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, August 6, 2017

Newhaven


Newhaven FC is a non-league football club formed in 1887, who are located in the ferry port of the same name at the mouth of the River Ouse in East Sussex; around ten miles east of Brighton.


After playing local football, Newhaven joined the Brighton, Hove & District Football League, until the end of the 1919–20 season. The 10920-21 campaign saw the introduction of the Sussex County League, with ‘The Dockers’ competing as founder members.


The club amassed several top ten finishes in Division One before the team lifted the league title in the 1953-54 season. In 1964-65 Newhaven were relegated to Division Two; before returning to the top tier just twelve months later as league runners-up.


A further relegation came to the Fort Road club in 1967-68. It would take until the 1971-72 season before Newhaven returned to Division One. A second league title followed shortly after in the 1973-74 campaign.

The fluctuations at the club continued as the team went back down to Division Two at the completion of the 1975-76 season. Fifteen years were spent at that level before Newhaven won Division Two in 1990-91 to regain their Division One status.


In 1994-95 the side went back down to Division Two, and this was followed by a further demotion to Division Three in 1998-99. The Division Three title was secured in 2011-12 as the club had an upsurge in fortunes.

Newhaven ended the 2012-13 Division Two campaign as runners-up to return to Division One. The Sussex County League was retitled in the summer of 2015 to become the Southern Combination, with the old Division One becoming the Premier Division.


The Dockers benefitted from the name change as they weighed in with a third place and then ninth place finish in the 2016-17 season under managers Sean Breach and Andy Cook at the Trafalgar Ground.

Newhaven FC will play in the Southern Combination Premier Division in the 2017-18 season.



My visit

Monday 24th July 2017


Every so often my hobby offers up a wonderful surprise regarding the standard of a ground. Newhaven was to be a classic example.

After alighting at Newhaven Town station from the number 10 bus, I crossed the bridge over the River Ouse and walked along the side of the water before reaching Fort Road. Around ten minutes later I arrived at the sports field; with Newhaven Cricket Club and then the football club across the green.


The football ground was locked, but the perimeter fence low enough for me to see down the near side. The fantastic Main Stand stood out like a beacon across the pitch. I wandered onto Castle Hill to get a proper view.


Both ends had open seating; which could well have come from Withdean Stadium. The cricket field side had a thin section of flat open standing. The two tier Main Stand was all seated with club rooms at the rear upstairs. It was flanked by open standing.

The hill behind the goal offered perfect viewing and contained a hard court for ball sports, a skate and BMX track and a turfed obstacle track for bikes and motor cycles. The site of the old fort was at the summit of the hill, with the ferry port to the distance on the right.


Once complete I retraced my tracks while arranging a forthcoming Scarborough Athletic away trip with a good pal while keeping an eye on the bus title before jumping on the excellent number 10 coastal service at the Elim Church towards Peacehaven.






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