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.

Monday, April 30, 2018


Printed in the Southern Premier League play-off semi final v Kettering Town Wednesday 2nd May 2018 We won 3-1 in front of 1246 to face Kings Lynn in the play off final, which we won 2-1 in front of 2842 (yeah, right) and promotion back to the National South

Blimey what a finish to the season that was. 99 points and 111 goals; a points tally that would have won the league in 31 of the previous 34 years which just goes to show how competitive the Southern Premier has been this season.

Or to put it another way, Weymouth were fifth with 97 points. That many points in Championship, League One and League Two would guarantee you automatic promotion!

But now it's back to the future, with a play off semi final against Kettering Town.

Who can forget that day four years ago, the first season in charge for our new joint managers, when we went from 2-0 down at half time to winning 3-2 and finally gaining promotion after endless play-off defeats. My favourite photo is our chairman Steve Easterbrook hugging Dave the Programme on the pitch at the end of the game. 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.

But what about Saturdays match. League positions changed several times over the course of the game, but in the end it was ‘as you were’ with Slough finishing in third place. However, Royston were the width of a crossbar away from denying Slough a home tie when they hit the frame of the goal deep into second half stoppage time and took a few more days off my life. 

It’s been an incredible season, with so many highlights to choose from. The TV cameras coming down to Slough. The thrashing of Gainsborough away in the FA Cup first round. Beating Merthyr 5-4 after being 4-0 down at half time and listening to a punch-drunk Rebels Radio star Ady losing the plot at the end. Securing a home tie had looked beyond Slough until an incredible late run of form, with 11 wins from the last 13 games, including 9 of the last 10 away games.

And I couldn't help feeling proud at the end of season awards or how Slough fans have finally found their voices. Before the Royston game, one supporter couldn't quite believe it was our chairman pulling pints (and clearing up the sick in the bogs) But to me that down to earth attitude from Steve is why we are in such a strong position now. How many of our volunteers see much of the game anymore? I know I sound like the drunk bloke at the bar but the transformation of this club has been incredible and the people who make the club tick should take a bow. So it was great to see the awards being delivered by people like club shop Sue and Julie Sliski with Barry Hiron getting clubperson of the year for the amount of work he puts in on matchdays. Barry said it was 'totally unexpected but proud to receive an award bearing the name of Chris Sliski. The epitome of the true Clubman.'

So now the play-offs. Can you enjoy these games? Or is just a gut churning, nerve shredding hair greying experience which you glimpse through the fingers in your hands? Win it and we will have another gut churning, nerve shredding game to look forward to with a place in the Conference South up for grabs. Still at least I can throw away the calculator. The maths are now very simple (even for me).

Win our next two games and we are promoted. If only it were as easy as typing those words.

Saturday, April 28, 2018


Printed in the last Southern Premier League game of the season v Royston Town Saturday 28th April 2018. We won 2-1 in front of 759 finishing third with 99 points and 111 goals scored!

For those mathematically challenged like myself the past few weeks and have been a play off permutations headache, trying to work out who we might play and have we got any chance of a home draw.

Fair play to Hereford who are out of the equation and do what all champions do and grind out results and last minute goals (sorry for bringing that up). Still, at least I don't have to worry about going there for a while incognito after my Benny Hill escapades with various stewards earlier in the season. I don't really want Kettering away cos you can't actually see if there are more than 8 people at the ground and where big games bring out friendly locals who like to offer knuckle sandwiches for free. How they must pine for the splendid old Rockingham Road now reduced to dust thanks to the vanity of another boom and bust chairman. I hope they get a ground back in town soon.

This is one tough league and the teams in the play-offs are all worthy of being in a higher division. A couple of seasons back Poole Town got promoted with 93 points – we have 96 and a win today would take us to 99! We've just won an incredible seven away games on the bounce and are 19 points of our nearest rivals, who just happen to be Royston Town. What's more the run of form means we are now in third place. That's some achievement for any team, let alone part-time ones. It wasn't so long ago that sponsoring Slough per goal used to cost you about 6 pence, now some people have had to re-mortgage their houses as we easily smashed 100 goals a season.

