May 4th


Site Admin
Staff member
Nov 23, 2019
May the Fourth be with you! It's Star Wars Day and I didn't even need Google to know about this one.

But did you know that Carrie Fisher had to stand on a box when in shot with Harrison Ford or that the Stromtroopers are are all left handed?

So WDYG on this planet on this day?


Forum Admin
Staff member
Dec 7, 2019
Cheltenham Town
In the interests of political neutrality, you could also have mentioned that Margaret Thatcher became our first female Prime Minister on May 4 1979, and that Ken Livingstone became the first Mayor of London on May 4 2000.


Reserve Team Regular
Dec 7, 2019
Tranmere, South Liverpool
1986/7 was the first season of automatic relegation from the Football League and I'd developed a morbid fascination with the Div 4 run in, not least but not only because Tranmere were deeply embroiled in it. May bank holiday 1987 threw up a very tasty relegation double, with the bottom of the table looking like this at start of play:


Both my matches were pay on the gate and the two attendances, although unremarkable by today's standards, were impressive for the respective home clubs at that time.

The afternoon kick off was a cracker, Rochdale 5-3 Halifax (att 2,992). 1-1 at half time followed by a fabulous second half, although the only thing I particularly remember is a group of home fans and a dog invading the pitch every time Rochdale scored! Have a few notes though, remarking on Rochdale's incessant attacking, Rob Wakenshaw's screaming volley from a cross by Peter Conning (ex South Liverpool/Alty) to put them 3-2 up, and the atmosphere of emotion and eventual relief around the place.

Onward drive to the evening kick off, Crewe 1-0 Burnley (att 4,175). The Alex fielded future England internationals David Platt and Geoff Thomas, and Platt scored the only goal after five minutes. Again I recall very little of this apart from hoardes of Burnley fans around the Crewe Arms before the game, relief about the result (from a Tranmere perspective) and disbelief that a club as big as Burnley was now almost nailed on for relegation into non-league.....almost. Here's how the Mirror reported it all the next day (I'd also forgotten about the fire in the old wooden stand):


State of play after today's fixtures, and all set for a very nervy final weekend. Lincoln look like they'll be OK though..



Site Admin
Staff member
Nov 23, 2019
In the interests of political neutrality, you could also have mentioned that Margaret Thatcher became our first female Prime Minister on May 4 1979, and that Ken Livingstone became the first Mayor of London on May 4 2000.
Well I beat you to it Leo. Next days thread is open heh

The vulture

Youth Team Starter
Dec 10, 2019
Division Three @ County Ground :
Swindon Town 3 Oxford United 2.
Att 7,880.

I've been to a lot of Railwaymen - Piss stain derbies but this was the best of the lot.

No doubt about it at that time they were better than us, of course it was a house built on sand as they were bankrolled by a theiving capitalist scumbag stealing from the pensions of working class people to fund his shitty club (reason to detest them no. 249).

They went into this 2nd in the table and looking odds on for promotion whilst we were 21st and looking likely for relegation, with just 2 home and 2 away fixtures to go.

In the reverse fixture a month before they had comfortably won 5-0, only their 3rd ever League win against us. Hopes of stopping them completing the double weren't particularly high.

Now this fixture has never been watched, at the County Ground, by less than 7,500 so this was actually one of the lowest crowds ever for the fixture. However it was one of the more passionate, as they travelled in good numbers and we just wanted to de-rail their promotion procession.

Not a lot happened in the opening half as it ended 0-0....but what a 2nd half. 17 year old Paul Rideout gave us a 46th minute lead and midfielder Roy Carter made it 2-0 after 81 minutes. They pulled one back after 84, but Rideout grabbed a 3rd on 87, a penalty on 88 completed the scoring and boy did we celebrate the win, the Town End rocking like it rarely has.

What made it all the sweeter was that our 3rd (some argue 2nd) goal was scored after a smoke bomb was lobbed on the pitch and it was still a bit smoky in the goalmouth. I don't think the Town End ever celebrated a goal like that one. Before Big Chris squeals about unfairness he needs to go and talk to the Mirror pensioners cheated, indirectly, by Oxford United FC.

So disgusted was the capitalist scumbag that a year later he tried to merge his little club with another joke club to form the Thames Valley Royals.

Bristol City TV were desperate to report yet more trouble at the County Ground and after making it sound like a nasty version of Red Star - Partizan, as their erections gave way they mentioned next to nothing of the match, the little mention they made was wrong in giving the goal details. Footage of the news report exists, but seemingly not of the match.

As for the mayhem at the County Ground well that was from the pwoppa nawty away fans who felled the Referee with a well placed Czech 20 Korona coin.

If only they (HTV) would admit that the only two real occurrences of crowd trouble had been the 2 visits from our close friends from Bristol, other games passed off with little incident. Still that fact didn't give them wood or make for sensational nonsense.

Now back in the day the majority of Oxford fans parked on the Shrivenham Road which led directly out of town avoiding the Magic roundabout and town centre.

