The blog of a travelling psychiatrist and football lover. Who happens to be a halfway decent photographer. Takes a cynical view of the world

Archive for the tag “football club”

Reflections On An Away Day At Queens Park Rangers

For fans not so familiar with London, Queens Park Rangers play at Loftus Road in West London, which is about 1.5 miles from Hammersmith and near to Shepherds Bush. The area is a curious area  and on the good side with many “expensive” cafes thats serve excellent food and a plethora of oddly named hotels. Take the New Century Inn. Not entirely clear which century it was new in but a good guess might be the 19th century and not much has changed since then. There also seems to be a desire to dig up every piece of ground nearby and the building works and roadworks are numerous.


The cafes are good though and it may be better to feed in one of these than chance the dubious food on offer in the ground at also very extortionate prices.

Highlight of QPR v Brentford

Highlight of QPR v Brentford

A strong recommendation is to travel by underground as there are many underground stations in the vicinity , Wood Lane, White City, Shepherds Bush Market and Goldhawk road. Parking will be 7 kinds of nightmare and I do not recall seeing anywhere to park like a reasonable car park at all.



As with all ex-premiership clubs, habits die hard and there is overkill with hundreds of stewards and police horses. The local fans however seemed in general terms pleasant enough. A number of barricades are in place mostly to stop cars but expect a little interest from the stewards at any barrier for any reason. IMG_2324IMG_2326IMG_2327


IMG_2329Expect to be searched going into the away end and expect confusion as the entry for the Upper Tier stand behind the goal for away fans is on the opposite side of the ground for  that of the Lower Tier Stand. The searches are friendly enough but on the excessive side.


The walk from the nearest tube stations takes maybe 10 minutes maximum. Almost all the local pubs are home supporters only, so anyone in search of alcohol may need to head a little way away from the ground. If you have time to visit the dentist then the curiously named Batman Dental Surgery is an option opposite the ground. IMG_2325

The away fans are given the stand behind one goal and if you are in the front few rows as I was you are hardly 5 yards away from being on top of the goal. A very tight ground, that generates a good atmosphere.

Entry to away end

Entry to away end



Having said all that the views are excellent for the away fans. However another remnant of premiership football is the high cost of tickets, £32 for mine and the £3.50 programme.


IMG_2335A few curious signs and pieces of information emerge on the walls of the away end. Not entirely sure what they add to the spectacle but interesting anyway.

IMG_2334This is a good day out for away fans and a trip to be encouraged but it would be good if the club realised that most fans do not create trouble and an excessive degree of policing and stewarding is a negative and expensive and unnecessary phenomenon.


Reindeer Hotdogs and Football Catering

Maybe they could be the way in for football clubs to enhance their culinary range? Many have tried such delicacies as Chilli and balti pies, but where in UK have any reindeer hotdogs been seen?

Seems Reindeer oddly may be the alternative to fish. Reindeer meat is one of the leanest meats. It compares favourably with fish when it comes to omega-3 and essential fatty acids. If you want your diet to be low in fat and high in B-12, omega-3, omega-6 and essential fatty acids, you might think your only choice is a trip to the fish market but perhaps a few Reindeer hotdogs might be the answer. The Arctic University of Norway has also done its research and reindeer meat may have more than twice as much vitamin B12 than veal or lamb.

So come on football clubs, be adventurous and keep your fans healthy.


Could Reindeer hotdogs catch on at football?


The Clouds Lift Over Griffin Park. Brentford 3 Wolves 0

There is no doubt that Brentford have been a spiral of disaster the last 2 months, and this is reflected in the win ratio of 1 win in the previous 9 games, and in the plethora of negativity that followed the Derby debacle on saturday. Something had to change.


Clouds over Brentford seen while flying in for the game

Fans arrived late as often they do for an evening fixture giving the impression till almost the last minute that there would be no crowd. In fact almost 9000 hardy souls braved a bitter and literally freezing evening to watch an entertaining game.


Griffin Park By Night

There was little agreement before the game on what the outcome might be and even less agreement on the team selection other than something had to change to bring back the fighting spirit and work rate that we saw earlier in the season. In reality the summoning of two of the best players in the club, John Swift and Sergi Canos gave the side width and skill, and Nico Yennaris recovered from a hideous performance in central midfield on saturday to have an excellent game at right back. The work rate in midfield was probably double that of saturday and from the start the elevated work rate and the chances created got the crowd going. In the end a 3-0 victory did not flatter Brentford and it should have been greater. We must not however lose site of how abject Wolves were. Watching the game it was difficult to believe that they had 40 points this season and sitting seemingly in mid-table security. They were poor, very poor. Never the less a good performance that should keep the crowds interested for the remainder of the season. Yet margins are thin in this league, with Brentford comfortably winning 1-0 in the second half, only a superb save from David Button kept the Bees ahead. Conceding a goal then might have led to one of the many Brentford collapses we have seen this season.

Were there any downsides to the game? Only one for me. No cornish pasties. What kind of football catering does not have cornish pasties, forcing me to sample a Chicken Balti pie, which I can sum up as saying could be a vegetarian option lacking anything I could find that resembled chicken. Edible none the less.

Lastly a strange emerging feature of watching Brentford lately. As the crowd streams out of the New Road stand, a group of 2-3 steward looking characters in cheerful fashion thank the crowd for coming and have a safe trip home. Brentford are emerging into the customer service era and will achieve that for me when cornish pasties return.

