Unfortunately Christmas time is again disrupted for many by the pandemic but luckily for me I received the gift of The Non – League Club Directory 2021/2022 which will give me endless hours of exploring the 880 pages for statistics and venues for future football away days.
Unexpectedly I was also given British Football Grounds – one hundred must – see football venues, written by Mike Bayly and published in 2020 by Pitch Publishing. This compliments another of my favourite references, The History of Non – League Football Grounds by Kerry Miller and published in 1996 by Polar Print Group Ltd. Going through the new book I am on my way to already visiting nearly 40 of them but there are some great new grounds to visit.
With regards Christmas football, every year I see an article about the football matchplayed in No Mans land between the trenches on the first Christmas of the Great War. However this year it has not cropped up but a new Christmas story has emerged from 75 years ago when Hatfield Heath F.C. played a team of PoWs who were marched to the game at gun point. The game was watched by a good crowd that was swelled by other PoWs and resulted in Hatfield Heath suffering their worst ever defeat 11-0. The Pow team was a mixed contingent of Austrians, Germans and Italians.