For this game I was heading out their way and the middle aged Town fan who gave me a lift also wanted to park there. Of course the mood on the Shrivvy Road after was tense and I got back to the car just before him, as he saw me from about 20 yards away his fist rose and he shouts something along the lines of "yeah, what a fackin result"....maybe not his finest piece of timing.

Now the Piss Stains have a badge made or a T-shirt if they beat us......for pities sake one year as we were heading for a league title they beat us and had a t-shirt produced. I actually think it was sanctioned by the club and sold in the club shop.

We've never bothered although that night with all the leaping about I did lose my "Oxford United walk on water....." badge.

Terrific fun.

Stoodley Pike

Youth Team Star
Dec 9, 2019
Monday 4th May 1987
Rochdale 5 Halifax Town 3 (HT 1-1)
Football League, Division Four (3.0)
Attendance 2,992
Programme sold out (I think, haven't got one)

Must’ve been down in Calderdale visiting the folks this May Day Bank Holiday weekend because, by 1987, living and working in Cumbria, I’d stopped watching Halifax Town. As I recall, Dad came along. We took the train from Sowerby Bridge to Rochdale. On arrival at Rochdale station, numerous waiting Plod offered to give us - there was nobody else from Halifax on the train - a lift to Spotland in one of their vans. Happy to accept a free ride! ‘Come in a taxi, you must’ve come in a taxi…’

Rather chaotic Pennine derby Dale won to ease fears of relegation to the Conference, which, thanks partly to the last day ‘police-dog-bites-player' incident at Torquay United, was the fate awaiting Lincoln City, unfortunate first victims of automatic demotion. Town, who had nothing to play for, led 2-1 before shipping four goals in a comprehensive defeat.

Lyndon Simmonds (5, penalty) put Dale ahead, only for Russell Black (34) and John Seasman (47, own goal) to turn the game on its head. Dale’s purple patch saw John Bramhall (50, 69), Rob Wakenshaw (80) and Simon Holden (83) find the net. Black (87) reduced the arrears from the spot to equal Town’s club record of eight penalties in a season. Bramhall was to join Halifax over the summer. Wakenshaw started at Everton. Pretty sure I saw one of his three Toffees senior appearances when a student in Liverpool. Certainly, I remember him as a promising youngster on the fringe of the first team.

In the Eighties, Spotland, a tumbledown wreck with little for the spectator in the way of elevation, was one of the worst grounds in the Football League, though players spoke highly of its pitch. Opting to sidestep segregation, Dad and I stood on the shallow paddock in front of the main stand.

Rochdale finished 21st, seven points ahead of luckless Lincoln. The only time all season Imps propped up the table was on the final day. Halifax, five points better off than Dale, came home 15th. Northampton Town (champions), Preston North End, Southend United and Aldershot (from sixth, via the play-offs) were promoted to the Third Division.

Other football worth a mention:

Bilsthorpe 5 Clay Cross Town 0 (2015, Central Midlands League, North). A revisit, having seen Santos play on this ground. Routine win for title-chasing Bilsthorpe in a second versus third match-up. Clay Cross, to finish third, struggled to raise a team and were never in it. With better finishing, and maybe less pretty football, the hosts could have had double figures. Victory kept Bilsthorpe, 1-0 up at half-time, neck and neck with Westella in the championship battle. 107 at Celtic Park.

Woodley Sports 4 Maghull 1 (1998, North West Counties League, Division One). Tidy ground since ‘improved’. Each team had a player sent off in the 32nd minute. 65 watching at Lambeth Grove, now Stockport Sports Village. Woodley, who later changed their name to Stockport Sports, packed up in 2015. Stockport Town now play on the ground, which has acquired a synthetic pitch.

Other sports:

Knottingley 25 Old Modernians 13 @ Scatcherd Lane, Morley (2003, rugby union, Yorkshire Silver Trophy, Final). I was domiciled on the Morley side of Leeds at the time, so a very short drive to this end-of-season double-header. Scatcherd Lane, adjacent to the ground of Morley Cricket Club, is worth a visit for its fabulous old grandstand. Knottingley, who led 17-0 after 36 minutes of this 1.0 kick-off, outscored Mods four tries to one. The winners held a vital edge in the forwards, though their tries were scored by backs. Appropriately named wing Paul Rockett, Knottingley’s leading try scorer, bagged a brace. Andrew Downs got Mods’ try. Doubled with a 3.30 kick-off, North Ribblesdale 18 West Leeds 25 (2003, rugby union, Yorkshire Shield, Final). In a see-saw game, the lead changed hands six times. Ribb were 18-15 up at the hour mark. But the Settle team were undone by a strong finish from Wortley-based West, for whom in the last 10 minutes Chris Shaw scored a converted try and David Breakwell landed a penalty.

