Select Page

Day: June 5, 2011

Charlie, Neil & George’s Adventures In Search Of El Dorado

In the modern era, the notion of the professional footballer travelling abroad has become part and parcel of the game, and even Britons get involved. It doesn’t always work out, of course – for every Chris Waddle, who sparkled on the Mediterranean coast for Olympique de Marseille, there has been a Luther Blissett – but more and more players that are unable to find themselves a contract at home are seeking their fortunes abroad, as closely monitored by our friends at Les Rosbifs. Moving abroad, though, wasn’t always as easy as it is now, especially in the era before the abolition of the maximum wage, when players were expected to speak when spoken to and were almost enslaved by the retain and transfer system. That players could wish to up sticks and leave for money was considered, by those in control of the game in England, to be somewhere between an obscenity and an implausibility, yet in 1950, three players – including possibly the finest English defender of his generation – almost completely severed their ties with the English game in search of El Dorado. A generation of English footballers lost at least part of their careers to the Second World War and, whilst the return of the normal domestic schedule at the end of the conflict brought crowds into the game that had never been seen before and...

Read More

Those We Have Lost: Boothferry Park, Hull City

For the third part in our series about the football homes that we have lost over the last quarter of a century or so, we are delighted to welcome Marcus Dysch to Twohundredpercent. Marcus supports Hull City, and had predictably mixed at the club’s departure from Boothferry Park, which was only finally demolished earlier this year. Marcus writes about Hull City here. The final stages of the demolition of Boothferry Park were completed in early April, eight-and-a-half years after Hull City’s final league game at the stadium. As the football ground at which I saw my first game, led my beloved side out as mascot, and spent the formative years of my life as a football fan, it obviously holds many great memories for me. As well as a fair share of bad, but more of that later. Trudging under the fairly grim West Stand every fortnight, climbing those grotty stairs, urinating against disgusting walls – it was wonderful. Every now and again I will walk past someone smoking a cigarette and a particular whiff, a certain scent, will take me immediately back to Boothferry Park. I loved it. After City’s flirtation with the Premier League and the now-regular 20,000 attendances at the KC Stadium, the idea of City having so recently run out at a ground which was falling down, with a supermarket dominating one end, now seems...

Read More

The 2011 Women’s World Cup: Preamble And A Little History

The 2011 Women’s World Cup begins on the 26th of June at the Rhein-Neckar-Arena in Sinsheim, and it is appropriate that, with the tournament returning to Europe for the first time since 1995, it should be held in Germany. The Germans have won six of the last seven European Championships as well as the last two World Cups, and there has been a women’s Bundesliga since 1990, which began its life as two regional divisions in 1990 before becoming a national league in 1997. Although this is the first time that Germany has hosted the World Cup, the country has hosted the European Championships before in 1989, 1995 and 2001 (the European Championships changed from being hosted every two years to after every four years after the 1997 tournament), and this previous experience coupled with the successful 2006 tournament indicates that this summer’s tournament will be well worth watching. The German team, then, is the current powerhouse of world  women’s football (current betting odds, which are as good a way as any of gauging which way the wind is blowing as any, have Germany marked down as the 6/5 favourites to win this competition), and their nearest rivals, Brazil and the United States of America, will have their work cut out in order to catch the defending champions. This summer’s tournament sees sixteen teams play thirty-two matches at nine...

Read More

In Exile: Gloucester City’s Lessons In Groundsharing

As part of 200%’s series about Britain’s lost football grounds we look at Gloucester City, a club without a home ground since 2007. Unlike many other club’s in their league Gloucester City own their own ground, its just they can’t use it at the moment. They haven’t been able to play at Meadow Park for almost four years. The Tigers weren’t the victims of property developers, megalomaniac chairmen or greedy landlords. It was the might of the River Severn, which forced them from Meadow Park in July 2007 Four years on and Gloucester are still enjoying a nomadic existence with their third groundshare about to enter its second year, after a season at the Forest Green Rovers’ New Lawn and two at Cirencester Town’s Corinium Stadium the Tigers are now playing at the Abbey Business Stadium, home of Cheltenham Town. A planning application for a new ground back in Gloucester is in but realistically the Tigers won’t be home for a year or so yet (I covered the plans a bit here and since then the update is, well…there is no update really.) Hayes and Yeading fans, preparing for a year of groundsharing as Beaconsfield Road’s revamp is finished will have transport laid on to Woking’s ground to encourage them to keep the faith during the season away, the Tigers’ Supporters Trust has done the same for City fans...

Read More