If we don't go up it looks like we will be in the new Southern League westwards section, welcoming Salisbury and Taunton Town. The next time I go to Taunton I will remember that drinking a Christmas bottle of Baileys before the game isn't big or clever but very, very sickly. If we do go up, I will be more than slightly peeved that the two nearest clubs to me in the Conference South have been relegated. One so near I could walk there in 15 minutes.

The football season is perfectly timed for my job, where I rush back and forth watering plants and look after caterpillar ravaged Brussels sprouts and fight with giant, ravenous slugs. Oh how I hate those gardening programmes that show you perfection cos they've got full time experts working round the clock to make them pristine. Gardening ain't like that!

What ever happens, its good to see after a stern telling off by Headmasters Bakes and Unders we have are finally flexing our vocal chords. See you in the play offs – wherever that may be and don't forget to make some noise for Bakes and Unders boys, cos its a lot more fun when we do. 

* I'm sure all Slough fans will join me in giving very best wishes to John Tebbit who due to illness can sadly no longer write for the programme. John first contributed 48 years ago in 1970 and his amazing enthusiasm and memories have graced these pages ever since. John played for Old Pauldians and almost played for Slough after the war – but didn't have any boots with him! Get well soon John. 

* While you're all watching England once again fluff their World Cup lines, remember that clubs like Slough cannot function without volunteers. It's the usual suspects who help with the turnstiles, bar, selling programmes and raffle tickets. If you don't fancy that, maybe you could write the occasional article for the programme. If you need inspiration or a ' if-he-can-do-it-i-bloody-well-can' bit of motivation my 12 years backlog catalogue is available at

Thursday, April 12, 2018


Printed in the Southern League Premier Division game v Kings Lynn Town on Saturday 14th April 2018. We drew 2-2 in front of 822.
We all get a little too obsessed with the weather but for non league supporters, finger aching from constant refreshing of twitter to see if a game is on, has become far too commonplace this season. For too many lower league clubs this season has literally been a wash-out with the added splash of white to add to the backlog. Of course there's a solution to this and it's one that Slough Town chairman Steve Easterbrook said was a no brainier at the time when our ground was being planned – artificial pitches. In an ideal world we would all love to play on grass, but the world and climate is changing and football clubs need to maximise their one unique selling point - their pitch - if they are able to compete.
The flip side of Slough having no home games called off, has meant that this is just the second time Slough have played at home in the past month with nine away games! From Weymouth to Kings Lynn, Frome to Bishop's Stortford that's a hell of a lot of travelling for part-time players and seriously expensive for supporters. So fair play to the Rebels who have still travelled in numbers despite adversity. Kieron's train taking so long to get to Weymouth he was forced to drink from the toilet bowl while Swindon Steve decided it was more fun to travel on the Slough coach to Weymouth than go direct from Swindon, getting back so late on the coach he stayed overnight in a Slough hotel! That's dedication (or insanity). Slough supporters said they could see their reflections in the puddles on the Dunstable pitch. We got a game in a snow storm at Bishop's Stortford and these matches would have probably been called off earlier in the season, but I heard that refs have been told to take a more pragmatic approach if we want this season to end before the new one starts.
I'm thinking of Biggleswade when the game was called off by the ref as the supporters coach was arriving and when both managers wanted the game to go ahead. Surely there can be some sort of waiver when this happens when both managers disagree with the ref to overrule him.
In fact I’m in total agreement with TalkSport pundit and non league champion Tony Incenzo who wrote “Such late postponements have been commonplace this season. They are particularly unfair on the away teams’ players and fans, who may have taken time off work and travelled long distances at great personal expense.” His suggestions to eradicate the problem are :
  • In times of bad weather, a pitch inspection must take place by a qualified referee before the away team and supporters set off.
  • This inspection should also fully take into account the weather forecast.
  • If there is any doubt whatsoever about the game taking place, call it off there and then.
  • No postponement should be allowed after this cut-off point unless there is a huge deterioration in the pitch condition that wasn’t envisaged by the earlier weather forecast.
It would also help if the football authorities were more interested in investing in pitches rather than punishing clubs for not having a new stand they will never fill.
The FA is letting some leagues extend the season but some like the North West Counties League which has had 357 postponements so far this season are not happy with the small extension. “The League is disappointed with the FAs decision not to extend to Saturday 12th May given the recent poor weather, as this will impact the League, its clubs and the staff, players and volunteers.” One of their clubs 1874 Northwich are only halfway through the season thanks to postponements and getting to the semi-finals of the FA Vase. Having so many games called off also seriously threatens clubs finances.
The fixture pile-up is not helped by too many games. A good cup run and it gets worse. Does anyone care about League Cups? Can't the earlier rounds of the Berks and Bucks be played pre-season? It's good to see that the re-organisation at our level will mean less league games to play and more local derbies.
Artificial pitch crunch time could come if Sutton or Bromley win promotion to the Football League. “We went one winter without being able to play a home game for seven weeks,” says Sutton chairman Bruce Elliott. “Now our pitch is used by 800 players a week: first team, academy teams, ladies, disability teams. It brings a togetherness. Average attendances have increased [from around 700 to over 2,000]. It’s wonderful.” However Football League clubs are against artificial pitches. So the continued ban means if Sutton or Bromley get promoted they will have to rip them up. And if they don't, they will be punished by relegation to the National South. Blimey. I think someones been smoking too much grass.