A Midlands double, in the company of my youngest brother, kicked off with Derby City 34 Crewe Wolves 30 (2002, rugby league, Rugby League Conference). Some game at Asterdale Sports Club. Inside centre Neil Collier clinched an opening day win for Derby in a pulsating game with his hat-trick try two minutes from the end of normal time. The lead changed hands on no fewer than 10 occasions! We then drove west to Loomer Road for Stoke Potters 50 Workington Comets 39 (2002, speedway, Premier League). Potters No 1 Paul Pickering top-scored, with 14 from six, as Stoke eased aside the challenge of Workington. The ‘Hartlepool Plumber’ had support from stylish Dane Jan Staechmann (10+2 from five) and reserve Will Beveridge (9+2). Not for the first time, Carl Stonehewer (13+1) and Australian Rusty Harrison (10) kept Comets in touch. Speedway Star’s Stoke correspondent Neil Evans remarked: “Both sets of riders deserve full credit for the quality of racing that saw the advantage swing one way and then the other, and climax with a superb finale that saw the home side top the 50-point mark and give themselves a decent chance of snatching the bonus point in the return on Monday.”

Middlesbrough Bears 45 Eastbourne Eagles 51 (1995, speedway, Premier League). Despite trying 17 different riders, Bears struggled to make an impression on 1995’s combined division. This defeat for a weak septet characterised much of what went on that season. Martin Peterca was a very nice guy who’d left his wife and kids at home in Slovenia to grab a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to ride in Britain. He is one of the worst riders I’ve ever seen. Bears generously gave him 13 matches, of which this was one. He failed to score. When sacked, Peterca’s CMA was 2.26. German Andre Pollehn, another indifferent performer, chipped in with a point. Pollehn’s CMA, from three meetings, was 2.33. Young Stuart Swales (13+1), part of a North Yorkshire speedway dynasty, top scored for the hosts. For Eagles, Martin Dugard had a five-ride maximum. Dean Barker, like Dugard, a fine servant over many years to the Eastbourne club, contributed 12+1.

Saddleworth Rangers 27 Kells 12 (1991, rugby league, BARLA National Cup, Semi-Final). At this period, when amateur rugby league’s National Cup was the real deal, it took a very good side to beat Kells. The Whitehaven amateurs, hampered by the eighth-minute dismissal of BARLA Great Britain international and skipper Paul Messenger, for elbowing opposite number Sean Whitehead, were second best at Greenfield. Obligingly, Rangers evened up the numbers in the 17th minute, when John Fleming was sent off for a reckless challenge on Peter Smith, a future Whitehaven coach. Saddleworth led 16-2 after 34 minutes. Despite two second half tries, Kells could not claw back the deficit. Rangers went on to beat Hull Dockers 27-14 in the final. Saddleworth’s scenic ground, below Shaw Hall Bank Road and surrounded by Pennine hills, has since acquired a stand and a refurbished clubhouse. The flooding-prone pitch still isn’t any great shakes, though!


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Reserve Team Starter
Dec 7, 2019
Crewe Alexandra.

Saturday @ Hampden Park.
Scottish Cup Final.
Celtic 3 v 0 Dundee United.

1974 Celtic v Dundee United Scottish Cup Final Football Programme

Celtic - Dennis Connaghan , Danny McGrain , Jim Brogan , David Hay , Billy McNeil , Pat McCluskey , Jimmy Johnstone , Steve Murray (1) , Dixie Deans (1) , Kenny Dalglish , Harry Hood (1).
Subs - Tommy Callaghan for McGrain , Bobby Lennox.
Manager - Jock Stein.

Dundee United - Sandy Davie , Walter Smith , Jackie Copland , Doug Smith , Frank Kopel , Pat Gardner , Archie Knox , George Fleming , Doug Houston , Graeme Payne , Andy Gray.
Subs - Tommy Traynor for Smith , Andy Rolland for Payne.
Manager - Jim McLean.

Referee - J W Paterson ( Bothwell ).

A poor final which was marred by crowd trouble resulting in 125 arrests , 40 taken to hospital and scores treated around the pitch perimeter mainly for head injuries from flying debris / bottles.

The highlights of the match were 2 separate dog invasions , yes it was that bad.

As prorege commented on a previous final that provincial teams sometimes don't show up at Hampden , this was one such occasion , Dundee United making their first final appearance were dreadful
Celtic themselves having a bad day were still too good for the Dundee youngsters and won their 23rd Cup with ease.

Celtic took the lead after 20 minutes when Hood chasing a bouncing ball beat keeper Davie to the bounce and headed over him , this was followed 4 minutes later with a strike by Murray after miskicks by Deans and Hood.

Dundee United came out for the second half and had a 10 minute go at Celtic , the storm was weathered and Celtic cruised through the rest of the half before Deans after being set up by Dalglish scored the third minutes from the end.

49 x games , 5 x doubles , 2 x trebles , 0 x 0-0's.

No need to stand on a box for me Carrie -
See the source image
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Junior Team Regular
Dec 7, 2019
North West non-league
1992 - Bacup Borough 0 Ashton United 1 - Bass North West Counties League Division 1
My 1st of 4 visits to West View

Ashton United won the league, overtaking Great Harwood Town at the top in this final game. They needed a win to clinch promotion on GD, which they did. Was an amazing season for Ashton as they finished the season not only with the title, but manager Dave Denby had claimed 3 cups also. My main memory apart from celebrating the win, was that Great Harwood's manager was there and was not impressed that Bacup lost. However in the end, both Ashton and Gt Harwood were promoted anyway.

