Monday, 30 April 2012

Football thoughts on the train

I left Leamington yesterday and the train goes immediately under the stands at St.Andrews. Birmingham City could go up through the play offs, but somehow I doubt it, so we could well enjoy the renowned hospitality and warm welcome of the Blews next year.

The train sped through Tamworth (Conference) and Burton (League 2), but as we approached Derby we went past the now derelict platform that served the old Baseball Ground, rumoured to have a toxic pitch contaminated by local industry. The new ground is squeaky clean and we should have competitive fixtures against Derby County next year. A Derby fan is a work colleague and he goes around with a constant cloud over his head as far as his club are concerned.

The train sped through Chesterfield (now League 2), but slowed to a respectful crawl as we approached Sheffield. You can just glimpse Bramall Lane from the train, but the home of the Massives is well out of sight. However, as I had to change trains there, I was able to tread the soil of the mecca of football. (Indeed, when I watched the regional news later Sheffield United were discussed in terms of near awe).

The train stopped at Barnsley Interchange, quite an appropriate name when one considers that Barnsley may well interchange divisions downwards next season if their form in the second half of the season is anything to go by. Another change of trains at Leeds and time to reflect on the regime of the ever popular Ken Bates and gobby manager Warnock. Finally to Bradford and the new home of Phil Parkinson.

That reminded of a story told to me by an expat living in the US. They organised a kick about for expats, everyone to turn up in their club colours. One shirt could not be recognised at all: it was Bradford Park Avenue.

For those who like away trips 'oop North there will still be quite a few next season.

I got hoist with my own petard this morning as I had to go into the BBC Bradford studios to answer questions on the Radio Sheffield breakfast show.

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