I guess I wanted to write a brief introduction about this blog page. The reason I started it was in the main to keep some sort of record of the places I’ve been, pubs I’ve visited etc.
The older I get and the more I travel round ‘adding’ to my lists, the more likely I am to forget when, who, what , detail etc. So I’m hoping in a couple of years time it’ll be fun to look back and read some of the blogs. The blog page is as much ‘for me’ as anyone else.
Originally the plan was to just keep a blog site listing visits to new football grounds, of which I try to achieve close to 50 or so a season, new grounds that is. But then thought, hey, why not extend to general blogs of things that interest me, that keep the pulse going and give me reason to get out of bed in the morning!
I don’t intend to write about everything, mostly new ticks/experiences, so even though I still have a ST at Crystal Palace FC, and have been going there since 1970, I don’t intend to write too often on them, maybe perhaps the odd game here and there.
What I am hoping, that there will be something for everyone, although I know I’m obsessional, I also have other mainstream interests, hopefully you will see something that’ll amuse/entertain or interest you.
Cheers, Shaun, November 2011.
My Categories –
My Dad was born in Croydon in 1929, and is a lifelong Crystal Palace fan. Apparently I’m told I could kick a football before I could walk, so it’s no great suprise that I was pretty keen to attend a live match as soon as I was old enough.
I’m 99.9% certain the 1st game ‘live’ game was in the old 1st Division v Derby County, 0-0, in Dec 1970, I would have been 8 that Dec, and it’s possible my Dad would have said he wouldn’t take me until I was old enough to sit still!
Either way by 1975, now in Div Three! I was regularly attending Selhurst Park, and by 1977-78 I had my 1st season ticket.
In April 74′, Fulham, I attended my 1st ‘away’ game, 3-1 win:), followed by some other local away games, including Aug 74, at Brighton, L 0-1, a very lively atmosphere, and start of rivalry between the 2 clubs.
And round about this time, in the mid 70s my love of non league football began after a visit to my local club Epsom and Ewell for an FA Vase SF, won 2-1 against Stamford (Lincs), I also made my 1st visit to the old Wembley for the Final, 1-2 defeat v Hoddesdon Town.
After travelling extensively with Palace Circa 1978-84, I realised I’d ‘ticked’ over half of the 92 grounds, and inspired by the fantastic book ‘The Football Grounds of England and Wales’ – author Simon Inglis, and with under 24 railcard in my hand I started to tick off the remaining grounds required for games not involving Palace, and found I thoroughly enjoyed watching games and not willing one team to win!
On 24th April 1993 I completed the ’92’ for the 1st time at Glanford Park/Scunthorpe United, v Barnet.
And have subsequently re-completed the 92 as and when new grounds are added.
During the 80s I also travelled around the Senior southern non leagues, Isthmian/Southern/Conference and local leagues like Sussex County, Combined Counties and Spartan Leagues ticking off clubs witin a 75 mile or so radius.
As a ground hopper, now with close to 800 grounds visited ‘ticked’ and collected I find I re-define the leagues and clubs I need to collect every season, and my current goal is to visit every ground in the English league pyramid from Steps 1 (Premiership> to Step 8 (NL Step4- Isthmian/Southern and Northern Prem). As well as finish the Scottish (4 to do) and Welsh Prem (3).
Once I’ve completed these, and if health and finances still allow I’d like to finish all the Step 9 regional feeder leagues.
It’s a passion, and it doesn’t wane!