1994 - Manchester United 2 Southampton 0 - FA Premier League
My 21st of 115 visits to Old Trafford - Attendance 44705

Went with a friend who was a Southampton fan. It wasn't really a critical game as United had won the league the previous week and Southampton had just scraped their way to staying up. However just as we were arriving at the ground, I was feeling sick. We had come from Liverpool on the train and I had felt progressively worse as the journey had progressed. So as there were some st john's ambulance people just on the other side of one of the ground entrances, they came out to see me and decided to be safe they would take me to lie down for a bit - I think I was just a bit faint for some reason and I was fine. KO time arrived and I felt a bit better by then. So I went off to where I had told my friend to stand and although I was still a bit faint but otherwise fine - I realised that I had got in for free as my ticket remained in my pocket untouched. The game was goalless at HT and ended up 2-0 as Andrei Kancheslskis scored on the hour, and Mark Hughes near the end.

1995 - Bury 0 Walsall 0 - Division 3
My 9th of 21 visits to Gigg Lane - Attendance 6790

Bury needed a win to stay in touch with the Top 3 before their final game two days later, while Walsall were playing their final game and were almost certain of a Top 3 place. Bury tried and tried but couldn't get the win and so made their final game 2 days later have half the attendance of this day as they were confirmed play-offs now but no more.

1996 - Bury 3 Cardiff City 0 (HT 1-0) - Division 3
My 13th of 21 visits to Gigg Lane - Attendance 5658

It finished 3-0, but as well as the win, Bury needed Darlington to not win, so they would secure automatic promotion and avoid the play-offs. In those days there was no way to find out the score at other games without having a radio with you, so I and many people in the crowd had tuned in to BBC GMR who were commentating and keeping us up to date. However the final whistle went at Gigg Lane but the Scunthorpe v Darlington match was about 7 minutes behind & Darlington were winning 3-2. If the result stayed the same, Bury would be in the play-offs instead of promoted automatically. Six minutes after the final whistle, a surreal atmosphere as hardly anyone had left the ground, the Bury players poised on the edge of the pitch, waiting for news from Scunthorpe. The crowd were still silent listening to GMR as they had sent someone to report from there and were now commentating on the final stages. Drama as Scunthorpe equalised in the 90th minute. Darlington had then several opportunities to retake the lead in an extended injury time. The whistle blew clearly over the radio. The crowd including me ran onto the pitch in celebration.

1998 - Manchester United 3 Leeds United 0 (HT 2-0) - FA Premier League
My 102nd of 115 visits to Old Trafford - Attendance 55167

This was the last game I used my season ticket for... as I loaned it out after that, so ended up missing the treble season the season after. Don't remember much about the match except Ryan Giggs got his 50th league goal, Denis Irwin also scored (a penalty) and David Beckham made it 3-0. United needed the win to keep in touch with Arsenal at the top, which they did, but ended up losing the league to them by 1 point.

2015 - Billinge 0 Crewe 3 (HT 0-2) - Cheshire League Premier Division
My 1st and only visit to Barrows Farm - Attendance 20

I went to this to see if Crewe could win to keep their slim chances of winning the league alive, which they did and so went 3rd. Home keeper was very upset with the quality of the Billinge strikers, constantly shouting and complaining to the bench - he should have focused on his own performance. Very pleasant ground on a lovely sunny day.

2016 - Chadderton Reserves 2 Irlam Steel 2 (HT 1-1) - Manchester League Division 1
My 2nd of 3 visits to Andrew Street - Attendance 10

Both teams could still quality for the newly introduced play-offs, though Chadderton needed the win - the draw saw them out of the race. I remember it being a lovely pleasant evening, nice to have a nice tea bar as well, and it was a great game. Irlam Steel were playing catchup with games in hand, and still had 4 games left after the point gained that evening. However they fell away in the last couple of games and the play-off was cancelled anyway, as Chapel Town refused to take part and Wilmslow were promoted in 3rd.


Junior Team Sub
Apr 6, 2020
Tottenham Hotspur
Wingate & Finchley
1982/83 Welling United 0 Chelmsford City 0 SL Prem Div
1984/85 Finchley 0 Leyton-Wingate 0 Ist Div 2 (Nth)
1986/87 Rotherham Utd 2 Carlisle Utd 1 (2598) Div 3
1990/91 Saffron Walden Town 1 Finchley 0 (110) Ist Div 2 (Nth) *
1992/93 Everton 0 Sheffield Utd 2 (15,197) Prem Lge
1995/96 Win-Fin 1 Kingsbury Town 1 (140) Ist Div 3
2012/13 Spurs 1 Southampton 0 (36,190) Prem Lge
2014/15 Hatfield Social 3 Standon & Puckeridge 2 (aet) (200) Aubrey Cup Final @ Colney Heath
2018/19 New Salamis 3 Letchworth GE 1 (39) HCL Prem Div
* Last ever game played by Finchley before merger with Wingate

Kirby Knitters

Reserve Team Star
Dec 7, 2019
The Knitters.
Division 1.
Leicester City 1 Newcastle United 0. (14,289)

Division 2.
Barnsley 0 Leicester City 2. (15,418)

Division 2.
Birmingham City 2 Cardiff City 0. (15,570)
Bham promoted.

