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December 15 2017

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This photograph has been snagged numerous times in the Twitter and that Pinterest. A frozen pitch football match from long ago it has all the hallmarks of a L.S. Lowry painting, and he knew how to paint a football scene. The grey background, the industrial surrounds of chimneys and smoke and the foreground figures bent forward in their own world of purpose. But what’s the linesman doing on the goal line?

Now the story behind the capture. From the few clues that people have posted and after some serious research it’s Bradford City v. Brentford in a FA Cup 3rd Round replay at Valley Parade. It’s a Wednesday afternoon on 11th January 1955 in the seasons before floodlit football. Everyone goes home in their caps & hats after watching a 2-2 draw. Not the ideal conditions, it was slippery and difficult because of two inches of frozen snow.

A second replay was scheduled for the following Monday at Leeds but that was called off, and the tie was switched to neutral Highbury on the Thursday. Brentford won 1-0 to forward into the 4th Round against Newcastle United.

We can’t fail to notice the advertising around the stands. Kurem Ointment manufactured by James Robinson & Sons in Bradford. It could cure any skin disorder and they’d be claiming such since 1908.

August 24 2017

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The FA Cup in sketches. Well I’m giving it a go this season. On the grass banking at Brookburn Road watching a Monday night Preliminary Round replay. The result was West Didsbury & Chorlton 1-3 1874 Northwich. The attendance was 304 which is good for teams at level 9.

I don’t take the ink pencils to the game. Just a small sketch book and a regular HB pencil for a bit of a scribble. Work quickly otherwise I’d have missed a good attacking game.

August 23 2017

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I was sent this charming photo of the pitch that Berkeley Town FC play on. I had to find out some facts. Like it is in Gloucestershire at a level 12 club. Forest Green Rovers used to play in this league. The bicycles turned into flower box planters is an interesting touch.

August 17 2017

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It’s not a home of football. The pitch is where the 15th Hussars saddled up before the massacre at Peterloo. This was the site of the cavalry barracks in Cornbrook which would have been a ten minute canter to St. Peter’s Fields back on Monday 16th August 1819.

The grass needs a good trim, the goalposts are suitable for 5 a-side or juniors and there are no changing facilities.

Nearby is a fine old Georgian building that served as an officers’ mess. The site is loaded with history and it’s quite nice it’s become a tranquil place with a mini football pitch.

The endless propaganda of mother of parliaments and home of democracy is a fat lie to a Mancunian. You have to gloss out Peterloo, the Chartists and the Suffragettes, all big historical happenings in the city, to believe that.

August 10 2017

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Sketching at the match. The keeper between the sticks. It could be at any non league ground. But it’s the FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round in August 2017 with Maine Road v Winsford United. The home side won 3-2 with a last minute long range shot that gave the keeper in this sketch no chance.

The colour work has completed later at home with those pencils that give a water colour effect when wetted. Other facts 5 GBP admission, 1 GBP for a cup of tea and 162 spectators.

August 02 2017

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Snapped & tweeted this at Manchester Premier Cup Final. It’s been my most re-tweeted & liked photo. FC United fans before the match against Stalybridge Celtic.

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Red Star Belgrade 5th February 1958 before the semi final 2nd leg tie against Manchester United. You don’t see this photo very often, in fact I’d never seen until 2017.

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Manchester Premier Cup presentation. Game played at Oldham Athletic ground - it’s at Boundary Park against Stalybridge Celtic.

June 25 2017


September 13 2015


August 05 2015

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Our club our rules. Hand painted banner not your generic tricolour. FC United v Wrexham July 2015 Supporters Direct Cup

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Turnstiles are gallery pieces. How many old turnstiles have I seen in museums? Lost count. This is from Boundary Park home of Oldham Athletic. Made by WT Ellison in Salford way back when. Still like that clanking sound. Admission to the green grass drama.

May 24 2015

Using Livescribe for DX Logging

May 10 2015

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Next season Stockport County will play FC United as their local derby in the renamed National North (though we will still be calling it the Conference).

The football shirt is a County one from 1907 when they tried a season in red white and not blue white. It supposedly belonged to Bert Middlemiss who never appeared for County but was registered to them before becoming a Spurs player.

Nice bit of football exhibits in the Stockport Story Museum.

April 17 2015


April 13 2015

Rediscovering short wave

April 06 2015

Return to posting

March 16 2015

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Fans at NYCFC’s home opener ask the question on everyone’s mind.

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Halesowen Town has some nice old architectural features. Old turnstile made by Bailey in Salford and a nice line in iron gates with a paper sign. Lovely old ground and friendly fans who know their football.

October 12 2014

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Dog at football. We’re pitch side at Chorltonians v FC United Ladies on a sunny Sunday afternoon. The dog is called Honey.

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