Two Men In Search Of the Beautiful Game continue their non-league odyssey, this time out visiting the sun-splashed town of Lewes and a club that is ‘almost the complete package’.

Words by Daniel Magner. Photographs by Tom Sparks

I should really still be in bed, I think I’m better, I’ve convinced myself I’m fighting fit and raring to go. I’ve told myself one hundred times that the man flu has gone, and that I’m totally prepared for the day ahead, but this could not be further from the truth, however this fact is not yet totally apparent to me.

P1010549It’s certainly nice out, warm even, you could maybe even go as far as saying hot. It is frankly ridiculous that I’m in my thick woolly jumper, which has been my go to football outfit these last few months, I’ve even put my big coat in the boot, but I doubt I’ll be needing that, unless its to curl up and die under. Tom covering me like some lame horse at Aintree, about to be put out of its misery.

The car is insufferably hot, however high the fans are, however far open the windows are, I can’t get cool. I constantly sip from a two litre bottle of water, Tom on standby waiting for me to ask him to hand it to me, I’m trying to keep hydrated, as I can already feel the beads of sweat forming at the base of my hairline and this pain behind my eyes and nose is building by the second.

Tom on the other hand is revelling in the warmth, admitting he’s not “prepared” wishing he had some “shorts” on, and his “sunnies”.

Such is my delirium, I allow him control of the radio, forgetting his penchant for every minicab drivers mainstay, Heart FM. Joining it seems “everyone” else going to “Brighton”, Toms reason for all the traffic, he is enjoying Will Smith singing about Miami “everyday like a mardi gras, everybody party all day” while all I can think about is how much difference is me rolling my sleeves up to my elbows going to make on decelerating my current rising temperature.

The giant granite pillar that signifies you’ve arrived in Brighton is a welcome sight. It for a moment allows me to forget that I wish I could just turn around and go home, Tom oblivious to my suffering, he’s playing some game on his phone where he’s trying to get to the “iron age”, while I try and use the memories of my childhood fishing on the marina and buying records in the Lanes, to stop me drifting into a catatonic state, while at the wheel.

We leave the sun seekers heading for the pebble beaches and mini golf courses, the volume of traffic notably thinning out as we do so and still with some questionable music on, we can at least enjoy the scenery, made all the better by the fine weather as we head towards Lewes.

Now my Mum said Lewes is a “lovely little town”, it’s not one that either of us have ever been to,  but my timing of informing Tom of my Mum’s opinion on this part of East Sussex was perhaps a little poor, as at that moment we were in fact passing a very large Victorian prison, however once past that, I think we can both agree with my dear mothers description.

A single white flag with the Lewes FC (LFC) crest on, featuring the nearby turret of Lewes Castle that gives them their nickname The Rooks, is the first thing that gives any real inkling we have arrived at The Dripping Pan. Turning into the car park there is already no chance of finding a spot, even with how ridiculously early we are. The few straggling players of both sides have filled the last few spots, pulling out their kit bags from the boots of their cars and heading on into the ground.

We therefore pass the flag and the dark red board with todays fixture on and follow a high stone wall, along a long thin road, opposite some white washed houses, eventually finding somewhere to park, not too far away.

Other than the few signs already mentioned, and assuming the ground is the other side of the wall, it’s certainly doing a very good job at keeping whatever is on the other side, very well hidden.

DSC_0105Tom is on pay and display duty, he goes off in search of the machine, rummaging in his pocket for change as he does. I take the moment alone to have my final two decongestant tablets, a few last hefty glugs of what is now tepid water, open my door and step out into the world.

What am I doing, I feel like I’m literally dragging myself along, do I look as much like an extra from the Walking Dead as I feel like I do? Although it’s really no distance at all to the entrance of the the ground, it feels like an eternity, and with the sun beating down on me, I’m close to tapping out.

The home of LFC is really being shown off in the best possible light, as we pass through the turnstiles, ending up at the back, of the thankfully shaded steep bank of terracing. Stretching out before us is the emerald green pitch, and the South Downs visible in the distance, accompanied by the near constant squawk of gulls. For the first time today I don’t feel totaly stupid that I got out of bed this morning, but hold onto the nearby railing just to prop myself up a bit.

With the long wall running along to our left, the reason it does such a good job of keeping what’s in here a secret so well, is the fact the pitch and the remainder of the stands, the largest of them looking like its been stolen from a League Two team and another uncovered terrace, primed for an early summer sun burn at the opposite end of the ground, are well, well below the level we parked at.

Descending the terrace, itself a bit irregular, Tom saying it looks like a “bus shelter” and I admit there is something very municipal about it, with its curved, translucent roof. However it doesn’t look out of place among the hodgepodge of fittings.

