Thanks for buying it and welcome to the 6th issue of On To Victory the Yeovil Town fanzine brought to you by the Northern Greens. Thanks again to everyone that bought the last issue especially to most of Lockys friends and family!
We’ve finally done it, in all honesty it’s looked that way for a while but try telling that to the fantastic supporters that have followed Yeovil throughout this amazing season. My girlfriend’s Dad, a neutral (although slowly picking up the Yeovil bug!) has been saying for months that Yeovil would win it by miles. Yeovil fans though have suffered disappointment before and many like myself were very cautious. Despite being top since September it wasn’t until the Halifax game that I started to believe and even then I was still worrying about the potentially difficult end of season run-in against the likes of Donny, Daggers and Chester. But my Girlfriends Dad was right; we are Champions even before we’ve bought ridiculously expensive funny shaped chocolate. The significance of that cannot be underestimated; even the great Manchester United team of recent years have managed such a feat only once. I will always remember the sheer joy on the faces of the thousand Yeovil fans up at Belle Vue when the final score from Chester came through. To then go on and destroy the second best team in the league on their patch within an hour was just as memorable.
Once again deciding a man of the match was just too difficult, the fact that Chris Weale could be considered a candidate on the day we won 4-0 just goes to show how well the WHOLE team played. Similarly choosing a player of the season is just too difficult, for each different award I’m going to select a different player every time, the decision is just too hard. Every player has played a part, the perfect example is Roy O’Brien who has come in every time and done a great job, so much so that at the moment Locky (himself having enjoyed a great season) has had to watch from the bench. All the players that have played a part this season will always be remembered, the ‘team of 48’ has finally be eclipsed.
The fact is that this group of players is clearly good enough to perform at a higher level. I read in a recent issue of a Rushden fanzine, that we might be in for a bit of a culture shock when getting in Division 3. There is an element of truth in this in that at first, we may find it difficult against team’s that adopt a more physical and constricting approach like that of Scarborough. However, compared to Rushden and even more so Boston I believe we are better equipped in terms of players who are not just young and motivated but also of real quality. We can look back at being pipped at the post by Rushden as blessing in disguise, however, painful at the time. Compare our squad now with that of 2 years ago and you know what I mean. We go up into the Football League with not just a fantastic squad of players, but also a fantastic manger in Gary Johnson.
Gary joined Yeovil at a time of disappointment, still suffering with the hangover from the promotion failure and without the spine of its team, Pennock, Smith and Patmore. Ironically while we head into the league these 3 players are left in the Conference. Gary has maximised what we already had Skivo, Dazza and Macca (remember Addo leaving him on the bench in the run-in!) and made them even better than before. He has brought in the likes of Plucky, Locky and even his own son Lee, players rejected by other clubs but now vital to ours. He managed to see something that most fans never saw in Jacko, and all for a quarter of the price of Daryl Clare. He apparently wasn’t good enough for Conference bound Bristol Rovers, nonetheless Gary saw that Kevin Gall was a misused talent that we could use. Having the players is one thing but Gary has also helped build a team spirit that is there for all to see and that has helped us through the difficult times. In OTV issue 4 I said that if we achieved promotion that Gary Johnson could be considered the Greatest Yeovillian and nothing has changed my mind. I hope that Gary takes us on to even higher levels but whatever happens Gary Johnson will always be remembered as the man that gave this club the league status that it has for so long desired and deserved. ‘Legend’ is a word that shouldn’t be used freely, but in my opinion Gary Johnson deserves such a title.
OTV like the club itself has gone from strength to strength during the course of the season. The quality and variety of contributions has increased with every issue (this issue is double the size of the first) and has been reflected in the number of sales. We will definitely carry on next season and we hope that you have enjoyed reading it half as much as we have enjoyed the performances on the pitch this season.
Being a Yeovil fan at the moment is fantastic, make sure you take it all in and remember it all, it could get even better in the years to come.
Just Remember, it’s your fanzine as well, and if you agree/disagree with anything, or feel strongly about anything in this fanzine or with something to do with Yeovil or football in general, then put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard and send us your views at firstname.lastname@example.org or OTV, 149 Mauldeth Rd, Manchester, M14 6SR.
The website is still in the development stage and hopefully we can sort it all out over the Summer seen as there is no football to watch- bugger!
Being a Yeovil fan at the moment is fantastic, make sure you take it all in and remember it all, it could get even better in the years to come.
23 – Paolo Di Canio storms after being substituted as Ham win the battle of the west 2-1 against Brom. 24 – Supporters of York raise £50,000 in order to fulfil the following Saturday’s fixture versus Bury. Despite employing the services of the talented, and not at all over-hyped, Andy Turner, Terry Fenwick is sacked as Northampton manager after 7 games in charge. 25 – Great news as Wealey, Dazza, Lee, Skivo, Macca, Plucky, Critts and Steve Collis all extend their contracts by another 18 months. Man Utd beat Juventus 3-0. In a last throw of the dice Conference bound Exeter sack Neil McNab and replace him with Gary Peters. 26 – The best team ever destined to win the treble draw 0-0 at home to Ajax. 1 – Battle of the basement boys as Exeter and Rovers cancel each other out with a 0-0 draw. 27 – Gavin Williams is a Dad as his partner gives birth Jay Williams.
1 – Yeovil 4 – 0 Hereford. 2 – Free flowing attractive and attacking football is the order of the day as Liverpool beat Man Utd 1-0 in the Worthless Cup. 3 – The Club announce that over a 1,000 fans have snapped up a Greenfly. Another mad night in Birmingham as Dion headbutts Robbie Savage, who in turn gets chased by a Villa scally … sorry fan, another Enckleman howler, Villa fans kicking off in and outside the ground, oh and on the pitch the Blues win 2-0. 5 – Halifax 2 –3 Yeovil. Chairman of Man City David Bernstein resigns because of a fall out with Kevin Keegan, who wants to spend loads of money again in the summer – City will be the next Leeds make no mistake. 7 –FIFA postpone world youth championship in UAE - something to do with a possible conflict nearby. 8 – Woking 1-1 Yeovil. Tom White is ruled out for the rest of the season. Chelsea scramble a last minute goal against Arsenal in the Quarter Final of the FA Cup.9 - Sheffield United Watford and Southampton all progress to the FA Cup semi-finals. 10 – Howard Wilkinson and Steve Cotteril are sacked from Sunderland. 11 – Yeovil 3-1 Leigh. John Fry praises the fans for their support and ‘are a credit to the club’. Newcastle fans watch their side and also their backs as rival fans throw flares at them as they draw 2-2 at Inter Milan. Roma manager Fabio Capello slams Martin Keown for getting Totti sent off – ironic really they’ve been masters at it for the last 30 years. 12 – Lindy scores a hat-trick against Frome in a friendly at Martin Bakers house – Badgers Hill. Triallist Lee Mudd, a well-represented Irishman, plays. Gally is called up for Wales Under- 21s again. Mick McCarthy is the new Sunderland manager although probably too late to save them from relegation. Everyone’s favourite England and Man Utd full-back Gary Neville scores as Utd, already qualified, draw 1-1 at home to Basil. 13 – Celtic draw 1-1 with Liverpool although the story of the night is El Hadji Diouf getting friendly with the natives. Another crisis club appears closer to safety as a supporters group at Port Vale are cleared to takeover. 14 – Gary asks Gally to see if he can play for us against Scarboro’ on the 28th instead of Wales Under 21s who are due to play Azerbaijan on the same night. 15 – Yeovil 0-2 Burscough 16 – Dazza, Skivo and Wealey are named in the England Semi-Pro squad Lee is on standby. Alan Shearer announces that he’s considering changing his mind about England retirement but then decides an offer to play up front with Emile Heskey is something he’d rather not take up. 17 – Chester struggle to beat 9 man Donny 1-0 in what is anything but a good advert for Conference football in front of the Sky cameras. 19 – Arsenal are out of the Champions League leaving with just two competitions to win their illustrious treble. The Conference is all set to change next season as Stevenage chairman sensing possible relegation proposes an amendment to expand the league. 20 – Halifax boss Chris Wilder is charged by the FA for comments made after our match against them. The 2nd most famous Green n Whites, Celtic, beat Liverpool 2-0 in the UEFA Cup. 21 – El Tel is sacked as Leeds manager. Mick McCarthy rues answering the phone the week before top become Sunderland manager as Peter Reid fills the vacancy. 22 - Margate 1-2 Yeovil. Donny, Chester and Daggers all drop points as Yeovil go 14 points clear. 23 – Days after beating Liverpool Celtic lose in the cup yet again to Scottish 1st division side Iverness Caley. 24 –Skivo (head injury suffered at Margate) and Dazza (stomach bug) withdraw from the England semi-pro squad. James Beattie is not in the England squad despite scoring more than, included, Heskey, Vassell and Jeffers put together. 25 – Wealey and Lee (despite suffering from a stomach bug) come on as subs as England semi-pro side draw 0-0 against Holland. Wealey makes a fantastic save from the Dutch side’s only shot on target. Donny play their game in hand and beat Margate 2-1, although we still remain 11 points clear. Real Madrid are rumoured to go on another spending spree as David Beckham is mentioned as a target to join Figo, Carlos, Raul, Ronaldo, Zidane and McManaman. 26 – Jean Tigana will leave as expected at the end of the season. 27 – Jean Cotton and Stephen Allinson are the Joint Company Secretaries. Paul Sargent is the new non-executive Financial Director. 28 – Yeovil 1-0 Scarboro. Although Gall is sent off and Jacko sustains a cheek injury that could rule him out for the season. 29 – England beat the mighty Liechtenstein 2-0. Scotland, Wales and Rep of Ireland all win as well. York City fans formally take over their club on the same day that they move into the automatic promotion places.
1-Donny lose at home to Scarboro’ 1-0 meaning that Yeovil could well win the league against Telford as long as they win and Chester drop points. Yeovil reserves lose 2-0 to a Torquay XI. The club say they will appeal against Gallys sending off against Scarboro’. Gary wins manager of the month for match. Ciderspace once again fool loads of Yeovil fans on April Fools day this time convincing some that the club would change to a red and yellow strip. 3 - Gally has his red card from the Scarboro’ match rescinded after the Ref reviews video footage. A double boost for Yeovil as Jacko is declared fit as his cheekbone injury is not as serious as first feared. “Get off my land!” say the club as they appeal through the press for fans to stay of the pitch should the club clinch promotion. 4- The club announce that the Burton and Chester games are to be ticketed. 6- Yeovil 3-0 Telford. A 1-0 win for Chester at Gravesend who finish with 9 man means we are 99.9% there. 8 – Clevedon 0-4 Yeovil. The Glovers reach the final of the Somerset Premier cup - the double is on! 10 – Chris Wilder, the Halifax boss, is banned from the touchline for 3 games and fined £250 for his comments made to the ref after the game against us. 11- Its announced that the last game of the season at home Chester will be on Sky resulting in a 5:30 kick-off, thanks a lot - meaning we wont get the trophy till 8:00 on a Saturday night. That’s not right, I ‘m beginning to see where the Man Utd fans are coming from about rearranged kick-offs . The final of the Somerset Premier Cup against Taunton Town will be held at Bridgewater on the 29th. 12 – CHAMPIONS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Donny 0-4 Yeovil.
10 –12 HE IS GALLY HES MY BROTHER
Kevin Gall has made an instant impact at Yeovil, so much so that most fans are left shaking their heads wondering why Bristol Rovers let him go. Rovers loss is our gain and the Non-League Paper recently speculated that his brother currently in America may join him at Yeovil. The speculation was quickly rubbished but nonetheless OTV caught up with Kevin’s brother John Gall.
“My football career
started at the ripe old age of seven when I started playing for Georgetown Boys
Club U10's in Merthyr Tydfil. Georgetown Boys Club have produced many
professional players, namely Kevin Rogers, Mark Pembridge, Jason Bowen, Steven
Jenkins and of course, Kevin Gall. My father, John, was my guiding light all
those years ago. He was my coach for seven years. In that time we
won many local and national titles, including the FAW Boys Cup. I started
my career as a striker, one season scoring 128 goals in all competitions.
The late Cyril Beech thought I had what it took and sent me to Luton Town at
the mature age of nine! I was at Luton until I was fifteen alongside big
Being from the valleys, rugby crept into my blood and I began playing for a local team in Merthyr. Football took a back seat for a while. In the meantime I represented Mid Glamorgan Schools and was in the shadow squad for the Wales U18 National Rugby team tour to Australia in 1993.With the disappointment of not being selected to tour down under, I decided to go back to playing football.
I played with Pontypridd
Town in the Welsh League before moving to Ton Pentre in the League of
Wales. It was at this time that I was selected for Wales Schoolboys at
U18 and a triallist at Millwall with Mick McCarthy. During the
summer of 1994, while my father was in charge of the Mid-Wales Soccer Project,
I played in the Ian Rush Tournament in Aberystwyth. I was intending to
play for my father's select team, but wound up (must be fate) playing for an
U18 team from Oklahoma City in the US.
This team was coached by Brian Harvey, a scouser and brother of ex-Everton manager Colin. After our first game against a team from Scotland, Brian approached me with the chance of playing on a full soccer scholarship for his university team, Oklahoma City University. I was very flattered by his offer and gladly accepted after discussing things with my family. After all it wasn't like it was down the road, it was 4000 miles away!
Since my move to America I have not looked back. I thoroughly enjoyed my college soccer career, playing against many good teams and players who now ply their trade in America's Major League Soccer. It was in college that I met my wife Adrienne. She played at Oklahoma City University also on the women's team. We were married in Oklahoma City on June 19th, 1999 and let me tell you that I don't think my American friends were ready for my Welsh friends during the reception! But it was fantastic. We are expecting our first child in September!
