These articles are published in the Slough Town FC programme. The Rebels play in the National League South in a swanky new ground. I’ve been supporting Slough since the beginning of time despite now living in Brighton.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Once A Rebel

Published in the programme for Slough Town v Hampton Ryman Premier 2nd April 2005

God knows I've tried. I've paid my £22 to see the Albion, seriously flirted with Lewes and Burgess Hill. Stood on the empty terraces at Whitehawk and Southwick,but it's never the same. I always feel a bit unfaithful and just don't get the same buzz. So I keep coming back despite the four hour plus round trip for a 'home game' when plenty of Slough people can't even be bothered to drive down the Windsor relief road! People think I'm mad, although other footie fans have a grudging kind of respect. I know why I do it - but why do other exiled rebels make the journey?

Gary moved out of Slough 18 years ago and has lived in Horsham for most of that time. "The reasons I travel to Slough, and not watch Horsham, Worthing or Crawley, is that Slough Town FC has a great family feeling, everyone makes you feel at home. The football is usually very good, the Rebels like to play proper football, rather than hoofing it around (well most of the time). My mother is disabled, and wheelchair bound, the Saturday afternoon watching the Rebels is an enjoyable afternoon out for her, and all of the stewards look out for her. The other reason is the sorry plight the club finds itself in. Living away from the town you don't get to hear most of what is going on, but it is appalling how the club is being treated. That definitely makes us fans dig in harder."

Kevin lives in Ashby de la Zouch in Leicestershire and moved out of Slough at age eight "My first football match ever was a Rebels match at the old Dolphin stadium when I was 8 ...... no idea who we played, no idea who won, but I know I loved it. During the mid 70's I went to about 4 or 5 Rebels games a season at Wexham Park when we came to Slough for family visits then, unfortunately, I learned to drive and must admit I chose Arsenal over the Rebels and went to see the Gunners most weeks.

Recently, I average 2 Slough games a season so why don't I support the local team? Well, over the past 30 years I have been to many Burton Albion and Gresley Rovers games, and this year went to 4 of Coalville Towns FA Cup games so I will always have a soft spot for those 3 clubs, but as I have spent the last 33 years here in Ashby 'You can the man out of Slough, but you can't take Slough out of the man!'."

Lesley moved to Winchester a year ago and has supported the rebels for over 35 years, from watching the games to painting the ground. "I still come to watch almost every home Saturday game and a couple of away games. Once you support the Rebels you never lose the love of the team, all the hard work the players and supporters put through every game. There is no other football team in the UK is there?

Wherever I go, be it either work or social I talk about the Rebels and soon enough people who have never heard of Slough, let alone the football club, look for the results to talk about it on Mondays. I find men especially friendly in this respect, the fact I travel that far to watch football, a female on her own they find unbelievable, but they, like every one else gets into Slough. No matter where I live I will always follow Slough Town FC if I can't get to the game then I always ring to get the result from someone, even when on

Roger has been watching the rebels since 1982 when we were beaten by Bishop's Stortford in the 2nd Round of the cup. "I used to cycle to matches regularly and while in the last 2 years at school barely missed a home game. Even at University I would still come home as often as I could to see us. After University I stayed in Loughborough, and luckily this coincided with us getting promoted to the Conference. I
remember hitching from Loughborough to Bromley with my girlfriend at the time to see Neal Stanley's all important goal that took us up. Loughborough was a pretty ideal place for watching Conference away days as it is just about slap bang in the middle of the country, and my trusty Chevette racked up some serious mileage.

To general incredulity I have never been shy about my affection for the Rebels, and have left a trail of work colleagues who still find themselves bemusedly looking for Slough's result on a Sunday morning. Our fall from Conference coincided with a move to Cumbria, so trips to see Slough became few and far between, particularly as my job involved weekend working. A move to the Peak District a few years ago made things a bit simpler, and I had the good fortune to move to a Monday to Friday job at the start of this season allowing me to enjoy this season's fantastic cup runs.

Gary's excellent work with the camcorder has allowed me to continue trying to convert those at work. I have also convinced my girlfriend and her daughter of the merits of coming to see Slough play, and they enjoy seeing my character change when I get into a ground! As far as I am concerned I am a Slough fan for life. Sadly I cannot make it back as often as I wish (180 miles 2-3 hours each way), but thanks to the web site and forum I can still keep in touch with the Rebels. I have had some fantastic afternoons & evenings watching Slough over the past 20+ years and hope for many more."

