The Football Neutral: Match Fifty – AFC Wimbledon vs Cheltenham Town

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The only way to read this post in FULL along with 23 others from 2014/15 is to buy my season review eBook in the Kindle store. It’s less than £3 and over 300 pages of my daft adventures. Pick it up, enjoy it and you’ll be supporting my travels next season. Feel free to tell anyone you might know about it too! Thank you so much!

…I walked from Norbiton station to the ground just as the City game kicked off.  My phone soon buzzed to reveal a message that read “what a start” from my Dad.  Well, this could mean anything so I asked him to elaborate – City had scored after 47 seconds.  My Dad can’t spell “Ulloa” because the difference between spelling and correct Spanish pronunciation baffles him.  I think he typed his name as “Uoohchuhuoaaah”.

I also had time on my walk to think about the plight of Cheltenham Town, already relegated out of the league.  I watched them more than any club last season (three times) and I found their fans to be really good people.  I sincerely hope that they bounce straight back, and they’ve at least got a manager with good pedigree in Gary Johnson.  I spotted a fair few of their fans on my stroll, and it was encouraging that they took so many supporters to their final game of such a disappointing season.

I collected my tickets from a small Portakabin before meeting Paul.  I pulled out my phone to get my confirmation and the nice lady said “don’t need it love, just your surname”.  What a pleasant thing to see, a bit of trust that I wouldn’t be after anyone else’s tickets!  That is very rare these days, bearing in mind how many clubs have asked me for ID when buying tickets at the ground on the day of a game in case I was there to cause trouble.  I’m obviously not, but I can understand why people sometimes jump to conclusions, what with me being a tattooed skinhead and all.  It’s only if you look closer at the tattoos and you realise that they’re all daft and that I’ve only got a shaven head because my hair is falling out.

The club shop is another small building, and it’s clear to see that the current Wimbledon kit is GORGEOUS. Not only are they sponsored by every supporters favourite waste of time – Football Manager – but it’s a lovely blue with awesome 1980s style pinstripe AND it’s made by Admiral.  My first ever Leicester kit was made by Admiral, so the memories it brought back were fantastic.  I had to stop myself from buying it.  I’m thinking about going online and buying it now.  It’s a truly smashing kit, only rivalled by the Forest Green Rovers away shirt….

The only way to read this post from last season in full (along with 23 others and a load of extra stuff) is to get my eBook for less than £3. Click here to get it. I’d be really grateful!

 

 

 

 

The Football Neutral: Match Twenty Two – Burton Albion vs AFC Wimbledon

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This is now an edited version of the original blog… you can read the full one by downloading my Football Neutral 2013/14 season review on Kindle.  Well over 300 pages of daftness. Less than £2! Thanks!

…I had to park out the back of the industrial units, near to a sandwich packing factory.  As I got out and put on my coat, I noticed the fattest man I have ever seen wearing a hairnet smoking a cigarette.  He finished it, and whilst staring at me, slowly got out another and lit it.  At this point I was not entirely sure that he was employed by the company.

As I approached the stadium near the away end, I caught a glimpse of the terrace I would be in, the West Stand.  Massive flags everywhere, reminding me of a miniature version of Dortmund’s Signal Iduna Park (which, for the record, sounds nowhere near as good as Westfalenstadion).  Even with a modest history, it seems the Burton fans are desperate to promote a good atmosphere and club feel; my initial theory is that it would be like my trip to Dagenham, but transplanted into the Midlands – all Derby, Forest and maybe Leicester fans choosing to watch a more local team to save some money and get their kids into the game.  Wrong.  Everyone I met was Albion through and through, and some of the most knowledgeable fans I’ve met this year.

Now for some criticism.  I apologise in advance, because Burton really is a cracking club and I had a great day.  But: their club badge is stupid.  Really horrible.

It’s like someone saw the Ajax badge (made up of just a few lines) and thought it could be recreated.  It can’t.  A guy in the ground had a proper retro flag that would have been a MUCH better choice.  I’m just putting this out there.  There’s isn’t much other criticism, honest.  Certainly not of the ticket prices, because they’re easy to get: £15 to stand, £20 to sit.  Same for both home and away fans (which is incredibly rare higher up the leagues so I’m always pleasantly shocked by it).  Three stands are terraced, then the main stand has seats where you actually have to buy a ticket from the main office.  For us lucky standers, it’s just cash on the gate, exactly how football should be.

Once in the ground, I needed food.  I’ve been on a diet for two weeks since meeting wrestler turned Yoga guru “Diamond” Dallas Page and starting his DDP Yoga programme, so was allowed something unhealthy. Burton is the place you want to go if you fancy something naughty, trust me…

If you liked this little extract then please feel free to buy my ebook containing the full match report (and 25 others) by clicking this link.  It’s less than £2, over 300 pages long and I promise you is a fun read. Ta!