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December 2020

Thanks Gran

Loved the pink rose

Scented bubble bath and

Perfume, shame you forgot I’m your



by Paul Cookson



Wednesday 2nd December 2020

Mid-Season Friendly

Lakenheath 1

Josh James 25,

Linton Granta 1

A Palmer 53,

Referee:- Ade Copsey Attendance:- 54

Admission:- £2.00. Programme:- NONE

Two teams, each with an iconic ground – Linton Granta, straight out of “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe” and The Nest, home of Lakenheath, shoehorned into a derelict quarry with a ghostly galleon of a moon adding slight lustre to the floodlights. The hosts scored in the first half and Granta equalised shortly after the break. Good match, with John Main and Simon Langston.


Saturday 5th December 2020

Cherry Red Records Combined Counties League Premier Division

Camberley Town 1

James Baxter 9,

Badshot Lea 3

Nick Medcraft 28, Adam New 38, Billy Upton 50,

Referee:- Callum Edgecombe Attendance:- 109

Admission:- £7.00 Programme:- NONE

A very enjoyable lunch at “The Crabtree’, maybe half a mile or so from the ground on the main road (Camberley Town’s ground is squeezed into an industrial site between two factories). The ground was pleasant, with a seated stand for, perhaps, 100 souls and cover behind one goal. Met Mark Sumner (he of the uncut hair!) and we watched a fairly regulation victory for the visitors.

I’d just recently got new spectacles and for some reason, I’d agreed to have them turn into ‘sun specs’ when the sun shone (not that I ever wear sun specs!).


Monday 7th December 2020

It was a chit billy this morning as we set out along the farm track, there was a gloomy, grey shroud across the countryside and the ice covered grass and hedge row sparkled in the desolate landscape. We walked down the hill into Shotley and onwards to Harringworth and The Church of St John The Baptist, with an exquisite cobweb at the gate. The viaduct looms high over the village, whilst all around was waterlogged and barely passable, but the teasel glinted like Christmas lights. The parish church of Seaton All Hallows was barely visible as we entered the village, but later, the stub spire of St Andrews was more easily seen on the entry to Lyddington where a japonica bush with a harvest of quince, blossomed by the green. The road to Gretton showed recent signs of flooding and the weir was pretty high, but the ice was fast disappearing and the ground had lost its metallic crunch as we arrived back in the village. With Alison Merricks and Norma Jarvis, five stiles and 11.9 miles.

Harringworth Parish Church

A silvery web at the gateway to Harringworth Parish Church

Heavy flooding in The Welland Valley

Frozen Teasels

Seaton Parish Church hides in the gloom

Lyddington Parish Church

Japonica with a harvest of quince

Gretton Weir


Tuesday 8th December 2020

Thurlow Nunn Eastern Counties League Premier Division

FC Clacton 2

Kevin Coyle 48, Mekhi McKenzie 54,

Walsham-le-Willows 2

Matt Collins 26, 82,

Referee:- Stephen Tymms. Attendance:- 84

Admission:- OMGDS £4.00 (£7). Programme:- £1.20

On a very cold evening with the frost silvering the grass at Austin Park, these two teams played out an entertaining encounter and a draw was a fair result. The visitors led at the interval, but were behind for most of the second half after two early second half strikes by the hosts. They drew level with a goal seven minutes from time. Quaint ground with small amounts of cover on three sides and seating for maybe a hundred spectators. With John Main.



Wednesday 9th December 2020

Uhlsports United Counties League Premier Division

Northampton ON Cheneks 2

Matty Reek 6, Lewis Irwin 55,

Quorn 3

Deaghan O’Hare 19, Stephen Hart 49, 69,

Referee:- Stuart Lathan. Attendance:- 73

Admission:- OMGDS £4.00 (£6). Programme:- £1.00

Not quite so cold as last night, but the difference was negligible! ON’s ground is really only two sided with the other two sides a part of the cricket field and the two covered areas are seriously hampered by the dug-outs which restrict vision. Tonight, they were hunted down by a superior Quorn team, but never gave up and a goal always seemed likely against Quorn’s porous defence, and the hosts helped themselves to two!