After college we moved to the Dallas area to pursue my football career. Unfortunately for me, Major League Soccer only allows three foreign players on each roster. At that time the Dallas Burn had Lionel Alvarez and Oscar Pareja, both Colombian internationals, and El Salvadorian international Jorge Rodriguez all on their roster, which made it very difficult to break through. I did train with the team for a couple of season while waiting for my Green Card to be processed. This took much longer than anticipated, even with the help of the Dallas Burn.
In the meantime I played
for Dallas' reserve team, the Texas Toros. It was a great situation, as
1st team players coming back from injury, suspension, etc., would join with
us. I was team captain and played in central midfield. I had
several offers to go to play in Mexico and other teams in America but felt
Dallas was the place to be.
While playing for the Toros I began my coaching career. I now coach for a successful youth club in the area called the Hawks and am currently in my second year as the Head Coach at a large high school.
My green card has
finally been processed and with that I do not count amongst the foreign
allocation of players. Those spots are currently held by a couple of
Northern Irish players, Steve Morrow (ex-Arsenal), Ronnie O'Brien
(ex-Mddlesborough and Juventus) and a Bolivian International, Joselito Vaca.
The Dallas Burn have recently shown interest in me again and I plan on joining
them soon in the hope of a contract.
Soccer/football really is blossoming in this country, as the Americans showed in the World Cup. The atmosphere and passion is still a million miles away from back home but it's improving.
I do miss home very much
and sometimes wish that I was not so far away, but America is definitely the
land of opportunity and I feel very lucky with all the things I have here and
would not exchange them for anything.
What makes it especially
hard is every Saturday I have to wait for updates on the football scores.
When Kev was at Bristol Rovers there was a live internet feed which was super,
but now I have to wait for Badger and ciderspace to update the forum!
I am very proud of my
brother Kevin and know that he is going to go on and do big things in this
game. He absolutely loves Yeovil and by the looks of things will be back
in the third division next season with them. I'm not sure where Kev got
his speed from, my dad could move a bit, but he certainly did not get his speed
You can ask him though if he remembers a few years ago when I was home during the summer when we played one on one and there was only going to be one winner, me!
Anyway, I'd like to finish here but before
I do I'd like to mention a couple of important people that have made all the
above possible. My parents, Pamela and John.
They have raised me, and my brother Keiron and Kevin, very well, and we are very fortunate to have a mother and father like them. They have made us who we are and we cannot thank them enough. My phone bill says it all, it's outrageous but worth every penny as long as I can talk to them as much as I can.”
Name: Jonathan Wheeler
Occupation: Runs PR agency, freelance journo, photographer
How Long Exiled: 26 years
How often do you see Yeovil?: 10 times a season
First Yeovil game: Around Christmas ‘72. Before that I went to school in Dorset with a really arrogant Arsenal fan. I took an instant dislike to Arsenal, and when Yeovil drew them in the FA Cup of 1970/1, started supporting them passively. When my family moved to Chard in October ‘72 I began to support the side more actively. Cannot remember too much about my early games, other than getting very wet on several occasions – most notably when I had to walk home to Wambrook from Windwhistle Hill in pouring rain one time when the bus home broke down.
Best moments as a Yeovil fan: Hopefully, by the time you read this, this will have changed. For the moment, the FA Trophy final is it, although the culmination of the season where we came back up to the Conference with over 100 points was also brilliant. Best single moment has to be watching the whole Holte End go bonkers after Adam Stansfield scored the goal that sealed that Trophy win.
Best Game: FA Trophy Final, for proving that we had a top class team capable of winning things. Didn’t get to the Donny trophy game, so this season’s Telford 0 – 5 Yeovil comes close. With Skivvo suspended and Plucky sent off after barely 15 minutes, we went beserk and scored four goals before half-time. Days like these make you believe anything is possible . . .
Favourite current player: Michael McIndoe; consistent threat in virtually every game I’ve seen him play. Close call for 2nd between Chris Weale, Terry Skiverton, Lee Johnson, Gavin Williams and Kirk Jackson. All this in the absence of Adam Stansfield, who could well be the best of the lot.
Funniest moment to do with Yeovil: Hearing a BBC Radio journalist reporting on one of our FA Cup ties having a complete mental block when trying to describe Yeovil’s shirts. Try as hard as he could, he simply could not remember the word “stripes”. After half a dozen fumbles, he eventually opted for “vertical hoops”. Second place goes to me – for turning up at the Telford away game this season with an inappropriate black and red umbrella. Strangely, only Paul Chesterman seemed to notice!
Worst moment as a Yeovil fan: 2000/01 season. That awful Ceefax moment when the scoreline ‘Yeovil 2 – 3 Hereford’ came up on the screen, effectively handing the title to Rushden. We’d got so close and failed; Colin Addison left immediately; Warren Patmore and Tony Pennock followed. I really worried that we’d not recover. All credit to John Fry for keeping cool, staying patient and recruiting Gary Johnson.
Worst Game: Boston 4 – 1 Yeovil (September 2001) – and I only had to get there from Leicester! I have undying admiration for those who made a return journey of around 500 miles – and during one of the fuel strikes as well.
14 –15 DOWN UNDER
And I thought it would never happen. By the time you are reading this I should just about be getting over the hangover. The Championship decided and promotion clinched. It’s been a long long journey to get there but all that is forgotten now and all the pain and tribulations of my past 40 yrs as a Yeovil fan is but a distant memory. I say this because I felt that Yeovil should have been in the league after my first full season of following them. It was 1963/64 and we had a great Cup run and clinched the Southern League title. But that was in the “bad old days” of re-elections and broken promises.
Over the last few weeks I’ve dug deep into the history books and less deeper into the memory banks (as there isn’t too much depth there) to re call some of, what I consider injustices, over the years via the re-election system.
In the period from 63/4 to the commencement of automatic promotion (23 seasons) only 4 clubs have failed to get re-elected and replaced by “non-league” clubs.
1970/71 Bradford Park Avenue replaced by Cambridge Utd
1972/73Barrow replaced by (and this hurts to say it) Hereford
1977/78 Workington replaced by Wimbledon
1978/79 Southport replaced by Wigan
Bradford Park Avenue had to be put out of their misery. The “old boys club” couldn’t ignore the fact that in the four seasons prior to getting the flick they finished second last once and last 3 times with 26 wins from 184 matches. Chesterfield won 1 more game (27) in the season while winning the league in Bradford’s last season.
Barrow could be considered to be a little unlucky as they were relegated from the 3rd Div the season before they got the boot for finishing last in Div 4. But if memory serves me right they had all sorts of financial problems as well as a crap side. Whilst I was all for these clubs being replaced by new blood it really hurt when Hereford got the nod to replace them. Only been back in the Southern League premier div for 7 seasons, four of which they finished halfway or worse and got elected without winning the league. True they had a couple of good Cup runs, but nothing that we hadn’t done in the past.
Workington had a similar ending to Bradford PA. Last four seasons finished 2nd last twice and last twice winning just 32 games out of 184. Their replacements Wimbledon were worthy replacements. Only spent 13 seasons in the Southern League set-up and finished in the top 5 in 8 of those years. Their last three winning the SL championship. Of course history shows their meteoric rise continued (This could be us!!!!).
The very next season Southport became the last club to be shown the door by their fellow football league clubs. Their replacement Wigan where always strong contenders for replacing teams in previous years as they were the Man U of the Northern Premier League. In the last 10 seasons prior to election they won it twice, runners-up 4 times and 3rd twice. Not a bad record.
But the years in between these occasional changes there were times when I just shook my head in disbelief that some of these clubs could survive in the league. Apart from the four mentioned Hartlepool also springs to mind. Looking up their record in this period I discovered that it was as bad as I remembered. In all but a couple of seasons of the 23 in question they more often than not ended up in the bottom half of Div 4. They sought re-election 7 times in that period. Poor crowds and no “headline shattering” cup runs made me wonder how they managed to muster enough votes to survive. Surely we deserved to replace them on one of those 7 occasions.
But then talk of automatic promotion began rumbling in the mid 80’s and I thought no worries we’ll soon be there now!!! So it was quiet ironic that when automatic promotion was brought in from the Conference we weren’t in that league. But as my dear old Mum use to tell me “everything comes to those who wait”. So I waited and waited and now its here………….YES.
To think of all the great players that have pulled on the green and white shirt and how they most have dreamt of being “the ones” to take us into the league. And then of course there is “US” the long suffering fans that have certainly enjoyed the good times but never witnessed the "ultimate". Well they have now. Does it really feel as good as you imagined it would? YOU BET YA.
Just wish I could be there at HP on that historic day in late August 2003 to witness our first home game and win in Div 3. I reckon my hangover should be gone by then. As for all games since I discovered the internet my thoughts will certainly be with you all. Let’s hope the next 100 years of “league” football will be as successful as the past 100 or so we spent in “non league” ranks. I’m sure it will be although I will be watching most of it from even further away than I am now (so they tell me).
MAC FROM OZ
16 – GUINNESS GREENS
They introduced themselves in the last issue; DAVID EDGE tells OTV how the ‘Guinness Greens’ enjoyed their trip to Yeovil for the Hereford game.
The craic kicked off at around 11:00 with 19 of us in the Carlyan Pub (Headquarters), a few scoops. On to Dublin airport, check in and onto the bar - more scoops! Weather was abysmal, pissing down and windy. Descended into Bournemouth vertically and bump! We were down. Stopped at a pub in Wimborne - more scoops. The landlord knew we were going to a match, however when told it was not a Premiership team, but Yeovil Town he was very surprised. He wished we could be in everyday for a few scoops!
The craic carried on in Yeovil, booked into Globetrotters and onto the bar - total madness. I vaguely remember my father and brother turning up from Wincanton and big Ron from Rush, who was on a rugby tour in England. That’s about all I can remember of that day. Oh, yes I fell down the steps saying goodbye to my father and brother.
The craic went on, lovely sunny day, staggered downstairs for breakfast. There were some bad heads about, but still at the bar scooping all ready, or were they still there from last night? However, we had a roll call and went up to Huish for 12:00. We did a bit of shirt buying in the shops. We then went to the boardroom for a meeting with John Fry and a short speech followed. Shaun Kelly presented him with a Rush Athletic pennant and letter from the club. We were then escorted to the bar - more scoops!
Sky Sports was on but with the Irish being horse running lovers (they would bet on two fly’s on the wall) asked for the horse racing to be put on. “You have more chance of getting rocking horse shit!” was the reply. However ten minutes later it was on and so was the betting, sterling flying everywhere.
On to the match and as you know a great game and a real good drubbing in the later part of the second half. There was a truly a great atmosphere inside the stadium. We headed back to the bar after and jubilant scooping followed until 7:30, when we headed on down to the Conference centre for Karaoke and a Disco. We met some of the players Colin Pluck, Steve Collis, Adam Lockwood and Terry Skiverton. The disco was in full swing and when I tried to get a pint there was absolutely nobody behind the bar – the lads had spirited them out to the dance floor. Many great air guitar solos followed, Hendrix was well and truly alive! A great day was had by all. Thanks George Coggen for organizing it.
The craic went on, everyone went down to the bar before heading to the airport. On arrival at Bournemouth a game of pool was in order. Unfortunately there were no cues, so Shoko improvised with a mop handle and a metal bar stool, more scoops, oh dear!
Now safely back in Rush many weeks after, many a story still being told. An absolutely great weekend and there is talk already of going over for the new season in Division 3. At the time of writing our membership is now 142 including a certain Steve McPhail of Leeds. Come on you Green and Whites!
18 - YWORD
Can I share something with you all? Something that has proved very difficult over the last 10 years.
You see, my wife and I get on very well, we share a great deal of interests – the great outdoors, travelling around Europe, good wine, weekends away in the summer to the coast- the list is endless!
But one thing we cannot get on with or she doesn’t understand is my passion for our national game and in particular my love for 'the other love of my life' : YTFC.
Every mention of the Y word is met with a heavy sigh, a roll of the eyes or that look that tells me that she is not the slightest bit interested in the fact that 'Plucky' has been suspended for a key away trip. I'm not saying she doesn’t try, she has and does- we've had countless conversations about it. I've mentioned that its more than just watching, its my home town, a chance to catch up with the family, seeing mates that I wouldn’t have time to see otherwise and the fact that its almost a duty to go. Her reply is that its one of the only days we get together (fair comment), the house needs doing (fair comment) and also the cost- fuel from Bristol & back, pint in the Arrow, programme, entrance fee, cup of tea at half time (again, another fair comment!).
She looks at me when I'm looking at the latest or final score with a very concerned look on her face: 'Why is he getting in such a stress?;' she must think, 'it really can't be doing his health any good!’ Then she says it, those four words that, although mean well go down like 'the Kettering'- "ITS ONLY A GAME!" ONLY A GAME? I don't think so.
To be fair, she is getting more understanding- after returning home from a match she now always tries to detect what the result was by my mood. After she has decided she will then treat me in the correct manner - Victory: a beer or wine, a social chat and a plan for the remainder of the weekend. Defeat: a very wide berth for a good two hours. (I haven’t really decided how I'm treated when we draw!).
It is improving, I think she is starting to realise how important it is to me and
I'm trying not to talk about it in a 'kid on Christmas eve' kind of way because quite frankly she doesn’t give a damm. However I can now talk to her on a limited basis- i.e. now 11 points clear or Doncaster have two games in hand etc.
When I tell her these things she does actually sound interested and we are even
at the early stages of going to a game together (that'll be another story!).
