Saturday, August 11, 2018

Over the parrot... Sick as the moon.

When you get to my age most of the things that you look forward to end up being crushing soul destroying events that leave you crying in a darkened rooms and spending the days afterwards writing poetry. Take Christmas and Birthdays. You look forward the big expensive presents and gifts that you really want and end up with fucking socks and pants.

When it comes to days you look forward to the start of the football season is a day like no others. Forget the World Cup and that plucky England team getting to the Semi Final and then Sky sports news spending hours on transfer deadline day telling the fans of Chelsea and Man United that their club has just forked out 70 million quid on some bloke they've never heard of from Belgium.... The first game of the Bostik South Central is the big one. The chance to avenge the ghosts of last season and bring joy and happiness to the legions of black and white Terrors. So they day we've all been looking forward to for ages finally arrives and the travelling Toots head up along the A40 to Northwood FC for the opening day fixture. The pre season had been pretty good and some interesting games took place but this is the real deal. A crowd of 146 which at least half of were Tooting settled in for the start of the 2018 - 19 season.

The last league game Tooting and Mitcham played was the epic "Must Win" game at Met Police when Tooting and Mitcham had the chance to stay up in the Bostik Premiership. A game in which we went one down after 43 seconds. Here was a chance to boost morale and get things going for the new season.


 
Then just like all those bastard Christmas and the Birthdays full of underpants and novelty coloured socks it all goes belly up. 3-1 up with 14 minutes to go in a match which we had pretty much bossed despite the fact we went 1-0 down. TMUFC ended up losing 4-3. Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

Even by the high standards of the complete fuck ups in the past by various Tooting teams this was a total disaster. The supporters club at the end of each season have an award for the worst game. The team will really have to go some to beat this trip to Northwood. You would like to think that the team would learn from the game and make sure that they don't let things like this happen again.... But this is Tooting and Mitcham so you can never be sure what the hell will take place on the pitch. I hate Football sometimes... most times in fact but I still go back for more in the belief that the next time TMUFC are 3-1 with 14 minutes to go that they will score a forth goal and then a fifth.... Maybe.
Tooting and Mitchams next game is a home fixture against Marlow on Saturday 18th August at Imperial Fields.... A game which now has far more riding on it in terms of supporter morale than it should do

 
                                                                                                                                            
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

2018 - 19 Season Review By Roger Butcher (Ramone).

Yet another guest writer. This time a big thank you to Roger Butcher (Ramone) who was for many years the only one doing any social media for the club.

This is his review on the 2018 -19 season taken from the Tooting Daily Prss web site





The new management team of Ashley Bosah and Cornelius Nwadialor. Photo by Sam Conquest



After the disappointment of relegation last year, the green shoots of optimism about the new season are beginning to emerge. Roger Butcher looks forward to the new season at Tooting & Mitcham United FC.
 
