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, March 11, 2023


Printed in the National League South game v Hungerford Town Saturday 11th March 2023. We won 4-0 in front of 687

When we re-opened the Bevy Community Pub one of the things we insisted on was making anyone who walked in – whever it was their first time or five hundredth – feel welcome. Because well, that’s what pubs should do. Non League clubs should also always have that same mindset and I reckon Slough are a friendly bunch (well apart from those two hooligans on the turnstiles) who lay out the red carpet and will even lend you a tambourine to join in the songs like some Rebel Gospel Choir.

At clubs like Hungerford with a population of just 6,000, you get this friendliness in bucketfuls. The first time I went there I got lost in a pub backing off onto a forest. They served me a beer, called me a cab (or something like that) and the driver turned out to Hungerford's kitman. The chairman is always there to greet you and they’ve an impressive amount of deals to entice people in. I went for the £20 ticket which got me entry, a programme, a meal and a drink.

I missed the corker of a game last week. While Brighton were demolishing West Ham I was refreshing my phone in disbelief that Slough came back and grabbed a point against high flying Worthing with just 9 men for over half the game. I also missed the food truck that got everyone drawling. And I also missed the visit from a twitcher; not the sort who goes birdwatching, but the sort who plays interactive computer games.

When 31 year old primary school teacher Callum pulled out a Slough Town top from a magic box, it was marriage at first sight. Callum lives on the Welsh borders so Slough probably wouldn’t have been his first choice.

So what is twitch streaming and football manager. Callum explained

Twitch streaming is when you play a game, in this case Football Manager and people watch you live with the ability to send messages that I respond to in real time. It’s a bit like interactive television.

Football Manager is a football management simulation game which is played on computer. You manage a football team making transfers, sorting tactics, training and of course managing the matches.”

So why Slough Town?

I chose Slough through chance with a mystery kit box. I stated that

whatever shirt it revealed would be my next club on the Football Manager game and within it was a Slough top from 2020 (I believe). I have since bought this seasons away shirt!”

Who do you support

I am an Evertonian so try to get to games when I can. I have been to Non League games before, I used to commentate for Chester FC and have also been to Salford and Wrexham.”

What were your expectations?

I honestly didn’t have any expectations from the game. I had been talking to Connor McNeish (Rebels Radio) and Ade via twitter for a while beforehand and we’d discussed a few things. I just wanted to come down and get the Arbour Park experience but I got that and so much more. Meeting Scotty and the team in the changing room, being interviewed by the club, working on the turnstiles with the chairman and even choosing man of the match. That’s without talking about how welcoming all of the fanbase were, some thought I was a potential new owner as I turned up in a suit jacket and Slough tie!”

How would you describe the day?

Surreal! I felt like a celebrity for the day which was so bizarre but absolutely magical. I’m just a man who plays a video game that people watch on the internet. Thank you so much Slough. I will be back!”

It’s heartening to hear about people feeling welcome at the club. Even a Worthing away fan said ‘Enjoyed my visit as an away fan yesterday despite the result. Fantastic set up and very welcoming.”

With the TV cameras heading to Arbour Park for the first ever live National League South game - which also happens to be on Non League Day - let’s get those surreal songs into everyone's living rooms, and make them all want a piece of the Rebel action.

* If you want to catch Callum's twitch streams he streams a couple of times a week over on 

Saturday, March 04, 2023


Printed in the National League South game v Worthing Saturday 4th March 2023  We drew 1-1 despite being down to 9 men for 50 minutes. Attendance 633

Government ministers might be telling us to eat turnips, harvest tomatoes from sewage and add sawdust to our porridge to help with the cost of living, but when it comes to foraging we were ahead of the game.

30 years ago I was part of the Slough 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 shaggy ink caps in Upton Court Park in the morning dew. I nearly poisoned my hosts with water hemlock; thankfully realising at the last minute it wasn't watercress 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 in 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.

I always thought that Arbour Park should have had a vegetable bed – growing the salads to go with the burgers, onions for the hotdogs, maybe even some chickens for their eggs. Healthy eating and sport go hand in hand, not that you’d notice it from the food we get served up. I like the £5 pie and pint deal but surely Slough of all towns should also be serving up samosas and onion bhajis to go with a pint?

I run a community garden and spend a lot of time outdoors where we battle with the elements, the slugs and mice, pests and diseases to grow food. I should be the picture of health and but I must have looked so haggard to the young lad on the St.Albans City turnstile that he charged me seniors rate. St Albans are cashless, with quirky beers and even useless-to-hit cotton bins. They want to be trendy but with their ground they are trapped in an old persons body, that locks the gates to the sheltered housing at 5.30

Hampton are trapped in the 1950’s but their new owners have banned cash and set about winding up some of their old support making changes so quick. 

