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.

Thursday, January 25, 2018


Printed in the Southern League Premier Division game v Kings Langley on Tuesday 30th January 2018 We drew 1-1 in front of 450

The other Friday afternoon I spent an hour after work helping out at the seniors lunch club that happens every week at The Bevy, Brighton's only community owned pub. I hopped on the bus to help drop people home in our wheelchair friendly minibus and if i'm honest, it was pretty heart-breaking. I wheeled one guy into his flat in sheltered housing and asked how he managed. He told me his mate across the way used to help him but he had just died. As I made sure people's doors were shut I wondered just how many would not see another soul till the following Friday and tipped my hat to the volunteers that run the club.
I know that run properly pubs can play a pivotal role in supporting their local community and running a seniors lunch club isn't just good for the community but also good for business, as these people make friends and become regulars. Having a pub on your doorstep, having someone who knows your name when you walk in, makes a massive difference to the quality of peoples lives.
This fits in nicely with the appointment of the first ever Minister for Loneliness after a report published last year by the Jo Cox Commission, revealed that loneliness was as harmful to health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
So the government has a ready made answer when it comes to tackling loneliness. Unfortunately with so many pubs closing every week it needs to strengthen planning laws to protect them and other community spaces from property vultures while exempting those that help their communities with tax breaks. That's why it angers me when pubs on estates are shut because they are worth more financially as housing when run properly they can be the beating heart of the community.
So what role can football clubs can play? Getting upset while watching 22 grown kick a ball around seems a bit daft but we all know at our level at least its a lot more than just that. Look at the outpouring of grief that greeted the news of the death of our physio SuperKev. Without Slough Town just how many of us would have had the honour of knowing Kev?
I've been really impressed how our club has put itself so quickly back into the heart of the community, one of the most ethnically diverse in the whole country.
But it’s ironic that the government appoints a minister for loneliness when its very own policies are doing so much to exacerbate the problem. The never ending squeeze on public finance has meant shutting old peoples clubs, day centres for people with disabilities, libraries, youth and community centres. All an apparent drain on resources, and bugger the human cost. Pubs are disappearing at an alarming rate and small charities are struggling to survive while private companies make cash out of anything that moves – old people, education, water, railways, buses and the air we breathe if they could find a way. But its a sick society that only ever looks at the cost, because it cannot consider the genuine worth of things.
Our society is at a crossroads. Governments have lost the ability to act in the best interests of most of us while large corporations can't deliver what we need (they are happy to when they make a profit, but want to be bailed out by taxpayers when they fail) We can moan till we are blue in the face that someone needs to do something about it but the reality is it's up to us too fight for what makes life worth living. Its only when we get involved in our communities that things will change. That could be helping save your local pub or community centre or offering to help behind the bar or on the turnstiles at our football club.
People want to feel like they belong and be part of something. I know that pubs can play a massive part and I know that football clubs like Slough Town can too.
The Bevy Pub, once closed by the police for anti social behaviour, has proved that run for the benefit of the community it can be more than just a pub. With a loneliness epidemic we need places like the Bevy and football clubs like Slough Town more than ever.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018


To be printed in the Southern League Premier Division game v Merthyr Town on Saturday 27th January 2018

