Tuktuk Day 57

So, it’s Sunday and that can only mean one thing*. Intrepid Darren Ashley has been on his travels again. His vlogs are becoming very popular and many are going over to view the vlog on his YT channel. You can subscribe at no cost to see the updates. Yesterday he was at Stotfold and by all accounts was well looked after again. The POWER of non-league.

* Actually two things to ponder, Why did my beloved FC Deportivo Galicia throw away a 3-0 half-time lead at Westside? Whey we love football (sometimes) number #537343

So, let’s see what Darren says…

“This weeks destination for the filming of the vlog was Stotfold FC, for their Step 4 Southern League Division 1 Central clash with Ware FC.

With the awful rain all around this week, I fully expected to be watching a match on a 3G surface for the 4th week running, but was delighted to find a match that was a very reachable distance to get to that was to be played on grass.

I initiated contact with the club via X, particularly with manager Brett Donnelly, just to make sure it was all ok to film.

Brett was great, replying that they were happy to have me and would be happy to help out with interviews etc.

Matchday, and I got to the ground nice and early, and, almost straight away, the club was very helpful with a steward called Paul telling me about the club and being happy to film my opening link to the vlog.

As he was doing this, the, as I soon found out, the wonderful chairman Rob Parkin appeared in shot, and once the initial filming was done, i was introduced to Rob, and, he took me into the ground and showed me around.

Honestly, he couldn’t have been kinder, allowing as much access as I wanted, and that even included going onto the pitch to film various links.

I had to somehow get him on camera for an interview, and, with a small bit of persuasion, he was happy to do it.

After initial filming was done, I had a little walk around the ground Stotfold ground, New Roker Park, where I met Brett properly for the first time, and, also Paul Halsey, the Ware manager, who was walking his dog around the ground whilst his team were warming up

They were happy to have a few words on camera at Full Time, no matter the result, although Paul told me he would be pushed for time as he was off to Arsenal that evening.

You know what though, Paul actually waited around for me when it was time for the interview, which was very classy of him, and yet another reason why I now find Non League the absolute best.

Onto kick off time now, in what must be said, a very unusually warm and sunny February afternoon.

Now you know this next bit by now…..I won’t write any words on the match itself,as i hope you will give the matchday vlog a bit of a watch…where the link will be found in the comments!

Half time arrives, and I made my way into the boardroom, pre arranged with Rob, where I was treated to coffee and biscuits.

I think I was enjoying the hospitality too much because, I nearly forgot to film my brief half time link.

It’s not easy to talk when all I was doing was eating and drinking.

Onto the second half now, and, half way through it, I had to move my position from the main stand to the other side of the ground, as my phone was struggling to pick up any clear action due to the brightness of the sun.

It was around that side where, for the first time all day, I had contact with Ware supporters.

The ones I spoke too were all a good lot, and we all had pretty much the same thoughts on what we thought of the match… a couple of them also were asking whether I would do a vlog at their ground…..of course I would, if invited.

So… the final whistle goes, on, what I thought as a neutral, a really enjoyable match.

I sought out the managers ( by the way, they were a couple of decent fella’s and a laugh too) for the interview’s and once again, went to the boardroom where I was offered drinks and curry.

I couldn’t turn that down, but I did make a schoolboy error, as I sent a quick video to my partner Melanie, showing her how well I was being treated and what I was eating.

Her simple reply was “ I hope that’s not your dinner as I’m cooking it now. “

Ware FC

What else could I say other than, don’t worry, I will eat my dinner when I get home….although, even then, I was pretty stuffed!!

Time to leave then, but I had to find Rob one last time to thank him and his club for their amazing amazing hospitality.

I cannot recommend Stotfold FC to visit highly enough for ground hoppers, yet a had mixed feelings as I left as I really want them to progress, yet, at the same time, not too much, so they could retain the charm and community spirit which they clearly have.

Thanks for reading.”

Thanks, Darren, we all look forward to next week’s adventures.

In the meantime I hope you are all enjoying the tour of the UK and I that you will consider a donation however small to support FC Deportivo Galicia and/or Prostate Cancer UK If everybody chipped in £1 I would easily hit my target of £10,000 and life would be easier in West London whilst the charity continued their great work.

This week we have lost the Maverick Stan Bowles who was one of those players who fans of all clubs would love. My thoughts are with him and his family and friends.

Stan Bowles R.I.P.

… and now a little rant! Yet another club encouraging me to buy their FOURTH kit! Now, I happen to have a soft spot for all the Madrid clubs, think all the Atleti shirts are quite attractive but NOBODY needs four shirts in a season. Nobody. It is done solely to fleece the fans. Do NOT bite the hand that feeds you. Guys, enough is enough or as they say in Spain. ¡Basta Ya!

Atletico de Madrid’s FOURTH limited edition kit – ridiculous

First and Second Kit 23/24


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