May 14th


Forum Admin
Staff member
Dec 7, 2019
Cheltenham Town
Eric Morecambe was born today in 1926, with the name John Eric Bartholomew
His stage name, Morecambe comes from his town of birth
He was famously a Luton Town supporter

Whether you saw Luton, Morecambe or anyone else on this date, we want to hear about it here

Stoodley Pike

Youth Team Star
Dec 9, 2019
Friday 14th May 2004
Weymouth Wildcats 43 Mildenhall Fen Tigers 52
Conference Trophy (7.30)
A few hundred watching
Programme £1.50 (16pp)

One of my dafter trips. Having missed Radipole Lane (1954-85), Weymouth’s previous track, I was keen to see a meeting at their new place, built on waste land at the back of Weymouth FC’s Wessex Stadium. The football ground had been constructed on the footprint of the former speedway and greyhound racing stadium. In 2004, the circuit was in its second season of operation. I drove down from Leeds, watched the meeting then, after conducting a few interviews, headed back. A tortuous route from and to the M5.

As I recall, I kipped in the car somewhere in benighted Somerset (Bridgwater Services, possibly) then, the following afternoon, saw a Gloucestershire versus Northumberland County Championship rugby union match at Lydney’s Regentsholme ground. Just as well I made the effort to trek to the Dorset coast because the Weymouth circuit is no more. Once neat and tidy, it’s been recolonised by Nature.

At the time of this match, Mildenhall were sweeping all before them in the third tier. Many felt the Fen Tigers line-up was too strong for this level of racing. The track surface must have been in tip-top condition this Friday evening because the Wessex Stadium (same name as the footy) track record was broken twice in the first five heats. Wildcats No 1 David Mason clocked 54.3 in the opener before, four races later, opposite number Paul Lee lowered it to 53.5. Weymouth, without the injured Jason Prynne (his absence at No 2 was covered by Clayton Chubb), kept in touch by exploiting the tactical ride regulations. Even so, Mildenhall had the points in the bag by heat 13.

Chris Courage (15 from five, including a tactical ride double score), Mason (11+2 from five, including a tactical ride double score) and Oxford Silver Machine loanee Wayne Barrett (8+1 from four) spearheaded Wildcats’ challenge. Only a last ride engine failure denied a full maximum to Mildenhall’s Jon Armstrong (12). Team-mate Ritchie Hawkins (16 from six) top-scored for the visitors.

I remember enjoying the evening’s racing (simply had to, of course, having trekked so far!) on a tight track but Speedway Star’s Weymouth correspondent Ray Collins ended his match report: “So, an impressive display from easily the strongest team to appear at Weymouth since the reopening. There is no doubt at all Mildenhall deserved their win but, paradoxically, racing wise this was the least interesting meeting of the season.”

Wildcats: Chris Courage 15, David Mason 11+2, Wayne Barrett 8+1, Carl Warwick 3+2, Jack Gledhill 3, Mark Thompson 3, Clayton Chubb 0 – 43

Fen Tigers (r/r for Jason King): Ritchie Hawkins 16, Jon Armstrong 12, Paul Lee 8+1, Adam Roynon 8+1, Lee Smart 5+2, Tony Dart 3+1 – 52

My then-employer, the Press Association, had the lucrative ITV Teletext contract. We were attempting to provide bespoke content for the regional news and sport pages. As a result, I’d had a few dealings with enthusiastic Wildcats promoter Brian White. It was good to meet in person. White, a former childhood fan of, and rider for, Weymouth, had long dreamt of bringing the sport back to the resort.

Wildcats commercial manager Jon Dixon sounded an optimistic note in his Commercial Corner programme column: “The buzz around town is really starting to filter back to me and businesses in the local area are getting behind the Weymouth Wildcats and supporting us.”

Sadly, it didn’t last, despite Wildcats winning the Conference League championship in 2008. The track closed in 2010 after a life of just eight years. Failure to pay rent appears to have been the issue. All infrastructure was subsequently razed. It seems the football club don’t want speedway back. Of late, Wildcats have been sharing Poole’s Wimborne Road circuit, an arrangement the British Speedway Promoters Association (BSPA) is no longer prepared to sanction. The enthusiasts running this latest incarnation of Weymouth Speedway continue to search, in and around the town, for a suitable site.


Riccall United 2 Dunnington 2 AET, 14-13 on penalties (2015, York League, Senior Cup, Semi-Final). Tight game decided by an epic penalty shootout, the longest I’ve seen. In rapidly fading light, Dunnington missed four kicks, Riccall four. The visitors had the chances to win over 90 minutes. They led from the 19th but were rocked by two Riccall goals in the last three of the first half. Dunnington equalised in the 68th minute before 2015 Premier Division champions Riccall fluffed a one-on-one during stoppage time. Forty-nine spectators enjoyed this treat at a fairly featureless - no more than a railed pitch with permanent dugouts - Vale of York ground behind the village’s community centre.

Other sports:

Cricket at Huddersfield League Moorlands (2017) and at Northern Premier League Penrith (2016). Penrith was a work thing, primarily: putting together a magazine article about the club’s 150th anniversary, I needed to interview the chairman and take some pictures. Penrith’s tidy Tynefield Park ground is overlooked by Cross Fell. Visitors Blackpool won by 93 runs. Mirfield-based Moorlands, their set-up alongside the A644 rather less attractive, lost by eight wickets to top-flight Bradford League visitors Hanging Heaton in the second round of the Heavy Woollen District Challenge Cup.