There can’t be many physios that have their own football chant. But then there aren't many physios like Super Kev McGoldrick who tragically passed away after a long battle with cancer.
Kev gave Slough Town an incredible 32 years service, enjoying everything from Conference football to the club staring down the barrel of the dog and duck league, losing our ground and nearly going bust – to finally coming home. Words like legend are branded around in football and life far too easily but Kev deserved the title and a whole lot more. Infact you'd be hard pressed to have met a nicer human being and i'm sure there are many people like me today who will be asking why life is just so bloody unfair at times.
You could also say that days like these puts football in perspective. On the face of getting wound up by 22 grown men chasing a ball is slightly ridiculous but we all know watching 90 minutes of football is just a small part of the 'match day experience'. Having Kev about was definitely part of that experience. Fixing not just our players aches and pains but ex-players, opposition players and supporters alike he was like a football mobile walk-in surgery for the NHS. But not only did he treat everyone, he followed it up with messages to see how you were doing. And he always did it with a smile. I remember him handing me headache tablets at some godforsaken away game where we'd lost again and fixing my thumb after an embarrassing sock incident! Infact my only complaint would be that he hadn't found a cure for the grumpiness that we all felt when Slough were bad (ok the beer helped with that).
Or maybe he had found a cure. Because having SuperKev about made supporting Slough Town a lot more bearable. Along with other legends like Dave the Programme and Chris Sliksi, Slough Town was and is more than just a football club for me. It hits the spot where no other club ever can.
When I interviewed him a while back for the programme I asked 'Who do you support' and he replied 'I only support Slough Town' When I asked if he would ever hang up his physio bag he replied.”I have never thought of quitting. I maybe 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.”
Kev was a pallbearer at Chris Sliski's funeral because he said  that 'Chris carried this club on his shoulders for so long, the least I can do is carry him on mine.'
Well Mr.SuperKev you also carried this club for over 32 years and all the good things that are happening now is because of people like you never giving up. I hope you realised just how loved you were by everyone. RIP 


Monday, January 01, 2018


Printed in the Southern League Premier Division game v Hereford on Saturday 6th January 2018. We drew 2-2 in front of 1,561 (2-0 up with 90 minutes gone. Arghhh!)
It's as spectacular an own goal as you will see all season.
Wembley FC of the Spartan South Midlands Football League playing in the ninth tier of English football often in front of fewer than 50 spectators have been told that they had to drop Wembley from their title because it could cause confusion with Wembley Stadium.

Come again? Forget that Wembley FC have had their name for over 70 years and are in fact a football club in er, Wembley! 

Wembley Stadium on the other hand was known as the Empire Stadium but this was changed to Wembley Stadium because...well its also in Wembley.

The FA, now backed by a European ruling, said they must act to enforce their intellectual property. (we) "take the enforcement of our intellectual property seriously and only take action as a last resort when an amicable resolution does not seem possible. "  

The two have co-existed for years without any issues so why now? Infact just a few seasons back Wembley FC were the FA's FA Cup poster-boys. The clubs current crest, a lion's head on a shield beneath the word Wembley, was registered in 2012 when the club updated their badge after they agreed a sponsorship deal with Budweiser - sponsors of the FA Cup between 2011 to 2014. As part of the Budweiser deal, the club drafted in former England manager Terry Venables as the clubs technical advisor while Martin Keown, Graeme Le Saux and Claudio Caniggia agreed to play for them in the cup. In 2012 the FA's director of football also opened a revamped Vale Park with the offending badge clearly visible in the background. 

However trouble started when Budweiser's agreement with Wembley FC finished and the rights to the trademark were passed to the club. Wembley National Stadium Limited then applied to cancel Wembley FC's European trademark and the European Union's Intellectual Property Office agreed saying that the English-speaking public could confuse the club with the stadium. Despite "a number of visual differences" in the logos, the use of the word Wembley in both meant there was still "a likelihood of confusion".
To be fair it is easy to confuse the two. On my last Slough Town trip there I wandered off the high street and past some allotments to find the ground – this is just like Wembley Way I thought as I walked down a cinder track, past a row of cauliflowers and an old man picking beans.
As Wembley FC chairman for over 30 years Brian Gumm said “I know football fans are not supposed to be very bright- but I think you can tell the difference between this and Wembley Stadium. We can't even afford to put in an appeal. It will bankrupt the club because we can't afford to change all our signage and kit."
The FA boosts of its support for the grass-roots game but the truth is since the Premier League were formed 25 years ago, it is too powerless to control the big clubs. It really does itself no favours going after the smaller ones.