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

Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale

Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale FC are a Scottish non league football club based in the west of the city of Edinburgh. 'Thistle' were formed in 1969 as Lothian Thistle as an amateur works team. The club progressed to senior status when they joined the East of Scotland League in 1995.

In 1997 Thistle won promotion to the league's Premier Division and began a link up with Hutchison Vale youth football club to produce players through its own system. The club changed its name before the 2011-12 season to reflect the partnership.

The club continued to try and upgrade their home Saughton Enclosure ground with proposals being put forward to re-align the floodlights and the addition of a seated grandstand. Grants were being sourced from the relevant authorities.

Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale FC will play in the East of Scotland League Premier Division in the 2015-16 season.

My visit

Tuesday 29th January 2013

A visit to the Saughton Enclosure was possible on my circular tour of the football grounds of Edinburgh thanks to the superb bus network. The £3.50 all day pass was now proving extremely beneficial, especially after the long walks I'd already undertaken. After calling into Ainslie Park, the home of Spartans a short walk to Crewe Toll allowed me to take a direct service, which arrived with a couple of minutes, past Murrayfield and to the gates of Saughton Park.

The park itself was very nice, with the Water of Leith running to the south and playgrounds and football pitches of both grass and 3G surfaces filling the large grassy area. The enclosure was in fact an athletics track at the far end. The gates were closed but viewing was easy through the railings of the basic but neat venue, which had a shallow grass bank around the track and the changing rooms behind the goal at the near end. It would be improved no end if a stand could have been erected.

My day continued with another bus ride, this time up to Tynecastle to buy the tickets for the match the following evening.

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