Next to it and perhaps most curiously of them all, where both the LFC players and their opposition East Grinstead Town FC (EGT) are congregated enjoying the fine weather, is what looks like a three storey house.

At the base of it the club bar and The Hatch, already open and ready for business, I’m sure Tom will be nosing about it very soon. On its second floor I’m told are the away dressing rooms, which are accessed by a steep slope at its side, and right at the top behind the frosted windows, three floors up is the home dressing room. I’ve never seen anything like it.

I need to sit down, I find a low wall to plonk myself on, out of the sun. The chatter of the nearby LFC players is about where the chairman is taking them after gaining promotion this week. A few are mentioning “Vegas” others “Ibiza”.

“Suns out, shorts on” says one LFC coach to another, “makes a change” he replies. Having spent the last few weekends trying to find a match that had not been called off because of snow or rain, it’s quite the change indeed to have thought I could have gotten away with getting my legs out today.

I imagine there will be few punters today pleased to be spending the afternoon in one of the corporate beach huts here, yes that right, one of the may quirks of the Dripping Pan are the pale white huts to one side of the “bus shelter” stand, that will at one point have their small windows at their front flung open, allowing what might just be the finest view of the whole pitch.

“It’s not pie weather” says Tom, having returned from The Hatch and learning that their main staple comes with a lid and a filling. He informs me he may well be “favouring the Chuck Wagon” instead, as they not only do they do “burgers” but also, and I think this was the deal breaker “cheesy chips”.

The shade is helping, I squirrel myself away on one of the red fold down seats of the stand that would look more at home at Stevenage then at a non league club. Not far from me are a few examples of the well known LFC matchday posters, satirical takes on film posters and book covers. The music is also helping, very eclectic, very “Dad music” as Tom always calls it, to be fair Deep Purple very much fall into that category, although I’m not sure my Dad was ever listening to Rammstein.

Lou Reed going on in the way he does, brings my mood down a bit, but the Beach Boys and a spot of reggae, brings it right back up again. I figure if I don’t move, I don’t go in the sun, I stay absolutely still, I should be able to make it through today.

IMG_20180414_145517I scare myself a little when a woman with a red and black LFC scarf around her waist approaches me and asks if I “would like a raffle ticket sir?”. Whereas I would normally jump at the chance, I decline, I really need to sort myself out. Tom fed up of sitting around next to me feeling sorry for myself, is off once more exploring, “might have a beer today” I hear him say to himself. He returns beerless, but with good news about the now open club shop perched on top of what he is now calling the “Sussex yellow wall” that’s the “bus shelter” stand to you and I.

“You’re in for a treat” he tells me, and for the first time I feel close to human. “What a mix of stuff in the shop” he exclaims. He’s a good friend Tom, he knows maybe more than most, simply down to the amount of time we spend together how to lift my spirits, and a good football club shop overflowing with tat, including “golf balls” he explains, is as good a cure as any.

It’s now or never, time to get my shit together.

Although it’s only a short climb up the steep steps of the “Sussex yellow wall” as Tom now is exclusively referring to it, I feel like I’ve done a trek twice as big when I get to the top, however what I find is more than enough to revitalise me.

Key rings, car flags, posters, pens, a mega mug and thermos mug, are just a small fraction of what is on offer. I thought it was going to be hard to beat the temporary tattoos at AFC Rushden & Diamonds, but the offer of an LFC dart flight, might just pip them to the post, for most obscure thing we’ve seen on sale all season. We are a little bamboozled by the fact you only get one for £3.50, the man in the cramped broom cupboard that affords him little room for him to move, such is the amount of stuff it’s overflowing with, offers us a deal for three, but we just stick with the one.

The lady selling the raffle tickets almost looks a bit shocked when I approach her, telling her this time I will be taking a couple of lines of tickets. She informs me the “prizes” will be in the “shop”, and if I “don’t hear the results announced at half time” that she does “pin” them up around the ground. If I do win the “booze”, I can’t have that until the “end” because of the “glass”, she says with a considerable roll of the eyes, some halfwit having dropped a bottle of “prosecco” one time, making life difficult for everyone.

It’s most definitely predominantly black and red in the crowd, there’s the occasional flash of the yellow and black of the away team, The Wasps, insert summertime wasps related gag here, but it’s already a “good turnout” as Tom puts it from the home fans. There is a definite buzz of anticipation here today. Some I imagine here who were unable to make it in the week when it happened at the last home game, to cheer on their newly promoted team.

