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.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

YOU MAKE ME HAPPY WHEN SKIES ARE GREY

Printed in the Southern League Premier Division game v Cirencester Town on Good Friday 14th April 2017. We lost 2-0 in front of 780

It must have been the sunshine and beer, cos it certainly wasn't the quality of the football that had us all singing on the packed coach back from Kettering. One of those songs 'We love you Sliski we do' our tribute to Mr. Slough Town Chris who tragically passed away five years to the day.
I hadn't been back to Kettering since one of our greatest ever days supporting the Rebels or as our co-manager Neil Baker tweeted 'the place I had my best afternoon in football.' It was May 2014 and we were stuck in some endless play-off loop and looked like we were heading for yet another play-off defeat. 2-0 down at half time and you couldn't see where a goal was coming from. But boy did the team deliver. 3 second half goals and finally promotion. My favourite photo is our chairman Steve Easterbrook hugging Dave the Programme on the pitch. Dave Pearcy saw us get promoted but unfortunately never saw us back home. As for the scenes back at the Herschel Arms later with players, officials and supporters celebrating. Let's just say many of us didn't make it to work the next day.
You got to feel for Kettering's fall from grace. Rockingham Road was a proper old ground and I always thought they should have been in the Football League. In 1992 they sold it to help save the club from extinction and this lease arrangement was always a ticking time bomb for the club. So it proved as they eventually moved out, sunk by debts of £1.2 million. While the club haven't given up hope of returning home they have put in a planning application to upgrade their frankly sparse ground they share with Burton Park Wanderers of the United Counties Division One (level 10 and too low to enter the FA Cup).
Ground grading always confuses me with the FA worrying far too much about an extra turnstile or a new stand that will always be empty while turning a blind eye to terrible pitches – pitches that really don't suit Slough Town's style of play. 3-0 to Kettering and as Neil Baker tweeted 'If ever a game highlighted how much better 3G is as a spectacle for fans then today was it! Terrible pitches produce terrible games!'
Kieran was on good form and in the second half sat in one of the home sides temporary stands which looks like its been borrowed from a wedding hire company, singing about the Rebels amongst some Kettering kids who were giving him an ear-bashing.
At the end of the game we all scrabbled round on twitter to see where that left us for a place in the play-offs. It's still in our hands but we all know that a home tie at Arbour Park would be a massive advantage.
Back on the coach, one of the oldest supporting Rebels John Tebbit was being serenaded with his own song. John has been supporting the Rebels since 1954 and been writing for the programme since the 1970's. Singing 'Where we you in '43', seemed a little unfair.
It seemed rude not to finish off the day with a drink at the Alpha Arms. Transformed from the smallest pub in Slough in the days when my dad was alive and who seemed to spend more time in their than at home. The old Alpha landlady was having a drink and wasn't so sure my dad would have approved of the changes. BOOM he would have shouted and i'm sure I saw a glass move across the table as I raised one to him.
As I watch Brighton edge ever closer to the Premier League Promised Land, I know that I always enjoy my trips to watch Slough Town so much more. 'You are my Slough Town, my only Slough Town..'


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