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

London

September 2015

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Quick 1888 (Holland)














Quick 1888, or Quick Nijmegen as they are otherwise known, are an amateur football club based in the west of the city of Nijmegen in the Gelderland region of The Netherlands. Originally Quick were formed as a cricket club by four boys on the 10th April 1888, making them the oldest in Holland.

The club started out playing on the Kronenburgersingel in the city centre, before it was decided that it was too small. This necessitated a move to a new ground on St. Annastraat, at which point the club decided to play football in the winter months.


In May 1895 the club committee decided to abandon cricket at the club, while membership began to grow and the team won its first honour by gaining promotion to Eerste Klasse by defeating PW. With membership continuing to increase the cricket section was reintroduced in 1915.


In September 1916 land was purchased on Hazenkampseweg where a ground with a grandstand was laid out, with the mayor of Nijmegen doing the official opening, before Quick drew 2-2 with Sparta Rotterdam in front of a crowd of 4,000. Athletics and hockey were added to the club’s portfolio. In 1927 the cricket club lifted the national knock out trophy.


In 1949 Quick won the KNVB Cup after beating Helmondia 2-1 on penalties after a 1-1 draw. SVV of Schiedam were the league champions with the two sides meeting for the Super Cup at De Goffert. SVV won the game in the last Super Cup to be held until 1991. Han Engelsman and Felix von Heijden were both capped by the Dutch national team in this period.


Stanley Rose, a soldier from England had attached himself to Quick during the War as a very capable footballer and cricketer. He continued to travel to Nijmegen each week once peace was restored, and was about to play in a championship decider in 1950, but opponents Vitesse complained that Rose should not be allowed to play as he was not Dutch. Their appeal was withheld as they went on to win the game.


The complex at Hazenkamp was required for housing so Quick moved to a new large site at Dennenstraat, where neighbours Blauw Wit once played. In 1965 the club’s supporters donated the ironwork reading ‘Sportpark De Dennen’ for the main entrance. The main pitch and grandstand had to be rebuilt and moved as the new main Graafseweg road was built.

In 1974 Quick won the KNVB Eerste Klasse, which was the highest level of amateur football at the time. Eventually the hockey and athletics sections moved on from the club to develop properly. Meanwhile tennis, badminton and bowls were added for members to enjoy. By 1989 an indoor sports hall was opened at De Dennen.











In the summer of 2012 De Dennen was given a facelift in readiness for the clubs one hundred and twenty fifth anniversary as the main pitch was re-laid with an artificial surface and the grandstand was fitted with new seating while a lacrosse section was added to the club.

Quick 1888 will play in the Tweede Klasse Zontag Oost (Second Class Sunday – East) in the 2015-16 season.


My visit

Sunday 19th January 2014

When researching for my long weekend of football and socialising in The Netherlands I had rapidly pencilled in a visit to Quick while in Nijmegen as soon as I saw their cricketing pedigree and long history.


I was running a bit late for my destination of De Goffert for the lunchtime kick off for the NEC v ADO den Haag game, but I thought I had it still under control as I’d seen a couple of fans heading in the direction of the stadium.

It was a lovely winter’s day and the sun put De Dennen Sportpark in excellent light. The driveway past the old gates led me past the indoor hall and then the clubhouse on my left, while four other football pitches, with the artificial cricket strip and tennis courts were to the right. The main pitch was straight ahead.

The artificial surface was surrounded by hard standing. Grass banking gave the ground an enclosed feel at the top end. Sett back down the near touchline was a large bank with occasional bench seating offering patrons a raised view. The crowning glory was the excellent stand on the far side. It was an ideal venue for the standard of football played by the club.


 










I continued on completion of my look around, up to the brow of the hill and over the railway line. It was of great comfort to see large groups of fans heading to the main event of the day. I was heading in the right direction, and I was going to be on time. Even better was that I was beginning to feel human again after a good old walk from the socialising of the previous evening in Zwolle.









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