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, July 15, 2014

Bedfont Sports




Bedfont Sports FC is a non league football club based in Bedfont, next to the southern perimeter of Heathrow Airport in West London.

The Saturday section of the football club was formed in 2002 by David and Terry Reader following in the footsteps of their Bedfont Sunday team who’d been formed in 1962 and Bedfont Eagles, the clubs youth side who began in 1978.
















Initially Sports started out in Division One of the Hounslow & District League and lifting the title at the first attempt and joining Division One of the Middlesex County League. Once again Sports won the league at the first time of asking, progressing to the Premier Division.


In 2008-09 the side finished third in the table and secured promotion to Division One of the Combined Counties League. The 2011-12 campaign saw Bedfont finish as runners up and winning a place in the Premier Division.











In 2014 Bedfont Sports looked in good shape with the Recreation Ground gradually being upgraded, while Bedfont Sunday fielded four sides while Bedfont Eagles had sixteen age group teams.

Bedfont Sports FC will play in the Combined Counties League Premier Division in the 2014-15 season.











My visit

Burgess Hill Town 2 Hayes & Yeading United 1 (Tuesday 20th May 2014) Isthmian Youth League Champion of Champions Final (att: approx 60)



After completing my set of night shifts I was looking for one final match to complete my season. The contrast between the match I found thanks to the excellent Non League Matters Forum and the FA Cup Final I’d attended a few days before could not have been more stark.

I’d been to a few Under 19 matches in the past and found the standard to be pretty good, so this held no trepidation to me. The Champions of Champions was decided by the winners of all four regional divisions going forward to semi finals and then a final. Bedfont Sports was chosen as the venue as The Hillians home ground was unavailable.



I arrived at the Bedfont Sports Recreation Ground via several tube rides and then a ten minute walk along Hatton Road and past the home ground of Bedfont & Feltham FC, with aircrafts descending  before landing at Heathrow just a hundred metres or so above at sixty seconds intervals. I considered hanging around and giving the passengers a wave and a welcome to London, but no-one could be that cruel.











Admission was £4 which included a programme, sadly missing details of the Burgess Hill team. I immediately had a walk around the ground to take in the facilities as I listened to the T20 international between England and Sri Lanka.



The Recreation Ground was a very tidy venue. The entrance side had a small cover on front of the clubhouse with a small beer garden in front. The large changing room block, which catered for those using the other pitches and the 3G facility had a cover with three rows of seats which formerly saw service at Church Road Hayes, as did the solitary turnstile. Another small cover sat between the dug outs on the far side. The rest of the ground consisted of open flat concrete and grass.











I enjoyed a cup of tea for £1 from the fully stocked snack bar as the teams came out. The match started at a furious pace before gradually calming down. The Sussex side started the better on a hard, bobbly but grassy surface. The Hayes & Yeading goalkeeper Tyler Wootton did not fill me with confidence despite his height and stature.



A fine finish from the Burgess Hill leading scorer Dan Perry put his side ahead. Soon afterwards Wootton attempted to head a through ball away outside his box but made a real hash of it. Fortunately for him Perry also fluffed his lines with the goal gaping.











Right on the interval I was dismayed when the Hayes & Yeading number nine clearly dived in the area, much to the disgust of his opponents. Remarkably the referee didn’t issue a yellow card for the blatant cheating.

I sought out the bar at half time hoping to see some cricket. Unfortunately MTV was playing some drivel, but the bottle of Deuchars was more than welcome. The bar like the rest of the set up was very tidy.


 










The Middlesex side came out after the interval with intent. I sat on a bench near the corner when the Bedfont Sports secretary joined me for a pleasant chat as he gave me the lowdown on his club. He said that in time they hoped to install a 3G pitch for the main arena and install a small stand near to where we were behind the goal. As ever it was nice to hear how other clubs operate and have a good laugh about football in general.



While we were chatting Perry was foiled by the legs of Wootton when clean through. Hayes & Yeading punished the miss as Josh Odunwo levelled. At this point the game could have gone either way. The Hillians were given a great opportunity when the referee awarded them a debatable penalty. Curtis Gaylor saw his shot saved by Wootton.











With just six minutes remaining, Lee Harding controlled a fine cross field pass and then chipped Wootton from twenty yards to win the trophy. I departed with the weather rapidly cooling down missing the presentations from Isthmian League supremo Alan Turvey.



Instead I fancied a drink back in Kingsbury. Local knowledge and an excellent App on my IPhone saw me catching a bus back from Alperton. I was glad I’d made the effort to see a decent enough game at a neat and friendly club.






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