Back in the NHS


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Monday 8th January 2007 ko 19.45

League 2

MILTON KEYNES DONS 2 (McLeod 6 Edds 90)

McLeod missed penalty 35

Wilbraham missed 90

LINCOLN CITY 2 (Forrester 51p Weir-Daley 84)

Morgan sent off 90 (DOGSO)

Att 7,140

Entry – Complimentary (Face value £20)- Main Stand

Programme £2

For the avoidance of any doubt this is not a piece on the rights and wrongs of the former Wimbledon FC’s move to Milton Keynes in 2003. You’d have a hard task to find any football person that agreed with the move, but once that move had been made it did mean that Wimbledon, then rebadged (and the club history surrendered) as MK Dons ended up at a temporary ground- the NHS!

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The Reliable


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Friday 24th August 2007 ko 18.45

South Wales Amateur League Division One

AFC PORTH 3 (Evans 45 72 Snooks 64)


Att 266

Entry £2

Programme £1

On any organised groundhop you want reliability. You want the weather to be fine, the clubs to make the best of their opportunity and at the most basic level you want the teams to turn up at the right place at the right time. But once you’ve got the basics down, you look for cooperation. In the widest sense you look that hoppers, clubs and league understand each others’ compromises but you learn to accept that almost never completely happens. So you look to those hoppers, and clubs who “Get” what you trying to achieve, and unquestionably one club that did in spades was AFC Porth.

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Roofer Madness


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Saturday 19th January 2008 ko 15.00

Northern League Division One

JARROW ROOFING BOLDON COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION 4 (J Gibson 3 Tate 43 Hutchinson 70 Logan 74)


Att 67

Entry £4

Programme £1

So if I were to tell you I watched Jarrow Roofing FC back in the day presumably you’d assume that  I was visiting Jarrow? And let’s face it, 99 times out of a 100 that logic would be correct, but Jarrow Roofing never did quite fit in.  The fact of the matter is that 13 years ago I was heading to Boldon Colliery near Sunderland, and yes and it may be only 3-and-a-half miles between the two places but the distance between the two wasn’t a matter of semantics.

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Sunday 18th February 2007 ko 14.00

Welsh League Division 3

YSTRADGYNLAIS 3 (Hopkins 37p Maggs 82 86)

CWMBRAN CELTIC (Williamson 9 32 Cheedy 16)

Att 47

Entry & Programme £2

When I put together these articles, I tend to ask myself the same question and that’s “Why would someone visit here?” but in this case I think there are two more pressing things to answer! The first and please forgive the mauling of the Welsh language is “Ustra-Gun-Lice” the name means ‘Vale of the river Cynlais’ these days the River Tawe, which gives Abertawe, or Swansea its name. That tells you a little of your second question, the town is roughly 16 miles north west of Swansea.

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The Late Hamlet


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Friday 2nd February 2007 ko 19.45

Eastern Counties League Division One

HAVERHILL ROVERS 2 (Heller 51 Abbott 88)

ELY CITY 2 (Johnston 41 Warren 90)

Att c200

Entry £3.50

Programme £1

I must admit I hadn’t realised this was one of the Eastern Counties League’s regular Friday night fixtures until I started to put this together! Its odd how a game 14 years ago was a portent of things to come! But here the reason for being at Hamlet Croft was straightforward, the ground was due for demolition, so that probably had something to do with why there was a bumper crowd. Continue reading

The Kings Arms


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Wednesday 8th October 2008 ko 19.45

Midland Combination Premier Division

MEIR K.A. 4 (Baker 7 Mizkeil 15 Barrass 18 Coulston 66)

BROCTON 3 (Wylde 24 McLeod 37 McMahon 76)

Att 95 at Kings Park, Meir Heath

Entry £5

Programme £1

Memories are strange things- the two details I remember most about visiting Kings Park was that the Sat Nav failed completely just after collecting GroundhopUK’s Chris Berezai at Castle Donington, and the cover behind the goal at the ground once saw service at Alton Towers- it sheltered the platform at the miniature railway! Other than that I wonder how on earth we got there, this was before the days of reliable mobile data and maps, and yet somehow we made kickoff- maybe groundhopper sixth sense does exist. Continue reading



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Sunday 11th May 2008 12.30

Scottish Premier League

CELTIC 2 (McManus 37 McDonald 87)


Canning sent off (2nd Booking) 83

Murray sent off (DOGSO) 90

Att 58,515

Entry £26

Programme £2.50

Now you might find this hard to believe but this was actually something to do break up a journey home to Oxfordshire!  Watching a game at Wick Academy had become a mission, and so when I finally managed to get it done at the third attempt a day earlier I  sat in a cheap hotel in Perth contemplating a beast of journey home! It needed something to break up the drive back to Banbury, so a few days earlier I’d looked for a game on the way. I’m not sure why I hadn’t thought about Celtic, it certainly isn’t due to any sectarian thoughts, you’re reading the thoughts of the product of a Protestant father and a Catholic mother after all! Continue reading

Racing Colours


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Saturday 26th December 2009 ko 15.00

Scottish Premier League

MOTHERWELL 1 (Jennings 39)

ST JOHNSTONE 3 (McDonald 55 58 71)

Att 4,140

Entry £22 

Programme £2.50

It wasn’t the most straightforward of Boxing Days. I was still with the ex-wife back in 2009 and we’d finally managed to cope with parental Christmas blackmail (“If you don’t spend Christmas Day with us we won’t bother celebrating it” – How could we be in two places at once??) by booking ourselves into a log cabin in the Lake District for Christmas week. Perhaps the familial gods saw what we did – we promptly got snowed in, and I needed a tow just to get the shopping home! In the end, I ended up parking up half-a-mile from the cabin just to allow myself transport while we were there. It also had the (un) intended benefit of allowing me to go to football!

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The Percy Point


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Saturday 24th January 2009 ko 11.00

Northern Alliance First Division

PERCY MAIN AMATEURS 2 (Betts 46 McEnaney 72)


Att 61

Entry £1

Programme 50p

If a small football club’s management is reading this and wants a one-off financial boost they could do worse than read this- with the one caveat being don’t try this if your club will be on an organised hop in the near future. Because even after 11 years after the event the adage still holds true- kick off at a weird time and do programme and you will attract groundhoppers. Continue reading

The Bible Club


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Saturday 24th January 2009 ko 15.00

Scottish League Division One

QUEEN OF THE SOUTH 2 (Dobbie 10 Tosh 56p)

PARTICK THISTLE 2 (Doolan 17 Chaplain 77)

Att 2,811

Entry £15

Programme £2

Iain and I go back a mighty long way, back to the late 1990’s working for a high street bank with a CEO without a “Shred” of dignity, I met him once!. We didn’t meet in the most auspicious of ways, a 2 week business banking course at a golfing hotel just outside of Tewkesbury. I don’t play golf, and Iain couldn’t take his clubs on the plane down from Dumfries each week. We were bored, the hotel isolated, with an expensive bar, and the fruit machine was seeming set against us. We passed (somehow) despite another delegate having his room completely emptied by a burgler (save for a pair of underpants) on the final night, but we kept in contact.

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