Thursday 10th December 2020

Graeme Askham passed away last night after a long battle with illness.He was a very keen football enthusiast, meticulously recording every aspect of each contest. He loved his games, trips and hops, enjoying a wide circle of friends and acquaintances through the matches he attended.He leaves behind, his wife, Rose, and three daughters.He will be very sadly missed.

  • Joanna Baroudi RIP, condolences to his family, friends and all his groundhopping family 
  • Peter Evans RIP Graham 
  • Robyn Reade He was a lovely lovely man. So sorry Eddie. May he rest in peace.
  • John Main Such a shock to hear this, this morning Eddie . RIP Graeme Chris Bedford Really sad news Eddie. He was always a pleasure to meet up with at a match. I first got to know Graeme while watching the Ashbourne-based Summer League many years ago. RIP Graeme
  • Chris Berezai Really sad news, he’ll be much missed. I remember that our first trip out together was with Laurence Reade to Glossop, we barely knew each other at that point but soon became firm friends. One of the funniest days was when I took Graeme to Witton Albion in my recently-acquired Jaguar. we arrived early and when I asked the man on the gate where we could park he seemed to make the assumption that Graeme was the visiting club Chairman and I was his chauffeur!! We didn’t argue, we had the best parking spot in the ground…! So many great memories, day trips to Scotland and other random places across the length and breadth of the UK, stopping at Chinese takeaways in far flung villages just to pick up a menu for Graeme’s collection, and of course his wedding to Rose. It’s a very sad day, RIP mate. 
  • Paul Splodge Proctor Sorry to hear. Thoughts & condolences to family and friends
  • Laurence Reade Rest in peace to a lovely man and condolences to Rose and his family. It was an honour to attend his wedding, and even more so when our little adventure on the German/ Czech border made it into the Groom’s speech. I’m not sure Rose would quite approve but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to pass a Chinese takeaway and not think of Graeme! Just a wonderful man who will be sorely missed.
  • John Hague Really sad news Eddie. I think the last time I saw Graeme was at Rugby Town. 
  • Chris Roberts Oh no! This is terrible news. Sleep well Graham. A terrific chap sadly lost. 
  • Chris Roberts
  • Dan Brown
  • Peter Miles Nice words Eddie I know you and he were great friends. A really decent guy, this is very sad news indeed.
  • Daniel Storey Very sad news indeed, Eddie. Hopefully he is now in peace hopping away up there with others we have lost.
  • Nick Willis Sorry to see that. He was a lovely bloke. Rest in Peace Graeme
  • Nigel Askham Lovely to read all the nice comments. Big bro was one of a kind! He’s going to be sorely missed by us all. Special thanks to Eddie who has been a real rock in his life and brought him so much enjoyment with their little football jaunts. I just know he’s up there now trying out the Heaven Footie Groundhopper app RIP big bro and thanks again to all his ‘hopper family’.
  • John Higgins – Nigel Askham Great loss Nigel. He suffered so much yet was always pleased to see you. Very sad I won’t get some post-lockdown time with him. The first tine we met we shared a room in Bridgend. He warned me about his snoring but it never happened and he was so easy to share with – very upsetting. Best wishes to you all.
  • Jackieboy Coys A real shock to hear this. A lovely man and fellow Spurs supporter, I remember with fondness out hopping jaunts around the country and especially those in Holland with Eddie McGeown. Condolences to Rose and the family, RIP Graeme and an honour to have had you as a friend.
  • Graeme Holmes RIP Graeme – enjoyed the games we were at together and condolences to his family and friends. 
  • Craig Dabbs Very sad news indeed, I always enjoyed Graeme’s company when we were out and about. My sincere condolences to his family. RIP Graeme.
  • Alan Moore Very sorry to hear this sad news.
  • Dave Philipson Very sad to hear this, a really good bloke. Thoughts are with his family and friends. He will be sorely missed in the groundhopping fraternity. RIP Graeme.
  • John Lord Lovely words Eddie. I know you were good friends. A lovely man whom I had the pleasure of meeting on my brief “hopping” experiences. 
  • Peter Leavis RIP Graeme. 
  • Mike McGeown Such sad news and such a great bloke. A wonderfully dry humoured man who took such good care of my Freddie when out on football jaunts with his grandad Ed and Greame. Rest well
  • Rebecca McGeown Freddie was a huge fan of Graeme! He always had so much time for Freddie. Fred would always share their antics on football trips!! My thoughts are with his family and friends
  • Aman Singh Sad news. I only met him a few times on our annual footy trips but he was a nice guy to chat with… RIP
  • Beth Miller So sorry to hear this. Really sad news. Thinking of you and all of Graeme’s friends and family
  • Rob Waite Very sad news 
  • Peter Franks Sad news, lovely man, glad I had pleasure to have met him on numerous occasions
  • Rachel Askham Thank you to all for the lovely comments about my dad. He will be greatly missed
  • Harvey LawlessWhat awfully sad news. We played football and cricket together for a few years when he was teaching in Finchley. We were still in contact on Facebook. Lovely man and will be very missed
  • Lloyd Baines-davies Lovely tribute Eddie RIP
  • David Dickie RIP Graeme x