Brighton have done the same. Their pies win awards but everytime I’ve queued for one, they’ve run out by half time. They’ve got self service beer pumps and have added tickets on phones so you can’t pass them on unless you want to pay £20 for the privilege.

Worthing seem to have got it right. Our visit before Christmas netted us a valuable point, and I even got some very decent vegetarian food. You could pay by cash or card. There was the usual beer plus craft. You get a feel of clubs when you visit and Worthing is definitely a club on the up. The even had the most charming head steward who said her job was to make sure everyone had a good time. She even had a go on the bin we had commandeered for the afternoon.

So what of the latest food shortages. Well this was predicted long ago by food campaigners and restaurant critic Jay Raynor who said “In October 2014 I told the DEFRA select committee that we needed to start paying more for our food. If we did not do so, we risked paying vastly more later and experiencing shortages in supply, resulting in empty shelves. For decades the supermarket sector had been given a free run at our food supply chain by governments of both stripes. Just a dozen companies then controlled 95% of UK food retail and used that economic might to force such drastically tight deals on producers that many had gone out of business. Our self-sufficiency had withered. We were now, I said, at serious risk from external shocks disrupting our food supply because we were so dependent on imports.

"I didn’t expect one of those external shocks to be self-inflicted, but then the Brexit vote came along. Anyone with even a passing knowledge of how deformed our food system had become know it would have a drastic impact. And now here we are in 2023, with shelves emptied of salad vegetables and rationing in supermarkets. Is it solely a product of our leaving the EU? No, of course not. Yes, there have been weather issues. But isn’t it curious that the supply problems we have here are not being replicated in France, Spain or even Ukraine?”

Now with rising energy prices and lack of staff, UK growers are saying they can’t afford to grow salad, cucumbers and tomatoes until much later in the year.

So it might be time for Slough and other clubs to dig up that odd patch of grass and dig for victory – on and off the pitch. Unless you fancy turnip burger and chips.

Tuesday, February 28, 2023


Printed in the National League South game v Bath City Tuesday 28th February 2023  We lost 3-0 in front of 421

There can’t be many Slough supporters who can say they have seen Slough play at every one of their grounds. But Richard ‘Ollie’ Hayward has and as he’s approaching his 77th birthday, I felt it was a good time to ask about his time supporting the Rebels.

How long you been supporting Slough

On and off from when I was a baby. I got taken to home and away matches as a child. Slough Centre became the main team due to my family home about half a mile away. The stadium could be seen from our back garden. I would have occasional visits to the Dolphin. My father also used to run his factory football side, Bitumen Industries, on Saturdays, so that would effect where I watched football.”

First game?

That would be 1946/1947. Sough United. Slough Town and Slough Centre amalgamation during war.”

So you've seen Slough play at all their grounds?

“Yes, I suppose I have. Slough Centre, The Dolphin, Wexham Park and now Arbour Park. Also the grounds we shared with other clubs during the nomadic period. Stag Meadow Windsor, Holloways Park, Beaconsfield. I seem to recall we did play some occasions at York Road Maidenhead. I am sure there were other locations but I cannot recall now.”

Best moments

Winning promotion to the Conference for the first at Bromley with a 85th minute winning goal by Neal Stanley after terrific play by Steve Thompson. The scenes that followed at Bromley's ground were wonderful with many hundreds of Rebels fans having invaded the pitch in joy, and the celebrations that followed at Wexham Park afterwards was incredible. I travelled with fellow STFC Management Committee members on the Team Coach, and the reaction from Supporters waiting at the Clubhouse for the coach arrival was amazing. The noise and spirit around was brilliant. Needless to say the celebrations that followed went on into the night and later in the morning. It was daylight for my happy stagger home! There have been many memorable great moments, but I feel this was the most unforgettable one.”

Worst times

There have sadly been a number over the years, and I have done my best to forget them. But the one that really still hurts is the defeat at Wembley in the Amateur 1973 Cup Final against Walton and Hersham who with very late goal from Roger Connell (an ex Rebel player) beat the Rebels in a scrappy game. I had joined the Royal Navy that year, and was scheduled to along with fellow trainee sailors for on a big training exercise that weekend of the Final. I applied to the Captain of the Establishment in Chatham and was granted Special Leave when I explained the situation about my support and at last Slough was playing at Wembley in a Final. What helped me was that in February I had volunteered to attend a weeks endurance and trekking in Snowdonia Mountains. It was freezing with thick snow but I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience.”

Roles at the club

Football Secretary on two occasions. Management Board member prior the Club prior to being taken over by various organisation before the Thorne Family take over the Club. Now a Matchday volunteer.”

What’s your current role?

My task on matchdays is helping out with pre match preparations, gazebo setting up with tables and chairs in the bar and boardroom where required. Once gates open its selling golden goal tickets. Half time helping with 50/50 draw

Weren’t you also involved in supporters trust?

