10am on a Friday morning may be an unusual time for a Football match, but it doesn’t make it any less enjoyable – particularly when you’ve been able to go for so long. But with restrictions easing slightly and pre-season friendlies now underway, we did not miss the opportunity to get our groundhopping kicks once again in the home of a semi-professional outfit in Spain.
Needless to say that in the past 15 months it has been tough to find live Football games to attend, enjoy and subsequently write about. Travel has been limited, entry requirements into stadia have been very strict and – let’s be honest – in the grander scheme of things writing about Football fan culture has not been a high priority in the world recently. Since early March we have been to just one live Football match; a heavily regulated Tercera Group X league fixture between Xerez Deportivo and Rota. This weekend however that changes.
Not wanting to waste more money on the metro, I bet with myself that I could make it back from the office to my home where I would be working for the rest of the day in time for my next meeting. The emergency dash to the HR office had taken care of my immediate concern with time to spare, so I decided to walk back from the centre of town towards my flat, snaking my way through El Born district. But in spite of my haste, one shop window still caught my eye and stopped me in my tracks.
A day late you might well say, but who cares?
To my surprise, fans were freely walking back out of the stadium. The vast security team that had so diligently monitored the actions of the crowd inside the ground now seemed entirely ambivalent to their temporary exit. With fifteen minutes to kill, I followed many fans out to find a soft drink. Having completed my purchase from a vendor making his living in the shadow of the stadium named in honour of the city’s proletariat, I turned to face the Beijing Workers’ Stadium and bumped into three young men in identical green t-shirts featuring bold designs. Given the impenetrable language barrier, I made a friendly motion to demonstrate my wish to take a photograph. Their passive demeanour evaporated.
The caged astro-turf pitch on your block where you learned to play as a kid will always have a special place in your heart. That’s for sure. But there are some 5-a-side courts you see on your travels that just outdo others in terms of location. After a recent browse through some old photo alba, we came across this masterpiece in George Town, Malaysia.
Originally constructed in bonnie Newcastle in 1915, the HMS Malaya had been of service both in World War I and II in places as varied as Denmark, Anatolia, Malta, Genoa, Cape Verde and the Caribbean. She gallantly ended her service as target bouncing bomb practice in Loch Striven in Scotland in 1944, but where Football is concerned, the HMS Malaya made her most important trip in 1921 – to the land after which she was named. Continue reading
In part 1 of “The Realities of Football Culture Blogging”, we cast a light onto the work that goes on behind the scenes of a small blog like ours and how we integrate this work with our everyday lives, as well as calling out a lot of the blogosphere on its inherent bullshit.
That is all well and good, but pub conversations and discussions with readers often reveal a great deal of misconceptions you guys have regarding the writing process we employ at FBTG. Visiting Continue reading