Posts

Showing posts from August, 2020

Light at the End of the Tunnel (for some)

Image
It's been 24 weeks and counting since County’s last league game and the drought continues. Covid-19 has devastated the game as we know it and many clubs are under increased financial pressure just to survive into next season. In terms of the game itself, we have made progress since the game collapsed in mid-March amid a wave of positive cases. The National League play offs were completed, FA Cup dates and play off dates for the upcoming season have been pencilled in and we have a proposed start date of 3rd October. Closer to home, we have had three pre-season games streamed on YouTube and the club have certainly not let something like a pandemic get in the way of progress at EP, but more of that in my season preview article next month.
No matter how you look at it though we have collectively been starved of real football for too long, the bittersweet ‘3rd October’ carrot dangled in front of us has prolonged the famine and it led to some odd outbursts of contempt directed towards th…

Stewards

Image
Working as a steward at a football ground is a thankless task. It’s true that you could be stood within sight of the pitch and be paid to watch the game but equally, you could be guarding a locked exit below the stand and have to guess what’s happening out on the pitch, not seeing a soul until the final whistle goes. Worse still, you could find yourself waddling across the pitch in the wake of a meathead full of beer and bravado who has something urgent to explain to the away team’s centre forward. Even worse, you may end up caught between sets of rival supporters and getting roughed up by both sides. No wonder then that the job attracts a mixture of people; some take it seriously, some just do their time and take the money and some see it as an opportunity to make life as awkward as possible for anyone they come across. Here’s a quick guide to some of the variations on the theme that I’ve met over the last couple of seasons.

Dover Athletic.

Things might have been simpler if we’d played…

City, City What's the Score? by @cheadle_ender

The title of this may seem a little juvenile but believe it or not, Stockport County once produced an official DVD sold in the club shop by the same name. In hindsight, it was worthy of release considering where City are now.

Between 1997 and 2002, the five seasons that County played in the second tier of English football, they played Manchester City in six league games, winning three, drawing two and losing just once. All of them played in packed grounds with electric atmospheres.

City famously have a huge fan base in Stockport and some of them, still to this day, claim they saved County from extinction in the 80s by turning up to Friday night games at Edgeley Park to help their local team. Their reaction to these six games now would be of scorn and dismissal but let me tell you, they hated it at the time. We got right under their skin whether they admit it or not.

Here are some of my memories of those pulsating encounters.



November 29th 1997

Stockport County 3 Manchester City 1



This was t…

Danny Bergara and the 'Friendly' Football Club

Image
I massively enjoyed the first article I wrote about Danny Bergara, researching the piece was a delightful trip down memory lane and re-kindled some wonderful emotions. A big thank you to everyone who took the time to read and comment on it, it’s very much appreciated. I did, however, purposely leave out the details of his dismissal from County as I wanted to focus on the positives and the enormous turnaround he helped to perform at EP. It wasn’t my intention to merely gloss over this in a flippant or vague manner, but it was pointed out that maybe I was doing him a disservice because what happened to him was grossly unfair and that a second article could be written to tell the story.This article isn’t intended to drag up the past, to air dirty laundry in public or to start a witch hunt. As I said in my first piece, the information about Danny’s dismissal and subsequent court case are out there and have been for many years, but 25 years have passed since Bergara left and there is a gen…

1996/97 by @cheadle_ender

A guest writing appearance from @cheadle_ender on Twitter, reviewing the magical League Cup run from 1996/97.
---------------

96/97 - numbers that roll off the tongue for a lot of County fans. Depending on your age, you will view that era in British culture differently. Often sneered at by the older generation (wasn’t as good as the 60s and 70s apparently). If you were yet to be born or a young child at that time, you’re probably sick of hearing about it from your Dad or brother  and wonder what the fuss was all about. 
The 90s began with Italia 90, Gazza, tears, The Stone Roses. It moved into the glitz and glamour of the Premier League, Graham Taylor’s comedy England team, closely followed by Euro 96, Oasis, Brit Pop, Trainspotting, Tarantino, Fantasy football, Skinner and Baddiel, new Labour and err, the Spice Girls. It was a glorious time to be young and alive. Whatever your view of it, one thing is indisputable, it’s also the most glorious decade in the history of Stockport County.  T…

Danny Bergara - The Godfather of Modern-day County

Image
25th July 2007, I was shirking off work about 100 yards from my office, in Alexandra Park, Moss Side, just sat on a bench, watching the world go by in the afternoon sunshine when a text message came through to my phone. It was from my mate telling me the sad news that Danny Bergara had passed away. Naturally, I was shocked and for some reason, upset. I tried to work out why. I didn’t know him, I only met him a couple of times when the team returned from Wembley and did their appearance in the Main Stand. He hadn’t been County’s manager for over 12 years and even his successor had moved on by then. So why was I upset? Simply, Danny was the reason I call myself a County fan, he was responsible for so many great adolescent memories, he was responsible for giving Stockport County back their pride and purpose and now part of that illustrious era had now gone. 
Danny’s early story is well known, he had a decent playing career in Spain for Real Mallorca, Sevilla and Tenerife. Then when he mov…