We did have a Football League connection with us though in the form of Lester Shapter who had taken a weekend off reffing to be our coach driver. It was he that had blagged free entry to the night club and had undoubtedly given the false information as to who we were! I wouldn't be surprised either if he had a hand in booking the hotel knowing his eye for a bargain ;D
Perhaps he "used" it's services when he reffed at Spurs and The Arse!
Your tale reminds me of Trevor "Blazer Man" Webber, the electrician turned plumber turned groundsman turned Chairman for the day when he he was greeted as "Mike Bateson" on one visit to Rochdale and happily accepted the home club's hospitality regularly accorded visiting Chairmen all afternoon...............well he was quite safe in the knowledge that the REAL chairman had long since given up going to away matches.
I remember telling him how if that had been me I'd have quite happily let them have Steve Woods on a free transfer!
That's how I remember it too. I'm sure we were 3-0 down and looking well-beaten - but Wimbledon seemed to have "declared" on 3.
Remember they were only part time then and a somewhat "veteran" bunch including Dave Donaldson and "Harry" Bassett.
I remember sitting watching horrified as they did indeed appear to take a "breather" before finishing us off......................a devastating performance from a quality side.
Proof indeed of just what a really motivated and committed team could achieve under a very astute manager (Allen Batsford) who had learned his trade in the non league scene of London where to turn up after work and train hard three nights a week, travel away on the Friday night play the game and then start all over again on a Monday morning makes men out of boys and indeed puts boys' legs again on old men's bodies.
We were only discussing this on the touchline last night as the players rushed in, in dribs and drabs hurrying as best they could in the Friday night traffic to be ready for the 5pm kick off. Living nearby, I always try to be on hand for the manager to help him put the kit out for the boys in a professional manner with their squad numbered shirts up on hangers with the number facing out. Socks, foot supports and bandages all neatly set out on the table. We have a "warm up man" who takes the boys out and gets them ready to then return to the dressing room for the privacy of a moment or two with their manager before filing out as a team (not dribble out in ones and twos like some teams) ready and focussed on the task ahead.
It's attention to detail (like I guess Batsford had with Wimbledon) that can level the playing field or even tilt it in your favour before a match. The sort of thing critics of managers never see and probably never even think of.
I should only be credited for posting the original story on the forum (hence my name after). As can be seen below (which i've put on the correct page as well) there was, once again, a problem at the printing stage which ended up making a non-sense of what was sent and which does really start to grate as the whole essence of the piece gets lost... That's three times now that what I have sent, and just needs cutting and pasting at the printers stage, has been changed and lost the meaning... So apologies for that.
Unfortunately the 'Magpies' story, which I gleaned from Alec Adrian's book, wasn't headed correctly, a gremlin at the printers again methinks. Although all the words are there in the programme it isn't set out as I sent it so doesn't really make sense. It should be as follows:
Former Plainmoor pre-war Amateur Alexander ‘Alec’ Adrian. (From his autobiography ‘Dunkirk Sportsmen’ published in the early 1940’s.)
“The Magpies” The road to football fame may be long: but if young footballers have the ability they can make the grade, and they will get many a helping hand en-route. I can remember that when I was nearly nineteen years old, I put in some football training at the Plainmoor ground of the Devon professional club, Torquay United A.F.C. (English League Division Three, English Cup, Southern League, Western League, Devon Professional Competition) It was in season 1931/32 and it is a memory I can always look back on with pleasure and delight.