In a way this story is a tribute to my wife, for putting up with me talking what must be to her 'complete b***ocks', for 'wasting' Saturdays when we could be doing something 'worthwhile'. It’s a big thank you for putting up with what must be like living with a schizophrenic some Saturdays- leave in the morning happy and full of hope, return home depressed & despondent. Also another massive thank you (cause I know she will read this!) for letting me stay in Yeovil for a wild night out on the day we get promoted!!!...and I promise I won't mention the Y word for the whole of the summer.
19-24 MY 20 YEARS
It is difficult to think where it has all gone. To be honest I can only just remember how it all started. I remember it was sunny, we lost 4-0, there were only a few of their fans in the ground and that Huish looked massive. If you are wondering what I’m referring to, this was my first Yeovil game. To be honest I’m quite proud that I’ve been able to pin point the game, especially as I was only 5. The date was the 24th of April 1983 and we were playing Boston United. History would see this as a terrible game and as part of a terrible season. Yeovil finished 3rd from bottom of the Alliance premier league that season, but to me that didn’t matter as it started something. Now almost 20 years to the day and we are Conference Champions and heading for the Football League - my childhood dream has come true. What an amazing Yeovil Town Birthday present!
20 years later I think that I can safely say that I am as bigger Glovers fan than ever before, yes this has a certain amount to do with our success but also I feel I have grown in to the role of a football fan. As a kid it is easy to slip into this mould, but it isn’t until later in life that you truly become a fan, having said that I always knew I was Yeovil through and through. I think that this very complex formula can be summed up reasonably easily, so I will give it a try. Being a fan is all about the pleasure and pain. Enduring the pain of relegation or mid table drab football, for those few moments of joy. The pain is only marginally worse than the joy is great, but it is the margin than is more than enough to make it all worth while. Why else would a fan continue when others give up on teams?
My birth in to fandom was no different from many others in reality. Going to football is thanks, as with many kids, to their Dad. My Glover’s upbringing is no different. I now look back and cherish the day he decided not to play Rugby anymore. This opened the door way to a life on a Saturday afternoon that I now cherish. At the time it was just an exciting day out, little did I realise that it was a pleasant, funny surprise that would effect me so much in years to come and it all started with that game against Boston.
Saturday afternoons now suddenly became ruled by going to a big stadium, a mars bar and change of ends at half time, new heroes and hearing the instrumental version of Bruce Horsby and the Range ‘The way it is’. Before you ask, ‘The way it is’ was the tune for goal of the week on Grandstand. In fact it had so much effect on me that I found a copy of the song on 12” Vinyl, which I cherish and always reminds me of Huish.
At this point the score was not that important to me, being so young, my understanding of the game was limited at best however it was improving all the time. The players’ faces were becoming familiar and I even started to develop favourites. The likes of Mick Doherty, Dave Linney and of course briefly Yeovil’s most famous son Ian Botham became the faces and names that I readily recognised.
I think that at this point I’d better explain a few things. As with many others that support non-league teams, there is a tendency to also have a soft spot for a team from the top flight. At the time of the mid-80’s so many of my friends were following Liverpool, Man Utd or Everton. However I decided that I was going to go with Tottenham. My love for the Spurs is still very much alive today, but will always play second fiddle to my passion for the Greens. This was even true in my childhood, as my birthday presents suggested. I remember getting an England kit and a few Spurs shirts, but a Yeovil shirt was always the best. I think that my aspirations worked like this: play for Yeovil; take them in to the league; big money transfer to Spurs; play for England; win the World Cup then retire and manage Yeovil. Not a bad dream, however it was dashed at an early age when I realised that my football skills were not quite up to scratch.
As time went on during my time on the terraces I was promoted through the ranks, I became a ball boy at Huish. Admittedly this has something to do with the fact that my older brother was one and I didn’t want to miss out. However once there, I wore the terrible (even back then) Wincanton Garages tracksuit with pride. This was amazing for me as I got to see my footballing heroes up close as they walked up the tunnel. It also had another lasting effect on me, being the first time I really started to drink tea. The ritual of the half time cuppa also made its way in to the ball boys room. However I found that the only way I could drink the stuff was with masses of sugar. That impact of caffeine and the massive sugar rush would be enough to see anyone through a cold afternoon against Bognor Regis. Unfortunately this same taste for tea has lasted up to the present day! It must be said that having drunk tea from ball boys room, I’m actually surprised that I am here now to tell the tale.
I migrated back on to the terraces, after my time in the ball boys limelight, and that amazing afternoon in the FA Cup against QPR in January 1988. OK, so we lost but I cannot remember a time of such great excitement in the town during my childhood. 10,000 crammed in to Huish, which produced such an intimidating but vibrant atmosphere. It was around this time that the love grew because this was the beginning of my era. Not only was this era a time of great change at the club but also with the way that I viewed the club. My feelings were changing from enjoying the day and wanting us to win to really growing to love football. So who are we talking about here, Paul Randall, Phil Ferns, Jeff Sherwood, Paul Thorpe, Neil Cordice, Tony Ricketts, Guy Whittingham and we cannot forget John McGinley. When it comes to Yeovil Town nostalgia this is my time. We were back in the conference and off to a brand spanking new stadium. The times they were a changin’ and it was looking good for the Glovers.
For myself I was sad at the parting with Huish. Having grown up at Huish, it really did feel like home. That famous sloping pitch that everyone remembers us for is something that will always be so clear in my minds eye and I hope that will always be the case. My generation will probably be the last to see traditional stadiums, and it is something I hold dear to my heart as a football fan. While I love Huish Park as well as other new stadia, there is nothing like traditional town centre ground, with a personality that has grown with the club and its fans through the years. This is what I believe that Huish had, especially from the covered terrace on the far side, which was a furnace for passion and noise.
So we moved to Huish Park, as I said an exciting move. I remember going visiting the ever growing shell of that would be our new home and wondering what it would be like on a packed out match day. Now we know, amazing! However at the time I was wondering around the new ground did I know about the dark days that would soon be upon us.
Having enjoyed the opener against Newcastle and begun to settle in to my seat in the main stand, which was a novelty in itself. I did not expect to find out that club was under threat. This beautiful stadium, that was the envy of everyone in the league, could have built in vain because it almost killed the club that was to play there. With Gerry Lock leaving a legacy of debt it was up to the fans to help. This time is a time for Yeovil fans to be proud of and I’d love to take some credit, but having not quite made it in to my teens, this would have been difficult. My family on the other hand did help. It seemed like endless nights I would hear from my Dad about the troubles at the club and how they could be solved. Of course that now famous night at the emergency meeting at the Bingo hall is one that I’ll never forget, as Dad told me how he had put in his 2ps’ worth in the debate and ended up donating to the club every month. Ask him today and he will still tell you that if we had sold the masses of the expensive carpet as a souvenirs, then that would have gone some way to saving the club.
With crisis narrowly avoided, it was back to the football. My Dad and me were now well established in the main stand and watching mid table mediocrity at its best. We had not quite reached our potential, but we always had the excitement of the visit of Arsenal in the FA Cup. Having almost broken my leg trying to get on the pitch after the Fulham game, I was now psyched for the game against the Gunners. As many of you may remember, this game was actually a moral victory for the Greens, because on paper it would have been 1-0 and we would have had another massive scalp. With Mark Shail suspended for the game, it was up to Fulham goal hero Andy Wallace to hold the fort against Ian Wright. Now lets be fair, Shaily should not have been suspended, his card was very dubious to say the least. Ian Wright on the other hand almost got away with murder a few weeks before and did get sent off. So we can all sleep well - if justice had been served Paul Batty’s goal would have been enough to see us through. If only history saw it the way I do!
Not too long in to the future there is a small break in my Yeovil Town life, I was still a fan but it was difficult. My family and I moved to the US for 2 years. At the time the internet was in its infancy and listening to the BBC World Service is hardly a great way of keeping in touch with the goings on at Huish Park. It wasn’t helped by living in a country that only vaguely got excited by the World Cup being played on their home turf. On my return to the UK it was still difficult to get straight back in to the groove of going to watch Yeovil. My new concern was money, money to go to the pub with! This meant working on Saturdays and evenings. However it was not long at all before I was back. All it took was a little inspiration and I was hooked again. This time it was due to mates and the lure of the getting back to the terraces.
Being back was fantastic, it felt like I’d really returned home now. This inspiration was just what I needed and prepared me well for my new exiled years. Having sealed my place at Sheffield Hallam University, I was due off again. This time distance made the heart grow very much fonder, as my life was moving away from Yeovil my heart was still at Huish Park. The great thing was, there were holidays and Northern away matches to enjoy, and I went as often as possible. It was on one of these jaunts to a northern away game that I met my partner in fanzine crime Seb White. Having taken the train from Sheffield to Manchester, and then Manchester to Northwich, I was surprised to see what I did when I arrived. A bloke wearing a Yeovil scarf on a train that was south bound. It was Seb! This turned in to mates in Northern exile land, which only inspired going to more games and eventually to develop OTV.
This brings my life as a Yeovil fan almost up to the present day. I’ve graduated from University and I’m still living in the North, but my love for the club is stronger than ever. The last few seasons have been great, and also heart breaking in parts, but I now know after 20 years what it is to be a fan. I’m not sure where my life might take me, but I always know that this football club is very close to my heart. I have grown up around it and it’s an integral part of my life. Winning the Trophy last year was incredible, the sight of that many Glovers celebrating an amazing victory has only wet my appetite for what has now happened. So we are champions and on our way to the football league. I feel that this is a fitting way to end my first 20 years as a Yeovil fan, I just hope that I don’t have to wait another 20 years for more major success.
25 – DO YOU REMEMBER WHEN
In the first of a series of articles TIM LANCASTER looks at several of the more interesting places that Yeovil Town have played over the years, we may yet be visiting many new grounds next season, but for now do you remember -
Gateshead was always one of my favourite trips, and I was disappointed when their inevitable relegation came about. The Tynesiders always struggled for support, indeed when Yeovil Town visited The International Stadium for a 1-0 defeat in April 1992 the attendance numbered only 175. The club has had a history of hardship however, a Football League club until 1960 they failed to gain re-election in incredible circumstances, applying for the first time in twenty three years they were thrown out - replaced by Peterborough United. Southport, with their third re-election campaign in succession survived the axe, as did Oldham and Hartlepool who had finished below 'The Tynesiders'. Gateshead joined the Northern Counties League.
My first recollections of Gateshead came about when we were in the Gola League. I can remember Yeovil Town asking for Persil vouchers to assist them with the cost of the train to Newcastle. As a young supporter this trip seemed so far away - so I simply had to do it, but it was not until September 7th 1990 that I made it to The International Stadium. This was a Sunday game, and I can remember getting on the train from my home (Then in Brighton) on the Saturday morning and travelling north with the intention of taking in a game somewhere along the line, but with nowhere booked to stay. I ended up at Berwick Rangers, watching my adopted Scottish team Montrose, and I got offered a roof and hospitality by a kindly Berwick fan and his missus who lived in Consett, County Durham. The game at Gateshead kicked off at 12.00pm the next day. We drew 1-1 and from then on I made it a priority to go back every season.
The International Stadium was far too big for Gatesheads requirements but, after a history of ground problems since they left Redheugh Park, the club at least found a regular base to stage matches. Supporters travelling by train faced a daunting walk through the silent, deserted streets after alighting at Gateshead Stadium Metro station, akin to the eerie atmosphere at Rotherhithe when Fisher were in our league. The walk seemed to take ages, and then out of the depressing landscape rose the vast construction that was The International Stadium. The club initially used a bar outside the ground, where the home fans were most welcoming, but in later years this shut down and was boarded up, and supporters used the internal facilities. The club would only open one side of the ground for matches, and despite the distance we always seemed to take a good following. Gateshead would operate a club shop from a table inside the Stadium corridors, ran by their supporters club, small in number but as dedicated as you could come across.
Inside the stadium spectators were lost in the mass of red seats that swept around the ground - open on three sides, and virtually deserted. Gateshead recently left the Stadium for a while, playing at South Shields while the running track was re-laid, and for the size of their support, now averaging around 200 in The Unibond League, this probably seems cramped. The excellent Requiem For Redheugh (Geoff Esther) details Gateshead’s history brilliantly with several photographs of the club in action at Redheugh Park.
A fondly remembered trip, probably consigned to the past forever.
26 – 27 WE WERENT ALWAYS THIS GOOD
Long before the 'Ooohh Gary Johnson' era, Yeovil were utterly pitiful in the Trophy. A dark era which PETE LANCASTER grew up in. Think of the Yeovil v Cheltenham FA Cup tie at Huish Park and compare it to the same fixture in the FA Trophy in 83-84. 781 watched that, but we won 5-2!! PETE gets nostalgic and looks back in time.
"December 17th 1983 and Yeovil Town are drawn to play Southern League Premier outfit Cheltenham Town at the old Huish ground. The Robins are 8th in their league, we sit 19th in the Alliance Premier League (now Conference).
A crowd of 781 (yes that's right!) shuffle dutifully to Huish, and the Midlanders race into a 2-0 lead. In these times this was to be expected. Yeovil, however, have other ideas and local hero and perm merchant Malc Gold pulls one back. The second-half sees the Robins wings clipped as Mick Doherty (2), Jerry 'Mad Dog' Brown and the free scoring Dave Linney saw Town through this 3rd Qualifying tie 5-2. Ask Dave about his goal, he'll probably recall it in fine detail for you!