Sunday, April 01, 2018


Printed in the Southern League Premier Division game v Chesham United Monday 2nd April 2018. We finally beat them for the first time in 18 years 2-1 in front of 784.

The Rebels fans behind the goal were in fine voice – or at least those of us not suffering from rigor mortis as we huddled together like penguins for warmth. I'm not sure I’ve seen many games in a snow storm and definitely none painted with bright blue lines that got the blow-dry treatment to melt the snow, so fair play to Bishop's Stortford for getting the game on. I am also slightly jealous of their apostrophe as I tried to get it into a song or two, seeing as their fans jaws had clamped up in the cold.
Away supporters are usually more vocal than home ones, powered by beer and a little bit of insanity as their zigzag up and down the country for 90 minutes of football. 

But what the hell is happening at the morgue that is Arbour Park? It comes to something when the managers have to ask in the programme for people to get behind the team and when players are coming off the pitch saying that all this negativity is affecting them.
My eldest was 12 last week and I looked at old programme notes that celebrated his birth as we dragged him to his first game at just 5 days old. Homeless and playing at Windsor in one of the worst seasons in our history we still enjoyed ourselves (OK, the 90 minutes of football usually spoilt a good day out). A lot has happened in that time and for the moaners and groaners I’m going to build a time machine (I’m thinking of calling it a Tardis unless anyone can come up with a better name) and take them back to the terraces at AFC Hayes where we not only lose again but are taunted by their officials; where the three collective fans of Burnham and Beaconsfield not only enjoy seeing billy big bollocks Slough Towns fall from grace but financially profit from our demise; like your best mate nicking your girlfriend then rubbing your nose in dogshit.
Why have so many supporters got spoilt brat disease or go into hyper-winge at the first misplaced past? Have the radio phone-ins and football forums become little more than, as When Saturday Comes put it 'a national session of primal scream therapy rather than something entertaining or even thought-provoking.' Should keyboards have a breathalyser built into them, making it impossible to post whilst under the influence?
Just what is that people don't understand about supporting your club?
Who'd have thought that getting on players backs had a negative impact? I'm happy to come into your place of work and shout at you when you do things wrong to see how this will make you work better.
Perversely though supporters will often back their club to the hilt in a siege mentality when they are criticised, just look at Crewe supporters after their paedophile coach scandal
Sure, have a moan and groan after the game. You can even do it in the bar and know that your drinking and moaning is at least making money for the club to help strengthen the squad.
We are having a great season in a tough old league. We reached the 2nd round of the FA Cup and are on target for the play-offs. We might even get in the final of the Berks and Bucks Cup which we haven't won since beating Old Wolverian Train Sidings in 1876.
Surely that's something to sing about?