If you mean the Slough Town Supporter Association (STSA)? The STSA was formed by Steve Chapman, who was Chairman, along with Chris Sliski. Steve Cumber was next Chairman followed by me until I stepped down to become STFC Secretary, Mike Lightfoot took over from me. I was in the Royal Navy when STSA formed (1981?) based at Northwood, hence I was able to attend meetings and matches.

I was not involved with the current Trust set up, and only joined later. Whilst STSA was in action I became Deputy Chairman Southern Region of the National Federation of Football Supporters Clubs , which later became the Football Supporters Association.

I qualified as football referee whilst in RN, and officiated not only regular service football during weekdays but local Slough games, including the Supporters football team on numerous matches.”

Why you still support the Rebels

“It is just part of my life. Even when I had prolonged periods away from football, due to my first job as a Telegram Boy on a Saturday work, my career with the Royal Navy at home sea and abroad. But whatever I did my best to follow the Rebels.”

One thing that could be done to improve lower league football

A regular income to all levels evenly to be shared to football via the FA from the extremely obscene wealthy clubs that are in the Premier Division. Better coverage of Non League Football media, whether National and Local radio, TV or newspapers and not just on FA cup runs from the First round proper.”

In your time of supporting Slough how would you say we are doing at the moment

Looking promising especially after nine years of a very good management pair. I feel that they there is more to come especially if the Club can retain their Current League status. The new management are taking shape with the task in hand.”

Any ideas on how to attract more supporters

Warren this is the most difficult one, I would like to see the Club's encouragement that is in action at present continue and succeed with their endeavours to encourage football community spirit all levels regardless of gender or ethnic background.”

Cheers Ollie, a proper Slough supporter and one of those unsung volunteers that keeps lower league clubs ticking over.

Friday, February 17, 2023



Photo Gary House 

Printed in the National League South game v Welling United Saturday 18th February 2022. We lost 3-0 in front of 655

You could set your clock by Old John. As soon as The Bevy doors opened he was there with his small change while a pint of John Smiths was bought to his table.

A man of few words, I never knew much about him, apart from the fact that he lived in the supported housing down the road from the pub.

He couldn’t get his head round what was happening during lockdown and would knock on the door hoping we would be open. We supported him with our meals on wheels service and after a few health scares, helped push for a care package. He was forever losing his keys and bank card and we had emergency numbers to try and sort it. We recently arranged for a hair and beard cut in the pub where he told the hairdresser she had made his day. After a few pints of John Smiths someone would walk him across the road or to his flat.

On Christmas Day at the Bevy, we sorted out free dinner for anyone we knew who would be on their own. John finished his lunch, took a sip of John Smiths and then fell asleep for the last time. It was traumatic for everyone, but the best place to go for John who had no family except for the pub. Staff and regulars and his care workers packed out the church then headed to the Bevy after for his wake.

There are so many people like John in this country, who slip under the radar, who don’t know how to navigate the paperwork that the ever shrinking government safety net demands. John was very fortunate that he had a community pub down the bottom of his street, whose whole ethos is providing as best we can for everyone. But up and down the country these local pubs and spaces are shutting, just at a time when they are needed more than ever.

Luckily, football clubs engender such passion, it makes closing them down unthinkable for their supporters. Slough spent 15 long years homeless, plummeting down the leagues and being beaten by the village teams that surround its borders. A hardcore of around 300 never gave up, turning up week after week, where 90 minutes of football would inevitably spoil a good day out.

One of these stalwarts was Noreen Bridle, who recently passed away at the age of 91.

Noreen supported Slough for over 50 years and attended well over a thousand games. Her son Pete used to say the first thing anyone ever said to him at the football was 'Where's Noreen?'

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.

When we protested outside the Town Hall about the councils lack of concern at the Rebels being homeless, it was Noreen who led the arguments with Richard Stokes, then leader of Slough Council.

Noreen told me what she really loved was 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 fans and hearing what was going on.

At the end of season awards event in May 2015, Noreen was jointly awarded the Chris Sliski Club Person of the Year award for her years of dedication.

After the Dover game, with preparations getting underway for Jean Lightfoot's 75th birthday, her son Pete told me he wasn’t going home yet because there was nothing to go home for anymore.

It's times like these, when your football club becomes much more than just 90 minutes on the pitch, and about the people that come together on matchdays. To the superfans like Noreen, who stuck with Slough through thick and thin. To her sons who will need support, friendly faces and an arm on their shoulders from their football family.

RIP Noreen. Once a Rebel, Always A Rebel.

Friday, February 03, 2023


Printed in the National League South game v Dover Saturday 4th February 2023. We drew 1-1 in front of 750

In a never ending news circle of doom its good to get that warm feeling of being somewhere special. I’m not just talking about the fact that Slough are on a five match unbeaten run but would you believe it, ping-pong.

