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.

Friday, March 09, 2018


Printed in the Southern League Premier Division game v Frome Town Saturday 10th March 2018. We won 2-1 in front of 581 people.

When so many lower league clubs are getting punished for messing up player registration, its time the authorities took a proper look at how its come to this – especially when it has such a dramatic impact on promotion and relegation. 
Just a flick through the Non League pyramid and you have Shaw Lane, Halesowen, Sutton Coldfield, Cleethorpes, Frickley Athletic, Molesey, Shoreham, Potters Bar, Dareham Town, those well known law-breakers Met Police, Swanage, Bemerton Heath, Guisborough Town, Hall Road Rangers, Wivenhoe Town, Ely City, Burnham, Witheridge, Bedlington Town, Arnold Town, Farleigh Rovers, Kent Football United (actually they deserve a points reduction for such a ridicolous name), Folland Sports, Gravesham Borough, FC Bolsover, Portishead Town, Cheltenham Saras and more all falling foul of the regulations.
You've got to feel sorry for Swanage whose season has been derailed thanks to a 12 point deduction by the Dorset Premier League for fielding a player who had not got international clearance. That player is Nat Scott who went to college in the USA between August 2011 and April 2015. His last game was in November 2014 for Oklahoma City FC. The standard of college football is unpaid and non professional but to play football in the USA you need international clearance (that's right, international clearance to play football, but only a pulse to buy a gun). This international clearance would be done by the University you were attending, so the student would be totally unaware of this process. On your return to your home country you would again need to obtain international clearance and this is what Nat failed to do. At first he signed for Handy Sports and after three months he was signed by Swanage who said that signing him from a fellow club in Dorset they were totally unaware and are now appealing.
Last year a mistake cost Haywards Heath Town promotion after one of their players failed to pay his part of a small collective fine imposed whilst he was playing for Fisher FC. His suspension for not stumping up a whole ten pounds was not listed on the FA website at the time of his signing and instead was only entered there retrospectively; so how the hell would they know about it? Worse, it wasn't till June that they found out that a points deduction meant that Shoreham got promoted instead – but with so little time to prepare that hasn't worked out well for Shoreham who are rooted to the bottom of the league (and ironically have a points deduction for mucking up player registration).
It really doesn't do anyone any favours to make secretaries jobs harder. And its not just me that thinks you shouldn't need a law degree to be a football secretary. Northern Premier League Chairman Mark Harris says it must be an 'absolute priority' for Non League football to keep working towards a robust registrations system that reduces the number of rule breaches. “The administrative burden on volunteering secretaries at this level is getting tougher and tougher. Why?”
The manager of Bowers & Pitsea have said they feel sorry for two of their rivals after they were docked points ahead of the final push for promotion. The Football Association charged Potters Bar Town and Dereham Town with a breach of rule E10 - failure to comply with an automatic suspension – with the points deduction meaning they have lost vital ground. Bowers have also been the victim of an FA charge this season and were thrown out of the FA Trophy after playing someone suspended. Bowers, like Dereham and Potters Bar, had been relying on the FA’s Disciplinary System to gauge how many yellow cards the player had accrued this season, unknowing that the player had been registered twice for different clubs. Bowers manager Rob Small said “Having been through a similar situation in our FA Trophy debacle this season I don’t like to see this sort of thing happen even when there is a perceived benefit to my club. I sympathise with the players and management at both clubs because they will feel robbed of what they believed to be three well-earned points. I’m not educated enough around how the systems work but if a system is allowing double entries I would like to know what the FA plan to do moving forward to reduce the risk to clubs.”
The lower you go down in the football pyramid and the more work falls on the shoulders of too few volunteers. Infact the situation is so bad that Northern Premier League Chairman Mark Harris reckons that if you offered either £20,000 or more volunteers to people in charge of football clubs, they would plump for more volunteers.
So how about this FA, make it easier for people who are doing a job for love not money and not punish them and the clubs they are trying to support.

Saturday, March 03, 2018


Printed in the Southern League Premier Division game v Basingstoke Town on Tuesday 6th March 2018. We drew 1-1 in front of 471 people.

                        Dave Carpenter 1946 - 2018 

Dave (second from left) at the Get Berkshire Active awards ceremony (note, the shirt!)

So here we are again, mourning the passing of another Rebel, this time Dave 'the Shirt' Carpenter who sadly passed away on Thursday.
Dave was a larger than life character who had been supporting the Rebels since the early 1950s and continued to support the club even when his work as a civil engineer took him all over the country. 
Supporter Trust membership secretary Ollie Hayward said of him ' I first met Dave at the Dolphin Hotel in 1966/1967. We both had the same interests with the social and football life at the Dolphin. He had supported the Rebels all his life; he had lived in Wexham Court Estate and caught the Rebels bug then. He was called The Shirt, because whether he wore casual or formal clothing, his shirt would be hanging out! I think his colleagues in the building industry gave him that nickname.'

He was an active member of CAMRA and Dave and his brother Bob could drink for England! You never tried keeping up with him at a beer session. On one Slough away day to Southsea he decided to get on a moving Waltzer which didn't quite go to plan. He shot out like a bullet and landed in front of the Slough supporters but miraculously got up with no sign of injury just plenty of ear-ache from the fairground people!

The eldest of four siblings Dave was a very dedicated member of the Supporters Trust, volunteering on many promotional events, but also arriving early on a Saturday to watch the PALS training. Dave was instrumental in introducing PALS, the disability team to Slough Town, and put in a huge amount of time supporting them including organising the travel arrangements and giving players lifts to tournaments and training. They won the League Division Two title last year and last week he was at the Get Berkshire Active awards ceremony, where the team were runners-up in the Team Performance of the Year category. Scott Miles who plays for the PALS team said of Dave 'He would always come along to every training session, every tournament, would always cheer us on, words alone would never describe how much he helped us.'
It feels somehow fitting that Dave fell ill on a game he had sponsored, something he would do frequently to support the club. His dedication to Slough Town was second to none and I'm glad he got to see us begin to become a footballing force again. He never turned his back when we were in our dark days, often livening up our away travels with his endless supply of jokes. His support for refs was also absolute and he could often be seen having some heated discussions with ClubShop Sue and others about that!
As Ollie said ' He always had a story from Slough Town games, supporters matches and socials that are long gone from the memory of most. '
Dave had mastered the habit of balancing his Slough Town bobble hat so high up on his head it looked like it was floating, like a Rebel halo! Dave was a true Slough Town legend, who gave up so much of his time to make the club tick and matchdays won't be the same without him. RIP Dave

             Wearing his beer glasses at Chertsey

           Me and Dave after a top day out in Histon