Kippax Knights 40 Nottingham Outlaws 22 (2011, rugby league, Conference National). This was rip-roaring entertainment for the 140 in attendance at a basic ground. A young Outlaws side, looking for a first win of the season after three away defeats, contributed fully to an exciting Longdike Lane contest, despite losing two players to nasty-looking injuries. Kippax could never completely shake them off. Knights scored eight tries to Nottingham's four as the teams coped well with a strong wind.

Middlesbrough Bears 40 Coventry Bees 50 (1992, speedway, BSPA Cup, Round One). Decent effort from Middlesbrough against First Division opposition. When their skipper, Australian Steve Regeling (13+1), won heat 10, Bears trailed by only two points. But Coventry then reeled off three heat wins to reassert their authority. Bees captain Tommy Knudsen, a Dane, scored a five-ride maximum, with ex-Bear Paul Bentley, whose evening was spoiled by a heat 14 tumble, and Andy Smith each chipping in with 10+1.


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Junior Team Sub
Apr 6, 2020
Tottenham Hotspur
Wingate & Finchley
1982/83 Orient 4 Sheffield United 1 (4468) Div 3
1987/88 Liverpool 0 Wimbledon 1 (98,203) FA Cup Final
1994/95 Spurs 1 Leeds United 1 (33,040) Prem Lge
2013/14 Cockfosters 2 Stotfold 1 (set) (102) SM Floodlit Cup Final
2014/15 Hendon 2 Met Police 1 (367) Ist Lge Prem Div Play Off
2015/16 Cuffley 2 Evergreen 3 (23) HCL Prem Div
2016/17 Spurs 2 Manchester United 1 (31,848) Prem Lge


Junior Team Regular
Dec 7, 2019
North West non-league
Just one on 14 May...

2012 - Rushall Olympic 3 Brocton 0 (HT 2-0) - Walsall Senior Cup Final
My 2nd of 2 visits to the Bescot Stadium - Attendance 405

I'm not an expert on the Walsall area, and this takes me to the very boundary of my normal regular football ventures... though I did also go to the previous year's Walsall Senior Cup Final. This time it was a freezing night - I had to stop at the services on the M6 on the way just in case, as a massive hailstorm came down for 20 mins or so. Arriving at the ground I did a quick crowd estimate in case it wasn't announced - I noted c200. Actual announced figure 405. The star of the show for Rushall Olympic was my favourite player from the previous year's final - Ahmed Obeng and he as good as scored the 1st goal - though officially given as an own goal - on 21 mins. Then from a corner Kyle Brady slammed one home just before the break for 2-0. Game was flatter at the start of the 2nd half... not many chances at all until Rushall's Brady hit the post with 11 mins left. Then it was all wrapped up on 88 mins from a great chip by Luke Bottomer as the keeper just couldn't keep it out - probably technically an own goal, but definitely awarded to Bottomer. So great win for Rushall as they retained the trophy.


Reserve Team Starter
Dec 7, 2019
Crewe Alexandra.
Thursday @ 20-15.
Croatian Cup Final 2nd Leg.

Croatia Zagreb 2 v 1 Varteks Varazdin
.Maksimir Stadium , Zagreb.

See the source image

Croatia Zagreb - Drazen Ladic , Danijel Saric , Tomislav Rukavina , Dario Simic , Stepjan Tomas , Krunoslav Jurcic , Edin Mujcin , Robert Prosinecki , Mark Viduka (1), Silvio Maric(1) , Mihael Mikic.
Subs - Damir Krznar for Mujcin , Igor Biscan for Mikic , Tomislaw Sokota for Saric.
Manager - Zlatko Kranjcar.

Varteks Varazdin - Ivaca Solomun , Ivan Rezic , Samir Toplak , Drazen Besek , Robert Tezacki , Zoran Kastel , Drazen Madunovic , Danijel Hrman , Marko Topic (1) , Miljenko Mumiek , Andrija Balajic.
Subs - Mario Obadic for Kastel , Dejan Car for Tezacki , Drazen Horvat for Balajic.
Player Manager - Drazen Besek.

Referee - Edo Trivkovic (Split).

The second leg of this Cup Final and a revisit to the Maksimir Stadium in Zagreb , I had other choices as I was on another InterRail but the thought of seeing Prosinecki again in his pomp swayed the decision. There was another chap playing for Croatia who would later make it good in Scotland / England , a young Mark Viduka was scoring regularly and the scouts were swarming.
He began the following season at Croatia and they were to keep him until out of Europe, he helped to beat Celtic in the 2nd Q Round in August and then in December he signed for them. £3-5 million for the Hoops , he earned an interesting nickname at Celtic = FLB ( Fat lazy b------). Immediately on signing he left for Australia claiming the stress had got to him and the deal was off. He returned and made his debut in February 1999 with all his toys in the pram this time.

Prosinecki =CLASS. Enough said.

Croatia had won 1-0 in Varazdin on the previous Wednesday evening (6th) , but was there a shock on the cards in the 2nd leg , Varteks took a bit of pressure and then struck before half time with a Topic goal.

That was the plan again for the 2nd half but Croatia (Prosinecki) turned it on and goals by Viduka 5 mins into the half swung it and Maric wrapped it up 10 mins from the end.

This was the third consecutive double for Croatia.

Croatia have a chequered past. They say they were formed in 1911 but that team DZG were banned in April 1945 by the new Communist government for playing in the War Time football League which was sponsored by fascists.

FD Dinamo were formed on the 9th of June 1945. After Yugoslavia was dissolved , Dinamo left the Yugoslavian League in 1991 and became HASK Gradinski in the Croatian League for a short while , then were renamed Croatia Zagreb in Feb 93 this lasted until Feb 2000 when they became Dinamo Zagreb.