A few spots on the “Sussex yellow wall” are already gone, one LFC fan in their black and red striped shirt, with a white horn around his neck, hangs his small Union Jack flag to the side of one of the goal.

The track record for good music continues, as Tom wonders when he is getting his beer. If I wasn’t driving and didn’t feel like death I would join him. With the sun out, good soundtrack, and the prospect of some football in a place that is rapidly growing on us both as a very fine place to enjoy your Saturday afternoon, I can’t think of a better place to sink a few pints.

The referee is curiously applauded as he completes his lap of the pitch, Tom thinks the crowd are “taking the piss” and it did seem on reflection a little bit panto, maybe a bit of previous with this particular official.

Our choice of spot behind the goal in the final moments of the warm up is almost disastrous. “They don’t like you” says one person to Tom as he is almost hit three times in a row by wayward shots, although I’m pretty sure they are not aiming for him.

Perhaps it was his brief brush with almost getting hit in the face with a ball, but Tom has made an important decision, he will be getting his food today from the “Chuck Wagon”. He has convinced himself that it’s only “Bovril” available at The Hatch. Which is totally contrary to the chalkboards out front that detail a whole smorgasbord of stuff on offer, but when he gets a notion into his head, there is no talking him round.

IMG_20180414_145632The light breeze across my face is a continued source of comfort, the same breeze flutters some of the black and red bunting that hangs in various places. I hope I’m not hallucinating when I see the very large husky pitchside, and can only hope that I’m not about to be asked to follow a native American.

It’s the very business like announcement from the club Chairman Stuart Fuller in his suit jacket and waistcoat ensemble, that snaps me out of my reverie, “welcome to the Dripping Pan”. As he reads the starting line ups out, the biggest cheer is for the LFC player about to make his “250th appearance” for the club.

Like any good Chairman should have, the nouse and know how of how to generate money, he has a trip for twenty two people to Vegas to pay for, and what better way to “celebrate the season” than with a club shirt. “Only ten left” he explains over the microphone and with “33% off” today, I don’t think he expects them to be there for much longer.

I’m not sure if its the faint cry of the seller, “anyone for the raffle” she asks, but my conversation with Stuart Fuller, now having completed all his announcements, is about my fondness for a raffle and he asks me if I’ve got my “golden goal ticket”, you what?

I say no, trying to keep calm, from behind his shades he’s telling me about one person who recently managed to get both tickets of the two lines they print off and the remarkable odds of that happening, but I can only think of the missed opportunity. I ask Tom who still has an eye firmly fixed on the players taking shots, telling me someone else was nearly “decapitated” if I’ve got time to find the person selling them, he tells me I don’t, like a disappointed parent.

Among all the fanfare of the players arriving, the shouts from the fans, the people clapping on top the large flag lined bank along one side of the pitch and the small singing group of EGT supporters in fancy dress, one with a very scraggly white wig, all I can think about is the very finite amount of time I have to find the person selling the golden goal tickets.

Then by chance, through a spike topped fence I see them, two people with buckets. With one arm through the fence I beckon them over, the man with the blue bucket looks concerned but still approaches. As he gets closer he can hopefully tell my intentions are good, I hand him my £2 and he allows me to pick two folded up tickets, with only seconds to spare.

Things are definitely on the up.

Seemingly the joke that will never die rears its head in the opening minutes of the match, the mass red and black migrations from one end of the ground to the other all but over, one LFC fan settling down in the stands near by us shouts “come on Harry Kane”.

Thankfully the game gets off to a blistering start, LFC looking every inch the table toppers, a suitable distraction from the woeful joke. They put together an excellent move of close control and back heels, which results in a close range shot being saved by EGT’s keeper in a very smart graduating fade, all blue kit, “ohhhhh” gasp the crowd, “come on Lewes, come on Lewes” they chant without any more Harry Kane references.

“I’ve got my finger on the button” says the man loitering next to me, with what looks like the detonator for a bomb from a Die Hard movie. It is in fact the remote control of the scoreboard opposite us, sensing an early goal he is poised.

DSC_0351One late comer to the end LFC are attacking, is suitably scalded not for taking his time to get down to the right end, but for being here in the first place. “You shouldn’t be here Martin, you should be at your wife’s birthday”. Martins reply is quick and to the point, and I’m not sure something his wife would want to here, “it’s not a special birthday”.

“Come on Grinstead, come on Grinstead” shout who are at the moment the noisiest fans here, outnumbered, they are though the ones we can hear. The small group pushed up against the railing at the foot of the terrace are all in fancy dress. One has come as the obligatory banana, surprisingly though there is not one in a Morph suit, but there is one person as Tom describes, who has come as a “scouse”. Not dressed as pot of lamb stew but with a curly black wig and shellsuit on, Harry Enfield style.

