Thursday, 31 October 2013

Budapest Football Stadiums

A weekend in Budapest meant I was able to visit a number of Hungarian football stadiums, but only get one match in! Better planning would enable most Football fans to get at least 3 games in and maybe more- cheap metro, trams and trolley buses and a small City means you can visit a number of grounds in a short time - well worth a visit and the city has much more to offer than football and cheap beer- but they are two good reasons to visit the Hungarian capitol on the Danube River.

BKV Elore - Sport Utcai Stadium

MTK Budapest - Hidegkuti Nandor Stadium (Escape to Victory)

Ferenc Puskas - Nep Stadium

Ferencvaros - Albert Stadium

Vasas FC - Illovszky Rudolf Stadium

Vasas II - Meszoly Kalman Palya

Angyalfoldi Sport Club

Iharos Sandor Margitszigeti Athletics Club

Nepfurdo Utca - Electric Company

Closer than the two Dundee clubs- the Tram track Budapest rivals

Sunday 27 October 2013 , BKV Elore v Gyori ETO II, Hungarian Third Division at Sport Utcai Stadium

A visit to Budapest, with the hope of watching a game at the MTK ground - where the famous (Pele and Ipswich dominated) match in the war film 'Escape to Victory' was played/filmed. But their game was moved to Friday night but I did manage to watch a third division game at their neighbours, BKV Elore- that close that only a tram track divides them! BKV seem to be the Tram workers official works team and were formerly called - Budapest City Unified Railway Association (BEVVE)

The main stand is great to sit in, i say the main stand it is the only stand! The back of the stand can even be seen in the 'Escape to Victory' film.

A small crowd and a defeat to the Reserve team of Gyori ETO- Quickly realised it was a Reserve team when the lowest shirt number on view was 32 with keeper 84. But a nice sunny day, a beer and like the locals a packet of sunflower seeds. About 150 at the game, wondered if any of the older fans had been next door at the MTK Ground when Pele scored with a bicycle kick?

Trams and footballers

Above, the main stand and below the view of the MTK Ground from it:

The back of the stand and the tramline/street that divides the two clubs

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Grim up North

Saturday 19 October 2013, Ipswich Town 0 Burnley 1, Championship - Portman Road

Might be grim up north but they know how to grind a result out!

And England Came to Portman Road

Tuesday 15 October 2013, England U21 5 Lithuania U21 0, Euro 2015 qualifying group - Portman Road

The crowd came, were entertained, Englnad won and then to top it off, Wilfried Zaha and Ravel Morrison had a little spat!

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Playing to the whistle

Saturday 12 October 2013, Halstead Town 2 March Town United 1, Thurlow Nunn Division One - Rosemary Lane

Malcolm Root is an Essex born, artist who specialises in painting steam trains, and many are set in scenes close to his Colchester home. Behind the bar at Halstead Town is a large print of one of his pictures - not one his more well know prints. So why on display at Rosemary Lane? the reason is the ground acts as the backdrop to the steam train - the painting is titles 'Playing to the whistle'

Hard to find a good copy of the print on the internet, but the painting has been used for Christmas Cards and more well known as the scene for a 1,00 piece jigsaw.

Take a visit to Rosemary Lane, a giant non-league stand - sit in it and you can almost imagine that steam train slowing down as it passes the ground so the driver can see how Halstead are getting on.

Getting back to the match - both teams attempted to play football and Halstead had some very young and skilful players (mainly out wide) but also a carthorse up front (but he did score both Halstead goals!) I think Halstead will find it harder as the season goes on as their pitch is certainly not one of the best - making it harder to stick to their passing game.

The Programme shop, damp, dark but full of great reminders of local football

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Oldest football grandstand in England?

Saturday 5 October 2013, Great Yarmouth 1 Haverhill Borough 0 - Thurlow Nunn Division 1, Wellesley Recreation Ground

Late arrival, meant no programme but that disappointment was made up for by an entertaining match, mild October weather (only 50 metres from the North Sea) and most of all - the picturesque ground and in particular the fantastic grandstand.

Not a fan of grounds with athletic tracks round them - Ilford, the Withdean being two which were not fan friendly but Yarmouth get away with it because of the surrounding buildings, the low stand on the far side and the grandstand - opened in June 1892, and possibly the oldest grandstand in England, if not the UK or the World.

Now there is a danger of saving stands because of their historical importance but making it too expensive for the club to use the stand - there has been a time where Yarmouth could not use the stand because of the risk of fire but money has been spent and the stand modernised for use but keeping that Victorian feel - it should be a 'must visit' for any sports ground historian.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

8 goal thriller or defensive disaster?

Tuesday 1 October 2013, Derby County 4 Ipswich Town 4, Championship - Pride Park

Only Ipswich can go from 4-1 up at half time to hanging on for a point at 90 minutes! Who would be a football fan?