Last Thursday me and the missus went along to an old church hall that has been transformed by Brighton Table Tennis Club (BTTC).

BTTC are big news in Brighton and beyond. Their top player is Will Bayley, the British Paralympic world number 1 (you might have also seen him on Strictly). Working with everyone from children struggling at school, adults with learning disabilities, refuges, ex prisoners and more, they have somehow turned this melting pot of people into a community.

At the launch, founder Tim Holtan addressed the great and the good (and me) telling us: “To build a resilient community the first stage is to make people feel welcome and provide a sense of belonging. The second stage is to give people a genuine opportunity to make a positive contribution. Which reinforces stage 1 in a virtuous circle. If people are given access to opportunity and a supportive environment, they will flourish.”

We were here to see the new space, designed as a permanent home for the Real Junk Food Project. They take food that would have otherwise gone to waste, turn it into amazing meals and then serve it up under a pay-what-you-can-afford system. What I really liked about the new build was how multi functional it was, making the space work for so many different groups. People with dementia, those hard of hearing, church meetings with a soundproof wall divider meaning people can eat and pray at the same time. Topped off with a peaceful courtyard in the middle of bustling Brighton.

Tim Hollingsworth the CEO at Sport England said “BTTC is one of the most inclusive, innovative and progressive sports clubs in the country. It’s firmly rooted in its own community, is open to new people and thinking and has become about more than the game itself. In many ways BTTC is providing a model for the sports club of the future, which is why it fits perfectly with Sport England’s vision of Uniting the Movement, and why we are so proud to support the developments you can see here today.”

This is where the Rebels come in and for the club to flourish in the future it must be open and inclusive to everyone. With new investors, and a new manager with new energy, things are on the up. The Dulwich game had that pre-covid matchday buzz and as for Cheshunt away – well even their noisy fans said we were the ‘Best away support and noise at Theobalds Lane they’ve had all season.’

My vision of a future Slough Town, would be control of Arbour Park with community development workers that make sure this multi functional space, obviously with an emphasis on football, works for everyone.

When Slough were homeless we took inspiration for what Dartford had achieved, finally getting a new ground after a decade squatting. Jeremy Kite Leader of Dartford Council and a Dartford Supporter told me at the time “Everyday, councils throw bucket loads of money at schemes to deal with anti-social behaviour, childhood obesity, community cohesion, civic pride and community relations. Here in Dartford, we took the view that rather than fund a series of expensive here today- gone tomorrow initiatives, we would invest in football as a catalyst for all those things. I'm sure every Council thinks they are doing things right, but I've never regretted or doubted the wisdom of our investment in a new Stadium. You simply cannot put a price on the sense of pride and worth that is developing around the town as a result of The Darts coming home. Princes Park will not only become a centre of spectator sport, but also as a participatory one too – for kids of all ages. I have told the club that they MUST bring kids in and encourage school sports finals and training to take place on the first pitch. My other advice to councillors is 'invest in quality'. We could have built a typical 'iron and block' stadium but what does that say about us? What confidence does it give others if WE won't invest in great architecture? How can we expect people to respect the building if it doesn't deserve respect?.”

I know that many Council's feel that they 'can't' do this, and 'can't' do that, and if we had stopped every time somebody had said that our dream was impossible then we wouldn't have got beyond advertising for an architect. Leadership is about legacies, not bureaucracy, and when I'm dead and gone they will bury me with a smile on my face because I know we have provided a facility that will makes tens of thousands of people happy every year.”

This same model is how we run our community pub, The Bevy. Delivering all kinds of services which in turns brings in business that helps keep the place in a low income area ticking over.

The mixture of God, table tennis and food is an unlikely mix. But with the right people with the right attitude they have created something inspiring. Slough has always been a town of invention as the new song about zebra crossings, Thunderbirds, Marsbars and bins celebrates.

So its time to harness that energy for Slough Town. To flourish we need the mentality of Brighton Table Tennis and the Bevy and the innovation of the town to get us to the next level, on and off the pitch. 

Saturday, January 21, 2023



Printed in the National League South game v Dulwich Hamlet Saturday 21st January 2023 We won 4-3 in front of 880

It was like the old days as I waited at the train station to see if the Farnborough game was on before buying a ticket.

Except it wasn’t exactly, as I kept refreshing my phone screen to see if it was going to pass the pitch inspection. Not so long ago, I’d have been trying to find 10p for the phone box to call Mr. SloughTown Chris Sliski and ask if he thought the game would be on.

Yes, we’d all love grass pitches.

Yes we all spend too much time on our phones but artificial pitches and mobiles haven’t half made things easier for lower league football fans.

And phones help stop you being humiliated in public!