Division 2.
Ipswich Town 3 Leicester City 2. (11,437)

Rolleston Charity Cup Final. @ Anstey Nomads FC.
Friar Lane Old Boys 4 St Andrews 2 (150)

Primeira Liga.
Benfica 0 Alverca 2.
Adm. $1,700 (not USD) Tercerio 3.
Prog. None
Att. 7,381.


Reserve Team Hopeful
Dec 7, 2019
Fife clubs
Like Paulh66 I was at:

Monday May 4th 1987
Football League Division 4, 7.30pm
Crewe Alexandra v Burnley, 1-0, H.T. 1-0, Att 4175
At Gresty Road

Not sure why I didn’t do a double that day. It may have been that the trains weren’t suitable or there was some reason why I couldn’t leave at the crack of dawn. Whatever, this fixture was attractive and represented a new ground for me.

I think that you tend to view clubs level in terms of where they were you were first interested in football. To me Burnley were a First Division side. The prospect of them being relegated from the Football League seemed unthinkable and just plain wrong. Others will know better than me about the mismanagement that put them in that position but it must have been spectacular. Crewe were a Division 3 / 4 team and I think the only previous time I had seen them was on their pre-season tour of Scotland in 1974.

As I recall we arrived in Crewe about 6pm, went for a fish supper, and headed to Gresty Road. My mate, being a programme collecting type, spent ages in the excellent wee shop on the street outside the ground, run by Harold Finch. We watched from a paddock area in front of a small grandstand. I recall that the Burnley fans were directly opposite on the north side of the pitch. The end nearest Gresty Road looked tiny but I cannot remember what was at the other end. It was certainly a small ground but had plenty of character.

I too had forgotten about the fire in the stand behind us. I now remember that the rumour was it was caused by Burnley fans trying to get the game postponed so that they would have the advantage of a game in hand whilst knowing what they had to do. I don’t know if that was true and I suspect not – despite being two years post Bradford the ground was not in the best of shape.

Crewe: Brian Parkin, Wayne Goodison, John Pemberton, Geoff Thomas, Steve Davis, Steve Wright, David Platt, Peter Bodak, Philip Power, Terry Milligan, Chris Cutler
Burnley: Joe Neenan, Peter Leebrook, Peter Hampton, Billy Rodaway, Joe Gallagher, Ray Deakin, Neil Grewcock, Philip Malley, Leighton James, Phil Devaney, Ian Britton.

Most of those names meant nothing to me. For Crewe I’d head of Peter Bodak (Coventry) and David Platt would obviously go on to greater things. For Burnley Leighton James was a very familiar name from their First Division days and for Wales. Billy Rodaway was also a survivor from the better times. Ian Britton was a Scot from Dundee who had gone south to Chelsea straight from school. Peter Hampton was a former Leeds United reserve and Joe Gallagher had a long career at Birmingham.

The game itself does not register a great deal in the memory banks. Platt scored the only goal early on and I don’t recall Burnley contributing much to the game. They looked like a side resigned to their fate. There was a bit of bother amongst their supporters at times but it looked like internal divisions rather than trouble with Crewe followers.

We had along wait for a train after the game. I think it was due around 1am – possibly the first overnight train out of Euston heading North. We headed for a pub which I recall was just up from the ground. A look at Google Streetview tells me that it is now called the Royal Hotel – not sure if that was the case in 1987 (perhaps Hoddy can confirm). It was a strange place – more like a nightclub than a pub – all velour fabrics and reflective surfaces. There were hardly any customers which I thought was strange for after a football game. It crossed my mind that it might be a Gay Bar but I suspect there wasn’t as huge gay scene in Crewe in 1987. Presumably we stayed until closing time before heading back to the delights of Crewe Railway Station.



Junior Team Sub
Dec 10, 2019
Saturday 4 May 1985
Shotton Comrades 0-3 Bedlington Terriers

Northern League Division 2
Attendance: 15

The Northern Alliance has always been a league largely populated by teams north of the Tyne. However, a situation developed in the late 70s / early 80s whereby ambitious teams elsewhere in the north-east were presented with a bottleneck - the Northern League was a closed shop and competition to get into the Wearside League was usually pretty fierce given that there was no automatic relegation and few teams left voluntarily. The Alliance had more of a fluid membership, so it was common for teams elsewhere in the region to join, hang around for two or three years to prove themselves, and then move onto their intended destination - Esh Winning, Brandon, Guisborough, Seaham, Peterlee, Ryhope CA and Darlington Cleveland Bridge all followed this route. The creation and expansion of the Northern League Div 2 in the early & mid 80s mopped-up such teams, while direct entry into the Alliance became more difficult after their strengthening of ties with the Northern Combination & Northern Amateur League, and the eventual merger of all three.

Another club to use the Alliance as a stepping stone was Shotton Comrades, entering the league in 1980 before heading to the Northern League three years later. They would spend 21 years in that league, before one full season and an expunged season in the Wearside. To say their 25 full seasons were unsuccessful would be something of an understatement as you could count on one hand the number of times that Shotton featured in the top half of their league, and you wouldn’t even need to utilise your thumb. Perhaps not surprisingly, I remember them consistently struggling for support.