It seems, that no matter how bad things have been, most football supporters approach a brand new season with a renewed confidence, no matter how misplaced!
Over the summer, the club parted ways with manager Frank Wilson after three seasons of extremes! No mid-table mediocrity with Wilson! It seems to have been an amiable split, and certainly the supporters don’t have a bad word to say about Frank. But finishing bottom of the table normally means that the manager will be shown the door, and so it was with Tooting.
The new man at the helm is well known at Tooting & Mitcham – Ashley Bosah. He has been around the club for many years in a number of roles – predominantly working with the youth set up, and more recently he was to be seen in the dugout alongside Frank Wilson. It goes without saying that we wish him the best of luck and hope he gets off to a good start. He will be assisted by a new face at Tooting – Cornelius Nwadialor.
The new management team will be taking the team into unknown territory as we have been relegated to a newly formed division – the Isthmian South Central. It is still sponsored by Bostik, but due to the new regionalisation of the leagues, we will be playing against teams from areas that we haven’t been to for many years. The South Central Division is at Step 4 of the non-league pyramid – that same level in which we won the league just 2 seasons ago. So despite the new name and a few new opponents, this league shouldn’t hold too many fears for us.
There are generally a lot more comings and goings of players over the summer in the non-league game compared to professional teams, but so far the new management team have done well to keep the bulk of last season’s squad. Although the team finished bottom, I still think that having a continuity of players is beneficial to making a good start to the season. There still seems to be a good spirit amongst the players despite the trials and tribulations of last season. Our biggest loss may be Chace O’Neill who has joined a club in the Bostik Premier division after 3 seasons with us in which he had some magnificent performances.
Also departing is Mike Dixon whose goals in the 2nd half of the championship season propelled us over the line in the title race with Dorking Wanderers. Injuries blighted his campaign last season, but he is another one who will be playing in the Bostik Premier next season.
As for new players, it’s difficult to say this early in the season.  Clubs at our level very rarely have players on contracts, and so players are free to move clubs right up until the first game of the season. We have had 5 friendly matches so far which has featured quite a few players. Some from last season’s team, some from the youth team and some new faces from other teams. How the final squad will shape up is not clear yet, as the new manager still has a couple of weeks to weigh up his options.
The results in the pre-season friendly games are really inconsequential but Elijah Simpson may have staked an early claim for a 1st team spot with 4 goals in our 6-1 win over Redhill.  Other results so far include a 2-1 win over Whyteleafe, a 1-1 draw away at Staines and a couple of defeats at the hands of Merstham and Greenwich Borough.
As for the new season, it is difficult to work out who will be the teams to look out for as due to the reorganisation of the leagues, there are quite a few teams who were in different leagues last season, such as the Southern League. I suppose Hayes & Yeading will be a force, as they were playing in the Conference as recently as 2012. At the other end of the scale is Westfield, who play near Guildford, and who are playing their first season at this level having won the Combined Counties League last season with an impressive 106 points.
Tooting embark on the new campaign away to Northwood on 11th August and have their first home game against Marlow on 18th August. If you can’t wait till then to get your football fix, there is one remaining friendly against Horsham on 4th August. Why not come down and enjoy a bit of late summer football?
And don’t forget that the FA Cup begins for clubs at our level in August. We start in the preliminary round and will have a home tie against Redhill or Horley, depending on who wins their tie a week previously.
Upcoming Home Fixtures (all at 3pm):
•Horsham (Pre Season Friendly) – Sat 4th August
•Marlow – Sat 18th August
•Redhill or Horley Town (FA Cup) – Sat 25th August
•Chipstead – Bank Holiday Monday 28th August

 Come along – the 280 bus stops right outside!






Monday, July 23, 2018

Sir Tim Magone

Another Guest Writer. This time Sir Timothy Megone. King of The Bog End.
It's fair too say that Tim is one of the "Characters" over at Tooting and Mitcham. When I say "Characters", I mean nutcase.







