These articles are published in the Slough Town FC programme. The Rebels play in the Southern Premier - just seven leagues below the Premier League. I’ve been supporting Slough since the beginning of time despite now living in Brighton. After nearly 14 nomadic years we finally have a brand spanking new home in Slough.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Veggie Pie In The Sky!

Published in the Slough Town programme v Hendon Ryman Premier League 7th April 2005

'Ah, you must be the man with the special diet' said the bloke in the
tea hut at Hertford Town. I'd emailed the club asking if they had anything for vegetarians to eat cos I knew I'd be hungry after the long train journey and the obligatory clueless looking-for-the-ground game I seem to play before every away match. So, they'd bought me some veggie burgers, and while the Slough faithful were devouring everything in sight (they even run out of tea at half time because they
didn't envisage so many rotund rebels descending on their little ground) I was being treated to triple veggie burgers in a bun!

So this is my gripe about the state of food at nearly every non league football ground I've ever been too, which too put it politely is usually garbage. There are exceptions. At Staines, you can get a very decent choice of meal in their bar/restaurant although it’s a bit pricey. Croydon Athletic do a mean cheese toastie, and at Eastleigh they did a great egg butty. Not only did they also generously give the Rebels three points, but also gave a few of us Slough stragglers free baked potatoes, beans and cheese at end of the game (then went and spoilt all that goodwill but signing Alex Haddow).

At Dulwich they couldn't even be bothered with chips. In any case, often the 'chips' I buy haven't even been properly cooked. Look, I can understand that when they see the hoards of Slough supporters descending like locusts on their tea hut people panic, but I've rather wait that extra couple of minutes to get chips that aren't hard in the middle cos I'm fussy like that. The worse for me though was Walton and Hersham. Leaving the train station I got hopelessly lost and couldn't find any living soul to point me in the right direction.

Eventually I arrived at Stompond Lane soaked and starving - but all they could rustle up for me was a stale bun with processed cheese and some onions. After watching two minutes of the first half, the game was abandoned and I was sat dripping wet, cold and hungry on the train station questioning my sanity.

Look I know us non league fans are never going to get the sort of stuff that Delia dishes out at Norwich City (spiced chickpea cakes with red onion and coriander salad anyone?) or Manchester United style prawn sandwiches, just an egg butty would make me happy!

I want my put cash into supporting non league footie, but increasingly I arrive extra early for away games and head for the nearest café (Harrow has some amazing Indian takeaways). But just like I want to drink too much on a Saturday, it's ok with me if you want to stuff your face with crap, but I can't ever understand why a sport that demands such physical fitness should dish out so much rubbish at grounds, and I reckon us footie fans deserve better.

Decent food at a football ground! (Veggie) pie in the sky? I might as well ask for a new ground in Slough!

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