They really only thought about their formation in the 90's and then again in the early 2000's , the club now consider they were formed in 1911 , others do not. Take your pick.

35 x games , 3 x doubles , 2 x 0-0's.


Junior Team Hopeful
May 10, 2020
On this date (May 14th) I went to the following games:
2014 – Cockfosters 2 Stotfold 1 AET (South midlands floodlit cup final)
2015 – Hendon 2 Met Police 1 (Ryman League premier division play-off semi-final)
2016 – Deportivo Galicia 1 Hillingdon 0 (Middlesex county league premier)


Reserve Team Hopeful
Dec 7, 2019
Fife clubs
With the Scottish League and Cup season over by this time in 1977 it was:

Saturday May 14th 1977
Drybrough East of Scotland Junior Cup Final
Bonnyrigg Rose v Newtongrange Star, 0-1, H.T.0-0 Att 1200
At Olive Bank, Musselburgh

Drybrough was the Scottish arm of Watneys and they were very generous in their sponsorship of Junior football. In 1976/7 they backed the main East of Scotland Junior Cup as well as similar Cup in the other five Junior regions. At times they also ran a National Drybrough Cup for the 6 winners, plus two invited clubs. That particular Cup seldom got underway until June each year.

The East of Scotland Cup had existed since Victorian times and was a very prestigious trophy to win. This Final produced a local derby, staged at the neutral venue of Musselburgh Athletic’s Olive Bank ground. Going there today and seeing the neat, tidy surroundings is a far cry from what it was like in 1977. Entry was still down the same lane but the ground was completely overgrown. To get more than 20 yards up either side meant fighting your way through long grass, bushes, bracken, triffids, jaggy nettles and probably Japanese Knotweed as well. A machete would have been a useful accessory although possibly frowned upon by Lothians and Borders finest.

I expect I got the bus down from Princes Street to the city boundary at Seafield. In those days the maroon and white Lothian Buses did not leave the city itself. Musselburgh was served by the green Eastern Scottish services which were far more expensive. From Seafield it was only a five minute walk along to Olive Bank passing the Ship Inn. I’m pretty sure I was on my own for this game so didn’t try and get served – had there been a few of us bravado would probably have required an attempt to get an underage pint.

The match had added spice as both teams were League Champions. Bonnyrigg had won the A Division in midweek thanks to a goalless draw at Linlithgow. Newtongrange, in a rare season in the lower Division B, had won the title.

Rose: Ronnie Sinclair, Wilson Bertram, Ian Henderson, Rab Aitchison, Rab Devlin, Robert Reid, John Buckley, George Henry, Lex Shiedls, David McQueen and Norrie Alexander. Subs Brian Eadie and David Taylor
Star: John Ball, Walter Kidd, Davie Dick, Tam Cropley, Jim “Eeekie” Logan, Mark Leetion, David Small, Alan Reid, Eric Davidson, James Pryde, Allan McLeod. Subs George Neilson, Colin Wood

The referee was Andrew Waddell, currently Lowland League President.

It wasn’t a brilliant game. It was very warm and the pitch could have done with a cut. Walter Kidd, playing one of his final games for Star before stepping up to Hearts, was outstanding. His galloping runs up the right flank posed a constant threat to the Rose defence. However, it looked like the game was heading for a goalless draw and a replay. But with a few minutes left Eric Davidson took advantage of slack marking to dispatch the winner into the corner of the net.

No programme was issued that I saw. Drybrough’s did often produce something for the games they sponsored but apparently not on this occasion.


Youth Team Hopeful
Dec 7, 2019
Only three game on this date, but all good ones, many years apart...

1977 - Division 2 - Blackburn R 1 Fulham 0 - Bobby Moore's last game, and he managed to knock me down during the warmup with a misplaced shot, for which he apologised :cool: Decent game lit up by Moore's control and George Best's genius. But the visitors still managed to lose to a second-half goal by Mitchell. Fulham only finished one point above the relegation zone, but were pretty much safe by this game.

1997 - Division 2 (=3) PO SF 2 - Brentford 2 Bristol C 1 - 2-1 to Bees from the first leg. Great atmosphere at Griffin Park. Bees started well, but the Robins came back into it before half time, still goalless. The visitors started the second half better, and took the lead through Barnard (but were still behind on away goals), and it became even more tense, but a nice goal from Taylor and a winner from Bent took the Bees to Wembley, where they were well beaten 1-0 by Crewe Alex.
Report and highlights here:

2011 - Hampshire League 2004 - Durley 3 Upham 1 - I remember watching this in preference to the FA Cup Final (Man City v Stoke) on TV and it was a good decision. Local derby, 2nd v 3rd, and the home team wanted to keep it that way with a blistering start, first to every ball in what was always a feisty game with a weak ref, but with Upham always dangerous on the break, it was only 2-1 at half time. After the break the visitors were the better team as they looked for the equaliser but were undone in the 80th minute as the ref clearly blew for a foul before Durley scored, but let the goal stand. Cue pandemonium, a red card, and an even more competitive last ten mins, but Durley hung on for the win and would win the league next season.


Junior Team Regular
Dec 7, 2019
Warrington Town are #1, Leeds Utd, Stranraer, Matlock Town, Warrington Wolves RLFC
1991 Bass North West Counties League Champions v Cup Winners

Knowsley United v Vauxhall GM 2-1

1994 Hellenic League Premier Division (@ Cinderford High School)

Cinderford Town v North Leigh 5-0

I arrived with my father on a return leg from a few days at a cottage in Somerset for a family get together. We found the ground with the pitch dug up and prepared for reseeding but were redirected to the venue for the afternoon. It was a roped pitch at a school.