01. Plainmoor (obviously) 02. Oxford United (Kassam Stadium) 10-08-05 (L0-1) 03. Plymouth Argyle (Home Park) (Pre season friendly only) 04. Cheltenham Town (Wadden Road) x2 05. Southend United (Roots Hall) 06. Stockport County (Edgeley Park) x2 07. Hartlepool United (Victoria Park) x2 08. Peterborough United (London Road) x3 09. Swindon Town (County Ground) x2 10. Port Vale (Vale Park) 11. Blackpool (Bloomfield Road) 12. Brentford (Griffin Park) 13. Tranmere Rovers (Prenton Park) 14. Huddersfield Town (Galpharm) 15. Bradford City (Valley Parade) 16. Bournemouth (Dean Court/Fitness first stadium) 17. Barnsley (Oakwell) 18. Hull City (KfC Stadium) 19. Sheffield Wednesday (Hillsborough) 20. Walsall (Bescot) x3 21. Oldham Athletic (Boundary Park) 22. Rochdale (Spotland) 23. Leyton Orient (Brisbane Road) 24. Barnet (Underhill) 25. Notts County (Meadow Lane) 26. Bristol Rovers (Memorial Ground) x3 27. Darlington (Darlington Arena) 28. Bury (Gigg Lane) 29. Birmingham City (St Andrews) 30. Lincoln City (Sincil Bank) 31. Northampton Town (Sixfields) 32. Wycombe Wanderers (Adams Park/Causeway) x2 33. Macclesfield Town (Moss Rose) 17-4-06 34. Carlisle United (Brunton Park) 29-4-06 35. Hereford United (Edgar Street - Dump!!) 36. Accrington Stanley (Fraser Eagles "Stadium") 37. Exeter City (Sid James Park, a dump!!) x2 38. New Wembley x2
39. Newcastle (St James Park) 31-3-05 vs Azerbaijan Won 2-0 Gerrard & Beckham 40. Manchester United (Old Trafford) 8-20-05 vs Austria (1-0) & 3-6-06 vs Jamaica (6-0) 41. Liverpool (Anfield) 1-3-06 vs Uraguay Won 2-1 Crouch & Joe Cole
42. Stoke City (Britannia) Conference Playoff final 14-5-05 Carlisle 1 Stevenage 0
01. Dunfermline Athletic (East End Park) 2-10-07 Pars 1 Ayr Utd 0 02. Dundee United (Tannadice) 31-10-07 Arabs 3 Accies 1 (CIS Cup) 03. Cowdenbeath FC (Central Park) 12-7-08 Beath 1 Dundee 5 (Friendly) 04. Alloa Athletic (Recreation Park) 14-7-08 Alloa 0 Airdrie 0 (Friendly) 05. East Stirlingshire (Firs Park) 15-7-08 East Stirling 1 St Johnstone 3 (Friendly) 06. East Fife (Bayview) 16-7-08 East Fife 1 Edinburgh University 0 (Friendly) 07. Albion Rovers (Cliftonhill) 17-7-08 Albion 1 Celtic Reserves 4 (Jock Stein Friendship Cup) 08. Arbroath (Gayfield Park) 19-7-08 Arbroath 1 Sunderland XI 3 (Friendly) 09. Stenhousemuir (Ochilview) 21-7-08 Stenhousemuir 5 Airdrie 0 (Friendly) 10. Brechin City (Glebe Park) 26-7-08 Brechin 0 East Fife 1 (SFL Challenge Cup) 11. Livingston (Almondvale Stadium) 29-7-08 Livingston 0 Coventry City 0 (Friendly) 12. Stirling Albion (Forthbank Stadium) 9-8-08 Stirling 1 East Fife 1 13. Hamilton Academicals (New Douglas Park) 11-8-08 Hamilton 3 Dundee Utd 1 14. Raith Rovers (Starks Park) 12-8-08 Raith 1 Ross County 2 (SFL Challenge Cup) 15. Queen of the South (Palmerston Park) 17-8-08 QOS 2 Partick 0 16. Dundee (Dens Park) 26-8-08 Dundee 1 Partick 2 (CIS Cup) 17. Hearts (Tynecastle) 27-8-08 Hearts 3 Airdrie 4 (Pens) (CIS Cup) 18. St Johnstone (McDiarmid Park) 30-8-08 St Johnstone 2 Clyde 3 19. Hibernian (Easter Road) 13-9-08 Hibs 2 Dundee Utd 1 20. St Mirren (Love Street) 20-9-08 St Mirren 1 Falkirk 1 21. Falkirk (The Falkirk Stadium) 23-9-08 Falkirk 2 Queen of the South 1 (CIS Cup) 22. Inverness Caledonian Thistle (Tulloch Caledonian Stadium) 27-9-08 ICT 3 Kilmarnock 1 23. Annan Athletic (Galabank) 18-10-08 Annan 1 Cowdenbeath 2
Ex league grounds:
Boston United (York Road) 30-10-05 (L0-2) Rushden & Diamonds (Nene Park) 1-4-06 (L 0-1) Mansfield Town (Field Mill) Wrexham (Racecourse Ground) x2 Luton Town (Kenilworth Road, sh*thole!) Grimsby Town (Blundell Park) Chester City (Deva Stadium)