Elevation to the Northern League was granted on the back of finishing eighth out of 13 teams in the Alliance in 82/3 but, crucially, they did have a decent ground. The venue was Shotton Recreation Ground on Station Road in Shotton Colliery and, as a team called Shotton CW had operated in the Wearside League between the 20s & 60s, I expect they were playing at the same ground. In 1985 it looked a smart and modern venue that had been on the receiving end of some investment - there was a boundary wall around the ground, decent-sized covered terrace and rather elaborate dugouts, with the roofs of these neatly matching the roof of the stand. The Bedlington officials I spoke to were rather envious given that they always seemed to be running close to the wire to provide upgraded facilities such as new changing rooms, a stand and floodlights. The very name of the home club would suggest that they were the beneficiaries of some funding from Shotton Comrades club, not an unusual situation given that Coundon Three Tuns (Wearside League) and High Pit (Northern Alliance) both enjoyed some success on the pitch as a result of funding from drinking establishments.

I would have attended this game on the visitors‘ team bus, cycling the 5 miles to Bedlington and leaving my bike at the groundsman’s house. The game in question was an easy win for the Terriers who secured promotion with a runners-up finish, while the home club ended the season bottom of the pile. No programme was issued for this game, which was fairly typical in the Northern League in the late 70s and into the 80s. The ground, meanwhile, still appears to be in use, presumably on Sundays.


Junior Team Regular
Dec 7, 2019
Warrington Town are #1, Leeds Utd, Stranraer, Matlock Town, Warrington Wolves RLFC
1992 Derbyshire Senior Cup Final Second Leg

Stapenhill v Matlock Town Won 0-1 (Aggregate Won 1-3)

1993 Bass North West Counties League Division One Nantwich Town v Salford City 0-0

1994 General Motors Vauxhall Conference Northwich Victoria v Dover Athletic Lost 0-1

1995 Interlink Express Midland Alliance Knypersley Victoria v Shifnal Town 2-3

1996 PA Rowlands Construction Cymru Alliance Rhydymwyn v Knighton Town 4-2

The first of three home Rhydymwyn games in just four days


Pyke Cup Final (@ Vauxhall GM FC) Heswall v Poulton Victoria 0-1

Heritage Homes Eryri Shield Semi-final Deiniolen v Llanrug United 2-3

Sadly a ground no longer used for Saturday football although it is still there as far as I know. It was one of those Welsh gems, and possibly one of a kind, being literally cut into the side of the hill at one end so from above you almost looked straight down onto the playing surface. It was very narrow with just a few yards between penalty area and touchline, and about a foot beyond the touchline to the steep banked cutting and the inset end.

1999 Manchester League Division One Breightmet United v Whalley Range 4-1

2000 Carlsberg West Cheshire League Division Three Pavilions v Manweb 0-4


Midland Football Combination Division One Wilmcote Sports & Social v Rugby Town 0-2

Express & Star League Premier Division Bromyard Town v Bustleholme 0-3

2004 Coors Winnington Park Mid Cheshire League Division One Daten v Bollington Athletic 1-1

2006 Nizam-Druid Welsh National League (Wrexham Area) Premier Division
Cefn United v Llay Welfare 2-0

One of four grounds I saw Cefn United play in just a few seasons. Can’t remember which one this was though

2010 Welsh National League Wrexham Area Division One Garden Village Youth v Llanuwchllyn 5-1

2013 Mercian Regional League Division One Meole Brace v Ketley Town (T335) 2-11 (eleven)


Roden Cup Final (@ Grindleford FC) Bradwell Reserves v Baslow 0-1

Central Midlands League Black Dragon North Division Welbeck Welfare v Phoenix Sports & Social 0-8

A return but to the new ground – a very friendly club. The old ground was still there, but the mines opposite were now just a scar on the landscape having been closed down and all demolished.

2017 Llandyrnog & District Village Clubs Summer League Henllan v Ysceifiog Won 6-1

2019 Monkwearmouth Charity Cup Final (@ Silksworth Colliery Welfare)

Silksworth Colliery Welfare v Richmond Town 1-0


Youth Team Hopeful
Dec 7, 2019
a busy ten for me on this date, lots of Hampshire Prem cup finals....

1977 - Northern Prem - Morecambe 5 Worksop T 1 - after a season of dross in the league, the Shrimps moved up three places to 15th after this unexpected gubbing of the Tigers. Only 1-0 at half time so most of the damage was done after the break as Worksop got ready for their holidays.

1985 - Isthmian Div 2(N) - Finchley 0 Leyton Wingate 0 - apparently attended by FinchleyFlyer too - if the home team won, they would be champions, but the visitors, with a game in hand, also needed a win to keep their title/promotion hopes alive. As expected, then, a tight game, and a bit of a stalemate. LW were the better team but the home team settled for a point. In the event both teams went up, with Leyton-Wingate as champions.

1987: a Bank Holiday double:

1100- Sussex Div 2 - Pagham 3 Selsey 0 - 1st v 2nd but in reality their positions had already been sorted out, both promoted. The home team were clearly better and were three up at the interval.

