The Non-League 100: Grays Athletic 2004-06 – a kind of boom and bust

THURROCK is a borough full of football people, but many of them prefer to watch the likes of West Ham, Tottenham and Arsenal. In the 1990s, teams from the area started to acquire some ambition, not altogether unrelated to the rise of clubs from Billericay and Canvey Island. Grays Athletic, which was always considered to be Thurrock’s leading club, until Purfleet (later Thurrock) came on the scene, had a golden period in the early years of the 21st century. It almost looked too good to be true and indeed it probably was, but Grays had a three-year spell where they … Continue reading The Non-League 100: Grays Athletic 2004-06 – a kind of boom and bust

X marks the spot for United London

WHETHER you like it or not, TV programmes like X Factor and Britain’s got talent are very popular and watched by millions. The audience participation aspect of these programmes is quite contagious, if sometimes rather contrived. Audience engagement in football doesn’t always get treated in the right way. I cannot help feeling that some football authorities adopt a kind of “games for the chimps” approach, throwing balls into the crowd for fans to bounce around, the synchronised chanting counting down to kick-off and other patronising gimmicks. But how about fans selecting a team? In some ways, it’s a throwback to … Continue reading X marks the spot for United London