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

Friday, November 13, 2015

BK Frem (Denmark)

Boldklubben Frem, to give them their full title, is a semi-professional football club who are located in the south western Valby-Sydhavnen area of Copenhagen. Frem were formed on the 17th July 1886 as Fremskridtsklubbens Cricketklub.

The young studious men who formed the club were from the Venstre Reform Party, which was hostile to the government of the time. The club was a mask to hide political activity. Football was introduced, with the club changing their name to Boldklubben Frem, stiftet af Fremskridtsklubben, meaning ‘The Ball Club Forward, founded by the Progress Club’.

The club were Copenhagen Cricket Champions in 1894 and 1898.

The club started out playing games at Blegdamsfælleden on Østerbro. In 1902 Frem became the first unofficial champions of Denmark. In 1905, the club moved to its own field at Enghavevej, Vesterbro, to enhance their working class profile. The club won the official championship of Denmark in 1922-23, 1930-31, 1932-33, 1935-36, 1940-41 and 1943-44.

The last of those titles came after Frem moved to Valby Idrætspark in 1942. For many years Frem continued along in the top flight. In 1956 a 1-0 victory over AB (Akademisk Boldklub) saw the club lift the Danish Cup in front of 23,000 fans at Idrætsparken in Copenhagen as Bent Jørgensen starred.

The 1967-68 season saw Inter-Cities Fairs Cup football arrive with a defeat to Athletic Bilbao. Further forays into the UEFA Cup lasted no further than the second round. In 1978 the Danish Cup was won for a second time. Esbjerg fB were beaten 5-4 on penalties after a replay at Idrætsparken in front of a poor gate of just 2,300.

The 1980’s saw Frem hit financial problems. Eventually the club was declared bankrupt in 1993 and were demoted to the fourth tier Denmark Series as the debts built up and the club was accused of fraud.

Frem pulled themselves around and fought their way back to the second tier First Division. The 2002-03 season saw the side finish in second place and win promotion to the Superliga. However, this would be a solitary campaign in the top flight as they finished second bottom.

After settling back in to First Division football, the club went bankrupt once again in 2010. This time they were demoted to the fifth tier Copenhagen Series. Brewing giants Carlsberg decided to lend their neighbours a helping hand by offering sponsorship. This kind gesture led to Frem battling back to the third tier Second Division.

BK Frem will play in Division Two Group 2 in the 2015-16 season.

My visit

Sunday 8th November 2015

Copenhagen had lived up to my expectations. I was only there for a day; primarily to sightsee and go to the high octane local derby between Brøndby IF and F.C. København. However, after a good walk around the city centre I wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity to go and visit a couple of local clubs on the way to my match.

The regular service took me from Nørreport station to Ny Ellebjerg St. I immediately spotted the tall floodlights of Valby Idrætspark, but I was at a total loss on how to leave the station at the same side.

After going this way and that I set off on a long walk along Carl Jacobsens Veg and then over the railway bridge down the main Gammel Køge Landevej. I was determined not to check the map App on my IPhone, but when I hit the junction by McDonalds I gave in.

It’s as well that I did. I would have continued instead of going under the other railway along Ellebjergveg and Julius Andersens Veg past the clubhouse and to the stadium entrance. It appeared that there was residential accommodation for sportsmen and women adjoining the stadium.

The main gates were shut, so I went down the alley and found a blue gate that was unlocked, so I went inside for a proper look.

Valby Idrætspark was a proper old football ground. The stand out feature was the multi-barrelled roofed all seated Main Stand, which had been built in 1965. The near end behind the goal had two small sections of open standing on frames. The far end appeared to be similar. The far touchline had around ten rows of open terracing down the full length of the pitch.

There were plenty of facilities for fans behind the goal, by way of snack bars and a club shop. Litter was still on the floor from the previous evening’s clash, which had seen Frem maintain their spot at the top of the table following a 3-2 win against Nykøbing.

I departed and headed towards my next port of call; Hvidovre IF. I was delighted to find a nearby bus stop that would take me directly!

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