Hayward and his kind – a breed that’s all but disappeared

Wolves fans recently bid farewell to Jack Hayward, the local businessman who rescued the club he supported as a boy and helped to lift out of the mire. Hayward, who died aged 91, represented the old type of club chairman and benefactor, the local man who wanted to put something back into the institution that captured his imagination in his youth. There have been plenty of them in football down the years – Jack Walker at Blackburn and Burnley’s Bob Lord spring to mind. And there are others who helped prop-up ailing clubs in their time of need – Ken … Continue reading Hayward and his kind – a breed that’s all but disappeared

Calling in on….Ipswich Town – in need of more Suffolk punch

Anyone who grew up in an era when Ipswich Town were among the top clubs in the country, playing a brand of progressive football that drew comparisons with the best that Continental Europe could offer, has difficulty in coming to terms with Ipswich’s current reduced status. Portman Road is still a neat stadium, imposing in the slower-paced East Anglian town that Ipswich is (population 133,000), but it lacks the space-age dynamism that modern grounds are now expected to be. Thank the Lord!, I say, for Ipswich’s home looks like the identikit football ground where bobble hats, rattles, steaming Bovril and … Continue reading Calling in on….Ipswich Town – in need of more Suffolk punch

Calling in on….Brighton & Hove Albion

One week ago, I purchased two tickets for Brighton’s home game with Burnley.  From that day, I received a string of emails, previewing the game, making special offers and updating me on events at the club. On the morning of the match, I received a letter from Oscar Garcia, Brighton’s new head coach. Now I have ghost-written enough letters and articles to know that Garcia didn’t pen this, but I was, nevertheless, impressed by this letter. This string of messages from Brighton wasn’t just another example of irritating mass marketing, it also underlined the ambition of the club and showed … Continue reading Calling in on….Brighton & Hove Albion