The next round saw Yeovil entertain a side that were then what we are now. Wealdstone FC, managed by the late Brian Hall and top dogs of non-league football, had a team to fear. A year later they produced Vinnie Jones and Stuart Pearce. Hall later created Yeovil history as he took the Town back to the Conference with some of his ex-Stones in the side.
Pre-internet, Wealdstone had a fanzine called the 'Elmsie Ender' named after an end of the Stones now demolished Lower Mead stadium. The fanzines main editor was called Sudhir Rawal and he mocked what was a fairly pitiful Yeovil regularly in his magazine (a year later he was asked to discuss his jibes by locals).
In all honesty Rawal had cause to mock. No one gave struggling Town a prayer in this 1st Round tie on Jan 14th 1984. So it proved as two goals from defenders Paul Bowgett and one from Dennis Byatt put the visitors 3-0 ahead. The Huish crowd of 1,397 were accepting of this and the Stones prolific striker Mark Graves hadn't even started!
Yeovil reduced arrears with a goal from local farmer Phil 'The Bullet' James (or Mullet as Phil sported the finest!). Then Mick Doherty appeared with two goals, 3-3, as Yeovil midfielders Trev Finnigan and Gazza Borthwick got 'sober' to sort out the Stones!
This will be one of my all time Yeovil games and other supporters will agree. What happened next shocked everyone. Mad Dog broke and blasted the ball across the Stones box. It deflected into the path of young striker Jamie Ward. The whole place stopped in awe as Wardy steered it over the line. 4-3!! Four bloody three!!
Wealdstone did not know what to do. They honestly didn't. Keeper Bob Iles (a future Glover) just sat there. His teamates stood motionless almost unable to restart. Rawal was probably choking on his words in the away end!
The next round saw Town exit 4-1 at Huish in a replay with Dagenham FC (the real Daggers before they swallowed up others). Yeovil drew 1-1 at Victoria Road on Feb 4th. Trevor Finnigan scored Town's goal in front of a 680 crowd.
Mick Doherty scored Yeovil's goal four days later at Huish in front of a 1,680 crowd. It was not enough to stop the Glovers exit from the 2nd Round.
The next season 1984-85 saw a Gerry Gow led Yeovil crash 2-0 at Southern League Gloucester City in the 3rd Qualifying round. The game at Horton Road (an awful arena) rates as one of the worst I have ever witnessed! The crowd was 520.
28 – JINXAVITUS
PHIL HARRIS makes his OTV debut and tells us of his ‘unlucky’ season so far.
Firstly, let me say that for every football club on Earth, someone, who for no reason of their own choosing, has to endure what I have had to this season. Someone is going through this for Arsenal , lots of them for West Ham and quite a few at Brighton and Hove Albion. It is like a disease which I honestly can’t wait to transfer to someone else!!!!
What am I talking about… let me explain. It is Saturday 17th August, I am so excited, like a kid on Christmas morning. I am standing outside a pub on Uxbridge Road, West London, at 9.00 am. Waiting with my friend Will ‘Statto’ Ranner for Badger to arrive. We are on our way to the opening game of the season. Yeovil Town Vs. Gravesend and Northfleet. The talk all the way to Dorchester is football and a touch of what did you do over the summer!!. Hugh Gleave is talking about the last time we met, the fantastic Trophy Final. We are all looking forward to this match.
It is Tuesday 20th August. Second game of the season away at Barnet. Fantastic, a local game for me, straight from work on the tube easy. When you come out of Barnet tube station the huts are painted green and white. Well that is a lucky sign surely. The lads are as used to my ‘lucky’ signs, as they are to me always wearing my lucky green socks, trousers, T-shirt etc on match days (my collection of green and white things is ever increasing from my toothbrush to my bedroom being painted green and white) I will spot a lucky sign from 500 paces no problem!!
Stevenage 14th September. Yeovil have won 5 games in a row. I have to see the Glorious Glovers win today…. You know already.. we draw 2-2. God help me I haven’t seen them win yet eight games into the season.. won 5 -drawn two -lost one. The lads joke in the pub afterwards “ you’re a jinx Phil” this cuts deep. A knife wound to the heart. NO WAY, NO WAY it is worse than having the dreaded lurgey when you’re a kid. Surely I am not inflicted with jinxavitus. Last season I certainly did not have it this was obvious with such matches as that fantastic Doncaster 4 Yeovil 5 trophy match.
Sunday 27th October. Crikey what a gale , F.A Cup against Barf City. I had taken the weekend off and brought my Mum to the match. Surely we could beat this pile of ****. Thank God Adam Lockwood scored. Yes a 1-1draw. That’s it, I am in trouble now. I am diagnosed as having Jinxavitus by Adrian, Hugh's dad. This is an affliction which is serious to a fan as serious as myself. I had changed my days off at work to Friday and Saturday just so I could go to all the games. In the tourist industry that takes some doing. NO WAY can it be me.
Saturday 16th November. Yeovil Cheltenham F.A Cup 1st round. We had played 21 games including assorted cup games and only lost two one to the cheats in a Mickey mouse cup and Barnet. The glorious Giant Killers would surely (please God) beat this useless lot. PLEASE PLEASE… NOOOOOO… we lose 2-0. I am finished. I couldn’t even go to the club bar. I hardly spoke all the way home, my season was over. I had seen the glorious greens five times and not seen them win. Will and I went for a pint in his local Firkin pub in Acton Green when we got back to London. “Sorry Phil but youre banned”. The Devastating News. The trial was an open and shut case, I had no defence and had to stay away.
I watched from afar on the internet; as on Goal Rush. Hugh, Will and Badger updated me on my mobile, Hugh phoned with match reports after every game. I continued to include the mighty greens on my tours of London. (Presently… “This is Madam Tussauds ladies and Gentlemen where for my American friends you will find waxworks of England’s greatest football players Mr Kirk Jackson, Kevin Gall, Nicky Crittenden”… the Brits look puzzled.. “Super Macca Mckindoe Darren Way Lee Johnson…. All the lads the Mighty Yeovil Town the greatest football team the world has ever seen.!!!! The Americans have never asked about David ‘will never play for Yeovil’Beckham)
Well it gets to March and the lads have decided I can come to another game maybe it just a passing phase. It is Woking away. It is true there is only one Warren Patter but not today Warren PLEASE . I just can’t believe it - Warren off injured, no true Yeovil fan would want to see that but we draw as well.
I would like to state that I was not at these games - 7th December Scarborough, 26th Dec Forest Green, 28th Dec Barnet at home, 25th Jan Nuneaton or Burscough If you were at these matches and the others and you have not seen Yeovil win do not let me meet you - the pain of knowing it wasn’t me would be too much.
Please lads please win this league soon as possible as I would like to come to the Chester game which is the day before my birthday. It would be the best birthday present ever to see you beat them.
30 – 31 SIMON SAYS
Yeovil were dumped out of the FA Trophy by Burscough on 15th March, it finished 2-0 to the Lancashire team. It was a shock, Yeovil flying high at the top of the conference, Burscough in the bottom half of the Premier Division of the Unibond Northern Premier League. Burscough came and defended stoutly, always kept men behind the ball and managed to score two goals from three goal attempts. It was a spoiling tactic that didn't make for a good spectacle of football, but it delivered the result Burscough were looking for. What does the defeat mean to Yeovil Town?
Yeovil won the Trophy in 2001-2002, beating Stevenage Borough in the final at Villa Park. It was the first silverware the Glovers have won since promotion back into the conference. I believe there were two key points in that trophy campaign that have contributed to the continued league success this season.
Firstly THAT match at Doncaster, a team that have turned around a 3-0 deficit, will develop self-belief and confidence. When Yeovil have faced similar situations after that match, they have had the experience and knowledge to draw upon and guide them. This has been apparent during this seasons campaign, recently and most obviously at Halifax. The Glovers never panicked whilst 2-0 away from home, they increasingly managed to play their football and impose their passing play, and at the end of the game dominated and were worth their 3-2 win.
The second important factor drawn from last seasons trophy campaign is that it was the first competition that this team have won. Actually getting to the finishing post first in any race is a success. The skills and preparation, teamwork and professionalism that Yeovil developed last season culminating in the trophy win have added an extra dimension to this current Yeovil Team. In the 00-01 season Yeovil got in sight of the finishing post of the conference, but for a variety of reasons weren't first past the finishing post. As we stand on the verge of the football league, the knowledge that Yeovil have won important matches and competitions before will have helped when facing those matches where a few points were needed to seal Yeovil’s promotion. Winning is a habit and Yeovil started to develop that habit when winning the Trophy last season.
Even the Burscough game itself, playing against a team who packed their own penalty area, always got ten men behind the ball when defending turned out to be good preparation. When Scarborough visited Huish Park recently they employed the same tactics and the Green and White were patient, kept probing and ended up winning 1-0. Who would swap the results and let us lose 2-0 in the league and win in the Trophy? As things stood then, I would take the league points every time.
I really enjoyed the Trophy last season, I went to most of the Yeovil games and I saw some good football and great matches. I had a great day out in Birmingham, thoroughly enjoyed the whole weekend and was looking forward to repeating the trip this year. It's not to be and that's a disappointment, but what is the Trophy? I had to explain to people what the Trophy was last year before our Villa Park trip. It was great to win, I enjoyed the game and the big day out, but how many Trophy wins would I swap for winning the conference? Ten, twenty, as many as you like. If it was a choice between staying in the conference and winning the Trophy year on year, or getting into the football league, there would be no contest. I want to see our team testing themselves, representing us, in the football league. That's finally going to happen now, we can look back and enjoy Villa Park, forget about our thirty years of hurt and wish Burscough luck, Yeovil Town have bigger fish to fry.
32 –33 SINGALONG CD
The fanzine included a free CD if you want the sound file email us and well send it on. For those that know the White Stripes the song is a cover of their song Hotel Yoba
LYRICS FOR THE SONG
I've been watchin', Yeovil Town they are my side.
Eleven men and I watch 'em move, got movin' on my mind.
I've found shelter, with Gary Johnson in our ground
I've said 39 times that I love, the football I have found.
Well it's one, two, three, four take the elevator
At Huish Park Yeovil, it's conference see you later
All we've got in sight is division three.
Now I've been thinkin' 'bout a little place down in Zummerset.
Got dirt on the road, 'n' cider houses
How many five year plan's will it take
Till we're alone
Sittin' on the top of the table
Trophy room will need a new floor
Gonna have to worry 'bout locking the door
Well it's one, two, three, four take the elevator
At Huish Park Yeovil, it's conference see you later
All we've got in sight is division three.
It might sound silly, for me to think childish thoughts like these
But I'm so tired of kick and run, I'm gonna see some of what I please
let's get prompted, try
retain forget about the trophy
Because we're the fans who love you the most
You could play division three at least
Well it's one, two, three, four take the elevator
At Huish Park Yeovil, it's conference see you later
All we've got in sight is division three.
And it's one, five, six, seven, grab your umbrella
Grab a hold on me cause I'm a cider Fella
All we've got in sight is division three.
34-37 WE ARE GOING UP
HOAGY wrote this between the Telford and Doncaster games. He was getting ready to celebrate going up to the Football League, and decided to take a look at our last promotion season –1996/7.
The previous season had seen our lowest finish in the modern era – fourth in the 2nd tier of the non-league game. But, we were mostly playing entertaining football, and a bit of summer strengthening should put us in with a shout.
The season didn’t get off to the greatest of starts, Yeovil going 2-0 behind at Grays Athletic, but Dean Birkby with a penalty, and Lee Harvey with a header levelled scores just before half-time, with Warren Patmore grabbing the winner from close-range.
Birkby and Patmore were the first choice front line, but it was midfielder Andy Turner who got the only goal against Bromley, following a goal-less home match against Dagenham and Redbridge. An unconvincing August saw a narrow win at Hitchin followed by a comprehensive defeat at Dulwich Hamlet, 4-1.
We first moved to the top of the table towards the end of September. That was a good month with three wins out of three in the league, without conceding a goal. The month also saw us starting in the FA Cup at the first qualifying round, easing through 6-0 against Backwell at Huish Park. Warren Patmore scored a hat-trick.
The first big drama of the season came towards the end of the month. The 2nd qualifying round of the FA Cup paired Yeovil with Taunton Town at Huish Park. The game ended 0-0, all in all a poor performance by Yeovil in front of their biggest crowd of the season. The tie really took off in the replay. Boss Graham Roberts made big changes to the side, leaving out Pounder, Moors (who was attracting league scouts at the time) and Braybrooke, while Kemp and Birkby came back in, as did Roberts himself. Yeovil were leading at half-time, but went 3-2 down early in the second half. Two from Patmore put Yeovil ahead again, before Jerry Gill made it 5-3 at the end.
Yeovil's victory wasn't achieved without cost; Micky Engwell received what appeared to be a serious injury in the closing minutes and several players from both sides were booked by the maddeningly inconsistent referee, Wendy Toms. There was also a significant amount of crowd trouble. Taunton’s assistant manager was knocked unconscious in a fracas, while Yeovil boss Graham Roberts claimed Taunton fans started the trouble by throwing cans and coins at the Yeovil players as they came off ,and that Dean Birkby was head-butted by a Taunton player.
To cap it all, the police later charged Graham Roberts with a public order offence relating to the game – he was acquitted.
The next Cup game was also potentially difficult on and off the pitch – a 3QR tie at Tiverton Town. But it went pretty smoothly, and the Glovers won 2-0 thanks to a goal each from Warren Patmore and Chris Seymour, setting up a final qualifying tie at Merthyr Tydfil. But as the ytfc.com match report said at the time: “Yeovil's Cup ambtitions collapsed on top of a welsh mountain in a fractious match in which they produced one of their least effective performances of the season against a combative Welsh side.” A 2-1 defeat and we were out of the FA Cup.
