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.

Monday, January 02, 2012

A VERY GOOD NEW YEAR

Published in the Southern League Central Division game v Marlow on
Monday 2nd January 2012. We won 3-0 in front of 374 and stay seven
points clear at the top of the league.

I’ve been getting the train to Slough far too early on a Saturday
morning recently to chat to my Nan about her life, recording and
writing it up for future family members to peruse. Anyone who lived in
London during the Second World War has a story to tell and what a
story it’s turning out to be. On Saturday I got the full run down on
Scottish Stores Pub in Kings Cross that my Aunt Bet and Uncle Alf used
to run. A hang out for soldiers, prostitutes, gangs and gay men; let’s
just say it was very rough and ready. On one occasion when a fight
broke out, my granddad asked a copper to come and help. When he found
out which pub, he impolitely declined and headed the other way down
the street!

In Brighton we have Queens Park Books, a prolific publisher of local
history whose byline is ‘everyone has a story to tell.’  And I love
the warts and all stories I am getting from my Nan rather than the
rose tinted ‘good old days’ view of the world we often get as time
passes. There’s also another phrase – ‘those who forget the past are
condemned to repeat it’. But this maxim applies to football as much as
foreign policy.

All of us are ready to have a good old moan up, and football
supporters can be the most ungrateful. Take Dario Gradi, Crew
Alexandra’s manager for 26 years who’s recently been coming under fire
from supporters after an indifferent second season in the leagues
basement division. But who can do what Gradi does? There was a time
where Crewe were regularly able to generate huge income from the sale
of star players, but no such thing has happened for three seasons and
top clubs are now poaching lower league younger players all the time.
All this has left Gradi with absolutely no power in the transfer
market: Nine of the players in one match had progressed through the
academy ranks. This commitment to youth, alongside his commitment to
attacking football is surely something to be cherished?  I understand
it must be really frustrating for those that remember eight seasons in
the Championship but what do Crewe fans propose? Looking for a sugar
daddy that can supply a cheap shot in the arm for a few seasons before
the club becomes a financial car crash and ends up in administration?

For Slough fans the Conference days weren’t so long ago and we joked
with a Wycombe fan in a Chalfont pub just how different each clubs
fortunes have been. These car crash days are still very fresh in our
memories. Wycombe still sing songs about how much they love us and
with their perilous finances who knows, we might be meeting on equal
terms sooner than we think.

As I write these notes we are top of the league, which was not
something many of us would have bet on after that first half display
against Bedworth. The visitors should have been out of sight and would
have if it hadn’t been for some poor finishing, fantastic goalkeeping
and a sending off. But footballs about taking chances and in the
second half we bundled in two goals. With the rain pouring down, the
shed end was packed and the crowd was in fine voice. So how about
watching a team in the Conference South in our new ground off the
Stoke Road please.

We can all help drive the club forward by chipping in to help. Joining
the Supporters Trust, offering to help on matchdays, running the
turnstiles, stewarding (which seems to also include handing out
chocolates in the job description), writing and selling programmes,
flogging golden goal and raffle tickets, collecting wayward balls
during games, walking stupidly long distances at the end of the
season, sponsoring our players. Perhaps most importantly, for the
clubs finances, dragging new and old supporters to come along and
watch a winning side!

It’s looking like this could be a very good New Year.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Flying Scotsman said...

The Scottish Stores pub is still there, but now called the Flying Scotsman. It's still a rough and ready strip pub, but now with its own facebook page. Changed times!

1:14 pm

 

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