Day: July 9, 2012

100 Owners: Number 90 – Jim Thompson (Maidstone United & Dartford)

It was, as you will no doubt be aware by now, the twentieth anniversary of the start of the Premier League next month, but what will likely be forgotten in the slew of retrospectives is the fact that just three days after the behemoth which has come to eat English football in that intervening two decades the Football League saw its last – to date – resignation during the season. Furthermore, just a few weeks later, a non-league stalwart club whose fortunes had become irrevocably tied up in that clubs fortunes was also forced to resign from the league in which it was competing. Those two clubs were Maidstone United and Dartford FC, and their decline and fall in the space of such a short period of time were both allied to a man who had otherwise achieved something unique and positive for non-league football as a whole: Jim Thompson. At the time of the collapse of these two clubs, Thompson was largely considered to be one of The Great & The Good of non-league football. He had served his professional life in advertising before ending up as the managing director of the Kent Messenger Group of newspapers whilst also acting as the chief executive of the Maidstone Chamber of Commerce, but it was in the frequently clandestine world of non-league football that he came to make his name....

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The Speech I Was A Little Too Drunk To Give On Saturday Night

We went into the evening with low expectations, of course. There could only be one winner from the Best Website category at this year’s Football Supporters Federation Writers Awards, and the other sites against which we had been nominated – Zonal Marking, In Bed With Maradona, Sporting Intelligence, Miniboro and The Anfield Wrap – could not have provided a more formidable array of – and I use the word advisedly – opposition. Yet then, against all of our expectations, our name was the one that was read out and that was that. Of course, however, by this time some drink had been taken and this rendered any attempts at saying anything meaningful in the acceptance speech broadly irrelevant. So, true to my firmly held belief in discretion being the better part of valour, I muttered some thanks to the other guys that write the site, chucked a swear word in the general direction of George Rolls and his ilk and departed the stage. This, however, isn’t really fair. There are many other people that I should have thanked at that moment, so if you’ll indulge me for a moment, I’d like to go back and give the thanks that I should have given but didn’t due to the mentally corrosive mental effects of varying brands of fizzy German beer. First of all, I’m indebted to an extraordinary degree to...

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