Back in the league, Yeovil remained top, with three ICIS wins out of three in October, following a similar record for September. November was more mixed – not helped by off-the-field goings-on. Graham Roberts had been approached by Kettering Town to replace the manager they’d just sacked – a gentleman by the name of Gary Johnson. Whatever happened to him?! :-)
Roberts was contracted to Yeovil until the end of the season, but Kettering offered a longer deal, and it seemed that he’d be off. There was a war of words with chairman John Fry in the local papers, but in the end Robbo stayed on to guide us towards the title.
November featured a few wins, a few draws, and a heavy defeat at title rivals Enfield, going down 3-0. The home side were the better team on the day, but were helped along by a pair of suspect penalties.
Yeovil have traditionally underachieved in the FA Trophy, finally ended with last season’s winning run. 1996/7 was no exception. Evesham United were easily dispatched at Huish Park. Tony Pennock was out with appendicitis, and temporary replacement Keith Harvey had hardly played in years, but it didn’t batter as Birkby and Turner saw Yeovil home. Pennock returned late in November, but only after defender Chris Seymour had started in goal for Yeovil in a Guardian Insurance Cup match.
The first round proper saw us draw Hayes – winners of the Isthmian League the season before. Hayes - that should be enough to tell you that it didn’t go smoothly!
The first match ended 2-2, with a pair each from Dean Birkby and Martin Randall. The Yeovil player got his second deep into stoppage time to force a replay at Church Road. The front two were removed as we tried to sit back and defend a 2-0 lead. This was a failure, as Jason Roberts and Andy Cox got Hayes level to force a second replay, at Huish Park.
Finally the tie was settled, but in the favour of the Conference side. Pretty much the same pattern as the previous two games in this tie; Yeovil had long periods with most of the possession, but did not look as dangerous in attack as Hayes did. Martin Randall scored both of their goals, with Lee Harvey grabbing a penalty for Yeovil.
The winter months
December was a great month in the league – four wins out of four, without a goal conceded. It might have been five, but the Boxing Day game against Oxford City was abandoned due to a frozen pitch. The record took Yeovil back to the top of the table, a position that had earlier been conceded to Enfield.
January saw a 100% record too – but that was just one game thanks to the weather and the FA Trophy saga against Hayes. Scheduled for early January was a crucial tie against championship rivals Enfield, but the cold weather put that game off, eventually played on a famous night in March.
The Western Gazette were talking about Yeovil bringing Guiliano Grazioli back to the club. Must have been a slow news day, he’d already turned down a chance to move to Rushden in the Conference after Peterborough accepted a £50K offer – money that Yeovil were never likely to come up with. A more realistic target was Woking midfielder Colin Fielder, and he joined in early December. January saw Roberts actively trying to sign Lee Endersby from Harrow Borough, but Yeovil were outbid by Enfield. Attentions turned to Oxford City, and a certain striker called Howard Forinton – he eventually signed at the end of the month for a (then) record fee of £20k. A bargain as it turned out! He was joined up front by an improving Dean Birkby, while Warren Patmore was played in defence on occasions, or relegated to the bench.
February brought three wins, but also a first home league defeat, going down 3-2 to Kingstonian.
A momentous march
March saw no fewer than nine ICIS League games, along with an ICIS League Full Members Cup tie (lost 1-0 to Maidenhead) and a Somerset Premier Cup match (won 4-2 against Brislington).
There was a terrible 0-0 at Yeading after which manager Graham Roberts clashed with Yeovil fans, but things soon turned around with a highly impressive 6-1 drubbing of Dulwich Hamlet – who had humiliated the Glovers in the away match earlier in the season. Forinton showed his class with a hat-trick. Three more wins and a draw preceded the big game on the 25th. This was the match against title rivals Enfield.
That night is firmly entrenched in Yeovil folklore. 8,007 crammed into the ground. It could have been more, many were locked out. Buoyed by the massive support, Yeovil sailed into an early 2-0 lead, Micky Engwell scoring first (albeit with an effort that was more of a cross than a shot), and with just six minutes gone Paul Turner had added a second. Engwell went off injured within the opening ten minutes, and Paul Moran immediately pulled one back for Enfield. Lee Endersby, the subject of a bidding war between the two clubs earlier in the season, was brought down apparently outside the area. But a penalty was given, which was converted by Moran. Scores were level at 2-2, and that’s how they remained. Yeovil led the table – by just one point.
Eight wins and a draw in the last nine games of the season won the title for Yeovil, and promotion back to the Conference. The match that really convinced many of us that the league would be won was an impressive 3-0 win at Sutton United. The whole team played well, but the front two in particular were outstanding. Howard Forinton was paired with Warren Patmore, restored to the side and in good form. During the week leading up to that match, Yeovil and Birmingham City had announced that a deal had been done for the transfers of Forinton and Jerry Gill, so neither would go into the Conference with the Glovers for 1997/8.
The title was up for grabs if Yeovil won at Heybridge on the 26th, but a goal-less draw kept the champagne on ice until a 2-1 victory at Bromley. The Glovers went 2-0 up, but eased off, perhaps being a little fortunate to take all the points in the end. But we didn’t care. No-one will forget the post-match celebrations in the Bromley bar, a fantastic occasion.
The season finished with a party atmosphere back at Huish Park, with already-relegated Chertsey going down 4-0 – goalkeeper Tony Pennock scoring one of the goals from the penalty spot.
We were back in the Conference. That’s Yeovil’s “natural” level, we felt at the time. But not anymore! Div 3 here we come.
38 - IT HAPPENED IN APRIL
1 year ago 2002 – Goals and postponement were the order of the day this time last year. Morecambe were dispatched with ease with a 5-1 away win on the 9th. A 3-3 draw with Dagenham and Redbridge on the 16th all but ended our title charge. On the 19th we finally played the 3 times postponed match against Doncaster only for it to end in a 1-1 draw which forced a replay on the 23rd which was ‘that’ game, Yeovil coming from 3-0 down to beat Doncaster 5-4.
5 years ago 1998 – 4 conference games and 4 defeats. It doesn’t get much worse. On the 7th Stevenage beat us 2-1. An entertaining game if nothing else on 14th as Hayes beat us 6-4. A 1-0 defeat to Halifax on the 21st was followed up with 3-1 defeat to Kidderminster on the 28th.
10 years ago 1993 – The Glovers entered the month in third place - their highest ever position in the Conference. Things slipped a little as 2 draws on 4th 1-1 Macclesfield and 0-0 Bath 12th sandwiched a 3-0 home defeat by Dagenham on 10th. Town got back to winning ways on the 17th beating Slough 5-1 including a brace from Mickey Spencer. Yeovil saw out the month with a 1-1 draw at Merthyr on 20th and on the 24th beat the Cheats(they’ve always cheated!) 2-1.
15 years ago 1988 – Yeovil were again involved in a title race this time the Vauxhall – Opel Premier.3 games in 5 days saw Yeovil collect 4 points and on the 9th in a title showdown against Bromley a Mick Doherty hat-trick sent Yeovil to the top of the league. Once there Yeovil were determined to stay there (sound familiar?) and by wining 5 out of the next 6 games, in which Paul Randall scored 6 times, Town sealed Promotion.
20 Years ago 1983 – Town entered the month on the back of 3 games without a win and things only got worse. 3 straight defeats 1-0 Trowbridge on 2nd, 2-0 Weymouth on 4th and 3-1 Enfield on 9th meant that the club were hovering over the relegation zone. A couple of draws halted the losing streak but it soon returned with 3 heavy defeats 23rd 4-0 Cheats, 26th 4-1 Runcorn, 30th 5-2 Kettering. Luckily Town managed to avoid relegation due to the fact that only 2 teams achieved Promotion, the other team, Harrow Borough, didn’t want to come up.
50 Years ago 1956 – Yeovil’s title change had come to halt but a 3-1 victory over Chelmsford on the 2nd saw fan Bob Spiller ending up playing for the team. League interest didn’t end the season a 5-3 defeat of Frome 10th saw the club reach the final of the Somerset Premier Cup. More cup football as Yeovil beat 14th Gloucester 4-1 in the first leg of the Southern League Cup Semi-Final, somehow they lost the second leg 5-1 on the 21st. The next game on 28th saw Gloucester rub it in even further beating Town 2-0. An ‘anti-climax’ of a month concluded with a 2-1 defeat to Lovells Athletic on the 30th.
100 Years ago 1903 – A disastrous and winless month for the Glovers. Even two friendlies one against the 1st Scots Guards 0-1 on the 13th failed to see some success. The month ended in horrible fashion as Swindon Town Reserves stuffed Yeovil 9-0 on the 25th.
39 – PETE SPEAKS
PETE LANCASTER another OTV debutant looks at how promotion should change matters off the pitch.
It's time to move on from the non league. Yeovil Town those famous old cup fighters of the non-league and of the sloping pitch. Ah, yes, we beat Sunderland, Crystal Palace and Bury and won the Southern League and...for years Yeovil have been awful in truth and only now is the club moving away from its image of signing overweight has beens (which is rich coming from me - but the point has to be made!), and football league rejects who thought the Conference was something only business people attended!
After Burscough beat us it felt great! In all honesty Gary Johnson knows what his priorities are and as the local betting man (a Scouser nonetheless) said to me in the local 'your manager told you lot he was gutted about it, but what did he tell the players?'. Burscough was one of the best results for me as we beat Margate and Scarborough straight after it. Now we have won the FA Trophy, I honestly see it as a worthless pot which part-time teams play for. That may be harsh, but that’s how I feel.
We may be up, and I am not dissing the non-league because I hate us being non-league. It's embarrassing having Exeter City and Bristol Rovers fans patting you on the back for supporting your local amateurs! Non-league football is brilliant, I just don't want my team playing in it!
There are many in the Bartletts Stand who really are not going to understand Football League culture. When the rag bag army shuffles into a hostile Northern ground with their scarves and rosettes, I will be embarrassed. For years Yeovil have had an image of being a team that numptys support. We have a local correspondent Cathy Pickford, who is almost grateful that we are playing Bolton or Blackpool, and she refers to them as 'League Teams'. Sorry love, I want Yeovil doing them week in week out!
We have a supporters club that belongs in the Western League and is exclusive to a certain type of person. We need to move forward sooner rather than later when it comes to matters of the pitch. Folk were shocked by Hereford's support. What do they expect? There's lots of clubs with fans like that.
When in season 2000-01 Rushden and Diamonds went up as Champions a lot of our fans could not see the wood for the trees. Fact - they were better than us on and off the pitch. Fact - they took three years to go up and now look at them!
We have won the league there is a lot of sorting out to do at Huish Park. Here are some ideas!
The Commercial Department should take over the running of the travel. This should be done through the Football Club @ Nick Slade for that one.
Certain supporters should be transferred to Bath City and Weymouth or be told to buy some modern clothes and a baseball cap! We have enough new family fans now to sit in the Bartletts. Let those who want to stay non-league stay there!
The ground should be cleaned up.
The away end made into executive boxes and seats with away fans in a corner of the Bartletts.
40 –41 WHEELERS WORD
It’s hard not to speculate at times like these. While watching Yeovil’s exhilarating charge towards the Conference title, I’ve also been casting my eye over a few of those clubs we might meet when we get there, and wrestling with one key question:
Do we want masses of other West Country sides in Division Three with us, or do we want as few of them as possible?
At the moment we could be the only West Country side in the Third Division – or we could be one of seven.
For us to be alone, an unlikely of factors would have to coincide: Cheltenham would have to escape relegation from Division Two; Bournemouth and Torquay would have to gain promotion from Division Three (automatically or via the play-offs); Bristol Rovers and Exeter would both have to be relegated to the Conference. Hereford’s chances of making the play-offs are already slim, but they’d have to miss out too.
For us to be one of seven teams, all the above would have to work in reverse.
On one hand I see significant advantages in having plenty of West Country company in the Division. If there were seven teams from the region in the same division that would be a total of 42 separate “West Country derbies” to be played in the season, which would do much to promote the image and cause of football in the region, as well as guaranteeing some good gates.
It might also shake up some of the London-based media and remind them that there is plenty of quality football west of either the M25 or Southampton.
If Torquay and Exeter are both in Division Three, Yeovil fans will enjoy an unusual experience – that of actually travelling West to a League game!
However, if we are literally in “a league of our own”, I think that also has its benefits. Firstly, we might be able to pick up some of the more ‘floating supporters’ from any team which had been relegated, while our promotion should enable us to wake up some of the armchair supporters and encourage them to attend games instead.
On the financial front, if we cannot even break even in the Conference with crowds like we have attracted this season, we will need to bring in many more to help finance being in Division Three. I think we should aim for 5,000 average home gates, boosted by full houses on special occasions. In this respect having some good local derbies would help.
Whatever transpires, I hope Gary Johnson has the freedom and budget to add to the squad as he feels fit. The current players have won the Conference with some ease. As we only had one point after two games and 85 points after 37, they effectively won the thing in just 35 games – no mean feat, but one which counts for precious little if we cannot progress in Division Three.
How many more players might we need? Not many, I believe. The nucleus of the current squad has been together for a couple of seasons and Gary’s eye for a good buy has filled in some of the obvious gaps: Kirk Jackson is the best buy of this season; Gavin Williams was the best buy of the close season. If Adam Stansfield recovers fully from his injury he will add further firepower.
I think too many clubs make too many changes when they are promoted. Living in Leicester, I still remember how Martin O’Neill handled promotion to the Premiership.
