One of the things that a number of people of my vintage share is the fact that back in the sixties and seventies, when we were too young to follow the Arsenal (or, God forbid, anybody else!) to the far-flung corners of England there was usually a decent non-league side to follow.
The Isthmian League covered a vast swathe of the south-east and I had the good fortune to witness some of the top non-league sides of the day at Wycombe’s old Loakes Park ground. Dave Roberts was from as far east of London as I was west, and followed Bromley. He has recorded his recollections of the 1969-70 season in his book, ‘The Bromley Boys’.
He had the nasty end of the stick. While I was watching Wycombe challenging the all-powerful Enfield side for the League title poor old Dave was following Bromley around in their doomed bid to finish above Corinthian Casuals at the foot of the table.
Luckily for him, Dave recalls that one of his schoolmates was an Arsenal fan and the two went to Highbury to see Arsenal defeat Burnley 3-2. The ‘sea of sheepskin’ he witnessed that day was to lead to him receiving a C&A car coat for Christmas. Ah, parents and their presents. I was luckier than him there too. My ‘crombie’ came from Burtons! I’d forgotten monkey boots too.
Anyway, if you want to know the emotions involved in following what is described on the front cover as ‘the worst football team in Britain’ then I can recommend this book to you. Published by Anova Books, The Bromley Boys is available through Amazon at just over a fiver if you search around. I can also confirm that decent High Street bookshops are carrying it as well if you are looking for a last minute gift.
Thanks Dave, for stirring a few fond memories.
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