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, October 13, 2018


Bristol Manor Farm on a Tuesday night; there can't be many who could resist the urge to jump on a train for four and half hours to see the mighty Rebels take on the 'Farmy Army'. When I finally arrived at the Promised Land (better known as Sea Mills train station) I could see their Creek ground tantalizing close; all I had to do was walk across the train line or wade in the estuary to reach it. Problem was the stench from the estuary would give the old Slough sewage works pong a run in the stinking contest so I decided to take the more circular route.
Foraging might be all the rage now but 30 years ago I was part of the free food revolution, getting up at stupid o clock to pick field mushrooms on the Langley roundabout, tipped off by my nan that a mushroom lorry had dropped its cargo years back. Plucking ink caps in Upton Court Park in the morning dew. I nearly poisoned my hosts with water hemlock, realising at the last minute it wasn't watercress and my hands forever tingled from picking nettles. Nettles are a wonder crop and if they came from the Amazon rainforest they would be gobbled down in pills and potions by people who like to gobble down pills and potions. I still use them on my kids spag bol – just don't tell them. We turned hops into undrinkable beer (we still managed to drink it) and scrumped apples to turn into suicider (totally undrinkable but as you can probably guess we managed). Yep living in Slough was like an episode of The Good Life and to top it all off in late summer we headed to the sewage farm to harvest tomatoes whose pips go straight through the human gut and grow lush in treated slurry. Many a meal I whipped up for friends, only telling them after they'd finished where the tomatoes had come from. The sewage farm also grew enormous puffball mushrooms. We baked one once; one of the most disgusting things i've ever popped in my mouth, and that's saying something.
Slough hadn't travelled to Bristol to play a game of football since the 1895 when we played Bristol South End who were later to become Bristol City. We lost that FA Cup game 5—1 and the journey was deemed so far that our players came up by coach the night before. As for the Farm, they had only formed in 1960 and this was the furthest they had ever been in the FA Cup. It wasn't till the 2016/17 season they finally secured promotion to the Southern League amassing 102 points, and scoring over 100 goals on the way to being crowned as Western League Champions.
This game was being billed as the biggest in their history. My mate Ian also had some history with the Farm recalling how he got up to all sorts with his mates thanks to the combination of railway bridge, allotments, river tow-path endless mud at low tide and so on. “We had dens where we hid fags and sweets and kissed girls. But Manor Farm, had a bar and they used to leave crates of empty coke and Corona bottles outside. We'd nick as much as we could carry and get 3p back on the coke bottles and 5p back on big Corona bottles. A fortune was amassed to pay for our high-rolling lifestyle. The money meant we could afford to experiment with any kind of tobacco product we liked the look of! Good old Manor Farm, many a raid was made across the railway bridge over the muddy river Trym inlet they now call the Creek - happy days. Until secondary school ruined everything!”
The game had certainty caught the imagination with the TV cameras in tow, children on the pitch waving flags and the one man Farmy-Army beating his drum. They had pegged us back to 2-2 draw on Saturday, and one half of our managers Neil Baker had blown such a gasket at the performance he was to ill to travel to Bristol. Their bars were packed and over 500 crammed into their ground, the majority hoping to see a cup upset on their dipping and sloping pitch. However, Slough burst any romantic bubble early on and apart from a good shout for a penalty and a goal line clearance Slough dominated and run out 4-0 winners, setting up an away day trip to Eastbourne.
A swift pint in the clubhouse, then it was back down the M4 to Slough to crash at my mums and get up at stupid o clock to get back to Brighton for work. Just one win away from the first round proper, let's hope Slough Town come up smelling of roses again. 



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