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, April 22, 2012


Published in the Southern League Cerntral Division match v Leighton
Town Saturday 21st April 2012. We lost 3-0 in front of 267 people and
so will stay second and enter the play offs for the third time in a
row.  This is the speech I gave at Chris Sliskis funeral.

Nothing would change in this world if it wasn’t for the doers and
dreamers, the people who carry on with what they believe in when
others have thrown in the towel. Chris Sliski was one of those people.
For nearly fifty years Chris supported his club Slough Town and helped
shape and build it through its many ups and downs. He always seemed to
be there with his trade mark ‘boot’, wading through nettles to rescue
another mis-kicked ball.

He always had a smile on his face and through our darker periods when
you felt like giving up he would offer little nuggets of news to cheer
us up and think just maybe the good times were around the corner.
Nothing was too much trouble for him and he would make any supporter,
old timer or new on the scene, welcome. There was no cliqueness with
Chris, no ‘you scratch my back.’ He wasn’t flash, he wasn’t rich just
an honest, hard grafting, working class man who touched hundreds of

It’s the little acts of kindness I remember. Like at one big FA Cup
game finding us a table unprompted so we could sell a new issue of our
fanzine. Convincing my dad that a couple of 12 year olds would be ok
on the coach for our first ever away match and that no there shouldn’t
be any trouble in an FA Cup second qualifying round game against

Offering to pay my train fare back as I waited at Clapham Station to
find out that the game was off. Putting his hands in his pocket to pay
the ref for another early morning inspection. Organising work parties
at Wexham Park, Beaconsfield and Windsor.

Being an integral part of the Under 18s set up and pivotal in the
Supporters Trust movement that grew out of the frustration that so
many of our clubs seemed to be in the hands of people who didn’t
really understand what it meant to be a supporter.

Going to Wexham Park for home games or waiting outside the George on
Farnham Road for the supporters coach. That became my religion for me
as a youngster supporting a very successful non league side.

There’s been periods in my life when I’ve given football a break. But
despite moving to Brighton over 20 years ago and having a family there
now what did I do once that football bug came back? Well I did try the
Albion and a host of non league clubs, but it just wasn’t the same as
supporting the Rebels with people who’d watch me grow as an annoying
pre-teenager into an annoying adult. And every time I got the Rebels
bug who do you think would be on the terraces to welcome me?

I think it’s very hard for people who support Premiership teams to
understand why anybody would support lower league football. But that’s
because it’s so much more than just watching a football match. Not
that silly ‘more important than life and death’ quote but somewhere
were you feel that you belong. Where my support matters, where my
voice isn’t ignored. Where they even let me write bloody articles for
the programme!

I think the measure of how well regarded and known Chris was a recent
conversation I had with the chair of Brighton and Hove Supporters
Association. They wanted to present a cheque to our charity on a
Saturday and I had to tell them that sorry Saturdays were out for me
as I supported another team. When I told her it was Slough Town, she
said that's ok because she'd known and was friends with Chris Sliski
for years through the supporters trust movement.

Chris had a fantastic positive attitude to life and that made him
someone you wanted to be around. He was a role model for supporters
everywhere. Actually he was a role model for human beings everywhere.
He didn’t even moan when Julie would often sneak off to the shops at
away games and that Ryan was more into rugby!

Julie, you don’t need me to tell you what a fantastic man you married.
Ryan, you don’t need me to tell you how proud you should be of your
dad. Just look around you. Just read the message board and twitter.

When I heard the news it was like a kick in the stomach and all I
could think of is that it's just not fair. On Chris, his family and
hundreds of friends. Watching Slough will never be the same again but
we must make sure that he is never forgotten and when we get our
ground back in Slough his name needs to be immortalized in some way.
I don't think it’s an exaggeration to say that without Chris, Slough
Town wouldn't be in such rude health. No one will ever be able to
replace him, but we can try and make sure that the club he loved
prospers for many years to come by cheering on the team, helping with
those jobs no one notices, being friendly and positive to new

Chris Sliski, you were a Slough Town legend. You served with honour.
RIP my friend. Now let’s go and get promoted for you.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Printed in the Southern League Central Division match v Beaconsfield
SYCOB Monday 9th April 2012. We drew 1-1 in front of 349. My family
sponsored the game and various Carters were mascots but the game was
totally overshadowed by the terrible news that Chris Sliski ‘Mr.Slough
Town’ had died the night before.

It wasn’t my most successful of footballing expeditions. I’d decided
Friday that I just didn’t have the energy to go to see Slough play
Chalfont St.Peter. To say my job is seasonal is a bit like saying at
Christmas everyone’s favourite vegetable is sprouts, and what with the
Easter holidays approaching, work became a planting frenzy. Infact I
started to resemble Mr.Potato Head. Desiree, Mayan Twilight, Shetland
Black and Pink Fur Apple were some of the varieties planted. Oh and
Salad Blue, just cos I want to see kids faces when we make blue mash.
After all that potato excitement I decided I’d go watch Newhaven FC in
their bid to get promoted from Division 3 of the Sussex County League
(that’s 3 leagues below Slough and too low for entry to the FA Cup).
My Brighton mate insisted he try and get me an Albion ticket while I
pleaded that I would rather go to watch Newhaven. This comment would
come back to bite me on the bum.
Not wanting a ticket isn’t a slight on the Albion; it’s fantastic what
they’ve achieved and their community work is second to none, but I
like my non league and was in the mood for a pint watching the
Dockers. So what happens? Me and fellow non leaguer Glossop North End
Luke can’t get on the train to Newhaven as it’s rammed with bloody
Brighton fans. Now Brighton have just been praised for the fact that
68% of Albion fans travel to the game using sustainable transport.
Even our Green MP is impressed. Of course, this is helped by the fact
that there is nowhere to park at the ground, but they could definitely
do with more trains and buses. This transport policy also led to one
of the more bizarre letters I’ve seen in a local paper, with one man
giving up his Albion season ticket next season cos his ticket helps
subsidize peoples public transport tickets. Because he walks to the
ground why can’t everybody else! Er, because you live just 15 minutes
away from the ground you knucklehead and others live a lot further
After deciding that travelling India style on the roof wasn’t an
option we contorted ourselves onto the next train. But as arriving at
Newhaven at halt time wasn’t worth it, we headed to the Dripping Pan
to watch Lewes play Hendon.
While we chatted about the merits of the Albion, we laughed about
people who leave games earlier. You wouldn’t leave a film 5 minutes
before the end so why a football match? This comment would also come
to bite me on the bum. As I drunk my Thai spicy soup (only at Lewes!)
I started to feel worse and worse. I had to move from the four noisy
Hendon fans because they were getting on my nerves with all their
bloody singing. Usually I would have a chat about their encounters
with Slough and will they ever get their own ground again, but this
time all I could think of is that four people supporting Hendon is not
a ‘Green Army’ in anyone’s books. At half time I announced that I had
to go home before I collapsed. As I waited for the train there was a
loud cheer. Then another. Then another. Five minutes after half time
and Lewes had scored 3 goals.
Thinking I’d cheer myself up I logged onto twitter and, oh great
Slough were losing. In the end we draw but so did St.Neots, cementing
our second place when we could have got closer to them. Please, I
don’t think I can handle the horrors of the play offs again.
In the end Newhaven got a bore draw, Lewes won 3-2 and Brighton drew
I suppose the only upside of feeling ill and leaving early was that I
wasn’t crushed on the train on the way home. And if ever there was a
glass half full comment that was it.