Day 76

Great day

Fantastic hospitality from Rotherham United and Chesterfield at their fabulous new stadium. A real pleasure to meet the guys.

I also got a sponsor for the day. Shout out for Bristol Street Motors in Chesterfield who did what they said they would and paid up when they said they would. (Nice Jaffa Cakes!)THANKS.

Sadly,I have lost my glasses and am absolutely hopeless without them. So, how do I type this? I type it in Word and then increase the font size so that even I can see it before I then reduce to a standard size. Really slow so I will go out as soon as I can to get a new pair.

Got some great photos from yesterday and will upload them just as soon as I can. They ARE worth woiting for, I assure you.

I’m in Ripley on Notts/Derbys border. This is not B&B land and was delighted to find anywhere after nearly 3 hours of cycling in vain looking for anywhere open. Just when I had decided to find a lorry or shed or whatever a guy in a pub told me about Moss Cottage. To get to it I had to cycle through a wood (!) in the dark (NO FUN!) but as I saw it it seemed like an oasis to me. (….or is it a mirage!)

More later with my new glasses……

Well, as I said, I was regally welcomed by Adam Hulme at Chesterfield and it was a real pleasure to see their new stadium which, to be polite, is a tad superior to Saltergate. It really is a “model” stadium and Adam was kind enough to take me backstage too. VERY impressive. Adam also brought along the club photographer and Tina Jenner was soon busy taking shots and videoing me cycle around the OUTSIDE of the pitch ….. under the watchful eye of the groundsman. I have to say the playing surface looks absolutely magnificent and the Spireites will not be able to blame the pitch if they don’t get promoted this season!

Adam even added an article to the official club website and it is an excellent overview of the progress of the journey. There is also a video interview for those who can cope with my dulcid tones. If I sound out of breadth, please blame the mountain that is Eckington which is incoveniently placed between where I was (Rotherham) and where I wanted to be (Chesterfield!) Thanks, Adam and Tina. I really enjoyed my time with you and wish you well for the new stadium.

Now, Rotherhm is an “interesting one”. The team play in one city (Don Valley Stadium, Sheffield) are based in another (Rotherham… a rather uninspiring office on an rather uninspriring industrial estate) and train in yet another town, Doncaster. Yet, despite all that, there was a play-off place last season and they are obviously hoping to go one better this season. The trouble is that so are 23 other clubs and with the likes of Bury, Gillingham, Shrewsbury and Wycombe they know it will not be easy. They were kind enough to present me with a T-Shirt commemorating their play-off adventure and it was a bitter-sweet moment I am sure when I was photographed proudly wafting it in the breeze. Good Luck to all at Rotherham and hope you soon get the permanent base you are looking forward to. That was my last Yorkshire ground and with one (notable) exception I was well treated at all. Good Yorkshire hospitality and I must also thank Mick Daniels from Sheffield and his family who were kind enough to accoomodate me for two nights. Mick is a huge Blades fan and he very kindly arranged for me to have the Royal Tour at their famous old ground. Thanks!

So, now in Derbyshire but with a detour into Nottinghamshire for Nottm Forest and Notts County before I really hit some miles with Derby, Burton, Leicester, Coventry, Northampton, Milton Keynes, Oxford in the next week. Wish me luck!


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