“Ah look at all the lonely people”

Valentines Day.  The most overhyped commercialised day in our calendar.  The pressure we all feel to try and go one better each year to prove our love.  As the years roll on, and our relationships mature, why do you need one day to try and prove your love.  I do it everyday with CMF by picking up my socks off the floor, or occasionally boiling the kettle so that she can make me a cup of tea.  Little things like that show that I still love her.

It wasn’t always so romantic. Once I flew her to Monaco just for lunch, swooping in and out of the principality by helicopter from Nice airport.  I am sure she would have rather had a box of Milk Tray.

But what a modern girl really wants is a trip to football on Valentines Day right?  The magic of the game under lights, the smell of liniment, burgers and horse shit and the roar of the crowd as they call the opposing keeper a c*nt for daring to delay a goal kick by a second.  And what a choice you had this year too!

The Sloane Square and Belgravia set no doubt headed down the Kings Road, or over Putney Bridge for the West London derby between Fulham and Chelsea, ultimately enjoying the view of the Thames at night more than the game on offer.  But the real action for those wanting to be romantic was in the Blue Square North and South.  Take your pick from a visit to Chelmsford, Eastleigh, Worcester or even Hinckley.  If that is not enough to prove your love then I do not know what is. Continue reading

Scan Dale

Two things we love in life are blogging and West Ham (yes I know that in the past I have been a bit critical but like your family, you cannot chose your football team – they chose you).  Now you may struggle to believe this but there are other similar characters out in the big wide world.  We heard last month from Jeremy Nicholas, the man behind the mic at Upton Park and recently caught up with another West Ham blogger – Iain Dale.

Iain Dale is one of Britain’s leading political commentators, appearing regularly on TV and radio. Iain is best known for his political blog, Iain Dale’s Diary and football blog, West Ham Till I Die. He is a contributing editor and columnist for GQ Magazine, writes for the Daily Telegraph and a fortnightly diary for the Eastern Daily Press. He was the chief anchor of Britain’s first political internet TV channel, 18 Doughty Street.com and is a presenter on LBC Radio. He appears regularly as a political pundit on Sky News, the BBC News Channel, Newsnight, Radio 4 and Radio 5 Live. He is the publisher of the monthly magazine, Total Politics and the author or editor of more than twenty books. He is managing director of the new book publisher, Biteback Publishing.  Basically he is here, he’s there he’s every bloomin’ where! Continue reading

10 Reasons why I am a Non League Fan

“Fewer attended matches last season than at any other point in this club’s history. Hardly anyone offers to volunteer for match day duties; almost no-one attended the Quiz night nor the Race Night previously arranged for fans. Hardly anyone gets their friends to join our lottery scheme;fewer people have renewed their supporters trust subscription. And so on. And so on.

We can all remember when the previous chairman told us year in year out that the club needed to be self-financing to continue to operate in the future.

Most of us ignored it and he, along with the other committed directors continued to finance the club out of their own pockets. Then one day they stopped putting the cash in and the Trust had to step in to ensure the survival of the club.

I am today telling you again, as the Trust’s Chairman that this club needs to be self-financing and soon. Our cash reserves are declining rapidly and will be completely depleted soon.

You can ignore me if you want but if you do, you might want to start thinking about how you are going to spend you Saturday afternoons and Tuesday evenings in future.

We have enough money for this season, and probably for the next, but if we are not able to improve our financial position and get a few more volunteers on board then we will be out of business in two or three years.

It is as simple as that.

I am doing as much as I can to keep the club alive. So are the other members of the Trust board. Are you?

We cannot do anything more that we are already doing based on the resources we have to work with. Can you?

Please do not wait until it is too late.

Your club needs you NOW!” Continue reading

Is there a better way to spend a Saturday afternoon?

There is a saying within the GTC Media offices (those fine folks who help with our little website, and Danny Last’s European Football Weekends site) that a good day out is often ruined by 90 minutes of football. To us a game is not about what goes on, on the pitch but what also goes on off it – and we are not talking about some 1970’s hooligan action. Far too many fans, brought up with the sanitised Premier League product are more interested in avoiding the queue at the station to even bother to stay to the end of a game. I never understand that. You wouldn’t ever leave the cinema, theatre or even a restaurant early, so why would you like a football match?

Football to us involves sampling a few beers with the locals, wandering around the ground chatting to the fans and more often than not having a drink after the game with the players and managers. That is what watching non league football is all about. You are more than just a number on the gate. But are all non league experiences the same? Of course not. Anyone who has sampled a game at the Gateshead International Stadium will be hard pressed to put a romantic spin on the magic of a day out there, but there are literally dozens of teams and venues that make a memorable away day. We have tried to choose five that we would recommend to anyone. Continue reading