I can’t remember if admission was free but there was a programme available. Quite a bulky issue as I recall. Nothing much to say about the game. The grass was quite long and the most memorable thing which sort of says it all. It was at least bright and sunny as there was no cover.

I did eventually get to do the home ground some years later

1996 PA Rowlands Construction Cymru Alliance Rhydymwyn v Brymbo 3-3

I go past this ground regularly lockdown period aside. It is a really neat little ground for the current level and has changed a little since 1996. The stand has been extended and I was informed it has the old lights from Connah’s Quay Nomad’s former Half Way ground. Cymru Alliance was the peak of their achievements, which was some feat considering the size of the village. They normally issued on those days.

1998 Tyn Lon Volvo Barritt Cup Final (@ Colwyn Bay FC)

Llanrwst United v Nantle Vale 4-1 No prog

1999 Welsh National League (Wrexham Area) Premier Division

Gresford Athletic v Corwen Amateurs 3-0 Regular issuers

2002 Welsh National League (Wrexham Area) Division One

Summerhill United v Mynydd Isa 2-0 (played at Bradley as I recall but on a different pitch – never did get to see Summerhill on their listed home ground. Never issued to my knowledge.

2005 Wade Associates Northern Alliance Premier Division (@ Melbourne Park, Carlisle)

Northbank Carlisle v Ponteland United 1-3

A temporary venue for NC but I can’t remember why. They did play a few away games that season though I think. This was an enclosed pitch and roped partially at most. It was very basic and had no changing facilities pitch side that I remember. As usual they produced a fabulous match programme but I had to ask for one. They were kept in a kit bag. None were offered for sale and the crowd was very small. Returned for a family rendezvous in Kendal where my brother lived. Another sunny afternoon.

2008 South Lancs Counties Youth (U-18's) Division Cup Final (@ Ashton Town FC)

Knowsley South v Warrington Town Youth Lost 1-0 No prog. Ground unchanged in years and still is the same

2009 Llandyrnog & District Village Clubs Summer League Ysceifiog v Cefn 3-1


MacWhirter Welsh League Division Three

Cwmbran Town v Briton Ferry Llansawel 1-1

A revisit to the stadium for me in this morning kick off

MacWhirter Welsh League Division Three

Goytre v Cardiff Grange Harlequins 2-4 Great ground tucked away in the hills and valleys of the Gwent borders.

2012 Llandyrnog & District Village Clubs Summer League

Henllan v Llanfair Dyffryn Clwyd Won 5-1 (prog as always @ Henllan bar one season circa 2017)

2013 Guy Walmsley Solicitors Welsh National League (Wrexham Area) Premier Division

Penyffordd v Corwen Amateurs (T336) 1-2 (Possibly at the Castle Cement ground by this time, possibly still at the school?). Possibly the day Len S issued for them, or encouraged them to.

2016 FBT Manchester League Premier Division Uppermill v Atherton Town 0-2

A pleasant spot on a sunny afternoon. Prog courtesy of Len S

2019 Warrington & District League Premier Division

Parklands v St. Michaels DH 5-1 Played at a school in Widnes and not their normal ground. An excellent game as usual for this league/division. Naturally no prog


Junior Team Star
Dec 10, 2019
Bristol City
St Albans City
Verulam Cycling Club
FA Cup Final
Liverpool 0-1 Wimbledon
Attendance; 98,203

I knew a Bristol City supporter who married into a long-standing Wimbledon-supporting family, so I spent a magic weekend with them in South London.

On the day of the game we travelled in a convoy of London double-decker buses full of Dons fans to Wembley. Inside the ground we were well outnumbered, with plenty of Liverpool fans in the official Wimbledon end, which certainly engendered an underdog mentality in our part of the crowd. And despite the team finishing seventh in the first division that season, Wimbledon were firm underdogs on the pitch as they were thirty-three points behind champions Liverpool. But whatever you think about how they got there, it was a magnificent achievement to reach these heady heights just eleven years after winning the Southern League Premier Division. It didn't worry me as I got fully involved emotionally and cried at the end as the cup was lifted by Dave Beasant.

The return trip was slow, and as we got closer to Wimbledon Common more and more people were waving at our convoy of buses. We finally came to a halt only to be overtaken by the team bus which had Bobby Gould waving the FA Cup at us. Eventually the buses could go no further due to the number of people spilling out of the pubs so we disembarked and joined in.

The next day my friend and I had to get to Ashton Gate for a playoff game but the crowds massing to see the open-top bus parade around Wimbledon station were so large that we had to use a different station. It was a shame to leave the party but we had important business to attend to in Bristol.


Junior Team Sub
Dec 10, 2019
Saturday 14 May 1983
Season Terrace 3-2 (AET) Wigton @ Seaton Delaval
Northern Alliance Subsidiary Cup Final
Attendance: 210
Admission charged, no prog

This was a hugely enjoyable afternoon, largely due to the venue. A new Seaton Delaval team had been accepted into the following season’s Northern Alliance and before even kicking a ball they were rewarded by staging a cup final. It was quite a big deal on the local scene as I remember a press report stating that they’d been without a team since something like the late 60s. A bit later I discovered that the old club had been pretty decent, with spells in the North-Eastern League and Northern Alliance. Not only that, but they’d played at Wheatridge Park throughout that time and somehow the ground had survived despite the absence of a senior team.

