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

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Clachnacuddin




Clachnacuddin FC is a semi professional football club from the Merkinch area of the Highland city of Inverness in the north of Scotland who were formed in 1885.

‘The Lillywhites’ have proven to be one of the foremost clubs in the Highland League, which they became founder members of in 1893. Clach had been crowned as champions three times before the turn of the century.



That success continued as an incredible six titles were collected in the first decade of the new century along with a plethora of Inverness Cup victories. Seven more league wins arrived at Grant Street Park before World War Two as well as a fine Scottish Cup run which attracted a home gate of 8,850 against St Johnstone in January 1948.

However, peacetime was not one of celebration to Clach supporters as several barren seasons were to ensue. It would be 1974-75 before the seventeenth Highland League title was won. The cup competitions were kinder to the club.



Following the merger of Inverness rivals Caledonian and Thistle and promotion of near neighbours Ross County in 1994 Clach looked to impose themselves in the league.


Yet it took until 2003-04 before the club won the title once more; crowning a fine season by also lifting the League Cup and finishing runners up in the SFA Challenge Cup (North).




My visit

Wednesday 21st January 2015

Finding myself with a couple of hours to kill before my train south to the evening match between Dundee and Kilmarnock, I decided to have a walk and seek out Grant Street to take some photos.

I needed some fresh air after trying out several local pubs the night before following the Inverness Caledonian Thistle v St Johnstone match. My guest house was pretty basic so I figured that a walk followed by food would set me up for the day.



Despite decent planning I was soon to realise that Inverness was a bigger city than I anticipated when looking at a map. This was not helped as I took a wrong turning and headed up Telford Street. In fact I got to the retail park where Caledonian once played before the alarm bells started ringing.

It was an icy morning and some of the pavements were tricky as I cut through a housing estate and past Merkinch Primary School. I had definitely added the best part of a mile onto my journey and time was getting on. I was starting to get concerned whether I’d have time to complete my task.



The floodlights of Grant Street Park peered tantalisingly through the housing but I had to go right round Kilmuir Street to the main entrance. The gates were locked but I got a view through a fence. Fortunately a clear view was obtained over the low perimeter gate off Pumpgate Court.

Grant Street was open down the far side and behind the entrance goal, where the club facilities lay bordered by the building of the Inverness Bible Fellowship. A seated stand straddled the half way line near my view, with a decent sized covered terrace behind the other goal.  



I scurried away and saw a young lady waiting at a nearby bus stop on Grant Street. She confirmed that a bus was due into the town centre. Sure enough the service soon arrived and dropped me by the Post Office; just a hundred yards or so from the station.

After grabbing some snacks for the ride I got on board a delightful train ride along the banks of the Moray Forth and through several towns I’d only heard of because of the football coupon.

I’d enjoyed my first ever visit to The Highlands.








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