We hate Wycombe - still!
Printed in the Southern League South and West match v Bishops Cleeve Saturday 8th November 2008. We drew 1-1 in front of 195 people. Bishops equalized in the 94th minute, which means we have lost 8 points at home this season by conceding goals in the last 5 minutes of the match!
There’s been lots of talk recently about our old rivals Wycombe Wanderers. Our games against them were always something to look forward too, if not always memorable – but that was usually due to my alcohol consumption rather than a comment on the game! The first and only time I got on the back of a motorbike was to get a lift to watch one of the last games against Slough on their famous slopped pitch. There was a game on New Years Day which me and still regular supporter Damian went too. Everyone had been partying hard the night before and with very little sleep, if any, I have no idea of the score or what happened. Then there was that almighty ding-dong when we were challenging for the Conference title. My local pub the Wheatsheaf was full of Slough supporters up for travelling to the big games – with unofficial coach trips to Colchester, Reading and Wycombe. The problem was getting people to leave the bloody pub and so inevitably we always arrived late. Usually that wasn’t a problem, but at Wycombe the ground was full to bursting, so a few of us more determined ones jumped over the fence while the less nimble watched from the hill side. The official attendance was 7,230 but unofficially it was a lot more and was the record Conference crowd for many years.
Since those heady days, we have been in free fall and Wycombe have even reached the dizzy heights of League Two. So do I feel envious or want to swap places with the old enemy? As crazy as it might sound, the answer is a resounding no. My chauffer and man with the big lens Gary House reckons it will be weird enough if we do get a ground back in Slough and start attracting the large crowds I know we are capable off. No doubt club shop Sue will come up with a marketing opportunity to get us to part with more of our money – how about limited edition t-shirts proclaiming – ‘we were the Slough fans when we were crap!’ (But will it be like the first ever Sex Pistols gig with everyone claiming they were there?) With gates hovering around 300 and half of those willing to travel to away games, you do get to meet most people over a season. I know when I’ve taken my son Ruben to games, he has plenty of unofficial aunts and uncles, along with other feral Rebel children to keep him amused when he’s bored of the footie.
League football has too many rules and regulations, segregation and fan-baiting rather than friendly banter in the bar. Even the Conference (sorry, Blue Square Premier) seems overpriced and over-policed. Our trip to Gravesend a few seasons back in the Trophy said it all. Putting all Slough supporters on a bit of uncovered terracing in the pouring rain didn’t seem to be in the spirit of non league footie. Neither did being surrounded and monitored by stewards throughout the whole game. Still shrinking violet Sue certainly let the stewards know she thought they were being overzealous!
No, Wycombe can keep their league position, their ground stuck at the end of an industrial park; their overpriced and over policed league footie. Non League footie suits me just fine. Infact the only thing I would keep is the rivalry between the two clubs – Windsor just don’t come a patch on it. So lets hope a couple of Wycombe relegations can see us playing each other in the Blue Square South sometime soon.