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, February 24, 2018


Printed in the Southern League Premier Division game v St.Neots Town on Saturday 24th February 2018.We won 2-1 in front of 615
'Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it' said the philosopher George Santayana, who no doubt had football fans in mind when he penned it.
You would expect most Brighton supporters, 20 years after being homeless and so nearly tumbling out of the football league, would just be happy to cling onto Premier League survival by their boot straps. But not with this new type of fan; one who would crash and burn the finances and doesn't understand that apart from maybe six teams everyone else has a good chance of being relegated. I try to stay away from football forums as they are not good for anyone’s mental health, probably because a lot people who frequently posts have questionable mental health. Or maybe we have all grown so used to instant gratification that we can't acknowledge the enormous amount of work that goes into even signing a player. You can't click your fingers and its done.
Unfortunately the same can be leveled at some Slough fans. Our managers have assembled the best squad we have had in years, playing attractive, attacking, passing football. So I was pretty taken aback when I recently heard criticism of them. Yes we've gone off the boil a bit, that last second Hereford equalizer was beyond sickening, but the first half of the season was so blistering, no one can be expected to keep that up. But how come the 200 of us that watched Slough lose 9-0 away to AFC Wimbledon in a season of horror, made more noise than I’ve heard at nearly game at Arbour Park? How the hell can that be?
SuperKev's wake epitomised everything that is brilliant about Slough Town. A packed church, £7,000 raised to pay for his funeral, a guard of honour from today’s team, a great eulogy from our mangers, so many old players mingling with supporters and a whole host of former managers with a coffin decked out in Slough Town insignia. But SuperKev was gone; another hugely important person in the thread of the club, that did so much to keep us going through the dark times. How do we honour his and others memories and make sure they are not consigned to history?
At the wake one of newest supporters was sitting next to Steve Daly, another Slough Town legend, who captained us from the dizzy heights of the Conference to the dog and duck or even worse playing and no doubt losing to our nemesis AFC Hayes. The young lad didn't have a clue who he was. And why should he?
Before every Brighton game there's a TV montage of various important moments in the clubs recent history and I would love to see something like that at Arbour Park. A two minute clip on the new electronic score boards that should be on their way. At the very least something in the clubhouse – a display featuring former players, managers, supporters and of course SuperKev. Capturing key moments that would give everyone a sense of our history and hopefully a sense of perspective.
Don't get me wrong, after years of being a football punch-bag, I love what is happening and the match day experience has got even better now the club is running the bar (yes I know I shouldn't have had the extra pint, but i'm only drinking it because half the profits go to the club.
But let's not be Year Zero supporters. We all have opinions but I trust our managers to get it right on the pitch. However, behind the scenes, the club will only grow if we all muck in. At the very least, let's back the team vocally when things don't always go to plan, cos I can tell you from season after season of bitter experience, it tastes all so much sweeter when it does.