1600 - Southern League Cup Final, 1st leg - Waterlooville 2 Hednesford T 1 - about 600 saw this clash of Div 1 South and North. A good first half saw the visitors take the lead with a thunderbolt, but the home side gradually came back and ended up the better team, with a narrow lead, by the end of the game. They continued this with a 1-0 win at Keys Park to win the trophy.

1991- Division 3 - Brentford 0 Tranmere R 2 - Bees won five out of their last six to make the playoffs. This was their sole defeat. A decent crowd of 7341 saw the visitors win this early on with two goals. The hosts tried hard ,but no goals were forthcoming. In the event both teams met in the playoff semi-final, which was won by Tranmere, who then went on to win the final too.

2009 - Hampshire Prem League Cup Final - Colden Common 1 Paulsgrove 2 @Fareham - champions Common failed to clinch the double as the Grove sank them with a second half winner after a good goal for each side in the first period.

2010 - Sussex Div 1 - Crawley Down 3 East Grinstead T 1 - the start of the home team's golden era, as they won the league by a distance. Here, two goals in the first eight mins put them in control and although the visitors came back, always looked comfortable.

the rest are covered in old WDYG reports:

2013 - Hampshire Prem League Cup Final - Colden Common 2 AFC Stoneham 1 aet @Gosport - a tight game between third and second placed sides. Stoneham took the lead in the first half but Common came back and a Philpott penalty in ET settled it.

2015 - Hampshire Prem League Cup Final - AFC Stoneham 2 Baffins MR 0 @Gosport - a tough game between two top 4 sides, settled by a penalty just before half time, and a Cole breakaway seven mins from time for Stoneham. This was their last game at this level to date, as they went up to the Wessex. Baffins' time would soon come...

2019 - Southampton Div 1 - Durley 1 Knightwood U 2 - If the home team had won they would have gone to the top of the league, but the visitors were a good side and won deservedly here. Decent game and a club I wanted to visit again, as they were celebrating their centenary, and had entertained me well during the days of the Hampshire 2004 League.


Junior Team Star
Dec 10, 2019
Bristol City
St Albans City
Verulam Cycling Club
Spartan South Midlands League - Division Two
Mursley United A-A Luton Old Boys

This was an early kickoff due to the FA Cup final being at the traditional time of 3pm. I arrived to see the usual signs of an impending match - committee members serving tea, players warming up and a smattering of spectators. But it soon became apparent that the away team had not arrived, and then the phone call came to say that they couldn't raise a team. I thought the committee members would be annoyed and maybe even angry but in fact they were very sanguine about the situation, no doubt sympathizing with their fellow committee members at Luton OBs.

Mursley were already champions so the result was of no relevance, but they still lined up, kicked off and scored into a empty net. The game lasted about 6 seconds, can I count it as a tick?😉


Junior Team Starter
Dec 7, 2019
Dessel Sport, Oxford Utd and all North Devon Clubs
Sheffield FC v Harrogate RA 1-2

Bradford Park Avenue v Blackpool Mechanics 3-2

1992, a treble
Buckingham Ath. v Leverstock Green 1-0
South Mids Prem.

Wilmcote v Wigston Fields 1-0
Mid Com Div 1

Enville Ath. v Wythall 5-1
Mid Com Div 2

Sun Sports v Oxhey Jets 3-2
Herts Co. Snr

1998, a double
Abbey National (MK) v Luton OB 2-4
Spartan South Mids D1N

Kent Ath. v Mercedes Benz 3-1
Spartan South Mids Snr

Cheshunt v East Thurrock 2-4
Ryman Isthmian Lge, D2

Leamington v Cadbury Ath 4-0
Mid Com 1

Ryehill and Havercroft Sports v Hartshead Senior 0-1
West Yorks D1

Milton Keynes Dons v Accrington Stanley 3-1
Div 2

Appledore v Galmpton Utd 2-1

Fremington v N.Molton 1-1
N.Devon Prem

Appledore v Brixham 3-1

Park Utd v Torridgeside 1-2
Torridge Cup Final @Torrington

Park Utd v Fremington 3-1
N.Devon Prem


Ball Boy / Girl
Apr 26, 2020
Gillingham, Tonbridge
Division Two
Crystal Palace 1 Portsmouth 0
Attendance 18,029
Programme 60p

I entered the ground behind the goal on the Holmesdale End but by kick-off I was standing along the side in the Arthur Wait. Pompey only needed a point for promotion and nearly 10,000 away fans descended on Selhurst Park. It says quite a lot about the incompetence of stewarding away fans in the 1980s that they never thought to give the whole of the Holmesdale End to Portsmouth in the first place. In the end they asked the scattering of home fans to move along the side. Not sure why I moved because I was neutral and there were already Pompey fans in that section. I think it was simply the thrill of getting the chance to walk around the perimeter (I was a teenager and this was my first full season of going to games).
Ian Wright scored the winner three minutes from time to ruin the promotion party.