As the ground was just off the main road, I’d passed it a number of times previously but was never sure whether it was a football ground. There was no definite sign of football - I think there were allotments alongside the road and beyond that you could clearly see a brick building and a load of wooden boards, maybe even old doors nailed together. A path led through the allotments to another wooden door that looked like it was actually meant to be a door, but it was a mystery what lay beyond - it could have been a football ground or simply more allotments, probably the latter given that I’d never heard of Seaton Delaval having a football team.

Anyway, it turned out to be a football ground packed with history. The wooden door I could see was indeed the main spectator entrance and this was possibly the only Alliance ground taking admission at the time. The other wooden boards were the boundary fence, making for quite a tightly enclosed ground, another Alliance rarity. And the brick building was the changing rooms & club room, which had a covered stand and dugouts in front, while the pitch was fully railed and there may even have been a small section of terracing, all of which made for a cracking ground for this level.

As for the game, I recall it being an entertaining affair with almost everyone supporting Terrace, not surprising given that their Bates Welfare base was a 20 minute walk away in Holywell while their opponents were from the other side of the country. I also had it in my mind that Wigton had sent two teams to Northumberland that day in order to play a league fixture at the same time - this is something they did on rare occasions but I’m not so sure they would have done it when playing a cup final.

Transport would have been a 16 mile round trip on the bike. Not the easiest of journeys but I always enjoyed going back to Wheatridge Park and made the effort when possible. I haven’t been back for many years but I don’t think the place has changed much and it’s great to see that Delaval have enjoyed an unbroken membership throughout that time.

Kirby Knitters

Reserve Team Star
Dec 7, 2019
The Knitters.
Division 1.
Tottenham Hotspur 2 Leicester City 0. (26,094)
After escaping the drop the previous season by a solitary point this time Tottenham's luck ran out. Needing to win and hope others lost they did their part with goals from Jimmy Holmes and John Pratt but West Ham got a point at Anfield, a result which gave the Reds the title and kept the Hammers up.

Division 2.
Leicester City 0 Burnley 0. (29,376)
City were promoted back to the top flight after a two year absence but could have made things so much easier and saved a couple of weeks of nail biting frustration with a win in this game as the only challengers to the final promotion spot were Fulham who lost 1-0 at Derby but the game was abandoned with two minutes of play left because of a pitch invasion and an assault by a home fan on a Fulham player. After an FA inquiry into the incident the result stood and Leicester were up.

NOFV Oberliga Nord.
Berliner FC Dynamo 3 Brandenburger SC Sud 1.
Prog. €1
Att. 341.


Reserve Team Starter
Dec 7, 2019
Crewe Alexandra.
2013 Guy Walmsley Solicitors Welsh National League (Wrexham Area) Premier Division

Penyffordd v Corwen Amateurs (T336) 1-2 (Possibly at the Castle Cement ground by this time, possibly still at the school?). Possibly the day Len S issued for them, or encouraged them to.
I would guess at Hanson Cement Ground , I was at their opener (?) there on 23/08/2011.
Bantam / SteveB can confirm whether opening game there , sure Bantam biked it.

Plenty of mention of dates / visits / programmes etc -
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Mark Hardy

Junior Team Starter
Dec 7, 2019
Newport YMCATreharris Athletic Western14/05/112-1Welsh League 3
Risca UnitedNewport Civil Service14/05/113-0Welsh League 2
BettwsCardiff Corinthians14/05/163-0Welsh League 3
Forest Green RoversTranmere Rovers14/05/173-1Conf P/o Final


Youth Team Regular
Dec 7, 2019
Sunderland AFC,
Keighley Cougars RLFC
Nationwide League Division 1 Play-off Semi Final 1st Leg
Crystal Palace 3-2 Sunderland
Att: 25,287

An air of unpleasantness around this one. I remember arguing with one of the Met's finest at half time over some of his heavy handedness, and there was a bit of bother when Palace fans came onto the pitch after the match and attacked some of the Sunderland supporters at the front of the Arthur Wait stand which happened to include the disabled section. My eldest son, who is a Palace supporter and was in the home end with my ex-wife, was 9 at the time and was in tears when I met up with him after the game.

After a goalless first 45, the game sprang to life in the second half. On 51 minutes, Tony Popovic brought down Carl Robinson in the box. Palace felt he won the ball, but the referee pointed to the spot and Marcus Stewart scored the penalty. The atmosphere changed from that point on. Palace fans felt aggrieved, and within a minute Neil Shipperley equalised with a looping header. A speculative long range free kick from Danny Butterfield struck Phil Babb, wrongfooting Mart Poom in the Sunderland goal.
John Oster struck a post, then Kevin Kyle fired in what looked to be an equaliser, but two minutes later, a low shot from Andy Johnson sneaked past Poom and into the far corner.

Barclays Premier League
Sunderland 1-3 Wolverhampton Wanderers
Att: 41,273

A real end of season feel to this one. Jordan Henderson, still only 20, would make his last appearance at the SoL in a Sunderland shirt, while Sunderland's side also featured Jack Colback at 21, and three teenagers in Ryan Noble, Craig Lynch and debutant Louis Laing. Presumably Asamoah Gyan was injured as Stephane Sessegnon played as the lone striker.

Ex Sunderland defender Jody Craddock and future striker Steven Fletcher scored either side of a Sessegnon goal. George Elokobi added the third.

Welsh League Division Three
Albion Rovers 1-0 Ynysygerwn
Att: 90ish

One of several hoppers in attendance at this one, on a glorious evening in South Wales. After a lengthy wait for a bus from the castle, I arrived at the ground with two minutes to spare. I chose to walk back into town after the match, and had a couple of pints in the Carpenters Arms before my train.

