Friday 30 January 2009


I took these photos of Molesey on Boxing Day 2007, again not the best set of snaps, but hopefully you'll get the flovour of the ground. This was for a Ryman League Division South match versus the Hamlet, but they are now in the Combined Counties League Premier Division.

I first visited here in 1979, for an Isthmian League Cup tie, when I was still at school, and got in free! Back then I proudly kept a scrapbook of Hamlet match reports, along with my programmes & own notes, & I sat in the stand with it the week before. He started talking to me (I was 13, & nowadays would've rung Childline!) & he read my folder. Turned out he was the Molesey chairman on a scouting mission before the cup tie, & he wrote me a note to give to the gateman to get me into the game free! Thankfully my 'dossier' wasn't as good as those of Don Revie, and we still one, despite his 'inside information'!

Here are their turnstiles. now I know that it's their initials, but I'm sorry, to me 'MFC' will always be for Millwall! It's a Sarf Lunnon thing ;-)

Once inside you see the club shed & table.

Unfortunately I messed up this photo of the main stand, very fuzzy, but at least you get an idea of what it's like. Whoops! hopefully I've improved since I took this!

Walking round in a clockwise direction, we go past the 'tunnel', that's the Hamlet, in our away kit of all red.

Here we look up to the elevated balcony of the main stand.

On the halfway line, we can see the cover on the far side.

Here are the dugouts.

That's better! A not so blurred snap of the main stand.

Now we're looking towards behind the far goal, where there's a small, but decent, bit of cover.

As we move round there you can see a good stretch of terrace and the cover.

And from behind the goal we get a shot of the main stand, I personally think it looks a lot better from a distance.

I didn't walk round the far side for some reason, and retraced my steps to go up the other end for the second half. As you can see here this end is open, with just one step of terrace.

Another look at the main stand, this time through the net.

Moving along we look at the open end from the other corner.

And here is the far side, where you can see the cover in the middle, and a couple of steps of terrace.

Another one of my 'corner flag' shots!

And finally at closer look of the cover down the side, through a floodlight pylon!

Thursday 29 January 2009

Brentwood Town

I visited Brentwood Town , from the Ryman League Division One North, for an FA Trophy tie against the Hamlet in 2007/08. Unfortunately we lost, but apart from that it was a 'perfect cup draw': away to a team whose ground I have never been to before, on my Saturday off work! ;-)

When you arrive at the ground you see a faded old 'Brentwood FC' sign, they added the Town suffix in 2004.

Here are the main turnstiles.

I'm going to try to take you round this ground in an anit-clockwise direction, but it's not a perfect tour, as I wasn't really in 'full blogging photo mode' as I hadn't got a computer yet!
Here we move down the side & look back at the cover behind the goal. The turnstiles we came in the ground are out of shot, to the left, as we look.

I like the tea bar which they had customised, but wouldn't have looked out of place at a fair ground!

Hard standing down the side, towards the main stand, with overflowing rubbish. Well it is Essex... ;-)

Here we look across the pitch as the Hamlet have their pre-match huddle. Call me old fashioned, but I can't stand this! I'm not sure if the new 'line up & shake hands' instruction is better or not!

Here we've walked past the mian stand, and are looking back at it. The clubhouse is built in behind it.

Inside the ground, almost tucked away, the club tractor.

On our way behind the goal, training goals on the side too.

Outside the ground, behind the far goal, it's just too far to go back to the bar to use the toilets for one Hamlet fan!

Back on the other side of the fence we're on our way behind the goal.

And here we look back, at some of the visiting fans.

From behind the goal we look over to the main stand side.

And through the net we glimpse the open far side, where the dug outs are. Unfortunately I don't have a proper photograph of this part of the ground, as I wasn't in full 'photoblogging mode' back then. Sorry!

Now we're at the other end, and under the covered terrace, looking over towards the tea bar area.

The covered terrace itself is only a few shallow steps, but more than adequate for the crowds & level, you can sit down & no-one blocks your view!

Here is a good shot of the shelter, our last view of the Brentwood Centre ground.

Wednesday 28 January 2009

Paris CA

A group of us visited Paris CA for Division Honneur match, which is level six, the day after we saw PSG,back in January 2007. It was a ground with an all-weather pitch, ans a running track round part of it, but not down the main stand side. The visitors FC St-Leu PB '95 won by the odd goal in three, but it wasn't much of a match. It's not a 'full sweep' of the ground with the photos, as I wasn't in 'ground blogging' mode, more taking snaps of our trip. There was no programme, but I half inched a match poster off the wall!