Kent League
Crockenhill 3 Kent Police 0
Attendance 20-30
Programme no cover price

A midweek end of season game. Kent Police started the game with nine players. At least one other turned up. The away bench was empty. They finished rock bottom of the division with 7 points from 40 games and 188 goals conceded. It's no wonder they called it a day after finishing bottom of the Kent League again the following season.
Always enjoyed my visits to Wested but not been there since 1997, although from the photos I've seen it remains unchanged.

Division Three
Gillingham 1 Scarborough 0
Attendance 10,420
Programme £1.50

Promotion had been secured a week earlier so this was a chance to relax and celebrate what the Gills had achieved. The Rainham End turnstiles had closed by the time I turned up half an hour before kick-off and I ended up on the away end, the 50 or so Scarborough fans given seats in the main stand.
The programmes had also sold out. I only got a copy when I encountered a bloke from Tonbridge who I'd known for years, a bit of an oddball, who sold me his spare copy for £3.
Thankfully chairman Paul Scally didn't keep his promise to play in the last game. Leo Fortune-West scored the only goal in the first-half, his 15th of the season. The supporters club had paid the £5,000 transfer fee to sign him from Stevenage in the summer.

Mark Hardy

Junior Team Starter
Dec 7, 2019
Atherstone UnitedFarnborough Town04/05/911-2Southern League Prem
Farnborough TownStevenage Borough04/05/962-2Conference
Badshot LeaRaynes Park Vale04/05/092-3Comb Count
Epsom & EwellCamberley Town04/05/103-2CCP
Wadebridge TownCallington04/05/121-4SWPDiv1 W
Penrhiwceiber RangersGoytre04/05/132-0Welsh League 2
Merley Cobham SportsShaftesbury Town04/05/146-3Dorset Prem
The 61FC LutonKent Athletic04/05/161-6SSMLDiv2
Albion RoversTreowen Stars04/05/193-1Welsh League Div 3

Mark Hardy

Junior Team Starter
Dec 7, 2019
Atherstone United 1-2 Farnborough Town
Beazer Homes League Premier Division
Saturday May 4th 1991
Sheepy Road; Att 619

I have written about this one because this was indeed the greatest day, I had watching Farnborough Town. I know we had the days out at West Ham (twice) and a trip to Arsenal in the FA Cup, but nothing surpasses this.

I will take you back to December, we travelled to Eton Park, the old home of Burton Albion and lost 2-0 and were languishing down in 10th place, having come down from the Vauxhall Conference just seven months earlier. From that point we only dropped points in 6 games, just one away defeat at Dover and won the other 19, taking 60 points from a possible 75.

Our closest rivals that season were Gloucester City and they visited us in April and the score ended level at 1-1, as it did at Meadow Park back in August. Gloucester had a game in hand and as the final week came, that game in hand was at home to VS Rugby on the Tuesday night. At the start of play Gloucester were 3 points behind with a better goal difference than Farnborough’s. Our Manager and Club Secretary made the trip and it finished level at 2-2, which left it in the balance and all Farnborough had to do was better the result of Gloucester the following Saturday.

The morning of the game and I ran the supporters coaches in those days and we took three coach load of fans, plus many who drove to the game as well. Gloucester had a short trip up the M5 to Bromsgrove Rovers, the Championship Shield, that is huge, was situated at a hotel in Birmingham, so it could go either way.

On to the game, Atherstone took the lead against Farnborough in the 14th minute and that was how it stayed until half time. It was goalless at the Victoria Ground. The second half became more and more tense as nothing changed in either game. As we approached the final five minutes, Paul Coombs headed Farnborough level, nothing had changed as a goal for Gloucester would allow them to leapfrog Farnborough and take the title.

Two minutes later and Jamie Horton was through on goal, his shot saved by the Atherstone keeper, the ball rebounded out to Colin Fielder, who could hit a ball a long way, many of the Boro fans started moving up the grass bank to retrieve the ball. He hit it first time and it nestled in the bottom corner. Pandemonium followed as the Farnborough fans went wild, including the inevitable pitch invasion.

As it calmed down the Farnborough Secretary got a call on the club mobile (size of a small suitcase), it was the Gloucester secretary screaming down the phone “We’ve scored, we’ve scored”, to which our secretary replied quite calmly, “oh good, we’ve just scored twice”. I think the phone went silent from that point. Injury time was played out and Farnborough had won the league with three minutes to spare. We then had to wait for the shield to travel to Atherstone from its base in Birmingham. It couldn’t even guess which way to go was the closeness of the final result.

One thing to mention is that, and this maybe a vicious rumour, but somebody at Bromsgrove had announce that Atherstone had got a late equaliser. It was soon quashed.

AtherstoneCeleb.jpgAtherstoneAction1.jpgSPLShield.jpgAtherstone Winner.JPG

town ender

Junior Team Hopeful
Dec 9, 2019
At Bromsgrove that same afternoon, half of Gloucester seemed to have travelled up the M5 that day. There was a huge and exuberant pitch invasion on 90 minutes - think the ref may have made a diplomatic decision to forego some stoppage time - which only dissipated after a few minutes, clearly when the actual score came through. In the days before mobile phones there was a lot of fun to be had through sheer speculation . . .

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