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.

Saturday, August 27, 2016


Printed in our first game back in Slough for nearly 14 years. Bank Holiday Monday 29th August 2016 v Hayes and Yeading United. Played in front of 1,401 people we won 2-1

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. Those were the words I spoke at the funeral of Mr.Slough Town Chris Sliski, who tragically died before he could see this day. But they could equally apply to our chairman Steve Easterbrook who along with others behind the scenes have gone about building our club back up brick by brick rather than waving the magic cash wand and promising the earth. Steve no doubt felt he was banging his head against a brick wall in the fight to get Slough Town back to the town it represents. But he never gave up and now here we are at Arbour Park.

I've always said how much of a monumental effort, mainly from volunteers, takes place every week so we can watch 90 minutes of football; so I hate to think of the years that have been put in to make sure we are finally playing back in the borough of Slough after nearly 14 years absence. Steve Easterbrook deserves a knighthood for the work he has done, but he will probably need to make a substantial donation to the party in power for that to happen.

It's worth remembering that there very nearly wasn't a Slough Town. As we left Wexham Park and began our nomadic journey, we spiralled down the leagues. In our last season in the Ryman Premier we lost one game 8-1 at home to Bromley while our 9-0 defeat away to AFC Wimbledon sealed our fate to play at our lowest level ever. At an away game in Chelmsford our manager told us another five players had left as he named himself and any Slough fan who had a pulse on the subs bench. If that relegation wasn't bad enough we nearly slipped down again to the Dog and Duck League saved only by the whistle by another team higher up the non league footballing pyramid going bust. As we protested outside the Town Hall one councillor, in a fit of civic pride, told us we should merge with Windsor. No money, no ground, no support from the council. It looked bleak. One of those who refused to give up was Chris Sliski. When ever I felt like throwing in the towel he would feed me nuggets of encouragement and help make that five hour round trip from Brighton to watch Slough get beat once again seem worthwhile. Luckily us Rebels developed a backs-against-the-wall mentality fuelled by a few beers, that made a great day out too often spoilt by the 90 minutes of football!

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. His funeral was as near to a Slough Town state one as you're gonna get. Another legend SuperKev 'the physio' McGoldrick who has been with the club an incredible 30 years was one of those who carried his coffin because as he put it 'Chris carried this club on his shoulders for so long, the least I can do is carry him on mine.' So its fitting that his wife Julie will be kicking the first ball at the new ground just before kick off. Let's hope she doesn't stick it in a nettle patch. There are other supporters who put their heart and soul into the club like Dave the Programme, and later in the season I hope to do a memorial wall of those Rebels who have passed away since we've been homeless.

But today is a day for celebration. Despite me leaving Slough nearly 30 years ago, and in possession of not just a Slough season ticket but a rather more expensive Brighton one thanks to a nagging older son, I remain a Slough Town fan.

A town that has always been a melting pot of people in a world far too riven by others hatred for anyone thinking or looking different. So what better way to bring them all together, under one roof in a new community facility for the whole of Slough. In a climate where services are being cut to the bone, this is something councillor Rob Anderson and the council should be proud of. Football is one of the best ways of breaking down barriers, so wherever you are from, however long you have supported the team, be this your first match of 500th, let's get behind the team and make those who can't be with us today proud.


Check out some fantastic photos of the day by Gary House

Monday, August 22, 2016


Printed in the Southern League Premier Division game v St.Ives Town on Saturday 20th August 2016. We won 3-0 in front of 349 - our last game at Beaconsfield before moving back to Slough.

I still haven't forgiven Yeovil for knocking Slough out of the FA Cup 36 years ago. Their charming fans also tried to knock seven bells out of the hundreds of Slough supporters that made the trip to their lopsided old ground, with grown men partaking in the Somerset sport 'gob-on-a-youngster'. They also broke our hearts with a last minute goal which meant that once again we missed out on reaching the Third Round of the FA Cup. At least they lost 3-0 to Norwich in the next round.

And so on a hot August night as my family walked back to our holiday apartment, it seemed rude not to follow the unmistakeable player shouts and go and see Swanage Town and Herston take on Yeovil Under 18's in the home clubs last friendly of the season.

While Swanage's Dorset Premier League hasn’t started yet, many Step 5 and 6 clubs have already been thrown to the FA Cup lions. So many clubs want to enter, its a tribute to the glamour it still attaches at this level – and of course the prize money. But it did mean the FA Cup extra preliminary round seem to start about 20 seconds after the FA Cup final. Swanage are too low down the pyramid pecking order to enter but want promotion this season back to the Wessex League where instead of playing against Bridport Reserves they will play Bridport first team.