I don’t go along with the Fifth Columnists and the Shabby Naysayers who attributed England’s World Cup progress to a horny cocktail of good fortune and sub-standard opposition. Or the general idea that we are light years away from the glittering citadels that bestride international football.
England have fucked it up in the past against supposed village level opposition and there was no prospect of that on this occasion (or at least there shouldn’t have been against Tunisia if the officials had turned up in the first half). Sweden and Colombia were genuinely dangerous opponents that we sent packing (albeit after a decidedly wobbly finish against the latter) and we weren’t far off toppling Croatia, who could easily have won the whole thing.
If you take away the Big Potatoes of the tournament – France, Belgium, Croatia and Brazil – you’re left with a chasing pack of spritely whippersnappers and plucky fuckers (Mexico, Switzerland) and stumbling giants (Germany and Argentina) without a lot to choose between them, and England somewhere near the front of the perky pretender brigade.
I remain firmly convinced that if Mikhail Antonio (injured and out of favour, but immortalized by his Tooting and Mitcham past and morally still black and white all the way) had been on board in Russia, things would have been different and the 52 year drout ended once and for all.
England could also do with a hefty improvement in the musical accompaniment department, starting by ditching the forelock tugging dirge that masquerades as a national anthem. That’s the song they play before Northern Ireland matches where our Lord and Saviour is requested to rescue an elderly German woman from who knows what – the perils of silly hats at Ascot?  Perhaps we could have a song about England instead?
Steel Eye Span’s (or is it Spam, as in fritter) ‘All Around My Hat’ appears to fit the bill. Blown away by the orgasmic musical swirl, I never really listened to the lyrics, but educated guesswork and wishful thinking tell me that it deals with Morris dancing and pagan rituals in the Forest of Dean, garnished with assorted Village Idiot rites of passage (cheese rolling, shin-kicking and stinging nettle eating competitions, with Countryfile’s John Craven gazing lovingly from afar). Does it for me.
England’s lusty surge to the World Cup semi-final and the beer-soaked frenzy that went with it brought back memories of 1990, when people who normally couldn’t give a shit about football steamed in on the act, casting off their shackles and running amok through fields, forests, bus shelters and discos across the realm – while those of us who’d suffered the Three Lions’ constipated flounderings for years wondered what the fuck was going on.
My daughter is one of the new breed of steely eyed zealots, which is puzzling when you consider her footballing past with Tooting and Mitcham: - she strolled onto the scene over a decade ago to the riotous splendour of Richard Cadette’s fantastic but fragile and ultimately failed promotion chasing team. It featured the rampaging heroics of ‘Super Johnny’ Hastings (with his six-goal haul against Kentish tunnel fuckers Ashford Town), which put Harry Kane’s recent exploits in the shade.
All of which failed to impress her and she turned her back on the One True Cause after a couple of years’ failed indoctrination from the Bog End priesthood. But if the devil-may-care antics of Jordan Pickford and Harry Maguire are enough to entice her back to Tooting’s shrivelling fan base, then that will do me fine.



I’m still struggling to cope with the passing of another World Cup. Despite missing more bits than I would have wanted (Serbia v Switzerland for starters), I probably enjoyed this one more than any that I can remember.
As a defender of righteousness and justice across the globe, my default position has always been to stand by the arbiters of law and order, so it will come as no surprise that I found the general standard of refereeing pretty handy, especially compared with the crap that we put up with in the 1990’s.
Perversely, amongst the low lights was the introduction of VAR, with frequently questionable reviews, followed by massive delays and sealed with often shitty decisions, Iran’s dodgy penalty against Portugal being a case in point, but one that ultimately didn’t change anything. The one that stole the show – because it affected the course of the game and quite possibly the outcome - was the ludicrous penalty awarded to France in the final against Croatia. 
Rio Ferdinand defended the new system by bleating something about it making the game more entertaining. Possibly, but you could achieve roughly the same effect by bringing on a bunch of fire quaffing jugglers or inviting Sepp Blatter and the Pope to duel naked in a giant vat of custard for 90 minutes. Whether you’d get footballing justice is another matter. 
I think the real problem may not be the technology itself but the longstanding obsession amongst officialdom with pointing to the spot every time the ball flies within farting distance of a fingernail anywhere in the vicinity of the penalty area.
I’m looking forward next season to seeing the non-league version of this, especially at the fourth tier where Tooting and Mitcham will be scrapping for glory with a variety of pig farms, several of them Middlesex, Surrey and Berks and Bucks outposts - set for deserved destruction if the Heathrow empire megalomaniacs have their way.
The technology won’t have been invented yet, so slow motion replays will presumably be enacted by amateur thespians from a local drama group pissing about with a beach ball in the club bar. A panel of experts, ideally myself, will mete out justice and retribution and the flame of truth and freedom will burn brightly and destroy all in its path.




Cheers Tim.....


I nicked all of this of his Facebook page with his permission I may add....

