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.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015


Published in the Southern League Premier Division game v Chesham United on Boxing Day 2015 - my 50th birthday. We lost 1-0 in front of 438, best home gate of the season, and one terrible game!

Today I celebrate 50 years on this planet and it is fair to say that apart from my family the one constant in much of those years is Slough Town Football Club. 
Since my dad first took me to Wexham Park when somehow eight thousand people crammed in to watch Slough U15's lose to Liverpool in a 1975 final; to buying my first season ticket for just £12, my first away game to Carshalton in the FA Cup where I remember my dad telling Chris Sliski he'd better look after me! Too late, I was bitten by the football bug and it soon became a ritual to go to every home and away game jumping on the coach opposite The George on Farnham Road. I went to school with Terry Reardons relatives and remember wearing my Slough Town scarf all day at school after we had beaten Sutton United and won the Isthmian League (but no promotion to the Conference in those pre-football pryamid days). We all piled into the players tunnel and I nearly passed out in the crush. I played (well was mainly a crap unused sub) for Crusaders who were coached by a certain long-haired Brain McDermott. The whole team used to go to home games and join in the massive half time football matches behind the far goal. I even 'helped' build some of the terraces on the Sunday morning sessions.

As I got older and became a rather too frequent visitor of the Wheatsheaf Pub, we organised coaches to many of the bigger games – arriving so late at the Wycombe game most had to watch from the hill while a few of us jumped over the fences to watch the biggest Conference league attendance at the time. The late night lock in after we drew 3-3 with Reading in the FA Cup scoring twice in injury time to equalise. That crazy journey home after we beat Bromley in the League. Our first Conference promotion season, when we were full of excitement, only to see us get beaten 6-1 away to Barnet in our first away game. Seeing our worst ever league defeat, getting battered 9-0 by AFC Wimbledon but our non stop singing lifting us to legendary status in a season of horrors. But the following season was even worse when we should have been relegated to the Dog and Duck.

Moving to Brighton nearly 25 years ago, you'd have thought I would have shaken the Slough Town bug' but after falling out of love with football I started watching local teams until I started going once again home and away. After endless play-off heartache we finally got the promotion we craved, with that fantastic second half fight back against Kettering. The celebrations in the Herschel afterwards will live long in the memory (well, what I can remember will). Recently i've been attending and speaking at far too many Rebel funerals – including Mr. Slough Town Chris Sliski, who I still expect to see at games and who I hope will be remebered when we move to our new ground.

This is the first season in ages that I haven't got a season ticket and what with work, our community pub and two growing children have found it hard to cheer on the Rebels as much as I'd like. But they remain my team, my family of football friends. Not the sort of family you'd invite round for Christmas dinner, but one that i'd be happy to spend the next 50 years cheering on the Rebels in sickness and in health.


Published in the Southern League Premier Division match v Merthyr Town on Tuesday 15th December 2015. We won 3-1 in front of 225

There can’t be many physios that have their own football chants. But then there can’t be many physios like Super Kev McGoldrick. Kev has been with Slough Town for incredible 30 years and has seen it all from Conference football to the club staring down the barrel of the dog and duck league to losing our ground and nearly going bust. Words like legend are branded around in football and life far too easily but I think there's one person at this fine club of ours that really deserves the title.
His very first match was something special. I was a fresh faced teenager at a packed Wexham Park in a FA Cup replay against Orient on 10th Dec 1985. We had been leading 2-0 at half time in the first game but eventually took us to our replay where they beat us 3-2 and once again a Third Round FA Cup tie alluded us.
Tonight will be his 1,619 competitive game, but if you count friendlies it's over 1,800!
Kev has been a constant for the club, an approachable, top bloke always with a smile on his face ready to help people out. Not just players now, but former players are always singing his praises on twitter – and quite a few fans have gone along with aches and pains (mainly from watching Slough, but im not sure he's come up with a cure for that yet).
I interviewed him a couple of years back when he'd just done 27 years on the sick bed, but I think its worth repeating.

Why did you become a football physio?
At 24 I had suffered a few injuries as a local footballer and I was receiving treatment with Owen Harris at Wimbledon and he encouraged me to get involved in the treatment of injuries and I became a sports therapist. After attending courses at Spurs and Lilleshall I was approached to join Hillingdon Borough to look after their 2nd X1

Who do you support?
I only support Slough Town

How long have you been associated with Slough Town and who introduced you to the club?
My first game was against Orient at home in the FA cup replay in 1985.
I was at Hillingdon Boro Youth with Alan Davies (who became Slough manager) and a young Fred Cummings and Alan recommended me to then manager Howard Kennedy.

