Me

The greatest goal I ever saw scored – Colin Barrett slams in the second as the Mighty Reds beat Liverpool 2-0 in the European Cup 1978

After my best season ever in terms of new grounds – 103 in all – it looks like I’m going to be just as busy in 2017/8, with Step 5 & 6 leagues on the South Coast my main priority. Plus I’ve got two more trips to Ireland lined up before Christmas, and not forgetting a return to the Netherlands in February with Aussie Jack and my old friend Bobster for company. I might even find time to write a few blog entries!

As well as recording my travels around various stadia,  the general idea of this blog is to report on the availability (or not) of good ale and pescatarian food at or in the vicinity of grounds. The lack of vegetarian fayre in particular often leads me to believe I must be the only veggie (or pesky even) in football, otherwise there’d surely be a national outcry. The beer situation is marginally better, and I’d say that one in two grounds normally has at least a bottled ale on offer.

A bit about me – I went to my first match (at Filbert Street, Leicester) with my father in 1965 and followed Leicester for ten years. I always say they were ‘my dad’s team’ and when I got itchy feet (and a car) I started what I call my first tour of new grounds (1976/77), during which I went to the City Ground for the first time and got the Forest bug. They’ve been ‘my team’ ever since.

My second new ground tour started in 1987 when working in the Black Country and I followed Wolves around the lower reaches, and apart from a couple of years watching Darlington home & away (for no other reason than I loved Feethams and met like-minded souls) it was Forest all the way.

That was until in 2004 I got the wandering bug again, and began my third (and still ongoing) tour of new grounds. The wife thinks I’m sad but it keeps me happy…

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16 Responses to Me

  1. John Colley says:

    I loved your report of North Leigh, I went there when I was a student in Oxford (Oxford Brookes, not the posh one!). I loved the ground, completely wierd, strange people, but very, very friendly. My next trip after that was Witney Towns (Then newely built) ground, what a horrible advert it was for football, I can see why they thought it would be a great idea, but it did not work.

    I just wondered what you think of my local team North Ferriby Utd. I am a Hull City fan, but the better they have got, the less I have been going, and the more I have been frequenting non-league grounds (my fioncee doesn’t understand either!) I am sick of the glory-fans Hull have got now. Where were they all when we were crap. In the pub wearing their Leeds Utd shirts, thats where!

    Anyway, I am biased, and not a huge ground-hopper (30 non league grounds), however, I feel North Ferriby has everything to offer. 1) Decent football 2)Great clubhouse with decent beer 3)Cover on all four sides 4)Picturesque settings (Church, river Humber, obligatory railway line!) 5)Always 150+ fans 6)Nice village pub nearby 6)Rail station with links to Hull, Leeds, Sheffield without changing. What more could a groundhopper ask for?

    Anyway, enjoy your next match, and I look forward to reading your excellent reports

    PS My second favourite ground is Great Yarmouth. Get yourself there if you can, its worth a visit

  2. gremlinmoth e says:

    good blog
    filbert street with 42000 in it was not fun !! good away days though (except bolton )-remember luton town easter 1971- hot pants an’ all

  3. Stephen says:

    Brilliant stuff, good detail with stadiums. Ever been to Love Street (St Mirren’s old groud)? Absolutely Phenomenal!

  4. Steve says:

    Ohh i remember your city when i was come from France for my first trip in England! Very close to the east middlands airport!

  5. Andy says:

    Hi there! enjoyable blog. Stumbled upon it randomly but will look forward to your further posts. I’ve been groundhopping through the FA Cup since August (check out the link)unfortunately it seems we’ll be off to that awful little ground at Derby! I’m glad to see you got down to Walton Casuals, nice little club and I know their left back. Andy. The FA Cup tourists 2009-10

  6. Walter Marshall says:

    Hi,
    Exiled Clyde fan in Sheffield here! just posted a link on our Members Forum re your visit to Broadwood for the Arbroath game. Found your site via Fitba’ Daft and its a great read. Knew you must be a Forest fan when I saw your description of Derby Co in the RIP section! Now confirmed.

  7. Barry Wilkins says:

    Hello,
    Found your site through FGIF and think it’s great reading.I too was a Leicester City fan until I found the Non League Game and have been much happier since!!
    Visited Belper Town on Saturday- must have the best chips in the world !!- and very friendly people.Even the team was nice- only beat us 2-1,we were expecting a real hammering!!!

  8. Richard panter says:

    Parakeets a plenty at Windsor & Eton last saturday past (11.12.10). Also green woodie and a little owl which took advantage of the floodlight failure there.

    Kind regards.

  9. flynn123 says:

    Clearly Windsor & Eton is the place I need to be! The most I saw in one place was Ashford Town near Heathrow so they obviously like this part of SW London.

  10. Mark Jones says:

    Venture over to Wales and be my guest at Prestatyn Town for a day. No parakeets but I’ll sort you a veggieburger and see you right for free admission and a programme.
    Diolch yn fawr iawn
    Mark Jones
    Press Officer
    Prestatyn Town FC
    07753 966805

    • flynn123 says:

      Jolly decent of you, Mark, although I always insist on paying my way, because grass roots football needs its income stream. I did set me eyes on the League of Wales a couple of years back but I seem to have been side-tracked. It’s only now that I’ve just checked your website that I realise it’s become the Welsh Premier League with just 12 teams – what happened to Porthmadoc (my adopted Welsh team)?
      Hopefully I can sort a visit out before the end of the season.

  11. I’ve stumbled across your site after a discussion of groundhopping in Rugby Union at http://www.leaguerugby.co.uk.

    Although the shape of the ball is different I think we share the same experiences each Saturday – I’m currenty trying to visit all the rugby union grounds in Yorkshire whilst enjoying a pint and a good veggie meal – rugby seems even worse than soccer in that respect 😦

  12. Hello,

    I stumbled across your site while doing some research for a documentary I want to produce. Fantastic site. Really enjoying it.

    I would really like to follow a non league team for a season. I want to show the passion that supporters have for a local club… even in the driving rain.

    Would like to find the non league club with the passionate support.

    Do you have any suggestions?

    Thanks,

    Adam Haggerty

    adam@welikeclouds.com

    • flynn123 says:

      Why not start with Darlington, now in the Northern League, that’s Step 5 or Level 9 of English football. After what happened to them last season – into administration, relegated 4 levels by the FA – and how the fans rallied round to ensure they finished the season, and having saved the club, are now preparing to fight their way back up the ladder. You don’t get more passionate than that. Visit http://www.darlofc.co.uk/forum/ and http://www.dafts.co.uk/ for a feel of what it’s all about.

  13. Peter says:

    Hey, stumbled upon your blog whilst looking for old images of Kettering Town’s ground. Born and bred from the town and a life long supporter of the club, I’ve been unable to follow my team for 2 seasons now thanks to the mess it’s been left in.

    I also read your mention about the floodlights as you coming in from the north on the train and now as a fellow Leicestershire resident, it’s a sight that I fear will be going VERY soon. Would be nice if you could give the club one more mention. Thank god Northampton Saints aren’t going anywhere soon or I’ll have no one to follow!!!!

    Keep up the awesome work and probably bump into you at Barrow or Kirby Muxloe…

    • flynn123 says:

      Yep, very sad what’s happening at Kettering, mirrors what was occurring at one of my pet clubs – Darlington – last season. Happily Darlo look like they could be on the way back – albeit from the depths of the Northern League. Kettering not quite so promising.

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