Before mobiles, I was going on a mate-date, meeting at Paddington station. I did my nails, jumped the train and waited patiently only to hear my name boom out over the tannoy that the girl in question couldn’t make it. Obviously I felt that the thousands of passengers at Paddington knew it was me that had been stood up as I scuttled back to Slough.

Talking of being stood up, Taunton are having a nightmare with cup runs and waterlogged pitch postponements leading to a fixture backlog. With climate change bringing weather extremes, and football finances tighter than ever, a 3G pitch is a financial no brainer, that can be used by the whole community regularly.

Unfortunately for Taunton, it was the heavy snow and frost what did for Slough’s Saturday home game before Christmas and that toll on the road will surely tell at the end of the seasons for one of the leagues most western clubs. Infact one of the many reasons I don’t want to get relegated is that the Southern Premier is a far flung geographical nightmare.

The service from the rail companies is so poor nowadays its hard to know when there are strike days. So the governments minimum service level law to ban strikes is ironic. So what about the people waiting hours in A & E or for ambulances, or nurses and teachers leaving in droves or trains being cancelled, maintenance staff cut, all ticket stations closed. This is the ultimate end of the line for squeezing profits out of everything so the service collapses while shareholders continue to enjoy pay-outs.

Lucky for me I live in Brighton where the bus services are decent if expensive. So I jumped on the bus to Tunbridge for a pleasant tour of Sussex villages courtesy of my monthly work pass. A few more stops and I was in Tonbridge admiring their crumbly castle and historical facts plastered on shop doors but upset that the Angels no longer play in the town centre which should be a football law.

Slough’s slide towards the relegation spaces has halted, and Scott Davies has injected something into the Slough players, its like we are on speed. Yeah we’re conceding but 2-0 down against Oxford with 10 minutes to go and we grab a point. 3-0 at Tonbridge with 40 minutes to go and we grab a point. It’s certainly entertaining if a little hard on the heart.

Hopefully this will bring some of our supporters back as crowds continue to plummet. For the same fixture against the same opponents on the same day but one year apart we are nearly 500 down against Oxford City on New Years Day. That’s worrying for finances and the future of the club and we need some cost of living busting ideas. So how about NonLeague Day being a pay-what-you-feel highly advertised game to attract some new people, entice back the old and try and get all them hooked. Maybe we can go 4-0 down for some Merthyr memorability magic.

Slough is a friendly place and our fans have a laugh without being pious or pillocks. Still try telling that to the Tonbridge stewards who should take a bow as this seasons current biggest plonkers. All dressed up like wanna be cops, they are the bouncers that create the problem they are meant to be there to stop. Which I suppose is job creation. But what a bunch of knobs. I mean I get it, no one wants to see a defenceless wheelie bin being ferociously beaten by sticks until it bellows for its life but their defence for a rubbish bin was really quite touching.

The usual flannel was wheeled out. It’s against the rules. Like, literally there is no rule in the world that says – ‘wheelie bins cannot be hit.’ You might break it. It’s a health and safety hazard. Add to this the delicate little souls couldn’t handle chants or being asked if they get paid or volunteer to keep the peace. And the Tonbridge Arseholes had one last petty rule – not letting Slough fans use the loo in the bar at the end of the game. It’s time clubs reviewed their stewards behaviour and got rid, like they would if players acted the same.

Look, I get some clubs are hand tied by their local councils, who instead of telling anti social moaning gits who move next to football grounds then complain about the noise to bugger off, place restrictions on clubs. Is this why Farnborough don’t allow unlicensed musical instruments? I didn’t know I needed a certificate to shake my tambourine.

And next time I go to Tonbridge, i'm going dressed as a one-man-band.

Friday, December 30, 2022


Printed in the National League South game v Oxford City New Years Day 2023. We drew 2-2 in front of 675.

It’s that time of the year when we reflect and come up with plans for the future. Forget New Year resolutions, I’m going for the Slough Town Manifesto.

If Slough get relegated we should invoke the ‘Maidenhead clause’ – where a team is endlessly relegated then reprieved in the National League South.

Every team that is losing millions but is bankrolled by some rich investor should only be allowed to play walking football rules against us.

Supporters Trust take over running of the club with secret investors in the background. They’ve persuaded the council that the club should be in charge of Arbour Park, can paint it amber and blue, move the bar to the directors room and build decent new terraces behind both goals so you can actually see the game. Two new community development officers appointed charged with increasing crowds and activities at Arbour Park.

Family friendly cost-of-living busting free entry to games every three months.

Zip wire from The Curve to the ground. Infact getting into the ground should be more fun. How about an obstacle course – with bouncy castle, balancing on a beam, bubble machine and ballons – with a trap door where you find yourself back at the Curve.