He did virtually nothing all summer – the only ‘deal’ done was turning Muzzy Izzet’s long-term loan into a permanent deal. Apparently he told the existing squad that as they had secured promotion to the Premiership they deserved a chance to play in it.
Despite virtually every pundit predicting a swift return to Division One, O’Neill steered them to 9th in the Premiership and won Worthington Cup. Next season most of that promotion winning team played in the UEFA Cup v Athletico Madrid. He did add a few key purchases (Matt Elliott, for instance).
There is a lot to be said for not disrupting a settled squad – particularly a young one which is improving all the time, as ours is. Gary has already proved himself adept at moulding a team and adding judicious purchases to it to make it stronger. I can’t wait to see whether he can repeat that performance next season.
Us Yeovil fans are justifiably proud of Huish Park, roof and all, but apparently it’s not the best stadium in the country. Stadium hopping JON looks at another stadium.
It is rare to find a modern football stadium that has the character and charm that many traditional fans look for on their travels. That strange combination of compact, but intimidating, is almost like a scientific formula that is needed to achieve a great football ground. Fans hate stadiums that are too large, as the void between the fans and the pitch is unbearable. The gaping holes that allow all the singing, noise and passion to escape. At the same time we do not like it when a ground is too small. The idea that rivals can have a larger following could be seen as a sign of weakness or lack of support. There is a stadium that achieves all of these criteria and does it well. Welcome to White Hart Lane, home of Tottenham Hotspur.
With a capacity of just over 36,000, the Lane is not the largest ground in London. In fact, it is not larger than that of rivals Arsenal. However, it is close enough. It may not have the hotel and leisure facilities of Stamford Bridge but it makes up in character. What it lacks in some areas it more than makes up for it in what it is good at, being a damn fine football arena. White Hart Lane is very much like the ‘Tardis’, I do not mean that it disappears on a regular basis and a strange man with a stripy scarf walks out of it. I am talking about what it looks like from the outside in comparison to what is behind the turnstiles. Walking through N17 up the Tottenham High Road you would be hard pushed to spot the stadium before reaching the front door. It is hidden behind the rows of back to backs, kebab houses and fruit and veg shops that line this thoroughfare. It is a true inner city ground, which represents half the charm of White Hart Lane. Playing ‘spot the floodlight’ would be useless here!
Passing the seemingly endless stream of fake merchandise stalls and hot dog vans, it is obvious that there is a vibe in the streets that is lost with the new breed of out of town super stadia (something I loved about Huish). The shoulder to shoulder experience of the converging fans from the side streets is something that many (including myself) miss, but is still very much alive and well in the borough of Haringey. The only way to describe it is a ‘controlled melee’, that initial experience that made going to football so exciting. Then out of nowhere appears a stadium and not a large one at that. For reasons of comparison (for those at the FA Cup 3rd round game) the Lane does not appear as large as the Reebok. This is strange as the capacity of the Lane is over 10,000 more than at Bolton. Maybe it is time to think ‘Tardis’ again! There are no fancy arched roofs, struts jetting out of the stand or a building made mostly of Lego, instead a block, a concrete block. It is a modern concrete block, but a block all the same!
It is through the turnstiles that the true nature of this stadium can be seen. The ground improvements over the years have created a stadium that is built to hold in sound. The roof is the same height all the way around with the corners filled in, which leaves very little room for sound and atmosphere to escape. This feature is put to good use from the outset as Spurs have a fantastic home following. In addition, the view is also great! From the second tier of the South Stand there were no obstructions to my view in the slightest, not even from fans in front. The stand has been built quite steeply to accommodate more fans in a smaller space, which means that seeing over the heads of the people in front is not a problem. The only negative point with lines of sight is in the East Stand (the oldest in the ground), which has two poles holding the roof up in front of many fans. In the other stands a good view should be possible from all seats.
The stadium also encompasses some very modern technology with large Jumbotron screens on the top of the North & South stands. This allows a great view of replays of incidents, which quite often promotes reactions from both sets of fans. Speaking of away fans, they are accommodated in corner between the South and West Stands. With an allocation of 3,000 over two tiers, away fans get a good deal at the Lane.
Travelling to White Hart Lane will certainly take you outside of the London that the majority of us see. Forget the Kings Road of Chelsea, this is a more authentic view of the capital, which is a far cry from the wine bars and bistros of the West Side of the city. To get to the ground from central London, travel northbound on the Victoria Line (or the blue one, if you are like me) to Seven Sisters. At Seven Sisters you have a choice of how to get to the Lane. Take the train or take the bus. I would recommend the train, as it is a 5-minute and 2 stop journey to White Hart Lane. Don’t fall asleep and get to the end of the line because you will end up in Enfield, which I wouldn’t wish on anyone.
Going to watch football at Tottenham will bring back those feelings of why you enjoyed going to start with. The traditional flavour of a match day can still be felt in the streets of N17 from which the club was born. However, do not let this fool you. White Hart Lane is a modern stadium that has captured the essence and feeling of the way it used to be.
44 – YEOVIL TILL I DIE
If you going to write a book about one season then this is as good as any and fan Brendon Owen has done just that. The book called ‘Yeovil Till I die’ is due out at the end of May. OTV asked Brendon for more details.
"I sing, swear, praise, curse, laugh and cry on the rollercoaster that is Yeovil Town. With expectations and adrenalin levels dangerously high this season, there ought to be a health warning printed on my season ticket.
I am that ordinary fan on the terraces, as perceptive as the next guy, but with no special insight into the use of 4-3-3 or 3-5-2, the need for so much horse linament or why players constantly spit.
I have a passion for things green and white; the team, the crowds, the ground, gossip and rumours on Ciderspace, the patch of grass I dug up from the old Huish ground and the flag that flew proudly in my office in the old foe's den, Weymouth."
Friends and colleagues often ask why I support Yeovil. Why bother with them when it is far easier to sit in front of Sky TV and watch the Premiership games live? Cheaper too. Fancy paying £10 to watch non-League. Those who ask have no understanding of the game. TV is fine. I enjoy sitting with a can of beer and watching the prima donnas strut their stuff, but I want the total package.
The feel, the sound, the smell, the mud, frozen feet, icy rain in the face, the sense of belonging to a big extended family who share the same hopes and desires. The wafting smell of coffee and hot-dogs at half time, especially when you haven't brought the money for any. Bumpy old coach trips to God-forsaken places for a 0-0 draw. I want to sing and shout, scream and swear. I want to let myself go. I need the adrenaline rush of the goals. To jump and bounce in total ecstasy, going light-headed and in danger of tumbling over the row of seats in front. To stand up because I love Yeovil when people behind are shouting 'sit down'. To wear my shirt with pride as I walk to the ground. To shiver all the way back again. Live football is wonderful. Non-league football is wonderful, and sometimes everything comes together, and watching Yeovil Town can be one of life's greatest pleasures."
Yeovil 'til I die! is around 40,000 words long with colour photographs and is published on May 30 by First Stone Publishing, price £7.99. Fans can order copies direct from the publisher, post free, and they will be posted to arrive on publication day. We can take orders by post, phone, fax or by email and you can pay by cheque or credit card.
First Stone Publishing, 4/5 Marina Business Park, Lydney, Gloucestershire GL15 5ET.
Phone: 01594 844677 Fax 01594 844249 email: email@example.com
OTV is really looking forward to what should be an excellent insight to a fantastic season. There have been many times this season where we’ve been left finding it hard to put into words what we’ve seen, ‘Yeovil Till I die’ will do just that.
45 – 47 DOWN AT THE BOTTOM
This time last year Stevenage fan ROB HARRISON wrote an article for OTV. A year has passed and the fortunes of the trophy finalists could not be more different. As we have strode to promotion, Boro have tried their best to get relegated ROB tells us what exactly has happened.
They say you’re nobody till somebody loves you. Well, the same is true of wholesale revulsion, and it’s with a strange twinge of pride that I double knot my 1996 ‘champions’ scarf round my neck on a Saturday lunchtime, arrange myself in the mirror, sit down for a sausage roll in front of footy focus – and feel good about supporting THE ORIGINAL reviled Conference club.
2002-3 has been a weird one, alright. When I think back to the Trophy Final last May, I can’t seem to get past the groggy train ride home, regretting the amount I’d had to drink – and so early – on a Sunday morning, and hating everything about it.
Phil Wallace had replaced the stale Paul Fairclough, with untried Wayne Turner. He had steered Boro to said Trophy final with a mixture of luck and very good preparation. As usual we attended the pre-season friendlies with that curious Stevenage brand of massive over-confidence about the season ahead.
How wrong we were.
As I write we’re second bottom, by no means out of the woods, with the non-league equivalent of David Brent as manager, most of his very average Farnborough team and a chairman locked in discussions to try and increase Conference membership next year – and in doing so save his own bacon. You must excuse me if I take this all a little to heart. Just think of me here …drinking away the pain, I must look nice with all sick down me…
Supporting a football team is, as we all know, like marriage. Forgive me here – right now I live in a land of cliché… when things go stale do you take up residence with a new dynamic leggy football club? Do you illicitly attend another team’s games, switch off your mobile and get home late (with the ‘other’ teams programme peaking guiltily out of your coat pocket)? Do you up sticks, confront the failing club, and tell them straight that you are LEAVING, it is OVER, “jeez, I have had ENOUGH of this mediocrity!!”
No. When things go stale we continue to show up. When my club don’t treat me right, don’t give me the lovin’ I need… don’t respect me right Goddamitt, I still turn up week on week. Taking it like a bitch.
This is how it was under Wayne Turner. On the whole SBFC supporters gave him all the support he needed, and Phil Wallace probably timed his dismissal about right. Turner was given till Christmas, we were in the bottom three, and our Boxing Day visit to Kettering ended in a pathetic one-nil defeat at the hands of the bottom club. It was one of those days. I got involved in a blazing row with a fellow fan over the relative merits of psychotic Boro utility man Stuart Fraser. Wayne got the bullet.
The highlight of Turner’s tenure undoubtedly came on Saturday 28th September at Kingfield Stadium, Woking, Surrey. It was at that curious mixture of legoland and court 13 at the All England Club, that a poor Turner team demolished the shakiest defence in Conference living memory. The gangling Sandford was the ‘lynchpin’ of that particular Cards back four. Boro won 5-1. Sandford is now plying his trade on the bins in and around Reigate.
The blind, loyal wife in me ignored what a poor Woking side it was that day, and instead saw the game as some sort of turning point for a stuttering Turner side. The manager had attempted to play his way out of the Conference with a backbone of old pros. Jamie Campbell the old Luton and Barnet centre half was regularly winning a lot in the air ... and nothing on the floor. Scott Houghton, once of Spurs, had already been laughed out of Broadhall Way. There were others. Do I have to go on...?
The visit of Yeovil Town, by now potentially the league’s best side, in September did two things. It showed that Turner’s side could raise it’s game against quality opposition; and it put Kirk Jackson in the shop window. A good performance and 2 goals must have brought him to the attention of Garry Johnson. Indeed, 2 months and 3 goals later he was off to Huish Park for a reported fee of £20,000. A useful striker hindered by the ineptitude of the Boro side. The match was drawn. The trouncing of Woking would come a fortnight later. Then ...Dust.
It’s March now, and Wayne Turner is gone. Hushed tones. “I’m afraid he’s gone.” RIP Wayne. A good man. Shite at football.
After rallying under the honest and resilient stewardship of caretaker manager John Dreyer, Chairman Wallace promised a big name and proven Conference manager. The fans were happy to learn that Jan Molby had applied for vacant manager’s post. The big man had lead Kiddy to the title a few years previously.
On Monday 27 January a rumour started. A stinking horrid rumour, the type that looks absurd until the really reliable people, close to the club, start confirming it – and it isn’t what you wanted to hear, and it’s horrid, horrid, not Jan Molby and his pretty football and success …it’s the Conference’s very own David Brent. Graham Westley. And he’s-a-coming-to Stevenage.
And he’s bringing the F-Team with him. A kind of F-List equivalent of the A-team. Mercenaries, who go where there’s trouble, smoke out the rat and leave as quickly as they came. Farnborough Town lost 7 players to Stevenage Borough FC. In all probability this happened without a single rule being broken. That don’t make it right. But the Wallace and Westley combination operates within the rules, same way Victor Green and Steve Evans didn’t.
So how’s life with G-Dubya? No doubt he’s a friend first, a boss second, and probably even an entertainer third. On first impressions maybe not. Functional, direct and effective, but entertaining? No.
His comments are terrifying in their banality. Prior to the game against Leigh, we have this gem “We are only as good as our last game, and our last game is against Leigh.”
“Destiny will always take over.” G.Westley, Feb 2003.
“I want this team to die out there if they have to, to show the supporters what this club means to them, show these supporters that if you cut my players in half their blood would bleed er… red.” G.Westley projected 10th August 2003.
God Help us.
Westley’s Stevenage side would later scrap their way out of the relegation zone. And on the same weekend that we clinched promotion Boro won their sixth game in a row and moved to 12th in the table.
48 – 49 BIG JIMS STORIES
The legendary BIG JIM once again brings us famous tales from days gone by.
