Welcome to volume one of my blog paying homage to the football clubs I've visited all over the world and the wonderful people responsible for keeping them going and looking after the stadiums, and in some cases basic grounds.

Since I was a little lad I've been fascinated in football and more so where games are played. With my love of travel and curiosity of the game I wanted to visit as many grounds and see games wherever possible. I was lucky that my Dad also loved the game and spent so much of his spare time taking me to matches. As I got older the boundaries widened owing to my location and increased wages to Europe and indeed the world. The sight of a stand or a floodlight pylon in the distance immediately hightens my senses and eagerness for a closer look.

I hope this site gives you the chance to share in my pleasure and experiences and maybe one day set you on the road to adventure. If you get half as much out of the hobby as I've done I can guarantee some great memories, good friends and stories to pass on to future generations.

Give your local club a go today. They'll be pleased to see you!

Everlasting thanks primarily to my late and very much missed and dearly loved parents; my Dad Bob Bernard and my Mum; Ann, who put up with endless years of football chat and my brothers Nick and Paul who gave me the chance and encouragement to do what I have. Thanks to all my friends who offer encouragement and Sally and Stan who inspire and give me great pride. Young Stan is showing a keen interest in my hobby!

Please feel free to post any comments (please use sensible language - I want everyone to be able to enjoy reading) or ask any questions relating to visiting grounds or events. If you want to see any ground reviewed please let me know. It will take quite some time for everywhere to appear, but make sure you keep having a look as the site is continually updated.

If you click on a lot of the pictures you will get a larger version on your screen.

I have also added links to video clips on youtube where appropriate for those of you who are bored of reading or are filling in time at work. I haven't always gone for the most obvious choices, but items that will be in some cases unusual but always historically interesting.

Click to see volume two of HAOTW.

Rob Bernard

London

September 2015

Monday, July 16, 2012

Westfield



Westfield FC are a non league football club from the district of the same name in Woking, Surrey around twenty three miles south west of central London. The club were formed in 1953 as Westfield Boys Club playing local league football.

Around 1960 the club moved to play their home games at Woking Park in Kingfield, just a short stroll from the home of Woking FC. In 1964 'The Field' or 'The Yellas' as they are nicknamed met the ground requirements and joined the Surrey Senior League. The club gained a reputation for being able to attract the best local youngsters to play for them.












In 1978 the Surrey Senior League was disbanded and became part of the new Combined Counties League, with Westfield being founder members. Floodlights were installed at Woking Park in 1998 as the club continued without any senior honours.

At the end of the 2005-06 season Westfield were relegated to the league's First Division following conflict with some league officials owing to new ground grading regulations being implemented. Westfield had intended to share with their neighbours over the road for two years while their own facilities were being upgraded, but this denied at a late stage.

The building of new facilities at the ground began during the 2010-11 season as the team put in an inconsistent season. In May 2011 the old pitch was dug up and raised, while the old clubhouse was demolished. A new building offering much improved facilities was put up in its place meaning that ground grading issues would be a thing of the past. The new facilities obviously inspired the side as they won promotion to the Premier Division at the end of the 2013-14 season.













Westfield FC will play in the Combined Counties League Premier Division in the 2013-14 season.


My visit

Wednesday 20th June 2012

I was out and about on a very pleasant afternoon on my rest day from work. I had already visited a few grounds in the vicinity, and after a nice walk downhill from the town centre I'd just been inside the Kingfield home of Woking FC.

I really should have visited Westfield in the past. I mean I'd been to Woking a few times, but I always seemed otherwise detained! I had read on various forums about the new improved Woking Park ground and I'd seen some images as it was been developed. It looked very promising.












After checking the bus times back to the railway station I realised I had fifteen minutes to have a look. I crossed over the road and walked around the banking of the new flood defences and found myself right behind one of the goals at the ground. The perimeter fence was green painted hard messing, but it offered a free view inside. Surely some sheeting would be put over it when games were on, or were the Combined Counties League not as strict with ground grading compared to other leagues?

The near goal had narrow flat and open hard standing. The right hand touchline had grass banking, along with a strip of hard standing, with dug outs in front. The same pattern went round behind the far goal. The final side had a large two floored building along the full length of the pitch. This seemed to cater for many groups. I saw signs for the Woking Scouts. Further along was a balcony on the first floor looking out onto the pitch with club facilities inside. Below it was a section of seating for spectators. It was very impressive and offered great scope for further development if ever required.












I walked back over the road and took my bus back to Woking station for a drink and a sandwich before catching a fast train back to Waterloo.

I would not hesitate to revisit the ground for a match in the future having seen the facilities on offer.




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