Massive musical box for people to help themselves to create the Slough Town Are Massive Ensemble

Jim the stuffed dog should be moved from the train station to Arbour Park to act as a tourist attraction to boost crowds – and occasionally wheeled out on a skateboard when we haven’t got a mascot.

David Brent to perform ‘Slough’ before every home game on the pitch – because everyone needs to know Slough is ‘equidistant ‘tween London and Reading.’ This is followed by players coming on to pitch to the sound of a Sikh drumming band – with all the kids on the pitch waving flags.

Once a month one of our teams have to play a game at Arbour Park before the first team. Women's team, development, Under 18s – and also invite clubs like Singh Sabha and Langley Old Boys.

Programmes in the clubshop just to annoy Sue.

Slough drawn away in early rounds of FA Cup against clubs we have never played. Regional rules waived so we can play Trafford then Stuart can go and measure their trading estate to see if its bigger.

Street vendors on every corner. Ian Matthews Bespoke Slough T-shirt Design next to the the Brown Boys Fried Mars Bar And Cider Tap Room. Shiels Boutique will offer players haircuts, amber and blue make up and pedicures. After-All-Kieran-Wall-Fashions on hand to advise people of the latest trends. Phil the Flag and Richard Big Flag measuring you up so you have something to wave during the game. Dutton’s When I’m Cleaning Windows unusual instruments store. Dean Becketts Are You Feeling Lucky 50-50 newsagent stand (dirty magazines otherwise known as Windsor and Eton programmes available under the counter). You can also order Deano cabs which will pick you up even when you get lost coming home from Chippenham.

One of those funny bottle shops on the Elizabeth Line at Farringdon so I can grab a quick coffee or can of chocolate stout to help with my journey as I whizz to Arbour Park. Has to also stock the Slough newspapers. Actually, while we're at it, free travel on the trains to anyone who supports Slough (paid for out of the Ebbsfleet budget).

Part of the school curriculum to study the football pyramid to show children that there are clubs outside the Premier League. All pupils must have to come and support their local team at least once. This will count as a pass in Lower League Football Studies and get you automatically into Oxford (Oxford City football club not the University).

I’ve been banging on to a mate for years about lower league football therapy. He watches Manchester City but has recently been going to watch West Didsbury and Chorlton. Paddy Wagon told me : "Going into the ground is like going into a 4th cousin's twice removed wedding. You kinda wander about a bit enjoying the anonymity and then BAM! People from the whole life spectrum, all the more interesting ones, appear from everywhere. The football is happening closer than ever, the language (!) and droplets of sweat from colliding players splash ye, an people from your past, present and future are just there in your face chatting away reminding you of everything. It's bonkers. And. You . Are. Right." 

So there you go, I am right. Lower League Football Rules. 

Vote for me and I will make this manifesto a reality.

Thursday, December 15, 2022


Printed in the FA Trophy 3rd round  Tuesday 20th December 2022 v Taunton Town. We lost 1-0 in front of 299

I asked various Rebel fans to wrack their brains and come up with some questions for our new manager, Scott Davies. 

What has changed the most in football in the years since you started playing?

Most definitely changing rooms. I think these days, working in football clubs as well for Slough, I’ve seen a real change in people. When I was playing first team football at 19, I was still playing with a few old school players at the time and if they spoke to you in a certain way, you knew not to speak back! But that’s something you can’t do as much anymore.’

Who’s the most professional person (player) you’ve worked with during that time?

Probably James Harper at Reading. I’ve never known a player to eat, breathe and sleep football like he did. He was the first player I heard of to get astroturf in his garden so he could practice whilst at home!’

How has your match day routine changed as a manager compared to as a player?

It’s changed a lot! I've always got to the ground about an hour before any player arrives, I like to have my own time before a game but now that extra hour isn’t long enough. Writing on whiteboards, drawing up set pieces, pre match interviews, speaking to players who are starting and the ones that aren’t. It’s stressful enough but I’m loving it.’

Which is the best ground in terms of welcome, facilities etc you have visited as away player or manager?

I’m unsure if you’re asking about the best ground in this league or not…

In this league I always like playing at Dulwich, really nice people too.

Outside of this league it would have to be Newcastle away at St James Park in the Championship for Reading. Just an incredible atmosphere.’

You’re allowed to pick two players from Reading FC that you met last week for the next Slough game. Which ones?

The two players I would pick are, Andy Carroll and Scott Dann. Having conceded from two set pieces last week, it would be nice to add some height in both boxes with them two!’

Who is the best manager that you have played for?

I would have to say Gary Waddock. He got the best out of me at 19 for a couple of seasons. Brendan Rodgers was the best coach, not manager. In non league, Bakes and Unders!’

Who is the best player you have played against?

Tough one.. as an academy player, Mark Noble was incredible, head and shoulders above anyone. In senior football I would say Deco. Just a step ahead of everyone.’