I was under the impression that the bottom three were relegated from this division, and thus Rovers' fate had already been sealed but, with insufficient applications for promotion from below, it was only the bottom two, so this win kept the home side up. Judging by their results this season, relegation would probably have been a blessing!

Rovers looked the better side throughout, and thoroughly deserved their win, though with only a one goal margin, there was always a danger of the visitors getting an equaliser. The only goal of the game came from number 4 early in the second half.

Pitch is railed on all sides, with a small stand on the far side providing the only cover. In glorious sunshine, nobody was interested in cover at this game.


Junior Team Starter
Dec 7, 2019
Dessel Sport, Oxford Utd and all North Devon Clubs
Just the 5 for this day:

Chipstead v Sandhurst Tn 1-0
Combined Counties Lge

Lower Hopton v Ardsley Celtic 1-3
West Riding Co. Amateur D1

Park Utd v Braunton 2nd's 1-3
North Devon, Snr

Landkey Tn v Fremington 2-3
North Devon Premier

Sporting Barum v Ilfracombe 2nd's 8-0
Braunton Cup final
@Barnstaple Tn


Junior Team Sub
Dec 8, 2019
1988 Wimbledon 1 Liverpool 0 FA Cup Final £8 Standing
Having first watched Wimbledon in 1971 as a 7 year old as an average Southern league team, to find ourselves in an FA Cup Final a decade and a half later was Roy of the Rovers stuff, just being there was amazing let alone winning it. My dad and great uncle had been to Wembley in 1963 the year before I was born to see us beat Sutton 4-2 in the Amateur cup final so it felt like I had missed out on Wembley glory as we never got beyond the quarter finals in the Trophy, so it was nice that as season tickets holders got 4 tickets each I was able to take both my mum and dad in decent seats. Both sides in those days got 25 thousand tickets each although obviously Liverpool were a massive club and we weren’t so the many scousers without tickets all assumed we had spares, I was just relieved to get through the turnstiles by 1.30pm without having our tickets stolen as happened to a few people.
The game itself was well documented but once we had taken the lead shortly before half time we started to believe we might actually win. It was a very warm day too which helped as Liverpool had to chase the game and the stresses of a long season started to show, especially when they missed a penalty which should never have been given. We had a half decent side too, even having the luxury of bringing on Laurie Cunningham as substitute to help keep possession near the end. The final whistle was an immense relief and we made our way back to Wimbledon and went out for a meal. I didn’t have a drink as I wanted to remember every minute of the day as I was on such a high, I remember driving around the Wimbledon area blaring the car horn(sorry if I kept you awake)before ending up at my flat where me and 2 flat mates ended up playing football in the back garden in the dark at midnight. The following day wasn’t bad either with a sea of blue and yellow greeting the players in front of Wimbledon town hall, I never wanted it to end.

Stephen Harris

Junior Team Starter
Apr 18, 2020
Leyton Orient
May 14 should provide a good mix of cup finals, foreign trips and minor level silly season games and I'm pleased to see that I have examples of all three amongst my ten games on this date.

1981: FA Cup Final replay - Manchester City 2 - 3 Tottenham Hotspur - Att: 92,000
Five days after drawing 1 - 1 these two clubs reconvened at Wembley for an FA Cup replay that has gone down in history as one of the most memorable, largely because of the fantastic goal scored for the Spuds by Ricky Villa. Difficult too to get Chas & Dave's contribution out of my head. At the time, it was routine for a small number of cup replay tickets to be put on sale on the Sunday morning at the Wembley Box Office at Wembley Arena and I took advantage of this several times. I was with Mark W (a City fan) and we had good seats at the front opposite the Royal Box on what was just my second visit to Wembley. The match was a right old ding dong, but as soon as we saw Villa's goal, where he dribbled through the entire City team before shooting, we knew we had seen something special. A couple of weeks earlier I had seen Aston Villa lift the championship trophy at Highbury, making this the only season when I have seen both major trophies in the flesh; I think of it as my double-winning season.

1983: Third Division - Orient 4 - 1 Sheffield United - Att: 4,400
End of season stuff and for some reason my dad and I sat in the West Stand; never my favourite part of the ground. My only memory is that there was an unpleasant group of away supporters there who were being openly racist towards Orient players and supporters, which the police chose to ignore.

1988: FA Cup Final - Liverpool 0 - 1 Wimbledon - Att: 98,203
One of the great days in my football-spectating life. I had then, and still do today, several good friends who support the Dons and because their overall support was quite small it was possible to amass a good number of tickets for this match and travel mob-handed. I think that expectations were quite low and really we just intended to enjoy the day. For them to win was astonishing and I think it would be fair to say that all there to support the Dons will remember the day for ever. We certainly milked it at the time. Fantastic today to see my all-time favourite footballer Laurie Cunningham get a cameo appearance.

1991: Essex Senior Cup Semi-final Replay - Southend United reserves 3 - 2 Leyton Orient reserves - Att: unknown
My memories of this match played at Victoria Road, Dagenham are scant. I guess nobody ever remembers a losing semi-finalist.

1995: Premier League - Chelsea 2 - 1 Arsenal - Att: 29,542
My 14th of 15 visits so far to Stamford Bridge. I was at this game 'minding' a couple of German journalists who had been commissioned to write a story for Bild newspaper about the growing 'alternative fan culture' that had developed around fanzines in the UK. They were on expenses so we'd enjoyed a few beers around the pubs of Earl's Court and Fulham chatting to supporters of both clubs and had good seats in the West Stand. The two were incredibly apologetic when the story was published and their editors had twisted it into yet another tale of English hooliganism.

