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 their maintenance.
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 fortunate 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 heightens 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 try today. They'll be delighted 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. Stan is showing a keen interest in my hobby as he grows into a young man!
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.
Wednesday, March 6, 2019
Monday, February 18, 2019
Fortunately, Hendon FC have a very good archive, which has assisted my recollection of the game. The visitors gave it a good go in the first half; which ended goalless, before Chris Duffy put the hosts ahead just after the interval.
The pub was definitely an experience and I wasn’t too upset when it was time to head off. I had an appointment in the West End as I met my friend Liz Robson as we went to the theatre to watch comedian Ed Byrne live.
Thursday 31st January 2019
I'd wanted to replace my lost photos for quite some time, so I decided to spring into action with the day off work. It was bright and bitterly cold as I headed on the usual train and bus route, which dropped me by the Park Lane ground.
The gates were locked, but the clubhouse was open. I half shocked a poor lady stocking the bar to death. Fortunately, she was friendly and welcomed me to go through the door out into the ground to snap away.
The cold had frozen a part of the terrace, which went unnoticed to me until I nearly had a bad accident on it. Not to be put off, I did a lap of the smart arena before thanking my kind host and heading off for a good stretch.
It was the opening day of the Second Test between the West Indies and England so I listened as I walked along the path by the sea wall. I was in good form and enthused by the friendliness of other locals who acknowledged each other as they passed.
The overtures of the Windjammer and Haystack pubs were tempting, especially with cricket on, but I had an evening appointment with ale awaiting me. Instead I sat out of the wind and enjoyed excellent battered sausage and chips from Islanders on Furtherwick Road.
The 21 bus took me back to Benfleet station from where I had a pint and watched a bit of the Test in Windsor Fenchurch and then a good walk through the city, appreciating some of the stunning buildings including the always beautiful St Paul's Cathedral.
Jeff Cards was meeting me at Temple Brew House. My mate had come up trumps. It brew its own good ale at a fair price, showed the cricket and had friendly service. We also took in fine beers at the Nell Gwynne Tavern and The Harp before Jeff had a bit of a shock.
He agreed to watch a bit more cricket with me and was adamant that the Empire Casino had a dedicated sports bar. It did indeed, and they put the match on a huge screen, but it was my pals shout. It was £6 for San Miguel, the best option on offer. We didn't spill any!