How is it from going from being a senior player to being the boss

It’s been really enjoyable. My only frustration is that I would love to pick what I believe is our strongest starting 11 and be judged on that. I think if we are able to do that then people will see the real us.’

Are you enjoying being in charge? Is his missus enjoying you being in charge?

I’m enjoying myself being in charge, but unsure about the wife! To be honest, when it was announced she did say to me ‘I’m so proud of you but just don’t forget me’. Football already took over a lot of my time but even more so now. She understands that it’s a huge part of my life but I’m always wary that it can become obsessive for me.’

How is Togs finding his new role and still playing

Togs said to me that his role hasn’t changed too much. He obviously gets involved in picking the team and talks us through tactically what he expects on a match day. Togs is brilliant, extremely important to how we function at Slough, along with Yella who has been a great addition.’

Is it usual for new managers to ask ex managers for advice!?

Probably not usual no! But it’s not around tactical advice etc, it’s more about players being sent off, how would they have disciplined them? Or speaking to the board, am I okay to ask this question or that question of the board, etc. I’m just figuring out what I can and can’t do really, and what’s down to me and what isn’t if that makes sense.’

With Ebbsfleet having their £2.5 million debts covered last season by their owner and even Eastbourne posting loses of £800,00 how the hell can Slough compete in the National League South?

Heart, desire and hard work. They’re the only things that can sometimes combat ability. These other teams will be paying fortunes but we’ve sprung a few surprises on these teams in the past. You can be as good a player as you like, but when someone works harder than you, it is possible to ruin their day.’

If we had more money and you had to choose, would you prioritise a centre back or striker?

I don’t want it to come across that we have a striker crisis, but a striker. The reason I say that is because the hardest thing to do is to put the ball in the back of the net and we haven’t done it anywhere near as much as we need to this season. I really believe in this squad though. All I want is to be able to add maybe one or two more but they have to be right for us and the club. I won’t panic buy!’

On grass pitches we often seem to struggle at the start and we see players misjudging the bounce and pace of the pitch. I believe this is because we have to adapt to something we are not used to, as we train on astroturf and play more than half our games on astroturf. Would you consider moving the training session(s) before a grass fixture to take place on grass, so the players are better adapted from the start?

I can see where you’re coming from with this but it’s probably something that we wouldn’t do. Even finding a grass pitch to train on in December would be a nightmare with it being dark at 4pm. I do agree at times though with your comments, it’s a totally different game and does take a bit of getting used to. That’s what’s the warm up is for!’

Where do you see Slough in 5 years.

I think for me, it’s important that Slough are competing at the top end of the NLS. Let’s be honest, this season hasn’t gone to plan. Two months ago we were riding the crest of a wave and nothing could go wrong, but a bad run of form has completely changed our end goal. From play off challengers to a relegation battle, it’s not what any of us wanted.’

Your ideal plans for club short and medium term. How will you interact with fans on a regular basis to help with the future

Short term is most definitely to keep the club up. Medium term would be to build a team with experience and youth and be competitive in the NLS. I’m all for giving good youngsters an opportunity which you’ve most probably already seen so far. I want a high tempo team that the Slough fans will be proud of. I want teams to hate coming to Arbour Park. That’s what we need to get back to. A place where the support is bouncing again behind the goal, but I do realise that’s down to us to get the results in order to get the attendances back up.’

Friday, December 09, 2022


Printed in the National League South game v Havant and Waterlooville Saturday 10th December 2022  We lost 3-1 in front of 466

When our community pub was looking for finance, we were asked to calculate how many volunteer hours people did a week. When we added it all up from the committee, to people helping out fixing broken light sockets, to keeping the garden looking smart, sorting the hanging baskets, running seniors’ clubs, driving our bus…. Well, it was eye watering and the pub couldn’t exist without them. But it’s also what’s sets us part as different and a makes us a community pub. Like you wouldn’t exactly help change a broken door for nothing at a Wetherspoons.

The same is true of football clubs up and down the country and Slough Town is no different. From the minute you turn up at the entrance, enter the ground, buy a programme or golden goal ticket, get a beer from the bar, listen to the matchday commentary; they are all volunteers and the list goes on. I remember arriving early at a game when we were still playing at Beaconsfield and was blown away by the military operation just to get a game of football on.

The main body that organises the volunteers is a mix of the Football Club and the Supporters Trust. But who are the Trust and what do they do?

The Slough Town Supporters Trust in its current form was set up in 2003 and over £50,000 has been passed to the Club in sponsorship, while over £30,000 has been donated to local charities, schools and youth football through fundraisers such as the end of season walk.

There are nine people on the board and one of them is Richard Kendall who has been on the board for three years. Born in Slough, now living in the suburbs and married to Liz.