When my wife was having our second child Rebecca, we had a big wedding, that was another Saturday, everything seemed to happen on Saturdays! The wife’s waters broke as she was taking the chicken out of the oven. This must have been about half 6 in the morning, we’d been up the biggest part of the night in preparation, getting things in order. I Took the wife down to the Yeovil General Hospital, a new one not been long opened. The only thing that had been done properly was to make the flower beds ready for some member of the Royal Family to come down and open it. Anyway Paul Smith was walking up the path, course a good back for Yeovil, who’d played well against the Arsenal although unfortunately had conceded one of the goals or was responsible for it. He was a good servant to Yeovil though and there he was walking up the drive with his missus hand in hand I said “where are you going Paul”he says “oh the wife is having a baby” I says “well you’ve two wives to look after now because I’ve got to go and look after the Preston Hotel I’ve got a wedding on” and with that the two girls and Paul went into the Hospital. Later that day, a lot later, the phone rang. It must have been half past 9, 10 o’clock at night and one of my helpers answered and said “it’s for you Jim, it’s the maternity matron at the hospital”. Anyway, I was in the middle of a big round and by the time I’d finished and got to the phone she’d rung off hadn’t she. Course I forgot all about it instead of ringing her back, eventually about a quarter to one in the morning the phone rang again. It was this irate maternity matron, “Are you coming to see your wife and new baby or not? I’m having a busy night here delivering children and you as a father haven’t even bothered to pick the phone up”. Off down the hospital I went in the early hours of the following morning, picked the biggest bunch of flowers from all those laid out in front of the hospital, walked straight past the wife with our newborn down to the bottom of the ward where the matron was and gave her the flowers! Paul Smith was in there with his missus and he says ”what did you give them to matron for” after the ear bashing I’ve took over the phone I can sweeten the wife up but she’s the one that needs sweetening up at the moment. She’s rung me 2 or 3 hours ago I should have been down here at 10 o’clock and it’s now 2 o’clock! That was a laugh.
Time went by…with regard to Paul Smith, I remember when we got Arsenal in the FA Cup and all the build up to it. All the press, Motson and them they wanted to stay with me. but one or two of them of them were hypocrites so I wasn’t going have them there, so they ended up at the Manor Hotel in Town. Anyway, there was a bit of frost on Saturday morning the Arsenal were frightened of it, I reckon as they didn’t want to play it. The following Tuesday we got the game on, gave them a hell of a game, but unfortunately the Yeovil goalkeeper got took out after about 10 minutes. I can’t remember who it was at that particular time, but he was a good keeper. Prior to the game commencing, of course, the crowd was horrendous and all the lad outside. I was helping sell programmes, there was money coming in the tops of people’s socks, pockets were full - we weren’t prepared for a game like that really. Everybody wanted a souvenir programme. When it came into going into the office after about 5 minutes into the game we all wanted to get into the game and watch the football. There was money coming from everywhere it was all on the table, I’ve never seen so much money. The supporters responsible for producing the programme, sat up the night before ,because we didn’t know the previous game was going to called off, stapling the team sheet in the middle of these programmes. There were hundreds after hundreds of them it took us hours in the back room at the Preston. Me, Colin White and some other fella, who I think had something to do with Preston Post office at the time, three staple guns putting this insert into the middle, course we didn’t know it wasn’t going to be used at the time – it was the same programme for the following Tuesday. I don’t know what the result might have been if we’d got them on the Saturday when the going was that little bit trickier, a bit more of a leveller. All good times.
Rest assured that even in Guernsey BIG JIM celebrated our promotion in style. No doubt he will be back with more classic stories next season.
50 – 51 ELECT YEOVIL
JEREMY GEAR held back writing this piece, until the evening of April 5th, hoping that he could report that after some considerable time, Yeovil Town had eventually secured a place within Division Three. Not quite, but very nearly, we are almost there!
2 years ago, we nearly made it, pipped at the post by a strong and battle hardened Rushden side. This was desperately disappointing for us all, but more so for others who missed out on the “so called holy grail” some 30 years previously. A place in the football league was only awarded by winning a poll on votes in those days!
Younger readers probably won’t recall that in the 70’s the only way to progress from the Southern or Northern leagues (no such thing as the conference then) was to be invited into the fourth Division by the members! The majority of those members were already making up the old first, second, third and fourth division (north and south!) So, in a nutshell, winning your league counted for nothing, - your face just had to fit!
Votes were cast for clubs applying for re-election, (those that were perhaps not deemed to be worthy of maintaining a league slot) and for the non-league clubs who felt they deserved to take their place.
In 1973 Yeovil Town collected 14 votes out of a possible 198, Colchester United were the lucky ones with 48, closely followed by Northampton Town (43), Crewe (36) Darlington (26) and then came Yeovil. Kettering and Wigan (12 and 10 respectively) Chelmsford City received 4 votes, Cambridge City, Telford and Nuneaton 1 each, and Barrow, Bedford, Bradford Park Avenue and Worcester were left pointless.
The “Elect Yeovil to the Football league” campaign was similar to that of a political party attempting to obtain office. Apparently a song was written, and car stickers produced. Colin Andrews, then of London, knew nothing of the southern league, but somehow stuck one in his car regardless, and had people asking him “Why Yeovil?” He has supported us ever since and now lives in the area!
John Jeanes, a local boy who was about 15 years old during this time, remembers being gutted after seeing Yeovil lose two trophy semi finals against Telford, and the previous year seeing Hereford secure election to the league, albeit on the back of a Ronny Radford effort versus Newcastle United which got (and still gets) plenty of TV coverage.
A fine booklet was also produced by the club, the then chairman, Mr Ivan B Rendall writes
“ We didn’t quite make it last time, but we had a darned good try”. His introduction continues “ We are solid financially, we own a stadium worth half a million pounds, have an “A” grade ground status, a playing record second to none, consistently good gates, and a large catchment area with no league football”………not much has changed then! He ends his mandate by saying “Please help us make this year the best in the long history of a club in which we have great and, justifiable, pride” Again, not much has changed has it…. It’s just a bit overdue!
Quotes from great football men, such as Don Revie, Derek Dougan, Bob Lord and Ron Saunders all attempt to help our cause, Revie says “ I hate to see any club being voted out of the league, but Yeovil work so hard, and are so progressive, they deserve a chance” Dougan, a Wolves star and chairman of the PFA at the time says “ Eventually the powers that be will recognise a club worthy of being in the league and capable of bringing eminence to it, just as Hereford have done”… ahem….careful Derek!
And lastly, treasurer, our own Bryan Moore says “ We have received an offer for our ground (the old and adorable Huish) and have given a great deal of consideration to moving, we would love a stadium that held 35,000, be capable of extension, and incorporate a training ground, car parks, saunas, squash and tennis courts, restaurants and other facilities”
The last comment in this fantastic booklet reads “ The future is bright for supporters and visiting teams”
Absolutely right it is, but this time we have done it, nearly, by voting with our feet, not by securing it with dodgy votes, the ball is now well and truly in our own court! No sucking up, no party political broadcasts……..we’ve done it on merit………. as I said, the best things come to those who wait, I think we have all waited long enough now, don’t you???
52 –53 END OF TERM REPORT
“Huish Park School has enjoyed an extremely successful year, exam results are the highest ever and as a result the status of the school has changed and it is now one of the top 92 in the Country. This success has been as a result of the hard work of Headteacher Mr Johnson. He has been allowed to make a number of important changes thanks to some excellent work from the Board of Governors led by Mr Watts and Mr Fry. There does still need to be some improvement in the running of one of the PTA’s, a change of leadership is perhaps needed as this is starting to detract from the excellent work of the majority within the group. The Parents have supported the school like never before and this is another important factor of our success. The School is about to enter some new exciting times and hopefully the success can continue”
Chris Weale: Chris started this term with the same confidence that he had before we broke up for the summer holidays. He does get a bit nervous sometimes but his form towards the end of the year has proved he is an extremely talented individual. Needs to speak up more in lessons. Grade: B.
Adam Lockwood: Adam has always been consistent in class and this year is no exception. He has been getting solid marks. Adam was involved a disciplinary matter during a recent school trip in London but that should not detract from a very successful year for the boy. Grade: B+
Terry Skiverton: As head boy, Terry realises that a lot is expected of him from the school. He has done very well to live up to our expectations. Such is his desire to succeed he often hurts himself in the playground, but this hardly affects his performances. Grade: B+
Colin Pluck: Colin’s disciplinary problem is the only trouble we have. He has got a bit of a short fuse that has got him into trouble with the teachers but sometimes this should be considered an assest, which he uses to the schools advantage. We know he is a very good student and He has worked well with his class-mates and they have become a good unit. Grade: B
Roy O’Brien: Roy is a bit of an unsung hero in class assignments and consistently gets good marks from his teachers. He is not always the first to be picked for football in the playground but he is good enough to do the business. Grade: C+
Lee Johnson: Lee gets a bit of stick for being the son of the headteacher, but he is a hard-working pupil. We have been pleased with his progress and despite criticism from some teachers within the school he has really proved the minority wrong with some excellent work when it really matters. Grade: B
Darren Way: We all know Darren is an extremely hard worker who always gives his all to class assignments. This year has been no exception and we have been delighted with his performances. Grade: B+
Nick Crittenden: Nick has shown us in the past that he is capable of great things. He has proved to be a consistent performer and has done well by weighing in with top marks in class. Unfortunately he has suffered in his work in the latter half of the year due to illness, but we fully expect him to return to his high standards in the future. Grade: A-
Michael McIndoe: Michael is another player of enormous potential and has some excellent marks from all his teachers this term. He has impressed Inspectors from outside the School and we expect him to go far. Grade: A
Gavin Williams: Gavin got some good reports from his previous school and has shown why in his days at our school. He has impressed the teachers with his abilities. Grade: A-
Andy Lindegaard: Andy initially struggled to find his feet in the school since arriving from primary school. However since Christmas he has established himself and his energy and persistence is paying off as we reach the end of the year. Grade: C+
Kirk Jackson: Kirk only joined the school in November but has settled in extremely well with the other pupils. He took a couple of classes to get used to our system but he has looked good in class ever since. It is amazing that his potential wasn’t noticeable at his previous school and Kirk has a played a vital role in the success of the School as a whole Grade: B+
Abdelahim El Khloti: Abdul has struggled with the language since arriving from Morocco. Despite this he has made many friends and even has a nickname, ‘Gary’. He also has a great amount of talent and has shown on a number of occasions what he is capable of. Grade: B
Chris Giles: Chris has promised a lot since coming to us from primary school and initially he failed to live up to his potential. He did very well on his work experience placement and it appears to have done him a world of good. He has become more involved towards the end of the year and we hope he gets better and better Grade: C
Kim Grant: As one of the older boys we are pleased Kim has helped the younger boys. He needs to show more of his talent to get a regular place at the front of the class. Grade: D+
Jimmy Aggrey: Jimmy is very quiet in class but when given the opportunity shows he is very good. He has started well but we will see how he does next term if he stays. Grade: C
Kevin Gall: Ignored at his last school and his talents were wasted. Since joining the school Kevin has used the opportunity given to him to really help the School and in so doing proving some people wrong. Kevin has also been on a foreign exchange. Grade: B+
54 – 55 ITS JUST LIKE WATCHING MADRID
The Glovers alongside Real Madrid on the cover of FourFourTwo? Jon Crampin's the man to blame...
Imagine the scene... it's deadline day in the offices of FourFourTwo, Britain's best selling football magazine. The editorial team are slaving over their keyboards trying to come up with ideas for the cover of the next issue. "Alright," says the editor, "we may have Figo, Roberto Carlos, Ronaldo and Zidane, but... it's not enough. Something's missing". Much scratching of heads later and we've cracked it. Bow down to popular demand, give the people what they want - the mighty Glovers! And so, in the March issue of FourFourTwo, Raul, Figo etc play second fiddle to Somerset's Green Madrid. OK, they get their faces on the cover, but it's unmistakeable!
top left corner, Yeovil Town are there too.
For one glorious sunny afternoon in Doncaster, it was just like watching Madrid, and sure, Macca is better than Figo, but how come the twin giants of Yeovil and Real Madrid are sharing top billing in FourFourTwo? I'll come clean. It's my fault. I work for FourFourTwo, and have supported the Glovers for nearly 20 years. I'm the magazine's sub-editor, a job which involves checking spelling and grammar, writing headlines and picture captions... and getting Yeovil Town in the mag as often as possible. That last bit is not strictly in my job description, but it's a role I've taken very seriously in the three years I've been working there.
Take the March issue – the one with Real Madrid on the cover. There's a cracking little article about Yeovil in there (I have to say that, I wrote it!). It's in a feature about West Country football also covering Exeter, Plymouth and Torquay. The piece on the Glovers includes quotes from several well-known names – John Fry, local reporter Steve Sowden (unlike Sky TV we got his name right!) and Ciderspace's own Taff Glover.
And it's not the first time either. For sheer job satisfaction, it'll be difficult to beat putting Nicky Crittenden on the front cover of FourFourTwo's 2001-02 Season Preview – alongside lesser known names such as David Beckham and Henrik Larsson. Asked to pick one player to represent each division, myself and my colleagues had no hesitation in picking out Beckham, Larsson and Clinton Morrison. However, they had to bow to my (unbiased) opinion that our Nick was then the Conference's outstanding player. I sent Nick a copy of that cover via the club, I'd like to think he's got it framed on his wall at home somewhere!
Nicky's not the only one to benefit. Sir Gary Johnson was featured recently in a piece about English managers who have coached abroad. When editing the copy, I allowed my bias to get the better of me. The GJ piece ran under the headline "Today the World, tomorrow... Yeovil!" I'm particularly proud of that one, as it was probably something like my 100th Yeovil reference. Other namechecks for the Glovers have come in articles on Graham Roberts and his, er, illustrious career since he left us, Dave Webb when he left us for "better things", and an interview with my first YTFC hero, John McGinlay.
