Archive for the ‘The Clubs’ Category

Day 12

After four crazy, crazy days Monday was a bit quieter. I left World Cup Willy and cycled down to the Regus Centre to get a signature on the Regus shirt but it was closed with the bank holiday cursing the journey! So, off down the road to Watford’s Vicarage Road which again was pretty well locked-up. I remember the ground well from when I lived just down the road and it was sad to have seen the decline. In truth, it did not appear to have been touched in the last 10 years. Sad.


From there it was down the road to Hemel Hempstead Rugby League Football Club. I was Chairman at the Stags in the late 90s and was delighted to find the founder Bob Brown in the newly revamped clubhouse. Bob has almost single-handedly steered the team (and the club) for 20 years and is a TRUE sporting hero.

Day11

It is always invidious to talk about good days and bad days, good meetings and bad meetings or good presentations and bad presentations but Sunday was definitely a GOOD day.

First I had lunch with a long-time friend and owner of Mr O’s Thai Restaurant in Crouch End. The steep hills were made easier in the knowledge that we would have a great meal in a convivial atmosphere. The killer climb up Muswell Hill (I pushed!) was also made easier or at least more pleasant by a number of glimpses of Arsenal’s new ground (The Emirates Stadium) in the distance. Sadly, time beat me but I will be back to add it to the other 91 clubs,

Then I was off to Barnet (Club 6). It is a small village team just outside London and a club which only escaped relegation out of the football league on the last day of the season. It’s probably 15 years since I was last there and sadly few other fans have passed through the turnstiles either as The Bees have one of the lowest average attendances in England. Anyway, they are club 6 and equally welcome as their bigger brothers to the project. (Update: some 115 days later I was delighted to be presented a Barnet shirt by the Vision BNI chapter who had made contact with the club and whose chairman, Tony Kleanthous, obliged. Thanks Mr Kleanthous and thanks Vision.)

Vision BNI (Southgate) present a signed Barnet shirt.

The day was finished with a superb meal and hospitality chez Wil and Paula in Watford. Wil Corker is a man with a mission and I was delighted to hear all about it, He has committed to attend the Homeless World Cup in Brazil this autumn. You can (and should!) read more about his challenge here. It was a great evening and a shower and bed were much appreciated. Thanks and good luck.

Day 10

I guess this was “The Big One” After an appalling night’s sleep in the worst doss house in London I was pleased to wipe my feet on the way out of the B&B (!) and set sail, as it were. An hour later and I was soaked to the skin as I pedalled into Stamford Bridge. The security guy at Chelsea was a lot of fun and wished me well but said that it was impossible to see the pitch, meet anybody or generally breathe! He was very apologetic and amazed by Björn’s project but anything more than a trip round the outside of the ground was a no-no. Anyway, I had a good look around the outside and I have to say that it looks very impressive.

Had a chat with a group of Swindon fans who were in London for the League One play-offs but sadly they had no spare tickets so it was on with the journey. Next stop was Fulham’s Craven Cottage. It has always been a favourite ground and although it is so olde worlde, the fans are really proud of this season’s achievements. The guy in the shop thought I was mad and came out to be photographed with the scarf you see. Sad memories of what might have been against Atletí a few weeks before.

Friends own an electrical shop nearby and although not soccer fans themselves the Brothers Khwaja were keen to help and rustled up a WBA shirt from a friend of theirs who supports the Baggies. So, Fulham’s Electrotex are now also on board.

From there it was off to Brentford where I was regaled by a very drunk Brentford fan who had been to many of the 92 grounds supporting his beloved Brentford FC. Their ground Griffin Park is unique in that it has a pub on every corner. Sadly, the landlady wanted 30 pounds for the night and my budget does not stretch to that. So, off I went to the hostel via QPR’s Loftus Road. By now, I was absolutely drenched and hardly stopped for longer than to muse that this is a club that has had some great players over the years but never “quite” made it. Perhaps next season as football fans the world over hope!

So 4 clubs and I felt the journey had really begun.

Doing The 92

My name is Steve Hall. I am a Brit who lives in Spain and who loves football.

In 2010 I cycled to all the 92 football league clubs in England and Wales. I set off in May and finished on 23 September 2010. I was met with almost universal kindness, hospitality and friendship.

Please check through the site to learn more about the project, the people involved and how you can also help and get involved.

Thanks

Steve

DoingThe92

Euro Weekly News

I guess this is where it all starts. I gave my first interview to Keith Nicol for an English-language newspaper, the Euro Weekly News. The weeks of training suddenly all seemed to have a focus. Here we go!