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.

Sunday, December 18, 2011


Printed in the Southern League Central Division game v Bedworth United
on Saturday 17th December 2011. We won 2-1 in front of 312 to go top
of the league again.

Thanks to another meeting about trying to re-open the local boozer on
our estate as a community pub, I couldn’t make the home game v
Bedfont. Priorities! (Apart from 3 more valuable points it didn’t
sound like I missed much anyway). So I needed to find myself a local
game. Rather handily it was the third round of the FA Vase and a short
hop on the bus to Piddinghoe Avenue with an exiled Glossop North End
fan to cheer on Peacehaven & Telscombe FC. We arrive to a noisy crowd,
not what I’ve come to expect from my infrequent trips to Peacehaven.
St.Ives from Cambridgeshire had arrived en masse and were in fine,
witty voice. This isn’t surprising as one of them is Slough Town
legend and now St.Ives resident Graham Foghorn.

Now there’s been much debate in the programme and on the forum about
how much quieter we are nowadays; with people like Foghorn moving out
of the area and not being replaced by younger big gobs, this isn’t
really surprising. Not so long ago, it seemed every player had his own
individual song and even when we were getting spanked every week it
didn’t stop the singing. The main man advising us on the community pub
is an AFC Wimbledon fan and when he found out I supported Slough he
doffed his hat and said Womble fans still say that we were the best
Ever. Despite a 9-0 drubbing that relegated us to this level of
football we didn’t stop singing.

St.Ives fans sing about Peacehaven being as quiet as a library. They
also get a little bit excited with the ‘rocket’ you could see as a
backdrop to the ground. One young man goes all wobbly as he reckons
it’s a sex toy. Not quite mate; its part of the enormous sewage works
behind the ground; the size of four and a half football pitches and
impressively hidden by the largest green roof in the UK. Hidden apart
from the poo-rocket.

To say the Peacehaven fans were outsung would be an understatement.
I’ve never heard any singing at Peacehaven, seen anyone donning any
scarves or black and white bobble hats. There’s no flags behind goals.
I heard one St.Ives fan say he couldn’t come here every week. That’s a
bit unfair, as Peacehaven is a friendly enough well run club but like
so many Sussex County League teams is dominated by Brighton and Hove
Albion. Just to make the point of how much they dominate, Albion
played at Peacehaven the Wednesday before in the Sussex Senior Cup and
despite it mainly being Albion youth players nearly 500 came along,
their biggest gate for many years. In contrast St.Ives nearest league
club is Peterborough, a 40 minute car drive away and hardly a team
you’d go out of your way to support. Today’s attendance is 155 and at
least a third is Saints fans who have made the 300 mile round trip.
With their players geeing up their fans St.Ives get a 67 minute
equalizer thanks to former Albion player Junior McDougald before the
winner comes from an own goal in the sixth minute of injury time. The
St Ives fans go wild, the club pocket £1,500 and they are into the
last 32.

For Peacehaven & Telscombe it’s time to concentrate on the league and
quietly continue with their invaluable role in providing football for
the local community.  Foghorn will be joining us all when Slough play
his clubs nearest rivals St.Neots in March. Let’s make sure that by
then that more of us Rebels have rediscovered our vocal chords.

Saturday, December 03, 2011


Printed in the Southern League Central Division game v Bedfont on
Saturday 3rd December 2011. We won 2-1 in front of 277 and remain top
of the league.

They are calling the protests the 99% movement. Against the 1% who
continue to award themselves obscene riches while the rest of us get a
gigantic spoonful of economic austerity stuffed down our throats. This
week it was public sector workers who will be 16% worse off by the end
of this parliament. That’s if they’ve still got a job. Still what do
we need teachers, nurses, firefighters, binmen for anyway?

But not everyone is on prescription. In the last year FTSE directors'
pay packages have leapt 49% while Premiership wages continue to rise.
The Blackburn Rovers manager’s wages have jumped from £800,000 to
£1.5m a year. The BBC is ready to cut local news services, while Alan
Hanson gets £40,000 eveytime his dreary arse sits on the Match of the
Dull sofa.

And what about the bare faced cheek of some who tell us – yes, I’m
loaded, but I deserve it. One of their charming cheerleaders told
anyone who didn’t like it to bugger off to Cuba. The head of Thomas
Cook said that jobs in his company would have to go but that it
wouldn’t be right for him to take a pay cut. The Sainsbury boss got £8
million quid last year while admitting that many people see 'something
rotten' at the top of business because there is no relation between
pay and performance!

The High Pay Commission found that today's top bosses are often paid
70, 80 or over 100 times the salary of their average worker, when
three decades ago the ratio stood at 13 to 1. Even the average top
flight footballer ‘only’ earns 34 times the average national wage!

So does all this madness send your head in a spin as you claim not to
understand economics. Well I’m sorry I’m not having it. Us footie fans
can bore each other to death about tactics, get to grips with the
offside rule or work out the mathematical conundrums our team needs
for a play off place or to avoid relegation. When a subject really
grabs our attention, we make a point to understand.

Of course it doesn’t help that those at the top try and pull the wool
over our eyes. If you want to make something hard to understand; well
how about derivatives, algorithmic mechanisms, credit default swaps.
Pass the headache pills. But in reality they are just ways of gambling
and making money out of moving money. Much of it described by the
Chairman of the Financial Services Authority as ‘socially useless’!

Of course their silly names and games wouldn’t matter if they hadn’t
crashed the world’s economy. If half of Britain’s deficit wasn’t
thanks to the fact that we bailed out the banks. So how we going to
pay for this mess? With your pensions, your wages, your employment
rights, your jobs. For working for free dressed up as training. And
how we going to pay for players wages. By rising ticket prices

But I’ve got one simple idea that even Wycombe fans could understand.
Stop massive tax evasion by the rich and powerful. Why? Well,
according to the Tax Justice Network we lose £70 billion annually by
large companies and wealthy individuals not paying their taxes!

So hats off to those that striked on Wednesday, and silent applause to
those Premiership fans that stayed quiet for 10 minutes today to try
and ‘take back the game.’ The politicians and media will scream and
shout about militants wrecking the economy (they’re doing very well
themselves without our help). About trouble-makers spoiling football
matches. But then they are the ones who’ve got the most to lose if
everyone stood together and said enough is enough.

Still, what do I know, I’m just a stupid football fan.