Thursday, July 5, 2018

News from the Supporters Club

News from the Supporters Club:


I've now one of the committee members of the Tooting and Mitcham United Supporters Club(T&MUFSC) . So along with Charlie T, Dave Irons and Peter W we are all going to get the Supporters club a bit of a boost. We are aiming to do a big recruitment drive ready for next season, hoping to raise funds for various projects and to also raise the profile of the club / team through social media etc.
We now even have a Twitter account so please follow @tamufsc
The account is being run by Peter Woodhouse so expect it to be far more professional than any of the rubbish I regularly put out


Also we are aiming to get new badges etc. done and possibly other T&MUFSC branded items , pens, mouse pads, gimp masks etc.


We've also had a couple of successful get together's and there are quite a few now willing to help spread the word about the "Sleeping Giants of South London Football" If you can help in any way shape or form, please get in contact and help spread the word. The next one will be held on Tuesday 17th July at 7:30pm when the 1st team are playing Merstham on the back 3G pitch. I'll have membership forms and other odds and sods to give out


I've also now spoke to the wonderful Tim Megone and asked him to be a guest writer on here. He man is a legend over at Tooting and Mitcham and is one of our more vocal supporters. He is of course totally mental and his view of the world in general needs to be shared with a far wider audience.





The only down side to this is that technology and Timmy are still miles apart so I will have to  keep hassling him for stuff.... But I promise it will be worth it.




Just like the Freemasons, obliviously I can't tell you all the secret rituals and initiation ceremonies that I had to go through to become a committee member expect to say  I was told by Dave Irons to stand outside the main gates facing the A217 with my trousers and underpants around my knees with my genitalia on full display while sticking my tongue out for 5 minutes.
When I asked if this was part of the initiation Dave said no... He just didn't like the bloke working in the garage opposite.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

A Sign of Madness



I do wonder if there is something badly wrong with me. The Pre Season friendly fixtures have just been announced and I'm already looking forward to next season and standing behind the goal hoping and praying that this again could be "The Season" and if we can ever come close to the fantastic 2016-17 season in which Frank Wilson's Terrors hit the heights of the Rymans South defeating all that came before them. Or will be like the end of the 2011-12 season when Concord Rangers and Wealdstone put 6 past us in our last few home fixtures and on the last home game we lost to Bury Town 7-1 in our that infamous relegation year. I remember walking away from the ground wondering if I could be accused of child cruelty by allowing Bogend Ant to go though this, but he's made of strong stuff and despite many tears still turns up now with his dreams still alive. In the relatively short period in footballing terms since I first turned up to see Toots I've seen them relegated twice, win two cup finals, lose one final and become champions... So despite all the doom and gloom one thing you can say about following Tooting and Mitcham is that it is very rarely boring.


In truth football is often misery and sorrow. Every now and again a victory over a local rival or a cup run can lift your sprits. But that's not the reason most of us turn up week in and out. The sense of belonging and meeting up with friends is why we come to games.... Or to get pissed and avoid going to the Asda on a Saturday afternoon.
Many of us have our "Lucky" routines or "Lucky" clothing. The reason TMUFC got relegated last season was not due to being really crap, being really unlucky or the will of the footballing Gods but solely due to my choice of underwear for the final game against Met Police.
Visit any Non League ground and you will see people who's choice of lucky socks and pants seems to be a season long decision. On the way to Harrow Borough last year we past a gentleman waking down the road who looked like one of the reconstruction models from an episode of "Finding Bigfoot" although a mile or so away from the ground we all knew where he was heading.... Of to see Harrow Borough in his "Lucky" socks and pants. Which I had no doubt he had been wearing since the 1986-87 season.

Way back in October 2014 Toots played  Merstham in the League Cup at the KNK. Not exactly the most glamorous of fixtures but one that sticks in my mind due to a chat I had with a bloke outside the ground about Tooting and Mitcham. He told me he used to be a regular at Sandy Lane and had followed the club for many years before moving out into the sticks. The game was his first visit to the KNK and he had not seen a Tooting for around 25 years and he was really looking forward to the match and seeing the new stadium for the first time. He looked and sounded really happy to be there talking to fellow Terrors and looking forward to kick off.Tooting lost 0-5 and were shite... I mean really shite even by their standards. I often wonder if he ever came back or ever regreted his choice of socks or underpants for that evenings "entertainment".

