Thursday, August 13, 2015


Away from the brouhaha surrounding the spat between a glamorous doctor and a fantasist football manager and away too from the nonsense whereby, at the last count, Manchester United were reportedly interested in signing at least 93 new players, it`s worth spending a moment or two reflecting on life lower down in football`s food chain.

I think I`ve mentioned before that, as well as being a devotee of Southampton FC, I also follow the fortunes - or more often the misfortunes - of teams such as Forest Green Rovers, Maidstone United and especially Truro City, who last season gained promotion to the new National League South, aka Vanarama Conference South.  And last Saturday Truro played at Margate, coming away with a creditable draw.

But what intrigues me are the sheer logistics of playing in this competition both for the players and club officials but particularly for the team`s travelling supporters. There was a supporters bus which left the club ground at Trelew Road at 6.30am, arriving in Margate just in time for kick-off.  The return journey saw this intrepid collection of real fans arrive back in Truro around midnight.   The journey took in the A30, the M4, M25, M26, M20, A249, M2, A229 and the A28.   According to the RAC Route Planner, this journey amounted to 736 miles there and back.

And the figure of 732 above?  Well, that was the number of spectators, including those from Truro, at Margate`s Hartsdown Park to witness this encounter, so if you spaced them out individually along each mile of the route from Truro and back,  there would not quite be enough to stretch the whole way.    Now I know it works, both ways - supporters of Hayes and Yeading Utd. saw their team win at Truro 2-0 on Tuesday evening, which was a 7.45pm kick-off, so goodness knows what time they got back to west London.

So there is life beyond the Premier League and I suspect that it holds perhaps more enjoyment, more passion and more romance than the antics that go on at Stamford Bridge and Old Trafford.

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