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.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

SERVE WITH HONOUR

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.

COME ON YOU REBELS  

Check out some fantastic photos of the day by Gary House

2 Comments:

Anonymous Ian J said...

This is a superb article and although I am also an expat remember going along 40 years ago to Wexham Park due to my future father in law's encouragement. So I went along and became a fan of a non league team for the first time and trolled around the likes of Hayes to away matches too, co-incidentally, until I moved away. My favourite memory wasn't the first team but the Slough under 16s who played Liverpool in the FA Cup under 16 semi-final to a full and noisy house of 5000.

I have been along a couple of times to Beaconsfield who deserve thanks for putting up with the groundshare, and also to the memorable league triumph two seasons back. Note the situation of Kettering's ground compared to their past glories. Let's hope they will find their roots again too.

I will get along but not on Monday!

I am sure the councillor mentioned will be super pleased to be recognised for helping the club and hope he is aware of the kind comments. It is rare for elected people to get appreciated.

11:05 pm

 
Blogger John Anderson said...

Well written. I had to move out of the town when I got married but still follow the Rebels. How long ago was that? Well we were still at the Dolphin in those days. after 40 plus years away I now support my new home town club Poole Town. Thankfully The Slough Branch of the family still supports the club. Councillor Anderson will be pleased to see your acknowledgement of his role but will also be the first to say that it was others that kept the club going. I know how much work went into the fight with the DFE over The Orchard School site and how hard he fought to keep the club at Wexham Park. However others virtually dedicated their lives to the club and they should be recognised. As a club you should be proud that you have a home worthy of the club.

I hope to visit in the next few weeks and (probably the Leamington game) along with Councillor Andersonand I hope it won't be long before my little brother comes to a new stadium in Poole. COYR.

John Anderson

2:06 pm

 

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