I couldn't find a snap of a club sign, so took one of the street sign, the ground is of the same name, I think from memory.

I'll try to describe the place from the photos. In the far corner of this snap is the entrance. no turnstiles, but a small table, with a money box. The building opposite is the changing room complex. Behind the goal is open standing, with the fence all the way along.

Here's the somewhat disinterested ballboys! In the background you can see the Sunday market that runs in the streets outside.

Ouch! ;-)

Hard standing down the other side, with my mate Larry playing to the camera, getting in the way of it.

That's better!

Another view, from behind the goal. You can see the far end, which was open, and didn't appear to have any standing area, but I didn't venture up that end.

A look up the pitch from right behind the goal, in truth most of our crowd didn't move much from this area. Why?

The beer stand may have helped! Dulwich Hamlet Supporters' on tour!

Such wine!

Yes the game was that good!

One last look at the stand, as the floodlights come on.

Tuesday 27 January 2009

Paris Saint Germain

Scroll down below & you will see photos of the Parc des Princes that I took back in 2007. I returned on Sunday 1st March 2009 for a briliiant French First Division match versus Nancy. A quality 4-1 demolition, full of flair & atacking. Exciting to watch, despite two fairly early goals knocking out the stuffing of the visitors somewhat. A bonus was PSG now issue a glossy large four page programme, although only avaialablr from the club shop, and not at the turnstiles! The atmosphere was excellent, support superb, even though one song was sung to the tune of 'Flower of Scotland'!
These snaps complement the ones further down, as the new ones are clearer, as it was still daylight at kick off time.

Outside the stadium a coachload of visitors disembarks.

Plenty of police on duty!

The famous French warercannon. We don't have these back home!

Lokking down from the concourse there is this 'mini athletics stadium' tucked behind the Boulogne End. I know nothing about this track.

The emblem of the infamous 'Boulogne Boys'

Looking down as the crowd wait to be searched.

This is my great friend from Belgium Nicolas, with his younger sister.

In the ground now, I'm in the same spot as last time, at the front of the upper tier, towards the corner of the Boulogne End. This group appear to be some sort of 'breakaway' group of ultras.

The ground is very similar all the way round, this is the touchline to my right.

And the opposite curve in the Boulogne End, showing the lower section.

And down the left hand side.

And looking across the pitch, to the far end.

To my right, at the bottom, this banner caught my eye. Cool! ;-)

Chelsea reject, Chelsea reject!

Flags fluttering as the far end are in full voice. Note the group of fans in the lower section, at the far left of the picture. That is the away supporters' section.

Thr players come onto the pitch, the upper sections there look empty, but there were around 39,000 people at the match.

Looking down the pitch during the game.

Here is the upper tiers of the Boulogne End, to my left.

Game over, cracking match! I didn't want the final whistle to go!

I'd never taken any interest in Paris Saint Germain. My chosen Parisien side are Red Star 93. But in May 2005 I met Nicolas Lucas, who runs the Belgian branch of the PSG supporters' club, in a tournament in Liege, which the Dulwich Hamlet Supporters' Team were playing in. He has since become a very good friend of mine, & in January 2007 we visited Paris to play them at the actual PSG training ground, before watching the 'big boys' take on Socheaux in the evening at the Parc des Princes. Red Star will always be the French team in my heart, but thanks to Nicolas there is always room for PSG too!

We were in Paris for a few days, so I took the opportunity to take photos from outside the stadium in daylight. This is what appears to be the main entrance & the club shop.

Here is a shot from up on a bridge, as you approach the ground.

Jules Rimet still gleaming!

One of the turnstile blocks into the stadium.

Nicolas arranged tickets for a few of us behind the goal, immediately to the right of the feared Boulogne Boys! This is the view down the side to the right of us.

And looking over to the left, & the far end.

Here is a glimpse of the upper sections of our end.

And looking down to the lower tier, with the big screen in the corner.

Here are the upper sections to ur right, some more of the Hamlet fans were in the section immediately past the blue partition.

Just before kick off...

The fans warm up...

Another look across the Parc des Princes.

Another look down the side to the right

These fans are all from Belgium!

Not the clearest of pictures, this was the section immediately below us.

A last look at the scoreboard, yes to was nil nil, but apparently one of the better PSG performances at the time.