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Amateur football - got any stories?

I’m considering working on a project about amateur football.

I intend to meet and interview people around the country and get into the heart of what’s a huge, but largely ignored past time. There are books and the occasional Danny Baker or John Fashanu show, but given how many people - and colourful characters - are involved, I feel it’s an untapped mine of entertainment.

I’m still developing the idea, and figured as part of my research I’d ask you lot for stories and perhaps the odd bit of advice. Places worth visiting or people worth meeting.

Or if you like, just talk about your own ‘careers’ in the underbelly of football!



*Edited cos I shouldn’t tell people so much.
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Comments

  • I'm a coach at U13 level in West Yorkshire. Happy to have a chat.
  • Sounds a bloody great idea...

    Might contact Amazon Prime see if they want to fund it for me ;)
  • Sounds a bloody great idea...

    Might contact Amazon Prime see if they want to fund it for me ;)

    I did debate not mentioning the plan... think I’ll tone down the detail...
  • JiMMy 85 said:

    Sounds a bloody great idea...

    Might contact Amazon Prime see if they want to fund it for me ;)

    I did debate not mentioning the plan... think I’ll tone down the detail...
    Wouldnt blame you for keeping certain parts quiet as there is always the genuine risk of someone stealing your idea (maybe see if you can make this Members Only)

    Isnt something Id do as dont have a scooby where to begin - Standby first line and think its a great idea of yours, be interested to see if you follow it through
  • I'm a coach at U13 level in West Yorkshire. Happy to have a chat.

    Excellent. I’ll DM you soon.
  • edited January 12
    Try to find a team that plays at some rural places away, always quirky grounds and inbred opposition.
  • I co-manage an U18 team and I could write a book about this season.
  • Great idea, good luck with it
  • I have been involved with the same Saturday side for 31 years now as player, manager and secretary. It is the club's centenary this year. We have been shit for most of that time and I can't believe I missed most of the Prem glory years for a 6-1 drubbing every week. Would still do it all again though.
  • Jimmy, I live out in a small town in Kent and I know a bloke, who was manager of the local team for a few decades and now organises the refs for the league. If you are interested in talking to him inbox me, then I will see of he is interested.
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  • Hi mate, drop me a message I can hook you up with some people who will give you chapter and verse on amateur football, the bureaucracy, the insanity, the money involved, anecdotes. Whatever you want. If you already have what you need I won't take it personally!
  • I used to be joint player manager with another lad of Dulwich Hamlet (Sunday side) and then a youth coach for a Dorset village side and then Dorchester town, youths yet again.
  • Excellent stuff. I’ll add you guys to my list and be in touch ASAP.
  • I managed a Sunday club for 18 years and my biggest regret was not documenting some of the laughs an nonsense that went on. Sadly remember little now, but had the makings of a great book.

    My club folded the year after I stepped back, had been going for 30+ years. Sadly it happens but still a bit gutted about that.
  • edited January 13

    I managed a Sunday club for 18 years and my biggest regret was not documenting some of the laughs an nonsense that went on. Sadly remember little now, but had the makings of a great book.

    My club folded the year after I stepped back, had been going for 30+ years. Sadly it happens but still a bit gutted about that.

    Interesting! Might need you to talk about this further.

    Also, I used to shoot some games to make compilations for my mates. Silly stuff but it’s fun to look back -



  • At an U10 away game a few years ago in the Tunbridge Wells area, I won't name the club because it's so embarrassing, no ref so the opposition assistant manager did it. It was 2-2 and in the last minute of the game our striker ran through 1v1 with their keeper. As he pulled the trigger to shoot, the ref blew for full time!

    Groans of despair from the home parents too tbf.
  • I managed a Sunday club for 18 years and my biggest regret was not documenting some of the laughs an nonsense that went on. Sadly remember little now, but had the makings of a great book.

    My club folded the year after I stepped back, had been going for 30+ years. Sadly it happens but still a bit gutted about that.

    I feel the same, I watch some of the Sunday league channels on YouTube and it reminds me of stuff that happened I thought I had forgotten about. Even wish we had more photos let alone video footage. I split my head open once and it would have made me look double hard playing on covered in blood as we only had a bare eleven. As it is, me and the blokes there were the witnesses and what would have made a really cool and gruesome picture was lost forever
  • Played Sunday men’s football since I was 15/16, 44 now and still playing vets, had some of the best times ever and still play with some of the same lads after 25+ years.

    Stories galore which if I actually sat down and thought about could fill a book.

    Never tire talking about it
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  • I used to play football every Tuesday lunchtime over Regents Park and Woody Harrelson came and played with us for two weeks. He was in a play in the West End at the time.
  • If you want an angle from a referees perceptive, I have a number of funny stories that I am happy to share with you.
  • 'Just a touch, Woody. F*ck's sake mate. You can go and get the ball!'
  • edited June 25
    JiMMy 85 said:
    Since I posted this thread I’ve bought a load of equipment, made a lot of contacts, shot hundreds of hours of footage and created a 40 minute documentary about amateur football! 

    The idea is to use that version of the doc to try and sell the concept of an amateur football documentary film. I don’t know if that’s going to work, but one way or another I’m making this doc. I may be in touch with some of you over the coming months as I seek out funny stories and teams to get on film. 

    I’ve created a Twitter account, and if you fancy watching the proof of concept doc, DM me and I’ll share the YT link. It’s very rough but hopefully entertaining in its own right. 

    https://twitter.com/bunch_amateurs


    @JiMMy85 PM me - I have some ideas re social media/advertising VOD etc and how this could work.... :-)
  • I have messaged my mate who has been playing Saturday/ sunday league since 16 with his twin brother. Tunbridge wells area, had many clubs and one club he has always gone back to. I have asked if he can send you an email

    I personally only ever played the odd game, quite limited and too busy going out weekends to put any effort in. One game I remember coming on the pitch was proper hard (as I found out) within 5 seconds of coming on I get clattered by someone and took a big tumble to all my friends pleasure lol

    a lot of my issues were the politics in football, playing old gits up front instead of me just because they have been at the club for centuries, in all fairness it was both ways I would put in the effort to turn up to training but a few times wasn't too fussed about playing.

  • Thanks lads. Sorry if I'm not replying to all the posts but I am using this thread to come back to in the future, so I'll be in touch as and when. 

    Supa, I'll drop you a message now... 
  • Simonsen said:

    Played for my club for 36 seasons and was manager/secretary for 32 of them.

    Lots of stories; many good fun but some not so nice.

    Not sure I'd want to go into the bad ones...some of it is very painful but I'd be happy to share the sillier ones.

    Here's a daft example;

    A cup game in 1988. Picture kick off; I'm the right-back and have spotted their keeper indulging in a fag so instruct our best player to have the ball laid back to him from centre and shoot. However, best player bottles it and scoops the ball back aerially to our centre-back (Birdy). Birdy plays a deft back header to our keeper "Rabbit-Face Colin". All good....except "RFC" is standing next to Birdy at the time. Cue "RFC" giving vain chase to the ball towards the empty net.....0-1.....and the opposition have even touched the ball.

    Same game; left-winger goes past me and centres at around knee height. RFC comes out to pouch but Birdy is charging towards his own goal line and somehow manages to fire the ball in at the near post.

    Same game; (you know what's coming here don't you?) they curl a corner into the 6 yard box. RFC comes to punch but only succeeds in wiping out everyone in front of him. The ball sails cleanly to the back post, where Birdy is on guard. However, he is seemingly taken by surprise and the ball crashes into his bollocks....and dribbles across the line. Birdy has completed his hat-trick and we lose 4-2.



    Did Birdy play much after that?
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