I had intended to spend the first day of our holiday traveling to watch Bridport in the cup but I sacked off three hours on public transport to travel just 44 miles for getting sun burnt on the beach instead. Bridport had been most accommodating with my inane questions and really at this level twitter is such an essential means of communicating all clubs should be using it. I can also spot a marketing opportunity for Swanage Railway, which was re-opened by volunteers after British Rail thoughtfully ripped up the tracks in 1972. Now its once again linked to the National Rail Network and seeing their love for retro, it would be good if they could start to put on those football special trains again so it doesn't take all day to get not very far.

Swanages ground could do with a spring clean and a Football Foundation grant but its pretty decent with loads of space to develop. The long seated stand could do with well, being replaced with a new one, with its school assembly seats and bolts that dig into your back; not that the 30 punters that paid £3 to watch the game cared about my discomfort. In the end it finished 2-2 and I managed to refrain from shouting such classics as 'cider' 'sheep shaggers' and Worzels because I'm all grown up now.

After reading The Secret Footballers compellingly brutal 'Access All Areas' book - brutal in its honesty and how the beautiful game ain't so pretty after all you wonder what's in store for these Yeovil 18 year olds. Just how many will make the professional grade?

And if any Yeovil youngters do make it, well as the Secret Footballer puts it “Footballers are still being treated like highly paid babies off the pitch while expected to show leadership and decision-making qualities under pressure on the pitch. When the merry-go round finally stops and we step off, is it any wonder that we hardly know how to cope with marriages and bills and debts and responsibilities? We're all speeding towards divorce, addiction, depression or bankruptcy."

Blimey, maybe its best to stick to playing with two jumpers for goalposts. 

Thursday, August 04, 2016


Printed in the first programme of the season v St.Neots Town Saturday 13th August 2016. We won 2-0 in front of 345 people.

There is of course only one thing to write about, but I want to save it for the Big Day. Nearly 14 years since leaving Wexham Park, Slough Town are finally going back to Slough – hopefully on August Bank Holiday against another nomadic club who've returned home.

Instead, I want to spoil the party mood to talk about the threat to lower league football.

It was another of those football summers, but apart from the other Home Nations games and Iceland, it was a bit dull won by a team led by a spoilt brat who hardly won a game. England were even more dreadful than usual, but they've been rubbish for so long no one really seemed to care. I hardly saw a Three Lions flag flapping, we've come to expect so little. However, when it comes to solutions to the national teams perennial problems, it's the lower leagues that get punished for the FA's failings and Premier League greed.

The inclusion of Academy teams in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy is seen by many as the thin end of the wedge – a Trojan Horse to get B teams playing in the football league. The FA Cup is seen by big clubs as an irritant they could do without so the FA is scrapping FA Cup replays from the quarter finals. With an average of 1 replay in this round this will really make a big difference to the fixture congestion that apparently so hampers the England national side. What it will mean is a bit less money in the pot to be shared by the 32 non league sides that reach the first round proper. To cut down on the number of mid-week games, a new Division 3 has been proposed. This would mean the National League (or Conference in old money) would get its wish for more promotion places with up to eight clubs getting promoted. Virgin Media is also challenging the 3pm rule, which states that no live football can be shown at 3pm on a Saturday. Finally, that old winter break chestnut is once again back on the agenda. Forget that most lower league clubs get their largest gate of the season on either Boxing Day or New Years Day and football fans need a winter break from mince pies, mad aunts and endless repeats on TV. 

And what of the Olympic Legacy? Just two years ago we welcomed the world to an awe inspiring contest that made you proud to be British, now we seem to have stuck two fingers up at the world and returned to a 'Life on Mars' time with some retro Thatcher thrown in. Our grassroots football struggles with souring pitch hire costs and terrible facilities as everything that is not a statutory service is seen as an expense we can ill afford.

So it really is a testament to those those behind the scenes, that against this backdrop, Slough Town has finally got itself a brand spanking new sports stadium for the whole community. I'm not sure how many games I can make, but I couldn't resist the £100 Euro-deal season ticket. It's certainty cheaper than the £800 I shelled out for me and my eldest to watch Brighton and Hove Albion, whose games are moved at whim so often by TV that I can still stand on the non league terraces (see modern football isn't all bad). I've got my Slough Town Trust membership on line and I’m raring to go – well apart from missing today’s game cos i'm on holiday. Hopefully I’ve persuaded my missus that she would like to visit Bridport for the day so I can catch them play in the extra preliminary round of the FA Cup against Alresford Town where replays apparently wont ruin England’s chances of winning the World Cup in Qatar. 

Non-Premier League football faces an overwhelming number of threats. Whether it be football being shown live on TV on a Saturday at 3pm, the scrapping of FA Cup replays, League 3 and B teams; football mimics society where the have-a-lots don't just want even more of the spoils but blame those at the bottom of the barrel for any of their failings.

In this climate you have to be so much more than just a football club if you are to not just survive but prosper. A new ground in Slough in a community stadium on a 3G pitch will give the club the chance to show just what it is capable of. I can't wait. 

* To find out more about all those proposals go to