2003: CoCo League - Raynes Park Vale 0 - 1 Withdean - Att: c.142
Withdean had a massive backlog of fixtures at this time. My second of two visits to Grand Drive, a venue that is not as grand as it sounds.

2005: CoCo League - Staines Lammas 2 - 5 Warlingham - Att: 60
Dave S and I were, we thought, the third and fourth spectators to enter this basic venue today, so were not best pleased to be told that the match programme was "sold out". There was one too, we saw a copy, but clearly not very many.

2009: 2 Bundesliga - FC Ingolstadt 04 0 - 1 St Pauli - Att: 5,432
An evening kick-off at what was I think a short-lived venue for Ingolstadt's first team. I'm relying on Leo H to give the full low down on this one. He certainly had a better view than mine from his seat in the main stand, un-obscured by security fencing.

2010: Germany - Wurzburger Kickers 1 - 0 1FC Schweinfurt - Att: 1,950
Something of a local derby, with a large and vociferous away support. The beer was flowing on the terraces and sausages were eaten.

2016: Essex & Suffolk Border League - Essex University 1 - 3 Little Oakley - Att: c.18
A very low-key end of season thing at the Essex University campus in Wivenhoe. Not played on the usual pitch apparently as that was in use for cricket. Little Oakley have now gone on to bigger things.
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Youth Team Starter
Dec 7, 2019
England, Leicester City, Bedfont & Feltham
I would guess at Hanson Cement Ground , I was at their opener (?) there on 23/08/2011.
Bantam / SteveB can confirm whether opening game there , sure Bantam biked it.

Plenty of mention of dates / visits / programmes etc -
Don't think it was a ground opener on 23 August but it was at the new ground and they moved in at the start of that season. My blog post of the game reminds me that programmes were advertised at the tea bar, but none were produced for the midweek fixture.


Forum Admin
Staff member
Dec 7, 2019
Cheltenham Town
I am missing the crowd figures for three games, generally these would be decent numbers as well.
The lowest of the three would be the first one, in 1977. Hillingdon Borough 1-1 Kettering Town. I am sure Hillingdon had avoided the drop before this, and Wimbledon would already have claimed the title.

In 1982, I am sure a good number turned up to the unreconstructed Champion Hill to see Farnborough Town lose 4-3 to Leytonstone/Ilford in the Final Replay of the London Senior Cup. Not withstanding how Farnborough got to be in a London Cup?

Farnborough led 2-1 at the break and extended this to 3-1 soon afterwards, before Leytonstone made their comeback, scoring in the 75th and 84th minute and then getting the winner in the 90th. This was my first season taking records, so all injury time goals were 90th minute in those days!

The other missing one is a few years later as Zwolle took on AZ in the Eerste Divisie in 1993. At least I could not lose the goalscorer's lists - with neither side in with a chance of promotion, I am guessing not too many there.

Heading back, to 1983, I get the dates' biggest crowd, for the FA Trophy final in which Telford United beat Northwich Victoria by 2-1, while two years later the lowest figure comes in at twelve, to see a West Midlands League game in which Westfields beat Lichfield Town 4-2 at Rotherwas. Fair distance for Lichfield to come midweek!

Fair crowds for Northern Counties (East) in 86 and 87, the first of which saw me at Nethermoor to see Guisley beat Bridlington Trinity 3-1 (150), while a year later I crossed the Humber Bridge for North Ferriby United 4-3 Farsley Celtic (160).

In 1988, I recall listening to the FA Cup final (as already reported here) as I drove away from the morning game at Aberystwyth, The 12.30 kick off (which means plenty of driving as I was in Sheffield the night before), saw Town draw 2-2 with Caerleon. It was 1-1 after 6 minutes and still 1-1 at 80 as the goals were early and late.

The following year I was in Germany for my second ever game in the 2. Bundesliga. The first was at Schalke, finished 3-4 and involved a riot as home fans wanted the game abandoned rather than lost. No risk of that at the Rheinstadion. Crowds in Germany were at a low level that has not been repeated since, but I have listed 3,500 for a game in which the home side were heading (ultimately succesfully) for the title - so I wonder if it is wrong. Fortuna Dusseldorf were 1-0 down to Bayreuth after 8 minutes, but recovered well and were 4-1 up with ten minutes to play. Bayreuth made a late comeback to give me my second 4-3 scoreline in the 2. Bundesliga, but not to dent the home teams championship drive. Two weeks later, my third ever 2. Bundesliga game would also end up with a 4-3 scoreline.

The next time the date comes up is the 1993 game at Zwolle, but it is 1994 was something different.

I flew up to the Highlands on the Saturday morning, having been the Deeping Rangers the night before. The game was at Kingsmills Park and was the final ever game of Inverness Thistle before the merger with Caledonian and entrance into the Scottish League. There was some disquiet amongst the support over this merger with their rivals of over 100 years, but 26 years later it does appear it was the right move. It was unlikely that the Scottish League would have elected two Inverness clubs, or that they would do as well. Ross County also joined the Scottish League in 1994. For the final game in the history of Thistle, around 400 were at the ground with more than a sprinkling of hoppers. The party was pooped by visitors Lossiemouth who recorded a 2-0 victory. Thistle actually finished close to the wrong end of the league, only one place above Fort William (although two others were below the Fort). Caledonian were second behind champions Huntley.