So the gleaming clouds were an omen and indeed the sun was truly shining on Brentford and their fans at 10 pm last night.


The Skies above Brentford before kick off


Clouds Gleaming over Brentford


Floodlights over Brentford

A final thought. I will miss this old ground when it goes. We know it has to and understand why but the character and atmosphere is what sums up real football , even in the absence of cornish pasties.

Kettering Football Club. Photos of the old ground. Posterity

These and more are hosted on my website


Brentford v Shrewsbury. October 26th. This may be a Pay what You Want Game

Brentford have had some marvellous initiatives over the last few years and encouragingly not only are the crowds starting to rise but a quick visual inspection tells you that there are far more juniors around than in years gone by. This is good news for Brentford and also for football. This week Mark Devlin tweeted that Brentford v Shrewsbury may be the next pay-what-you-want game.

Football everywhere is starting to see sense. Non-league clubs such as Hampton are allowing season ticket holders from league clubs in half price and non-league has many other similar ventures that attempt to persuade fans to watch football every saturday.

Any football fans here please forward on this post and lets try and get Brentford packed!

Yoevil V Brentford 2012-13

Yoevil V Brentford 2012-13


Portsmouth Fans at Brentford v Portsmouth

The behaviour of the Portsmouth fans was not impressive today. They arrived at the game knowing that the Supporters trust would most likely be able to buy the club and essentially they could consider themselves as shareholders. They were in good voice but then their chanting became foul mouthed and abusive for no good reason. At the end of the game they invaded the pitch and some then went on to start fighting. Just to put this simply, they are the worst set of fans that I have personally seen in League 1 for many years and no doubt will continue to grace League 2 next season. The sympathies I held for them have vanished totally.

photo3 photo4

Kingstonian 2 Wealdstone 0. Photos


A grey day but far from a grey game. A Ryman Premier game played at a fast pace and with no little skill. The game could have gone either way with both these high-flying but inconsistent teams pushing for play-offs at a minimum. My prediction is that they will indeed meet at some stage post-season. Kingstonian, although playing at their ground, in fact groundshare with AFC Wimbledon and as a result the ground is a grand place to play Ryman League football. The floodlights also though far from perfect, are not at all bad for this level. The usual 10£ entry and 2£ for a decent programme, but £4.30 for a burger and kit-kat is a little steep, and in fact was the worst non-league burger I have sampled for some time. Before you ask, the best was Tooting.

A crowd of  451 watched the game, and I would estimate that at least 150 came from Wealdstone. There are far better places to get match reports than here but essentially Weladstone dominated the first-half and should have gone in ahead. The second half Kingstonian played with far better pace and passion and fully deserved their 2-0 victory and even had a player sent off for two yellow cards. Altogether a good day out and in terms of an overall football experience I would score it 7/10 which compares with Tooting last week which struggled to make it 3/10.

overhead kickIMG_8078IMG_8074In the air SIMG_8054IMG_8035IMG_8039IMG_8038IMG_8129

Pay what you want to watch Brentford v Stevenage. 22nd Dec.

Strange but true. Brentford ask a minimum of 1£ only but you can choose what to pay if you buy your ticket beforehand up until 4 pm friday evening. Why are they doing this? Perfect sense. They have around 2000 season ticket holders, who do not begrudge them doing this at all, and will make it up to their season ticket holders later in the season with some offer one suspects. So 2000 have already paid. The expected crowd for a home game the saturday before Xmas is never high, maybe 5000 maximum and possibly lower. Stevenage will not bring armies of fans and most likely will bring around 200-300 only. Folks will not pay 1£, they are likely to choose to pay a median amount of between 5-10£ in my opinion.

So a good PR activity, a good day out. Lets hope this works. A few years ago a home game versus Peterborough was sponsored by a company (maybe St George Homes?), and they essentially made it free to get in. Result, great crowd,great atmosphere and home win! So spread the word and call Brentford to buy your tickets over the phone or online. Lets fill the ground. Already two sides have sold out, so don’t delay.

Darlington Football Club RIP

What has happened at Darlington is tragic. I have always followed Darlington by default as until recently they often sat in the same league as my team Brentford. They had a perfectly good small league 2 ground that held at least 10,000 is my estimate. They then were built a huge ground seating 25,000 just off the A66 sort of in the middle of nowehere, decent stadium for sure, but never needed. Now it seems they will go into liquidation and at best emerge a few leagues below, with or without their huge ground. Tragedy and travesty. The last time I was at Darlington it was a happy day, Brentford won 3-0 to win promotion to league 1 a few years ago. Football needs to look at its soul. So much money goes into the top end that folks forget the real end. even today there are plenty of premiership footballers, not all even in the first-team, whose single salary for 2011-12 season would be enough to save Darlington. although recent crowds have been maybe less than 2,000, the original fan base in their old stadium Feethams, was around 4-5,000. These people deserve a football team and one can only hope that a pheonix club arises from the ashes in the manner that Chester city are also doing.  There is little more to say than this is a really sad day .

For anyone who is interested here are photos of Feethams, Feethams after being disused and the new stadium.  If anyone would like copies of any of these photos then contact me at

Or have a look on my football website


Main stand at Feethams in the old days

The other stand at Feethams


Feethams Disused


New ground. The away end

New Ground


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