We all scoff at the thought of Groundhopping, yet hands up who peers longingly out of the train window for the hope of the sight of a floodlight or two. And when we do, we are straight on Google Maps to find out what ground it was? Hmm…so only me. Oh, and Mike Bayly. Well, Mike can tell you all about it.
I have a small confession to make: I don’t drive. The closest I have ever come to driving is sitting in a hydraulically operated Outrun simulator, imagining I was Don Johnson in all his pastel infused glory. In my head I was smooth and smoulderingly attractive; to the casual observer I was a chronically inadequate 35 year old man who should really give the other children a turn on the arcade game. It is a cross I gladly bear. Despite the social stigma of being ‘without car’ – most women look at me like I am Timothy Lumsden when the conversation crops up – there is a glorious upside to this conundrum. Having no car, means relying on public transport, and for longer journeys this invariably means the train (I draw the line at coaches – there are few more hellish scenarios than being stuck in a traffic jam outside Daventry listening to the driver’s personal collection of Daniel O’Donnell). Although train journeys have been historically synonymous with feelings of destitution, they do allow for one of the more peculiar obsessions of football culture to be lived out: the cult of Groundspotting. Continue reading