Other none league grounds:
Exmouth Town (Southern Road) Pre season 04/05 17-07-04 (W6-0) Newton Abbot FC (Coach Road) x2 Pre season 04/05 10-07-04 (W7-2) 21-3-06 (W4-3) Hinckley United (Middlefield Lane) 13-11-05 Barnstaple Town (Mill Road) Devon Bowl 1st Rd 2004/5 06-10-04 (W4-0) Clyst Rovers (Waterslade Park, Exeter) Devon Bowl 2nd Rd 2004/5 14-12-04 (W5-0) Tiverton Town (Ladysmead) x2 29-1-05 & 26-8-05 Buckland Athletic (Homers Heath) x3 13-7-05, 5-3-06 & 14-4-06 AFC Bideford (Sports ground) Pre season 05/06 23-7-05 (W6-0) Dawlish Town (Sandy Lane) x2 Pre season 05-06 02-08-05 (W5-0) Dawlish vs Saltash 27-12-05 Harrogate Town (Weatherby Rd) 15-11-05 (W6-5 on pens!) Bodmin Town (But not to see a game!)
.....Well, the time has come to go for one big collation effort, I've been doing the grounds thing since 1987 and putting this off for years, I probably hit a peak in the 1987-1997-ish period, starting with the never to be forgotten Cyril Knowles era on the away coaches along with bruv Nige, Cav, The Tabbster, Tattooed Dave, Big Darren, The Famous Five and the rest of the gang and carrying on from there - its' been a bloody long haul from watching us at Peterborough away on Sat 25 April 1987, but so, so enjoyable..........
..........the lists are a wee bit lacking when it comes to modern grounds due to personal circumstances these days that involve me helping out in caring for our parents, but I've split it up into two sections, what I have done is to use the excellent site www.footballgroundguide.com/ as a reference point - the first section is the dedicated "Current Grounds ("The 92") Completed Listing", the second one is a "Various Defunct, Derelict, Demolished, Otherwise Inadmissible Or Just Plain Non-League Grounds Completed Listing".........
(TU) = I have seen Torquay United play there
SECTION ONE - CURRENT GROUNDS ("THE 92") COMPLETED LISTING
Bournemouth (Dean Court) (TU) Chelsea (Stamford Bridge) Crystal Palace (Selhurst Park) Sheffield United (Bramall Lane) (TU) Watford (Vicarage Road)
Barnsley (Oakwell) (TU) Brentford (Griffin Park) (TU) Bristol City (Ashton Gate) (TU) Fulham (Craven Cottage) (TU) Hull City (KC Stadium) (TU) Preston North End (Deepdale) (TU) Queens Park Rangers (Loftus Road Stadium) Sheffield Wednesday (Hillsborough) (TU)
SECTION TWO - VARIOUS DEFUNCT, DERELICT, DEMOLISHED, OTHERWISE INADMISSIBLE OR JUST PLAIN NON-LEAGUE GROUNDS COMPLETED LISTING
Aldershot (Recreation Ground) (TU) (I have only managed to see these as Aldershot back in the day, and NOT as Aldershot Town to date) Barnet (Underhill Stadium) (TU) Basingstoke Town (Camrose Road) (TU) Bolton Wanderers (Burnden Park) (TU) Boreham Wood (Meadow Park) (TU) Boston United (York Street) (TU) Brighton & Hove Albion (Goldstone Ground) Brighton & Hove Albion (Withdean Stadium) (TU) Bristol Rovers (Memorial Stadium) (TU) (needs to re-done as I have not been back since they came back into the League in May 2015) Bury (Gigg Lane) (TU) (Expelled from Football League August 2019) Bristol Rovers (Twerton Park - ground-share at time) (TU) Cambridge United (Abbey Stadium) (TU) (needs to re-done as I have not been back since they came back into the League in May 2014) Cardiff City (Ninian Park) (TU) Charlton Athletic (Selhurst Park - ground-share at time) Chelmsford City (Melbourne Community Stadium) (TU) Cheltenham Town (Abbey Business Stadium aka Whaddon Road) (TU) (needs to be re-done as I have not been back since they came back into the League in May 2016) Chesterfield (Saltergate aka Recreation Ground) (TU) Clevedon