At some stage during the match, I accepted a lift from hoppers heading from this one, to the 6.45 kick off at Ross County's ground. A revisit for me, the match was a Ross-shire Amateur Cup final between Avoch and Dingwall Thistle. I recall it was an entertaining game for the 150 or so in attendance and I have it listed as 2-1 to Avoch (after extra time), with it being 1-1 at both 45 and 90 minutes. An editing error when the results were copied means I do not have the goalscorers or times, so if anyone here knows them.

I also cannot remember who was in the car that took me to this one. I feel Ratty may have been involved, but what followed was not his style. While I was dropped back in Inverness to stay in a B&B and then catch an early flight back to London, the rest of the car load drove south overnight and we all met again at Andover New Street the following morning.

Next up was 1997, and a big match (if there is such a thing) in the Chiltonian League. Denham United had built a good team at this level, and reached the top division two seasons before, and been runners-up in 1996. It was a tight race for the title with visitors Wraysbury in the mix.
I have the crwd estimated at 270, almost certainly counted by one of those hoppers that pays more attention to this than me. I think former Hillingdon player Reg Leather was player-manager for Denham, and it was he that scored the first goal as his team rose to a 3-0 lead in the first half. Some ill-discipline then crept in, and by the time Wraysbury got their consolation goal, Denham had been reduced to nine players. Denham failed to acheive promotion and did not change ground for it. An already experienced team finished mid-table the following season and then dissapeared from view. The ground was still there last time I drove past, but as far as I know, is only used by a ladies team.

In 2000, I found a Sunday double header in Belgium, the early game was Antwerp Provincial at Wuustwezel as the lost 2-1 to Kontich, while afterwards it was onto Vorselaar for VVOG against Waregem in the fourth division play-offs. VVOG were to win 3-0. I have the attendances down as 300 and 700 respectively, and I am sure that Hoddy was in on these two.

2003 - A ground at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, where the Oxfordshire variation of Old Salesians were playing. I have seen another team of the same name in the Epsom area. Both Old Salesians teams had one other thing in common when I saw them, heavy home defeats. The Surrey team, members of the Southern Amateur League had been regular contenders in the FA Vase, but I was to see their last ever game in the competition, a 7-2 defeat by Hailsham Town. For the Oxfordshire version, I think they never appeared above the lower divisions of the Senior League and Chadlington became on of only six away teams I have seen score nine or more, thanks to a 9-1 victory.

2004 - 1. FC Eschborn in the Regionalliga Sud, an important 3-2 win for Kickers Offenbach, which helped them to safety while the home side ended up second bottom of the division and dropped to the Oberliga. 3200 present.

2005 - Malvern Rangers 4-2 Shenstone Pathfinder (45). West Midlands League

2008 - TuSpo Grebenstein 0-2 VfL Eiterfeld (150), Landesliga Hessen Nord. Just one I picked off because I could get in and out, and found no other game for the day. I recall there not being much there and I would have got to a bigger town or a maybe an overnight train as I was heading to Vienna afterwards. It was a pleasant enough ground and game though

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2009 - FC Ingolstadt 0-1 St. Pauli (5432). FC Ingolstadt had been formed by the merger of the city;s two clubs, MTV and ESV in 2004. At the start of the 2007-8 season, I had seen them play in the regionalliga at the old MTV ground, they ended the season as second in the league, and won promotion. Now, in the 2. Bundesliga, I was to see them at the old ESV ground. I was met on arrival in the town by Abbswolf, Kevin and Paul and led to accomodation before heading out later for the game. It was not a succesful season as this game confirmed that the home team would be relegated. That would put them in the 3. Liga for a season and they would come back up by winning the play-offs at the end the season. Soon afterwards, they would move to the new Audi Sportpark, and when I returned in 2015, they were on their way to promotion for a two season spell in the top tier. As mentioned above, Stephen Harris was also at this one. Hope this gives enough lowdown for him. €24 for a seat.

2010 - The start of a three day trip to the Highlands, I drove on a Friday from Oxfordshire to Inverurie and only encounered one traffic jam, on the Aberdeen ring road. The result is that I arrived in town in plenty of time before watching Inverurie Loco Works lose 4-0 at home to Formantine United. One of two choices for photos and featured as a tweet of the day

2011 - A foray into the lower reaches of the Latvian Leagues, with my friends, Holder (P), Holder (B) and Holder (D). I did a double header starting at Ogre, where it was free admission for SC Orge/FK 33 against FK Tukums-2000/TSS. The visitors would win 3-0 with all goals in the second half and only 45 watching

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I left the holders in a pub in the centre of RIga to watch the English Cup final, (one bar was fairly easy to enter, for the cup final, the other was crowded, for the Eurovision Song Contest). I walked over the river bridge to Akadijas, to see FS Metta/LU beat Valmieras by 7-0 (350). Again it was free admission, but I paid 0.5 Lat for a programme. A Lat is worth a little more than a pound.

2012 - Beeston St. Anthony's 8-0 Carlton Athletic (114), West Yorkshire League. A big win for Beeston as they took the title by three points from Bardsley.

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2013 - FC Nitra 1-0 Kosice (1420), Slovakia Superliga

2014 - Krka 2-2 Celje (400), Slovenia Prva Liga. A smashing town, a strange little football ground

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2016 - Hereford Lads Club 3-0 Shenstone Pathfinder (120). I have only seen Pathfinder three times, and both away games are on this list! Lads Club were expecting to be promoted after finishing second in the West Midlands, Division One, but in fact the ground was not ready and they had to wait to go up until taking the title a year later

2018 - FC Lustadt 1-1 TSG Jockgrim in (80) Bezirksliga Vorderpfalf. A small ground far. Abbswolf, Kevin and I entered by bus, and managed to get a lift to the station about 10 km away afterwards, saving us a taxi ride
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