From your perspective, who is the best Slough player you have seen
As I’m on my third decade with the club I have picked from each.
Keith White was a marvelous footballer
Les Briley such an important player for that time
Wilko and Daly 
What they all had in common was great integrity

What's your most memorable match, good or bad?
Best matches Reading at home FA Cup (Slough were 3-1 down in injury time and managed to draw 3-3). Stevenage away in the Trophy. Walsall at Windsor in the FA Cup
The worst - hanging on to a 9-0 defeat at Wimbledon - the shame!

What single thing would make your job easier?
A football ground in slough
A club doctor
All players to have private medical insurance

Who has been the best manager you have worked with and are there any that have made you not be part of the team?
Managers I’ve had the honour of serving under are Alan Davies, David Kemp, Brian McDermott, Eddie Denton, Steve Bateman, Wilko. No manager made me not want to be at the club

Are former players, especially those that come back as managers surprised your still here?
Some people may be surprised, but I am surprised that other clubs do not have longevity in their ranks

Have players attitudes changed much towards fitness and health?
Players are much more aware of preparation and conditioning

Do you ever feel threatened by the host of attractive young female physios most clubs in our division seem to employ?
I might feel threatened if I was not maturely gorgeous with blue eyes.

Did you add a Mecano set to your physio bag to keep on repairing Wilko's legs?
Wilko had his fair share of injuries but had total commitment on and off the pitch

Are you optimistic about Slough Towns Future?
I remain optimistic because of the people associated with the club and the ambitions they have to carry this club forward, but we do need to recruit some younger blood.

What do you do outside football?
I have a wife Sue who hates football so I don’t have to have a conversation when I get home! and two daughters Aimee and Laura.

Do you think you will ever hang up your physio bag?
I have never thought of quitting. I may be replaced one day for a newer model but that's fine. I have been proud and privileged to serve this great club. I have loved every minute and have made many lifelong friends.

Thank you Kev for everything you have done for Slough Town. Let's make sure he gets a song or two when he runs out at our new ground next season. 

More tributes to Kev are here 

Saturday, December 05, 2015


Printed in the Southern Premier League Division game v St.Neots Town on Saturday 5th December 2015. We drew 2-2 in front of 280.

I reckon if I got on a spaceship and landed on the Moon, I would bump into someone from Slough. Forget Marsbars, the towns biggest export is people. On the long train to the back of beyond, we arrived in the seventies time-warp that is Kings Lynn. I wondered aloud if this was the place you could hide from some hideous crime, where no one knew your name or cared. Until we walked into a local boozer and someone from Slough said he used to drink in the Wheatsheaf. FFS. Or 'its a small world' as they say in polite society. My cover was blown, not helped by my Rebels top and big amber and blue knitted mittens.

I love the fact that football sends you to the far ends of the earth. Too places you would never visit unless imprisoned or trying to escape detection like Wroxham or AFC Croydon (just go round the back of the crematory, down a windy old lane, you can't miss it). When I was growing up I could map the British Isles with ease thanks to my football knowledge. Maybe learning the football pyramid should be part of the Geography syllabus.

Forget the 92 league clubs. Pah! I reckon as I approach my 50th year on this earth i've visited 200 grounds and I take great pleasure in pointing out these places to my missus as we drive around the country, as she pretends to be bored stiff. From Dover to Gateshead, Truro to Boston, i've been there, done than and wiggled my Slough Town bobble hat. In the case of Boston, got stuck behind a wedding ceremony as we wound around country lanes and blew my air-horn so loud, I think I might have killed a small dog and its elderly owner. Some of these grounds are now unfortunately buried under housing and supermarkets, but supermarkets are now in internet-shopping retreat trying to offload their out of town stores. I look forward to the day when one is knocked down and replaced with a non league football ground.