Saturday 12th December 2020

Cherry Red Records Combined Counties League Division 1

Eversley & California 1

Paras Gill 38,

Epsom & Ewell 2

Luke Miller 25, Jordan Martin 63,

Referee:- Gareth Mays. Attendance:- 54

Admission :- OMGDS £3.00 (£6). Programme:- £1.50

Not a great deal to say about Eversley Cross, a difficult, very pot holed approach, a long muddy walk from car park to ground and a couple of tiny meccano structures – one of which held maybe 50 seats – was all there was of the sparse accommodation at this ground! Good game, though, the better side won and the hosts had a player rightly dismissed for two bookable offences. With grandson, Freddie and Jonny Crane and Mark Sumner.

In the far field beyond the pitch, there was a swamp and warnings all round not to enter!

Freddie Arthur McGeown

Jonny Crane from Bagshot

Mark Sumner, Eddie McGeown and Jonny Crane


Tuesday 15th December 2020

Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division

Biggleswade United 4

Jordan Wright 21, Ethan Flanagan 31, Charlie Clayton 51, Dan Parkinson 84,

Harpenden Town 1

Ryan Plowright 18,

Referee:- Daniel Jones. Attendance:- 83

Admission:- OMGDS £3.00 (£6). Programme:- on line

Second Meadow, Biggleswade United’s neat little stadium hosted a fast and furious top of the table clash this evening and it was the visitors who opened the scoring in the 18th minute, but by half time, the hosts were in front. Further second half goals ensured victory and they could even afford to squander a penalty.


Wednesday 16th December 2020

Uhlsport United Counties League Premier Division

Northampton ON Chenecks 2

Dean Lukeman 11, Sam Watkins 61,

Ross Garlick s/o 34,

Rothwell Corinthians 1

Kalon Peniasko 75,

Kalon Peniasko s/o 84

Referee:- Michael Dunkley. Attendance:- 68

Admission:- £6.00. Programme:- £1.00

Deja-vu!! On Saturday, the visiting goalkeeper punched a spectator and the game was abandoned. This evening, a spectator entered the field of play and grappled with a player for the ball! The referee sent all the players to the dressing rooms, but ten minutes later recommenced the last thirteen minutes of the match. Two players dismissed, but it wasn’t a dirty match. Weak refereeing!

Liam McGeown and Freddie McGeown


Saturday 19th December 2020

Buildbase FA Vase 3rd Round

Mulbarton Wanderers 1

Ben Jones 84,

Ampthill Town 0

Referee:- Adrian George. Attendance:-101

Admission:- OMGDS £3.00 (£6). Programme:- F.O.C.

After a fine repast in the local hostelry: “The End of the World”, I repaired to meet up with John Main at Mulberry Park. The ground has hard standing on two sides and a covered stand for, perhaps, 50 souls. The match was a dour affair with the visitors determined to give nothing away and picking up four bookings and a second half dismissal in their attempt to keep the game goalless. The hosts were the superior team and won with a strike just six minutes from time!


