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

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Chalfont St Peter

Chalfont St Peter AFC is a football club from the delightful south east Buckinghamshire village of the same name who were formed in 1926, initially playing in local league football and playing at Gold Hill Common.

In 1948 the club became members of Division Two of the Great Western Combination, from where they won promotion at the first attempt. The Saints moved into a new ground called Mill Meadow on Gravel Hill in 1949, before joining the Parthenon League for the 1958-59 season where they remained for two campaigns before moving to the London League.

Chalfont St Peter joined the Spartan League for the 1962-63 campaign, with seventh place finishes in 1964-65 and 1966-67 being their best return. Chalfont became founder members of the London Spartan League in 1975-76 where they won the Division Two title.

The club moved to Division Two of the Athenian League for 1976-77 before the league was reduced to one division for the following season. The Saints finished as league runners-up in 1983-84.

Another change of competition came in 1984-85 as Chalfont St Peter became members of the Isthmian League Division Two North. Owing to the geographical make up of the league, the club was moved to Division Two South for the 1986-87 season.

In 1987-88 the Saints won the divisional title and were promoted to Division One. They remained there before being relegated in 1993-94. A further demotion came in 1999-00 to Division Three, where they remained until that particular division became Division Two following re-organising in 2002.

The league was abolished in 2006 following a re-organisation of non-league football. Chalfont St Peter were transferred to the Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division, as Danny Edward’s young side finished as runners-up in 2007-08.

The 2008-09 campaign saw the Saints go on a fantastic FA Vase run which saw victories against Totting & Eling, Clanfield, Selsey, Dunston Federation, Christchurch and Needham Market to take the club to the semi-final stage where they were defeated on penalties by Glossop North End.

In 2009-10 Chalfont finished as league runners-up once again but they weren’t to be denied the following season as the team won the Spartan South Midlands League title as well as lifting the Challenge Cup to be promoted to the Southern League Division One Central.

After several seasons finishing in the bottom third of the table, the Saints ended up just outside the play off zone in sixth place in the 2015-16 season, before eighteenth position in 2016-17 as Danny Edwards continued his fine work in the managers seat.

Chalfont St Peter will play in the Southern League Division One Central in the 2017-18 season.

My visit

Chalfont St Peter 0 Ashford Town 0 (Saturday 19th November 2016) Southern League Division One Midland (Att: 68)

My early shift took me to Uxbridge, where my luck was in. My relief Andy, was also a sports fan who understood my passion for getting to different events. He came and took me off a few minutes early so that I could catch the 740 bus at 2.30pm.

I was delighted to eventually visit Chalfont St. Peter. I was close to going to an FA Cup tie in 2012 against Bishop Stortford with Dave Cammish, but I overslept after night shift.

My transport on this occasion deposited me in the pretty village at the bottom of High Street from where I walked along the banks of the River Misbourne and past the playground to the entrance of Mill Meadow, where I paid my £9 admission fee, which included a programme.

Mill Meadow was a neat enough venue. The village end had a decent sized covered seated stand, with a smaller version at the other end. The old Main Stand was out of commission, with many of the views from the seats redundant. That side had a small cover as well as flat open standing. The river side had a narrow open standing area.

Once I’d done a lap of the ground, while keeping an eye on the pitch, I purchased a small but tasty cheeseburger and a tea for £4. This turned out to be the most compelling action for the following hour or so.

I'll be kind about the match and call it utter garbage on a soft bobbly pitch. I think there was only one save of any note in the entire ninety minutes, when the home keeper kept out an effort with his legs from a rare foray.

If some of the players had the same football ability as they did for snarling at each other and the referee it would have been far more enjoyable.

Just before full time I spoke to an old fella who turned out to be a scout for Hitchin Town. They could have faced Chalfont in the next round of the FA Trophy if the home side won their replay the following Tuesday.

His reaction was much the same as mine. It was the worst game we’d seen all season, and by some distance. I headed home by bus to Amersham and then a train and tube in time for the second half of Tottenham Hotspur v West Ham United. In short it had been a good tick, but a crap match.

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