I have three kids who many years ago were our mascots when we played Cardiff in the FA Cup. When the club took the boys into the Cardiff changing room to have his programme signed, my son asked is that how you write in Welsh. Between us Liz and I have six grown up children. I worked at Heathrow for 40 years since leaving school in import and export, logistics, healthcare and finally compliance until retiring early this August.”

I have supported Slough Town and Tottenham since childhood. Yes, I was at Wembley ‘73 as an 8-year-old, but no real memories from the day. With the ‘Rebels’ I travelled home and away with Slough Town for years during our pre and conference years. However, when we were relegated due to not making ground improvements it came as a real ‘hammer blow’ and I gave up watching Slough for a few years, but I eventually returned”

Why should people join the Trust.

The membership cost is currently £10 per season and has been for many years. It is worth mentioning that all these membership fees are added to our revenues and ultimately are passed to the football club. A good number also make an additional donation when joining. Membership gives £5 discount on every away game coach travel which saves you over £100 per season. The coaches we arrange provide a great service to our supporters who may not drive, or not able to use public transport for various reasons. Others use the coach simply for its comfort and ease of use. Everyone is welcome and the more who use it the cheaper we can make it.

We are active on social media, mostly Twitter, and this has seen a growth of more than 15% of ‘followers’ in the last 2 years. We are mindful there are several types of social media available. Taking this into account, at our next meeting we will discuss our communication and how this can be expanded to reach more supporters. Any thoughts or ideas please let us know. It is worth mentioning that maintaining social media takes time, so we try to balance our focus with how many will actively use those available.

Volunteering is also a big part of Slough Town, whether through the Trust, club or both. The Trust arranges the membership, coach travel, newsletters, raffles, charity selection and liaison, sponsored walks and we work closely with the club on 50/50, Golden Goal and the 500 Club.”

As mentioned, there are nine of us on the Trust board in total. Some are more active in the background for the Trust, such as social media and finance, but on match day many are volunteering for the Club/Trust. It’s easier to tell you who based on matchday activities and where to find us.

Mark Hunter does various club activities on match day such as the kits and will be seen walking around with his clipboard and stopwatch noting information from the game.

Jean Lightfoot looks after the main entrance reception, welcoming players, staff, sponsors, guests and officials as well as guidance to fans.

Sue Shiel (club shop Sue) will be in the shop selling you all sorts of Slough Town FC clothing and memorabilia.

Barry Hiron: usually managing the main car park, but will keep busy on anything that needs taking care of. Probably a lot more than I know to be fair.

Keith Bryant: will be providing assistance and guidance to anyone who needs it. Also, taking care of trust membership applications at supporters’ corner.

Dean Beckett will be selling 50/50 tickets at supporters’ corner and posting on Twitter and Facebook during the game. 

Geoff Hill will be at supporters’ corner taking coach bookings and helping with match programme sales

Alan Greenaway, Mr finance for the Trust, will be available at supporters’ corner and for 500 club enquiries and assisting as needed.

Me, I will be watching the game, posting on twitter and sometimes carrying the big flag. Happy to discuss anything Trust related.”

How could the Trust collaborate more with the Club.

At the moment there are changes within the Club so that’s a very good question. Like everyone I am nervous as to the outcome and hope for a positive way forward. The Trust are seeking a closer working relationship with the Club, which has been acknowledged, and for development of any ideas that will benefit all; the Club, community and supporters. We have also confirmed with the Club for a fan’s forum to be held as soon as there is an update on plans. If successful we will ask for this forum to become a more regular feature. We sincerely hope that any changes will provide us with a solid foundation to define and execute collaboration and not just talk about it.”

What would be your ideal scenario for Slough Town?

This is a very relevant question for us. Ideally a wealthy benefactor with the Club’s stability and future development being their number one priority. Having this in place would be a positive through all levels of football the Club is involved with and promote participation for all. Other than that, securing larger commercial sponsorships as well as increasing local sponsorships.

Of course, a strong team performance on the pitch helps and generates more revenues. We all love a cup run, the dreams it gives us and the financial rewards it delivers. This has a knock-on effect on attendances and we do need more supporter’s week in week out. I admire the loyalty of our fans who are passionate about the Club and the valued contribution of time given up by so many of our volunteers.”

To find out more about the Trust go to

500 CLUB

One simple way to support Slough Town is to sign up to the 500 Club. Forget the Lottery you might actually win this with 4 cash prizes every month with income split equally between the football club and the winners.

Alan Harding, who has done every job at the club apart from play for the first team, told me “At present there are 184 shares in the 500 Club but there are a few members that have more than one share. If the Club had 500 members that would generate £15,000 a year rather than £5,000 as we do at the moment. If supporters want to help financially that would be a good place to start.”

You can pick up forms at the bar, chat to anyone at supporters’ corner on matchday or go to here