There could have been more. Remember January 2001, when everything appeared to be going so well? Around then, my editor commissioned me to do a four-page feature on the team's title run-in, due to be published in the summer. Reluctantly I accepted, secretly fearing that we'd blow it. It happened of course, and the feature was never written. It was left to our rivals, the now defunct Total Football to run a similar piece. It went in their May 2001 issue, by which time the line that Yeovil were "running away with their division" looked very hollow indeed.
So, what's it like working for the second best football magazine on the planet, after OTV? Well pretty good actually. I've been sent on 'assignments' to games like Barca v Real, England v Germany, played against a team of 80s stars, and been on the piss with assorted footballers. As a member of the media, I can get into the Huish Park press box (thanks FH!), and it's great being able to talk football all day, then go out in the evening and, er, do exactly the same. And of course, I can always claim that surfing Ciderspace and watching re-runs of the Woking game on Sky, actually count as work.
The question is, how will promotion to the Football League affect FourFourTwo's non-league coverage? Well for me, like everyone else, Division Three will take some getting used to. I'll probably know more about Leigh RMI than Leyton Orient for some while. But all is not lost, one of my colleagues supports Swansea City – currently hovering above the Div Three dropzone. I'm sure he'll enjoy taking over my role as the magazine's non-league correspondent as much as I'll enjoy passing the responsibility over! And you never know, I might still get to write that four-page feature sometime... As they say, watch this space!
56 –57 WE WANT A PUB
We all remember singing, "we want a roof, we want a roof, we want a roof". JAMES CHURCHILL believes that it is time to start singing "we want a bar”
I know I like a pint before the game along with many others so I thought I might take a look at what’s on offer at the moment around Huish Park:
Firstly I drink in the Arrow before the game. But lets face it, it’s not really a football pub is it? I always get the impression that its a reluctant football pub, I wonder if the management got told by the brewery before they took on the premises about the fact that its mobbed on match days...don't get me wrong its a nice pub but lets face it, its for the residents of Abbey Manor isn’t it...not for us lot. You really need someone running it that’s a big Yeovil fan or at least into football. I remember getting there early once for a night game & one of the bar-staff said to her colleague "oh by the way its going to be busy tonight cause there's a football match on" her colleague replied "but how do they see to play in the dark!" The Rushden game in 2000/01 season was the closest it came to it being a real football pub, a handful of Rushden supporters gave it some good humoured chanting which got a tremendous reply by the whole pub- it really felt as though the pub was shaken by an earthquake! but since that game it hasn't really happened.
The Bell on Preston road- if its quiet up the Arrow somebody always says "ahh, thats cos they 'do all' go up the Bell now" but who does and who are they! I don't know anyone that drinks there but there are apparently a few, they also put food on up there (which the Arrow doesn’t do on match days).
Supporters Bar - the words cat and swing instantly spring to my mind, so this should be kept in mind WHEN the new one is designed. All the people I drink with would stop going to the Arrow if there was an adequate sized bar up at the ground.
.........so that started me thinking: where did I used to go and where did all our fathers & grandfather's go when we were at the old Huish right in the town?
I can re-call drinking in the Duke Of York which was re-fitted and called 'Buddys' which always used to be frequented by a lot of fans when Yeovil used to play on Wednesday nights- a quick pint before the game, back up there afterwards for 5 more followed by a trip to Carnaby's (now Dukes) for the £1 entry 'Jeans & Chinos night! with all drinks £1 (bad idea on a week night). Apart from that I can't really reminisce about drinking anywhere else. The supporter's bar was sometimes visited but I never drank there, us getting the full time results was the purpose of the visit.
Years back, three main pubs were near the old Huish ground, all of which are sadly not there anymore. There was the Crown, which later became offices for Bruttons Brewery, the Wellington, where you will now find the aptly named Wellington flats and right opposite the ground you had the Royal Standard which was for some time run by an ex-Yeovil centre back called Nick Collins. All three pubs were apparently always busy on match days. Still busy around this area now...however busy with Tesco trolleys!
I remember going into the Arsenal tavern back in the eighties near Highbury and looking around the walls full of old Arsenal pictures, etc thinking that this was a pub solely providing a service for Arsenal fans...Granted, that was Arsenal but Yeovil could have something similar surely? It doesn’t have to be anything spectacular..........
So, we do...WE WANT A BAR, right outside the turnstiles, nothing special, that opens on match days where you can expect real Yeovil fans behind the bar, where we could watch goals from the last game or the season so far, where we can buy a matchday programme, where we can pick up the 'Glovers' paper, buy the latest ON TO VICTORY, buy luke warm pies, old taped radio recordings of historic Yeovil games being played in the toilets, good beer and for authentic reasons scrumpy cider (how many Yeovil fans actually drink cider?).... hey, come to think of it there's talk of redundancy at my place I might even run it myself!
Ps: I must thank my Dad for the history lesson on the old pubs of Yeovil, if anyone asks my Dad for directions he always gives them via the pubs (ie left at the Rose + Crown straight down past the Kings Arms etc).... additionally, for no extra charge he will tell you the ones to stay out of as well!! Top service!!
58 – 59 END OF SEASON AWARDS
OTV asked its contributors, and those on the forum and the mailing list to vote in the OTV end of season awards. Thanks to everyone that voted. SEB takes a look at the results.
OTV Player of the Season
Winner – Michael McIndoe
Runner up – Darren Way
Take you pick from any member of the squad.
Winner - Halifax (Away)
Runner up - Donny (Away)
Telford (Home and Away)
Leigh RMI (Home)
Winner – Burscough (Home)
Runner up – Both Barnet games.
Forest Green (Away)
Winner - Gavin Williams, v Doncaster (Home).
Runner up - Jackos v Telford (home)
Colin Pluck's Header V Kettering
Maccas at Southport
Macca any game
Winner – The Shay - Halifax
Runner up – Northwhich temporary home at Witton
The Deva Stadium - Chester City's
Twerton Park - Bath
Stonebridge Road - Gravesend and Northfleet
Bucks Head - Telford
Winner – Manor Park - Nuneaton
Runner up – Underhill – Barnet
Edgar Street – Hereford
Deva Satdium – Chester
Winner – Yeovil Town
Runner up - Morecambe
Winner - Kettering.
Runner up – Telford
Best Opposition Player
Winner – Most opposition goalies at Huish Park
Runner up - Shaun Teal (Bursocugh)
Darren Annon (Farnborough Town)
Dave Perkins (Morecombe)
Craig Mawson (Morecambe)
Kirk Jackson (Stevenage)
Greg Blundell (Northwich
Simon Parke (Halifax)
Paul Moore (Telford)
Worst Opposition player
Winner - Bimbo Fatokun
Runner up – Terry Angus
Any Hereford Player
Mark Foran (Telford)
Hanmer (Telford) runs him close
Daryl Clare (Chester)
Ricky Ravenhill (Doncaster)
Jamie Pitman (Hereford,)
Marc Lloyd-Williams (Southport)
Winner – Chester
Runner up – Dagenham and Recbridge
Winner - Dagenham and Recbridge
Runner up – Morecambe
Winner - Scarborough fans singing 'Were gonna win the league'. They were in 6th place at the time.
Runner up – Mark Wright kicking the Donny player up the arse
- The 3rd goal at Doncaster.
- Not at the time, but looking back, Lee Butler losing it at Dorchester, and Westley doing getting kicked out
- The whole of the Boston game was a joke
- Yeovil fans singing ‘Garrrrry’ pre-match at Halifax only for the man himself to turn round and applaud a Yeovil legend ever since.
- The attendance at the Telford game being announced as 7,500!!!!!!!!
- Gary Johnson saying ‘I gave them a carrot and they took it’
- All the "Macca for Scotland" chants. My question: "Would he want to step down in class?"
- George Coogens PR skills too numerous to mention specifically
- Seeing Kim Grant rugby tackle Hereford's mascot to the ground @ Huish park - is it me or is the Jolly Green Giant a bit scary?
Winner – The 1,000 Yeovil fans hearing the full time score coming through from Chester
Runner up - The third goal going in at Halifax deep into stoppage time, it was then that we all started to believe.
- All of the Telford game
- Hiding The Bulls 4-0
- Going 2-0 up at the Bulls within 4 minutes in the trophy.
- Macca opening up the scoring at Telford at home. There was a split second delay as the ball hit the back of the net and then the whole ground erupted.
Winner – The tragic death of top fan Bryan Kynaston
Runner up - Seeing Adam Stansfield carried of on a stretching during the first game of the season.
- Missing the first 3 goals at Telford
- Macca's hair at Halifax
- That penalty at Boston
- Scarboro bully boys including their manager ruining the last 10 minutes of the home match.
Winner – Telford
Runner up - Morecombe.
Winner – Hereford
Runner up – Chester
61 – CHAMP MAN
There are many unanswered questions in the world today. You all know the kind of things: - is Elvis still alive; does “Nessie” exist; what happened to Macca’s hair at Halifax and finally the number one question on everybody’s mind… JON BRIER finds out ‘WHY ARE YEOVIL ALWAYS CRAP ON CHAMPIONSHIP MANAGER?’
It’s always the same, on every bloody version! – To do anything managing Yeovil town, your first job is flogging the entire squad, sacking Thommo and hiring some unknown physio from the Faeroe isles! I.e. starting from scratch. Who writes the bloody program? Mark Wright?
So anyway, Champ man 4 was released in March, and this time it had to be different… I mean surely the champagne football we have been witnessing week in week out could not have gone unnoticed by the researchers? Well, they got the players names right. Also the positions seem correct (I mean the last version had Wazza as a left winger – can you imagine him in combination with Carlo down the right!). Actually while we are on the subject of positions, after watching plucky in action in a nightclub the other week, the researcher should have had no problems finding out his favourite position!!!
So, selecting our heroes and disposing Gary as manager gives us an impressive choice of 1st teamers, reserves, and kids. They are all there, from “Gary” El-Kholti and Jacko to Sam Vine & Luke Buckingham. Unfortunately though all the players (with maybe the odd exception) have only one thing in common… you’ve guessed it… they’re all crap.
I mean, you have to see some of the stats… Gally and Lindy who would probably out do any player over 100 meters have a massive pace of 12 out of 20… Macca has a 9 for crossing (all stats out of 20) Junior’s passing ranks only a 7, Wealey’s reflexes are rated only a 10, and finally Granty’s baldness only comes in at a 6. (OK I may have made one of those up, but you get the picture)
To put this into perspective I checked a few familiar players just to check if it was just that the researcher was a Weymuff fan…
Wazza and Carlos pace: 7 and 5 – how generous?
Mark Wright’s level of discipline 17 – try telling that to any opposition player that goes near him and survives!
Justin Jackson’s finishing: 6 – quite right too
Ben “top bombing” Smith’s passing: 18 – more than twice as good as Johnno!
But wait for this…
Check out Sir Gary of Johnson… discipline 4, determination 7, usage of catch phrases 4 – I mean how wrong can you get!
But anyway, despite all this, I feel it is only my duty to try and get them into the football league, so I will be taking on the challenge and eagerly trying to follow the example set by current manager… watch out Gary!!! So expect a few 90th minute goals from Daryl Bloody Clare and tantrums from Westley along the way.
62 – THE LAST WORD
So this is my final ‘Final Word’ of this season and from the non-league. As you will no doubt agree this season has been nothing less that remarkable and I’m so proud if what we have achieved. Promotion to the Football league is what we have been dreaming of and it has come true. Not only that we have managed it by becoming champions. I’m sure that none of us would have been complaining if we had got promoted from the playoffs, but one part of me says that it wouldn’t have been right. We have a long history as a non-league club and we have battled for so many years to be promoted by election or via the one spot in the conference, so the playoffs would not have been to the plan.
So I suppose it is a case of looking at what happens now, the celebrations and the preparations for the new chapter in our clubs history. In celebrating our success I have had mixed feelings on the club decision to ban pitch invasions, something that has been a long-standing tradition. I personally remeber being on the pitch on the joyous night that we beat Fulham in the FA Cup with that late winner from Andy Wallace and I remember what a wonderful feeling it was. However my views have changed on this subject. While I would love this celebration to be possible, the ramifications certainly out weigh the buzz and the rush. Our wonderful pitch has been a major part of our success and if by invading the pitch this will be damaged, I will not be climbing over the wall. I would hate a seen of stewards racing round trying to get people off the pitch while SKY’s cameras are watching. It is a recipe for disaster!
On the flip side of the coin the celebrations around the town will be marvellous. A night out that Yeovil will never forget (or may be for a few of us!). This success is something that the whole town can be proud of. While I may be an exile from Yeovil, I always want the best for the place that I will always call ‘home’. Winning this championship will not propel us into city status, but it will raise the positive profile for our town, which is never a bad thing. It will be amazing how many more people will know of our town just by the fact that well will be in the football league and it is more likely for people to hear our results.
So on to next season, how will we fair? While I’m not Mystic Meg, I am confident that Gary Johnson will be able to keep us in the surroundings that we will soon be finding ourselves. The excitement of new away days is already bringing a smile to my face. The potential of Hull City’s and Darlington’s new stadiums means that we could be in the lap on luxury on our travels not to mention may be a trip to Huddersfield Town’s McAlpine! Also the thought of trips closer to home like Exeter or the fallen Bristol Rovers may be an option for the Glovers. Lets be honest anything has to be better than Forest Green on Boxing Day. However while under GJ’s guidance we have seal promotion ‘early doors’ our new friends in the football league are still deciding who we will be playing. So keep your eyes peeled to the scores from the 2nd & 3rd Divisions and all will be revealed in time.
Well this is it, our final issue of our greatest season! From Seb and myself, I would like to thank the club , the players and Gary Johnson himself for the support of OTV. Most of all we would like to thank you the readers for making it all possible. We will be back next season.