About Sport & Beer

Sport & Beer is a blog...just for fun.... with an emphasis on sports (football and ice hockey) and, well...beer!

My football adventure started one Saturday afternoon back in April 1993 when my dad deciced to take me to Bloomfield Road to watch my hometown club Blackpool take on Stockport County. Blackpool won 2-0 but my memory from this day was club legend and then manager Billy Ayre grabbing me from the west paddock and taking me on the pitch during the warm ups. I'll never forget that moment and I was hooked from then on. I was at Bloomfield Road for the following home game, the last of the season against Port Vale. I remember being terrified of the Port Vale fans as they completely filled the entire spion kop end and their noise was deafening! Still, it didn't put me off and a few weeks later I experienced my first away match at Turf Moor, Burnley in the Marsden Lancashire Cup.

A few days before the 1993-1994 season I became a season ticket holder (£1 'Tangerine Gang' season ticket for the east paddock). I was a regular visitor at Bloomfield Road back then but it wasn't cool to say you were a Blackpool fan at school so I always insisted I was a supporter of Blackburn Rovers and that Blackpool were my second team. My interest in football started towards the end of primary school when Rovers had just been taken over by Jack Walker and were flying. I had all the posters on my wall from match magazine and aside from a tangerine clad David Eyres (Judas) my wall was blue and white. I experienced the premier league win and basked in the glory at school but I never had the chance to experience a live Rovers match. Obviously I wasn't allowed to travel to Blackburn (I wasn't even allowed to go to Blackpool night games until I was 13!). I followed Blackpool with a good group of lads and as I got older I started travelling the country watching them play. Scunthorpe on a Tuesday night? An early Saturday morning train to Brentford? No problem. We were there. The tangerine army! My last ever Blackpool match was an LDV Vans trophy win at the Millenium stadium, Cardiff in March 2002. What a day! It might seem strange to some that I just cut them out but to me they were never 'my club'. I had great times and I would say visited some great grounds I would never have had the opportunity to as a Blackburn fan...but we all know how that's turned out.

A few weeks after that final I got my first car and the Ewood opportunities were finally open to me. I got my first Rovers season ticket and followed them home, away and abroad (well...in Washington DC and Dublin for friendlies rather than European competition) until I moved to the Czech Republic in 2006. I did have season ticket in 2009-2010 but this was purely to ensure I had a ticket for the derby as Burnley had been promoted to the premier league. One match for £250 but it was definitely worth it.

I now consider my teams to be Blackburn Rovers and Sparta Prague (I've been a season ticket holder at Letna since 2008) but in recent years I've also started to enjoy going to games as a neutral. I always enjoyed away games for Rovers (and Blackpool) more than home games. I loved visiting different stadiums and my only regret is that I missed out on the beer side of things in England as I was always driving or too young. Since moving to the Czech Republic I've widened my scope and visited matches not only across this great country but neighbouring countries too. I've had so many good experiences and met some great people and I thought I should start keeping pictures and taking some notes on the trips. So here we are. I'm not going to go into the past so it's a clean slate from 2018. It's a shame because I've done quite a lot of grounds in the Czech Republic (plus I'm about two thirds through the 92!) but I can't remember enough and the photos are all over the place so I'll just have to visit them all again. It never occured to me that going to non-league games in a Czech village on a Sunday morning, eating sausage and drinking beer could be a hobby. It is and it's brilliant!

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