Also another moment was when Tooting Sex Icon Dave Irons spotted someone going into the ground at one fixture and said "Every time that bloke turns up we loose" I mentioned that he
could say that about every single one of us but he was not convinced. Dave has spent many years following both Tooting and Mitcham and Tottenham so over time has become an expert on broken dreams, misery, heartache, lucky pants and weird superstitions about random blokes turning up to games causing yet another defeat. Tottenham last won the league in May 1961 when I was only three months old and wearing a nappy.. I'm now heading into my twilight years and it can only be a matter of time before I'm back wearing nappies. Will Tottenham ever win the league when I'm still in control of all my bodily functions. Only time will tell.
Well I'll be heading over to Marks and Spencer's in Sutton shortly to get my lucky lingerie for the forth coming season. Maybe head over to Ann Summers to get myself a new studded leather thong... Nothing to do with football I just fancy getting a new one.




Monday, May 28, 2018

The view of a newcomer - Adam Best

The first of what I hope will be many other writers on this Blog.
A big thanks to Adam for taking the time to write this up... Cheers.



The view of a newcomer.
 I started coming to TMUFC towards the end of the glorious 16/17 campaign. Just the odd home match. I’m not sure what it was that particularly spurred me onto the 280 bus from Amen Corner that particular day. Maybe it was nothing more than a rare free Saturday afternoon. But I got on the bus and I went. It wouldn’t be the last time.
 I’ve lived in and around Tooting for fourteen years. I arrived a slip of a man at 21 years old after three years at university in Cardiff and eighteen years in my native County Down, Northern Ireland. I lived with three mates in the centre of Tooting. Like most of my peers at that time, we moved to Tooting because it was one of the most affordable places to live in London. Zone 3, the Deep South. Beyond the estate agent belt of Clapham and a hair’s breadth beyond the upwardly mobile bollocks of Balham. Wandsworth council tax. Just over £100 a week in rent. It was a different place in 2004. Several boozers felt like “no-go” zones. A couple were “let’s go anyway” zones. I remember convincing my girlfriend’s parents (now my in-laws) that Tooting was *nothing like* the reputation it had, as we came up the escalators at Tooting Broadway for their first visit. On exiting the station, I subtly (but firmly) grasped the hand of a young woman being accosted by a drunk lad and walked her down the pavement without my in-laws realising. As we turned into my street yards later, I created a loud diversion to distract them from another lad pissing in a bin. Tooting was lively.
 But I loved it. Love it. I have lived within a mile of my first London address for the 14 years I’ve been here. Have strayed into Colliers Wood and the tip of Mitcham, but stayed in the orbit of Tooting. Watched it change. It has changed a great deal. In the last decade I have seen some of the no-go boozers become a different kind of no-go boozer, because of the £6 pints and £15 cheeseburgers. Seen them change for the better too, in fairness. I’ve seen shop fronts and kiosks pop up where I can buy craft beer, organic food and fair trade textiles. This is all completely brilliant. I like these things. The downside of all this, of course, is that as a place becomes more “desirable”, it becomes more expensive. Foxtons begin to circle the wagons, whipping up frenzied news articles in the Evening bastard Standard, yelling about how Tooting is now home to the best teapot cocktails in London and therefore stick another £3k on the price of a maisonette. The chains move in. The conglomerate service providers. People picket for a Waitrose. It’s happening.
