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.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

AWAY DAY BONANZA

Printed in the Southern League Central Division game v Bedworth United Saturday 26th March 2011. We won 2-1 in front of 253.

Some people walk, some cycle, but near the end of every season the more discerning Rebel will pick a town to stay en masse. This tradition dates back to, oh the Newport Isle of Wight game, where you couldn’t go down a street corner without seeing someone in amber and blue. Truro wasn’t as popular but Bury St Edmunds had plenty of supporters taking in the cathedral, curry houses and one or ten pubs.
This year it was the turn of Rugby for the annual away day bonanza. So straight after work I jumped on the train to join a few fellow Rebels who by the time I arrived had already ticked off the Coventry Transport Museum and quite a few local real ales. Infact Best Man was a walking real ale pub guide, sniffing out loads of Rugby’s best boozers.
Now the law of unintended consequences meant that the trip to Rugby finally gave me the kick up the back side to join the local gym. Why? Well Rugby, being one of only three clubs in our league with enough fans to form a supporter’s team, challenged us to a game and stupidly I said yes. After playing with a bunch of five year olds a few weeks before and nearly dying of an asthma attack I felt it was finally time to get my finger out and try and give Mr.Universe a run for his money.
Not that it helped much. Just whose idea was it to stick me at right back with a 20 year old sprinting past me every time? Luckily he couldn’t shoot for toffee, or was too busy tredding on various parts of our keepers Phil the Flags anatomy. Anyway apart from my humiliation, it was a great exercise in football fraternity and despite my efforts we somehow won the game on penalties before the walking wounded dragged ourselves to the football club bar. And what a friendly little club and town Rugby is.
But scratch beneath the surface and some people won’t go near the football club. Now I’ve tried to make sense of Rugbys football club history and I’m none the wiser. Liquidations, name changes and financial melt downs abound.  What we did find out talking to some people in town, is that some would rather support neighbours Leamington than Rugby Town.
It seems with the takeover of FA Vase winning 50-year-old VS Rugby FC in 1999 by a new owner there were just too many changes for some supporters to swallow. Almost immediately he dumped of the name of VS Rugby and changed the kit and many saw that the junior Rugby club had taken over the senior one. Six years on some people have still not gone back to support the club.
With a £1.5 million football foundation the club has facilities to die for with deep covered terraces behind each goal, astro turf for community use, a smart clubhouse and even toilets that sparkled clean. But despite such a fantastic ground Rugby club were relegated last year
As an outsider, I can understand peoples passion, but it is a shame. From our point of view I wish their were more grounds and supporters like Rugby Town at our level of football although maybe one supporters game a season is enough for most of us creaking Rebels. 

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