to see over the wall and at the far end to get some snaps of a most impressive venue.

The Clubhouse End was flat open standing in front of the wall. The near side had terracing and a cover over the centre section. Opposite was a lovely raised seated stand with some open standing either side, with grass banking behind the final goal completing the scene.

On completion of my task I headed back to West Port, which was a continuation of High Street to check out if there was an earlier bus to my final port of call for the day, the home of Bo'ness United. As none were forthcoming I walked down into town to the Cross past Linlithgow Loch to take in a view of Linlithgow Palace.

All in all I was impressed with the town and the football ground and was glad I'd made the effort to go for a look.

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