 And, you know, this is what it is. I can’t very well enjoy the opportunity to have Lebanese food delivered to my door in 20 minutes and not expect changes to the place that I live in. “Gentrification” is a real thing, and it isn’t confined to SW17. This is an issue in every city in the country, even though no-one seems to have any more money 20 years ago. And this is football too, a bit, innit? We can’t reasonably enjoy the elite standard we have at the top of the professional game without paying £1000 for a season ticket and £5 for a pie and £90 a month for a Sky Sports subscription, plus another £20 for BT Sport, plus £100 for a return trip to the aways etc. etc. etc. Watching the football is an expensive hobby. Or so I’m told.
 I grew up a Liverpool fan in Northern Ireland, and I remain a distantly passionate Red. A season ticket has never been an option. Games that I’ve seen at Anfield have been expensive excursions. I have nothing but respect for people who commit to season tickets, especially those who do it from a distance. Every other weekend, a stack of money and a stack of time. It’s a hell of a thing to dedicate oneself to, particularly if money is an issue and there’s family to be considered.
 Football is expensive. Where I live is expensive.
 I am at the bus stop at Amen Corner. I’ve had a pint at the Ramble Inn. I am going to Tooting and Mitcham United.
 I arrive at a ground that exceeds my expectations of a ground at this level. I have a pint that exceeds my expectations for a pint at this level. I pay £3 for it. It came from a brewery 2 miles away. I pay £10 for entry. I pay £1.50 for a jerk lamb pattie which exceeds my expectations for a jerk lamb pattie at this level. I watch the football. And guess what? It exceeds.....
 Admittedly, this first game is the Stripes on the crest of a wave in 100+ points season. Billy Dunn, who will become my first ever Terror idol, is imperious. But the whole experience is excellent. It’s 20 minutes from my flat and for £15 I’ve watched the game, had a pie and a pint and, crucially, enjoyed a very decent 2 hours at the ground.
 I feel like I shouldn’t be the only one. I feel like in the last number of years many hundreds of people like me have become denizens of Tooting and Mitcham. People who’ve moved to the area and want to experience something of our community beyond the avocados and coffees. Be part of a thing that existed long before we got here and which will exist after we inevitably are forced to move beyond the M25. Perhaps this is a rallying cry for the recent arrivals to the area. If you’d like to be watching your elite side, but you aren’t going and they aren’t on telly, come to the KNK and watch your local side the odd time. Put a few quid into an historical part of the place where we live. You’ll notice at the ground that the sponsors are all local, independent businesses, the sort of business we pride ourselves on wanting to support in our day to day lives as we shop and eat and drink in our town. Come and be part of that. Bring some pals. Introduce yourself to some of the people in the ground and I guarantee they’ll be pleased to see you.
 My aforementioned girlfriend is now my wife and she, brilliantly, bought me a season ticket for 18/19 as my Christmas present. See you on the Bog End.