Town (Hand Stadium) (TU - friendly) Colchester United (Layer Road) (TU) Coventry City (Highfield Road) (TU) Dagenham & Redbridge (London Borough Of Barking & Dagenham Stadium aka Victoria Road) (TU) Darlington (Feethams) (TU) Dartmouth United (Long Cross) Dawlish Town (Playing Fields, Exeter Road) (TU - friendly) Doncaster Rovers (Belle Vue) (TU) Dorchester Town (Avenue Stadium) (TU - friendly) Eastleigh (Silverlake Stadium) TU) Exeter City (St James' Park) (TU) (needs to be re-done as I have not been back since they came back into the League in May 2008) Fareham Town (Cams Alders) Fylde (Mill Farm) (TU) Gosport Borough (Privett Park) (TU - youth match) Halifax Town (Shay) (TU) Hartlepool United (Victoria Park) (TU) Hereford United (Edgar Street) (TU) Hull City (Boothferry Park) (TU) Kidderminster Harriers (Aggborough Stadium) (TU) Leyton Orient (Matchroom Stadium aka Brisbane Road) (TU) (needs to be re-done as I have not been back since they came back into the League in May 2019) Lincoln City (Sincil Bank) (TU) (needs to be re-done as I have not been back since they came back into the League in May 2017) Luton Town (Kenilworth Road) (TU) (needs to be re-done as I have not been back since they came back into the League in May 2014) Macclesfield Town (Moss Rose) (TU) needs to be re-done as I have not been back since they came back into the League in May 2018) Maidstone United (Watling Street, Dartford - ground-share at time) (TU) Maidstone United (Gallagher Stadium) (TU) Mansfield Town (Field Mill) (TU) (needs to be re-done as I have not been back since they came back into the League in May 2013) Newport County (Somerton Park) (TU) Northampton Town (County Ground) (TU) Oxford United (Kassam Stadium) (TU) (needs to be re-done as I have not been back since they came back into the League in May 2010) Reading (Elm Park) (TU) Rotherham (Millmoor) (TU) Royal Navy (Burnaby Road, Portsmouth) Rushden & Diamonds (Nene Park) (TU) Salisbury City (Raymond McEnhill Stadium) (TU) Saltash United (Kimberley Stadium) (TU - friendly) Scarborough (McCain Stadium) (TU) Shrewsbury Town (Gay Meadow) (TU) Slough Town (Wexham Park) (TU) Southampton (Dell) Stoke City (Victoria Ground) (TU) Swansea City (Vetch Field) (TU) Torquay United (Plainmoor) (TU - of course!!) Tottenham Hotspur (White Hart Lane) (TU) Wellington (Somerset) (Wellington Playing Fields, North Road) (TU - friendly) West Ham United (Boleyn Ground aka Upton Park) Weymouth (Wessex Stadium) (TU) Wigan Athletic (Springfield Park) (TU) Wimbledon (Plough Lane) Wimbledon (Selhurst Park - ground-share at time) Woking (Kingfield Stadium) (TU) Worcester City (St Georges' Lane) (TU) Wrexham (Racecourse Ground) (TU) Yeovil Town (Huish (old ground)) (TU) York City (Bootham Crescent) (TU)
Wembley Stadium (old and new (pre-2001 and post-2001) versions) (both TU)
That's a mighty fine list Mr_W. I'm envious with respect to Fareham and Gosport.
........I am VERY harsh when it comes to my grounds - I keep to the rules...........
........as I said my dear Barton, very kind - my bruv is peaking out at 58 plus grounds now - hope you and he get to meet afore long as well - a curry with you, Chelstongull, Jon, How Long Nige and me - wow, what a night - after a possible triumphant last day of season?....
interesting to see, like me, you stick to the rules....
Everyone has their own rules but interesting to see the the NEW owner of the 92 Club since the sad death of funder Gordon Pearce, has changed rules.... now neutral games count.... ill stick to first team and home teams thanks very much!!!