Monday 21st December 2020

Pitching-in Southern League Red Recruitment Cup 1st Round

Redditch United 1

Jordan Clement 78,

Alvechurch 2

Tyrell Harmiston 12, James Spray 25,

Referee:- Neil Pratt. Attendance:- 405

Admission:- OMGDS £7.00 (£11). Programme:- on line

Redditch’s distinctive cantilever style main stand dominates the ground, but there is cover on three sides and seats along each length. There is a slight slope on the 3G pitch and in the first half, the visitors took full advantage and two goals. In the second half, they hung on comfortably until the last ten minutes when the hosts scored and rained a concerted attack which couldn’t quite produce the equaliser!


Tuesday 22nd December 2020

On a grey, but mild and dry day, the walk down to Gretton Weir showed just how much precipitation we have endured over the past few days. The Welland was very high and the surrounding fields were sodden. The trackbed of the former railway line from Market Harborough to Stamford and Peterborough, stretched away straight and level and the church of Saint Andrew dominated the village of Lyddington. On the way to Thorpe by Water, Gretton was clearly visible across the valley, but the church tower of St James was a more welcome sight on the road back to the village! No stiles and 6.4 miles.

Gretton Weir

The track bed of the former Rugby to Peterborough and Stamford (and Uppingham) Railway Line

Lyddington with the parish church of St Andrew in the background.

Gretton, seen from across The Welland Valley

The parish church of St James, Gretton


Boxing Day Saturday 26th December 2020

North West Counties League Premier Division

Avro 5

Liam Ellis 4, Kyle Jacobs 7, Joe Rathbone 40, Martin Pilkington 68,

Oumar Camara 71,

Irlam 0

Referee:- Timothy Eagles. Official Attendance:- 150

Admission:- OMGDS £3.00 (£6). Programme:- £2.00

The attendance owed more to political correctness than accuracy, but under grey skies and on a 3G surface with the threatening rain arriving twenty minutes from the end, there was no doubting the winners of this entertaining tussle as the hosts swept in two goals in the first ten minutes and increased their lead regularly, despite spurning several worthy opportunities. By the final whistle, the visitors had been thoroughly thrashed!


Monday 28th December 2020

Abacus Lighting Central Midlands League

Black Dragon Premier Division South

Rowsley 86 3

Noah Evans 3, Dan Gilbride 12, Andy Roome 88,

Holbrook St Michael’s 2

Joel Cain 11, Joe Kay (og) 32,

Referee:- Andrew Whittingham. Attendance:- 95

Admission:- £3.00. Programme:- NONE

At the top layer of The Central Midlands League, this ground was hardly any improvement on an arena in The Ashbourne Summer League! There was a pavilion and changing rooms (which served tea and coffee, crisps and chocolate) and then a fifty metre walk across a muddy field to the pitch. On a freezing cold day, however, this game was a cracker. Three goals in the first twelve minutes and all square at 2-2 by half-time, the winning goal came two minutes from time. The hosts deserved their success and the points.


Wednesday 30th December 2020

Abacus Lighting Central Midlands League

Black Dragon North Premier Division

Thorne Colliery 3

Danny Bolton 33, Danny Gibbons 81, Matt Gains 88,

Renishaw Rangers 0

Referee:- Jamie O’Connor. Attendance:- 139

Admission:- £3.00. Programme:- £2.00

On a bitterly cold evening, The Welfare Ground at Moorends was a pretty impressive stadium – particularly when compared with Monday’s match at Rowsley 86 and especially as they are both members of The CML Premier Division! Tonight’s teams are marooned in the lower reaches of their division but it was the hosts who were eventually victorious with two goals in the final ten minutes to stamp a vista of authority on their performance against a side lacking any real threat on goal.


Thursday 31st December 2020

A walk from Oakley Vale on a crisp crunchy, icy surface to Little Oakley and onwards across field and bridle path to Newton Field Centre (a former church) and then to Great Oakley and a return in softening surface and deep mud to Oakley Vale. One stile and 6.13 miles with grandson, Freddie.


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