Despite never living in Slough, Charlie still travels from Leicester every weekend to see the Rebels - oh and her boyfriend Marcus. "My home town was Hitchin and now I live in Leicester, where I'm currently at University. My first experience of following Slough Town FC was to accompany my boyfriend, who decided to renew his passion for local level football one warm Saturday afternoon. I've always loved watching football so I jumped at the chance. Upon arriving, we stood where my other half had stood as a boy, behind the
goal with all the usual suspects who chanted, groaned and sang for their heroes in Amber and Blue. And immediately we felt like we belonged. For me, one who had never been to a small football ground before (for my sins I had been a Manchester United fan) the experience was one that will never leave me. The atmosphere was electric, the passions high and I was hooked. I loved the fact there was obviously a huge amount of respect and love for the boys playing in front of them.

That was over two years ago, and since then, come rain or shine, I have travelled down from Leicester every week. Although my primary reason for coming to Slough is obviously to spend time with my boyfriend, we both insist on seeing the Rebels, wherever the game is. And so the dye is cast. No matter where I end up living after University, I will always return to see the Rebels."

Steve, whose granddad used to play for the Rebels, moved to Yeovil in 1991 from Slough "I watched Slough in my younger days when I used two live there. My other club is Yeovil and I follow them and Slough both home and away when I can with my lovely girlfriend Sam. I keep coming back cos I want too be a
life long Slough Town supporter and when my son is born I hope he will follow me and be a Rebel."

Karl (aka Tuffley Rebel) moved to Gloucester in 2004 after living in Wexham nearly all of his 25 years "I started watching the Rebels in the late eighties, Steve Thompson and Neal Stanley are the earliest names I can remember. I've always supported the Rebels as my main club mainly because of where I lived. A lot of kids from Wexham would sneak in via the training pitch or slide under the fence when we got in to the conference! During the dark days of Steve Browne and with the transition to having a wife and full time job I stopped watching for a couple of seasons until the Rebels moved to the Stag and Eddie was appointed manager. I thought living in Dedworth I no longer have an excuse not watch them. I got the bug back.

My family think I'm mad but since moving to Gloucester I have travelled down for at least 15 games, 90 miles each way. I travel back because despite the stigma attached, I am very proud of my home town and the team that represents it. I've always felt safe as a youngster standing on the sides a Wexham Park
from a very young age without any parental supervosion and I then progressed to standing behind the goal with the older boys who sing. I am now one of those older people who make a bit of noise and I love it because I feel part of the club, not just an anonymous punter amongst 40,000 others paying half a weeks wages to watch a side full of foreigners who don't give a s**t about the badge on their shirt or the supporters paying their wages.

Apart from the Browne days I've always thought my admission fee has been good value and it's obvious that most of the fans over the years appreciate the fans in a personal way and have pride in wearing the amber and blue, particularly the current squad of players."

Graham (or Foghorn - stand near him and you'll know why he's called that) has supported Slough since 1989-90 season - and his first away game was when the Rebels were promoted to the Conference "I moved up to St.Ives in Cambridgeshire about 5 years ago and just couldn't resisted the temptation of going as much as I could. I did an average of 30 - 40 games for about the first three season then had to cut back because of other things going on in me life. I am just hooked on my team and always find out the results no
matter what by text or phone!! The fans are great, the people on the Trust are doing a good job and to the boys behind the goal - what can I say. I have seen all the new crew come and all the old crew go out but the support we give the team is second to none - come on the boys!"

Martin moved to Cheltenham in 1997 "Whaddon Road is five minutes walk from our house, but I can not go there. Got dragged to one game, and gave a one man rendition of Slough Town reject to Steve Book, which went down well! When they beat Southport in the Trophey final, I went to see victory parade in Slough Town shirt and scarf, saying it should have been us! I first saw Slough play when still at the Dolphin, also was at Wembley for the Amataur Cup final. I then followed Burnham for a few years (lived near ground) and Oxford United. In 1986 I got dumped by a girlfriend, so went to Wexham Park to see a friend for a consoling drink and have been going ever since. I now have a young family, and also play some Saturday mornings, so I cannot get up as much as I would like, but I will always follow the Rebels. To answer why do I still follow Slough? When it boils down to it, I believe that being a Rebel is part of our DNA make up, it is a part of us which can not be surgically removed."

Lastly there's Mark who manages to drag himself all the way from Stanwell to nearly every game - thanks to the Steve Daley taxi service "I like the beer and banter."