Thursday, February 08, 2018


Printed in the Southern League Premier Divison game v Banbury United on Saturday 10th February 2018. We lost 1-0 in front of 514 people.
Football Transfer Deadline Day makes me embarrassed to be a football fan. While the media turn the most inconsequential story into a moon landing in the hope of more click-bait, far too many supporters lose all sense of perspective. After one fan tweeted 'Imagine being 12 points clear at the top of the table and taking that as a sign that you need to buy another £100m worth of players while Hartlepool and Chester are going out of business for want of thousands' an angry Man City replied 'Is it your money that they’re spending? Sane out injured and we have 3 players fit for our preferred formation of a front 3. Sterling, Aguero and Silva. So yeah. If he signs it’s because we need it.' Others pointed out that it wasn't their fault that Hartlepool and Chester had been mismanaged, as if 'their' clubs were being run with any financial prudence and wouldn't go bust without dodgy Sheiks, gangsters and vulture capitalists pumping in the cash. And while the Premier League is rolling in it, grassroots football has to contend with mud-baths of pitches and terrible changing facilities.
As the authors of 'Jumpers for Goalposts' pointed out football fans are the marketing mans wet dream. It has become the most one sided relationship, tantamount to abuse' or as the authors put it being ‘trapped in a loveless marriage with little in common…Football supporters have become, first and foremost, revenue.’
While Man United made Alexis Sanchez the highest-paid player in Premier League history, the club can't quite bring themselves to pay all their workers the Living Wage. An open letter to the world’s richest football club, urged them to address the plight of stadium staff who are “struggling to make ends meet.” This despite a commitment in 2015 by Premier League clubs to pay the Living Wage to all permanent staff.
Meanwhile even FIFA have acknowledged how the agent free-for-all is 'intolerable' with President Infantino, establishing a working party to examine how the transfer system can be reformed. Infantino said that he was 'very concerned about the huge amount of money flowing out of the football industry.' Although knowing FIFA they're probably more upset they ain't getting a cut. Uefa calculated that more than €3bn was paid to agents by Europe’s top clubs between 2013 and 2017 with clubs telling them that agents are no longer working on behalf of players to negotiate the best salary but acting as intermediaries, who have to be paid by clubs for bringing the players to them. The approach of some agents is: “Look, you will pay me 50% of the transfer or the player goes somewhere else.” One agent Fernando Felicevich, declined to comment when asked if it was true he was asking for £15 million for himself for Sanchez to agree a move while another agent threatened legal action if people kept asking questions.
So it was heartening to see Newcastle United supporters protest against owner Mike Ashley at St James’ Park with an impressive display reading “Trust me, one day you will get your club back... He is only one man, we are a whole city, a whole population...” while West Ham fans are planning protests against the diamond-geezers that run their club and have relocated them to a soulless bowl of a stadium. But apart from the occasional boycott by supporters like Coventry, Charlton and Blackpool and Man United fans who set up a new club and built their own ground, most continue to support 'their' team no matter how badly they are treated or how dodgy their owners.
Maybe journalist Nick Cohen nailed it 'The fans do not care where the money came from. It is as miserablist to talk about Manchester City's owners on Match of the Day as to talk about the factory farming of turkeys at the Christmas lunch table.'
Yes I know our owners have just butchered political opponents and ripped off the poor, but without that new billion pound winger we don't really need, our season and my life will be ruined.


Printed in the Southern League Premier Division game v Redditch United Tuesday 6th February 2018. We won 4-0 in front of 375.
When Pete Bridle comes to a game, the first thing anyone ever says to him is 'Where's Noreen?' His mum is one of our longest serving and most loyal supporters having been supporting Slough for over 50 years and attending over a thousand games. Time to shine a floodlight on her!
Born in County Kerry in the Republic of Ireland in the 1930's, Noreen's first Slough game was at the Dolphin in the mid' 60's along with husband Max and sons Ted and Pete.
Favourite Player? Ed Smith
Favourite Manager? Steve Bateman
Football Hate? Having my bag and body searched at Southport away in the FA Trophy semi-final
Claim to Fame? The argument with Richard Stokes, then leader of Slough Council at a council meeting concerning our new ground. Also the two days protest outside the town hall asking the council to get behind the new ground.
Football likes? Travelling to away games on the Slough coach and enjoying the company of the family of Slough supporters. The atmosphere at home games, meeting all the fellow supporters and hearing what's going on.
The high spots? Receiving the Supporter of the Year award two seasons ago. Heading the ball against Farnborough recently. We were expecting a bid from Farnborough to sign her up but the approach was turned down by the club
Hopes for the future? With the home coming of the club and the good work carried out by everyone from Steve Easterbrook and the Trust and supporters, we have seen the club grow and encourage new supporters old and new
Final thoughts? Remembering all the people associated with the club who have passed on from our football family.
Once a Rebel always a Rebel”
Noreen - You deserve a medal!