Saturday, 6 December 2008

That was the month that was: waterlogged Wigan pitches and snowy Bacup

Photo courtesy

Now I like my football a bit on the rough side. Give me Springfield Park over Whelan Towers any day. White Hart Lane and Goodison Park are proper grounds. Pride Park and The Riverside are not.

I also have no airs or graces about where I have a bevy or a nosebag. Back streets of Islington before the Kings Road any day. I’ve also a lot more in common – and feel more at home – in Warrington than in Windsor and that is why I – and a good few others are hoping for Fleetwood away in the FA Cup and are loving watching the Robins away from home.

I mean what’s not to like about towns such as Bootle and Bacup and Darwen and Rochdale. Proper rough holes with proper football clubs. Proper football clubs with proper pies and home made soup and Bovril. Even if the girl serving you is likely to have six fingers!!

Then there are the country places. Stone and Eccleshall. I mean: “Who’d live in a place like this?”

Great little grounds like Rochdale Town where the club’s supporters and members have put heart and soul into getting a decent little ground together. No identikit stadia here. A stand (or cover) is built when they can afford it. No undersoil heating for these cold months. If it rains heavily it’s off! But there is no point in complaining as it always used to be like that. Walking up Park Road as kids, sliding on the ice and snow to be faced by the returning fans and: “It’s off lads.

“It’s frozzen solid!”

So off for a bit of mischief in Mesnes Park and a snowball fight with whoever’s about.

And there will be some more games off in the NWCFL in the coming weeks but that’s half the fun of it. Watching football at this level isn’t easy. It’s not meant to be easy. You are not watching a “product”. You’re watching a football match including 22honest players, subs, managers, refs, committee men etc. So if you make the journey and it’s off then you have to accept it. It all adds to the attraction of watching the game. There are no PR leaflets dropping through your door about WRPFC. Unless you count posts on drumming (sic) up support. No marketing man’s spunkfest with words such as: Honesty
“Honesty Progression Passion Unity”

And the reason why there isn’t, is because it’s a football club. A bloody proper football club and a bloody good one at that. All those words relate to the Robins and hundreds of other non-league clubs but they don’t need to put them on leaflets advertising the latest kit or credit card or summat.

As I write this, the Robins are second in the league. Sure they’ve played more games than some of the other teams but as the old cliché goes (summat like): it’s better off having the points in the onion bag.

There have been some right goal feasts. Ryan Small (Wigan’s best midfielder?) has a ponfull as does the Bear and Danny Worthington! Proper football – proper players. Give it a try you might just love it. The big game is at the Stadio de Robin Park on 6 December against the mini Koppites AFC Liverpool. They’ll bring a good few so a decent atmosphere should be prevail. But there’s also Daisy Hill and Ashton Town and the inform Padiham (where they will undoubtedly have six fingers and their sister will be their…) and somewhere near Port Vale called Norton United

So it’s onward and upward…

SONG: “Robin Park, Robin Park, charging through the Glen”
PLAYER: Danny Worthington
AWAY: Probably Darwen (but it’s before we’ve gone to press) so Rochdale Town
HOPE: Stay undefeated and easily beat the Scousers
LOOKING FORWARD: Ashton Bads at their gaff

“When the red, red, Robins go bob, bob, bobbin along… We’re the bastards, we’re the bastards…”

This monthly column originally appeared in the Mudhutter Football Express

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