A sense of belonging means everything to fans, but not it seems to the businessmen behind Whitehawk FC who have long been pining to ditch the name (and the ground) as they splashed the cash that has hoisted them up the leagues. They tried Brighton City but for some reason Brighton and Hove Albion weren't keen. The owners complaint that they are different from the corporate Brighton don't quite ring true. Both have been bankrolled by rich owners, but in Brighton's case they have 26,000 supporters coming to their games, whereas Whitehawk are lucky to get 200 in the Conference South. Sure, they have a dedicated bunch of ultras but the Wealdstone raider chant still holds true – 'you've got no fans.' The Whitehawk owners blame this on the reputation of the Brighton estate and no one knowing where it is, but with their FA Cup antics i'm not sure the latter is true anymore. The only trouble i've seen was years back in the FA Vase when some Truro fans unwisely sang 'does your boyfriend know you're here.' They think there is room for a second league club in the city but I think they need to get real. I went to watch the Albion on Saturday on a freebie, worth it because my eldest says he now supports the team of his birth town rather than the Arsenal. They are heading for the Premiership and that will attract even more supporters from across Sussex. Shoreham's chairman, a club just a few miles down the road admitting that their crowds drop by half when Brighton are at home.

If they do become Brighton Town, I don't want to be in the same situation I found myself in at Biggleswade. Wandering round their market town centre before being drowned in another of Nigel's real ale pubs, I spotted a stall run by Biggleswade football club. 'We are playing you today' I said, offering the universal non league hand of friendship, only to be told 'That's the other lot.' As they chased me out of town with a pitchfork I cursed the fact that I should have brushed up on my Geography syllabi, and seen that there was a Biggleswade Town as well as United.


Printed in the Southern Premier League game v Biggleswade Town on Tuesday 1st December 2015. We won 2-0 in front of 242 people.

On one of those days when winter announces itself to football fans, we were treated to the days highest scoring game in the FA Vase, a cup competition where everyone who enters takes it seriously and wants to win.
Today was Round 2 and we were off to Eastbourne as the last of the clubs entered this round. 60% of all the 572 teams who had put their name in the hat of this seasons competition had already been eliminated.
Eastbourne Town are a proper non league football club – the oldest senior one in Sussex, they are bang in the town centre, have a historic turnstile block built in 1914 and their Saffron ground is named after the variety of crocus that used to be grown for use in medicine (ok maybe flowers and football isn't that traditional, apart from the weeds growing over many forgotten terraces). Eastbourne might be known as Gods waiting room, but it is also a hotbed of football; home to not one but 3 teams. It used to be four until Shinewater Association merged with Eastbourne United, and last season that merged team had a fantastic run in the Vase losing in the semi-finals. Now in the same division, I heard mumblings all day about their league rivals, but really Eastbourne Town are not you're average Southern Combination Football League team. Third in the table, second in the attendance figures, spot on with their social media presence they should be in the Ryman League. Infact in 2007 they were promoted to the Ryman pipping Whitehawk to the title. However, they were relegated back down in 2014, but you can tell they get bigger crowds than average cos they have throwaway cups than mugs – and three different outlets to buy food to keep everyone well fed and watered.
It was the first time they had ever played their opponents Greenwich Borough, who are second in the Southern Counties East Football League and groundshare with Dartford. 'Borough' as they are imaginatively nicknamed brought along a flag which also bizarrely had Dartford's crest on it and at least one fan who could do with some lower league etiquette lessons. Eastbourne meanwhile had a drummer but no one to join in with the beats; not to say the paying crowd of 138 wasn't decent, they just weren't that vocal.
To say that the Eastbourne programme editor likes stats is an understatement; not only could you find out average crowds in their league, how many miles you'd have to travel to watch the rest of the seasons away games (17 to AFC Uckfield since you asked) but I don't think I’ve ever read programme note that not only question the oppositions official history, but do their own research and re-write it!
As we tried to warm our cockles with coffee and worried that a draw at full time would mean extra time, Eastbourne scored in the 11th minute. But as the first half progressed, Greenwich forwards were causing havoc and deservedly went 3-1 up. But a peach of a goal from Jason Taylor just before half time made it 2-3. Game on
As we defrosted in the packed to the rafters clubhouse (not just with those watching the game, but with two hockey teams; surrounded by cricket pitch and bowls pavilion, this is the beauty of being a multi-purpose sports complex) we wondered if there was a way back for Eastbourne.
The second half was even better than the first as Eastbourne clawed back the goal to make it 3-3 before they gave away a penalty to Greenwich who slotted it away to make it 4-3. But Eastbourne forwards were causing all sorts of problems and when Kenny Progue made it 4-4 on 67 minutes, they had momentum. It was well deserved goal when Aaron Capon nudged them ahead on 72 and they held on for an impressive 5-4 victory.
Nine goals for six quid, Eastbourne Town became the last club left flying the flag for Sussex in the Vase. Our cockles as well as our toes were well and truly warmed as we managed to get our train on time. The future for Eastbourne Town looks as bright as the saffron crocus flowers that used to grow their.