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.

Friday, April 25, 2014


Printed in the last home game of the season v Chertsey Town who have already been relegated and conceded 116 league goals this season. We need to win to get the last play off place. What could possibly go wrong.

Most football fans will tell you that their club puts them through the mill. As I sat stoney faced on the Brighton train after last Saturdays defeat by Rugby, my mood was not improved by realising that i'd got on the wrong train and was heading towards East Grinstead. Thanks a lot football, I hate you.

I couldn't make the Easter Monday game but thanks to twitter Slough did their best to spoil a nice afternoon by losing at Aylesbury.

Now its winner takes it all. Do better than Barton Rovers today and we will get to the play offs. A game where peoples hair will visibly grey or fall out while nails and nerves take a battering. Of course playing a team that was already been relegated and conceded 116 games will be easy, won't it. Well only if you never been to a Slough Town match before.

And this is what I do on my day off!

I had already spent Easter Sunday testing the water to see what the reaction would be to leaving a family holiday early to get to the play of final. Timing the conversation so a football fan was in the room was vital. Now if we do get to the final I will travelling by train from Studland Bay on a Bank Holiday Monday.

Why do we do it to ourselves?

Supporting Slough it can't be for the glory, but when we arrive in numbers at away games, I take my Slough Town bobble hat off to opposition fans who turn out each week to watch teams who'd be chuffed with 100 fans. To the people behind the scenes who make the clubs tick, getting to grounds hours before kick off to make sure the games go ahead. To the boards who sit through endless meetings, trying to make ends meet. To the turnstile operators, programme sellers, raffle ticket pushers.

So one last gut churning, nerve shredding game. Win it and we will have another gut churning, nerve shredding game to look forward to with the stakes even higher. Once again, an all or nothing battle to escape this level of football.

So throw away the calculator. The maths is now easy. Win our next three games and we are promoted. If only it were that easy.

And if we don't? Well whatever happens, you know most of us will be back for more next season after a summer break recharging the football batteries. Looking forward to the fixture lists, plotting our away days and new grounds, hoping for an away day or two in the early rounds of the FA Cup. Getting that cheque for the season ticket in the post.

I'm sure there's a word for this sort of behaviour but i'm not sure its printable in the programme.

Sunday, April 20, 2014


Printed in the Southern League Central Division One game v Rugby Town on Saturday 19th April 2014. We lost 2-1 in front of 402 people.

Apart from one Eggy hiccup, Slough have been flying this year and this has got to be one of the most exciting finishes to a season for years. There's a fight for the top spot and play off places while Egham's floodlights continue to blow a fuse.

While the football gets the pulses racing, its behind the bureaucrats desk that the real fate of Slough Town football club is being decided. The 7 years (yes, seven!) indecision on our ground is frustrating to say the least.

A while back I wrote to Sloughs MP Fiona Mactaggart pointing out the Rebels are more than just a football club; more than 22 men kicking a ball around on a Saturday in front of a few hundred fans. That the stadium will be something the whole town can get behind unlike another religious segregated free school. It will not just be a place for Slough Town to call home but have modern sports facilities for the whole town; multi-use games area, athletics track, facilities for the dance academy and of course delivering much needed housing. That's on top of the clubs football academy.

Fiona Mactaggart replied

I asked Stephen Gibson, Investment and Regeneration Manager (for Slough Borough Council), for an update and he provided the following information. 'The council remains committed to the delivery of a range of community projects including a home for Slough Town Football Club at the Arbour Site. However, the site is also being sought by the Department of Education for a free school and unfortunately this is blocking progression by the Council's proposals.'

Can I just say that I agree completely with your sentiments. I do support the principle of a Sikh secondary school in Slough, but there are other sites that are more suitable. I am a supporter of Slough Town myself and have long championed their need for a proper stadium. I knew the delay is frustrating but I hope that you are reassured that Slough Borough Council is committed to providing a home for Slough football.

Unfortunately the 'emergency legislation' that Mr Gove rushed through parliament almost immediately after the General Election gave him an enormous number of powers over local schools and local government, and his civil servants tend to throw their weight about even more than those powers warrant. But they have got a fight on their hands in Slough! Thank you for getting in touch; here's hoping that Slough Football Club have a base very soon.”

So what does our chairman Steve Easterbrook think. He told me “There is really nothing I can add. I welcome Stephen Gibsons and Fiona Mctaggart's comments. However after 7 years of working closely with the officers, councillors and residents of Slough and having delivered a scheme with potentially huge benefits which meets many goals set by all political parties, I fail to comprehend why no one will make the final decision. Indeed it was Slough Council who put forward this site and requested we do all the preparatory work in the first place! (Which we have done at great expense).”

If it was left to me I would stick free schools, religious schools and private schools into the dustbin of unequal history, but I get the feeling I might be waiting a while for that to happen.

So I will pin my hopes on a ground in Slough instead. If nothing else, a football ground in Slough at Arbour Park, will be one of the few places in Slough that can bind the diverse communities of Slough together. A jewel in the town, without burdening the taxpayer with extra cost.

Just someone make a bloody decision soon (pretty please).