Again, thanks to Adam for writing this up...
Give him a follow on twitter.... @MesserBest
#SouthLondonIsBlackAndWhite  #Terrors

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Why Tooting and Mitcham.


Why Tooting and Mitcham - From the Clock End to the Bog End


That's a question I often ask myself when listening to Joy Division in a darkened room thinking up angry poetry after yet another Saturday afternoon of shattered hopes and dreams. I started going over to TMUFC around 13 years ago when I moved to the swinging suburbs of Hackbridge with Mrs H and the soon to arrive Bogend Ant. To start with it was just a couple of games a year but I enjoyed the honesty about the football and kept coming back for more "Black and White Joy" and now, just like my £58.23 a day Viagra habit it's a very hard thing to stop. But why did I choose The Terrors. Living in Hackbridge I was also close to both Sutton and Carshalton. I'd only ever met one Robins fan and he was a knob, so they were out of the question. In fairness I know quiet a few and they seem reasonably normal, but you know... first impressions etc. When out shopping with Mrs H in Sutton one Saturday, I happened to see two people walking down the main high road wearing yellow and brown quartered shirts which frankly looked fucking hideous. Even though they had the FA Cup history behind them I knew that I could never watch a team playing in yellow and brown quartered shirts without the risk of acid flash backs or migraines. I have meet a few of the Gander Green Groovy Gang over the years and I've totally stolen the idea for this Blog from those Gandermonium guys and of course the "Musical Shoe Box Sex God" Bornatotter.... But, you know... first impressions etc. Which reminds me. Many years ago if you wanted to see a ugly tattooed bearded woman you would have to queue up outside a tent when the carnival came to town. Now all you have to do is go to shopping in the Asda in Sutton. There's fucking loads of them. It's the one place were me and Mrs H feel like Posh and Becks when we are out and about.
I'd worked on the Northern Line for many years as a driver based at Morden depot. Many of the people there came from the local areas and when the subject of Football would crop up a lot would mention going to see TMUFC at some point in their lives. A few said that I should go over to see the Toots and that they had one or two "characters" follow the club. This actually  turned out to be a bit of an underestimate.... So Tooting and Mitcham it was.
I've loved football all my life, The first team that took any interest in were West Ham. I was five when England won the World Cup and Moore, Hurst and Peters were the glamour boys of London. The whole of the country was buzzing from England's one and only real success and as a very young child I was caught up in it all at school. As we all know England have done very little since and the fact that I have enough Irish, Scots and Welsh blood in me not to care to much about the three lions has turned out to be a godsend. Luckily I have enough English blood in me not to care about the Irish, Scots and Welsh when it comes to international football either. I nearly went to the 1982 World Cup in Spain but chose Magaluf instead for two weeks of sobriety and culture.
My first ever game was a trip to White Hart Lane to watch Spurs reserves play Fulham reserves around 1968  so with all this in mind obviously I ended up following the family tradition of supporting The Arsenal, my dad taking me to Highbury for the first time again in 1968 to see the reserves again play Fulham and was a regular both home and away from 1974 onwards. Making the transition from Boot Boy to Punk Rocker then on to Casual on my days on standing on the Clock End.

I'd been an Arsenal season ticket holder for many years and been lucky enough to be at many fantastic matches. But the game was changing rapidly and the whole Sky premiership circus was ruining football for me and trying to find the money to get to games was a huge struggle. I did make the occasional trip to Underhill to watch Barnet play years ago when living "Up Norf" but Arsenal were my true love and nothing and I mean nothing would ever tear us apart from the loving loyal bond we had together. My loyalty to the club would never change I would be Arsenal to the day I died. Well up until the time they turned Highbury into fucking flats and Arsenal Fan TV managed to turn 90% of the clubs fan base into raving lunatics. Not to mention Hornby and that bastard book. Various other things were going on at Arsenal and I found myself falling out of love with what the club had become. I have many great memories and had loads of great times but a number of things were beginning to wear me down. The ticket allocation for the Champions League Final really helped make my mind up as mates who had followed the club for years and years were denied tickets while the corporate leeches ended up with loads. The move away from Highbury plus increased ticket prices help start the long and messy divorce proceedings.
Sky TV and the rest of the sports media have kicked all the fun out of the professional game turning it into a money obsessed freak show. I miss my mates over at Arsenal and go up there occasionally but in general the whole Premiership footballing leaves me feeling very disinterested. The vast majority of my old mates gave up going into games and watch from the pubs on Holloway Road or up and around Finsbury Park. A number of whom now, like me now follow Non League teams. On the Bogend you will find standing alongside the long term Terrors, people who follow Chelsea, Palace, Man City, QPR, Liverpool, Hartlepool, Wigan, Tottenham, Fulham, Wimbledon, Man United, Everton and Arsenal. I have spoken to so many people who have tales similar to mine from loads of other so called big clubs. Loads now heading to the dark world of Non League football to get their Footy Fix.
When Anthony arrived both myself and Mrs H were trying to influence his choice of team he had Liverpool pyjamas and replica Arsenal shirts but when I first took him to see the "Mighty Terrors" his mind was made up. Bogend Ant is Tooting through and Though... There's a little bit of Gooner buried deep inside and a hint of scouse but TMUFC is his team. Most people end up supporting the clubs their Father supported. I ended up supporting the club my son supports.