They watch on as their team, languishing at the other end of the table to LFC, show they are not here to roll over for the champions elect. With nearly fifteen minutes gone, at least I think that’s what it says on the scoreboard, I can’t really see because of the sun, the visitors go close after a cross almost catches out the LFC keeper. He’s forced to flap at the highball, not clearing it very far. The ball is picked up just outside the area and the resulting shot is a low hard one, that he can’t get hold of either and has to palm out.

When LFC eventually regain possession, pushing forwards, seemingly always with about four upfront, they go close themselves. Firstly when the opportunity for the spectacular arises, EGT’s keepers poor kicked clearance, that won’t be his first of the day, balloons high up into the air, it falls to an LFC player who attempts a first time volley towards goal, which is just as bad as the kick away from it, and gets a suitably sarcastic “woooooo” from everyone, as it sails off into the distance.

They go much closer, not long after, with a low stinging shot of their own, almost a carbon copy of the EGT one, which is also too hot to handle and is pushed wide of the post.

Just under half an hour gone, the game having simmered, the breeze a near constant, the warmth of the sun just right, mixed with the squawk of the gulls, it really is turning into a very agreeable day.

The first of any kind of song comes from the EGT six, “oh when the grin go marching in”. They watch on as their team continues to give a good account of themselves. They have their own attempt at a long range lob, buts its a bit tame. The teammates of the player who had the effort, who were in much better positions, flap their arms by their sides in frustration.

There is a mild sense of dissatisfaction from the home fans too, considering their recent promotion and the league positions between the two sides, I think some were maybe expecting a bit more of a cake walk on the pitch. “Come on Lewes it’s party time” shouts one fan, towards the players who just seem a little out of sync.

LFC have plenty of the ball, always have plenty of options going forward, but are just missing any kid of snap in the final third. When they look to score, the passing is just a little weak, one such attack results in a blocked final pass, when if the ball had been played that bit quicker surely would have resulted in a goal.

One fan raises a single hand towards the pitch, saying nothing, simply gesturing ‘come on’, showing his displeasure at what he sees before him. A single lonely voice from the terrace shouts “come on Lewes”, but there is little energy coming from the home fans either.

DSC_0473The announcement of an early LFC sub is deafening the speaker pointed right at us, it’s like some kind of South Korean weapon of war. “Fucking hell” screams a startled Tom who I can just about hear. The player going off is less than happy, you might even say he is having a bit of a tantrum, “I can’t fucking see” he shouts as he makes his way to sit down in the half buried, almost subterranean dugouts.

LFC’s very vocal keeper has his finest moment late in the half, when organising his defence for an incoming EGT freekick. “Seize the line” is what Tom thinks he cries, “very Gladiator”. Whatever it was he said worked, EGT’s set piece comes to nothing.

Much like the crowd, the LFC bench, the same bench where one person was just told off by the referee for petulantly punching the ball away, senses that perhaps the players are a little tense. The pressure of promotion and trying to secure the title, weighing on their shoulders, “relax” shouts one coach towards the players.

“Have to leave soon” says Tom, “queues getting long” he adds, pointing to the Chuck Wagon up on the hill. Soon I’m alone, but that’s fine, I can enjoy the euphoria of the giant sinus clearing sneeze I just did all by myself.

The impatience is growing, “oh come on” gripe a few fans, as LFC persist with giving the ball away. The first real home chant of “come on Lewes” doesn’t last for long and when EGT go close and LFC look to counterattack, it breaks down once more, and the noises of anticipation, turn into groans.

Again there are attempts at a song, “oh when the Rooks” but like the players on the pitch it just there just feels like somethings missing.

LFC go the closest they have all half to getting the goal, one fan nearby keeps asking them to get, when they hit the post of the EGT goal with what turns out to be the very last kick of the game. The referee blowing his whistle with the ball still making its way back off the woodwork.

Back on the pitch, Stuart Fuller introduces some members of the “legendary” LFC team of the “late

70’s early 80’s”. I get chatting to a very sad Bognor Regis fan, whose team are losing “same old Bognor” he says about his team currently at the bottom of the National League South.

His evaluation of the game is pretty spot on. EGT have had far more “control in midfield” but have “nothing upfront” a tad toothless you might say. This could have something to do with their “star striker” as one person described him to me earlier, having left EGT about six weeks ago to join LFC.

As much as I enjoyed the theme tune from Bullseye accompanying the results of the raffle being read out, I learn that I’m not winner, and neither is the sad Bognor fan.

In what seemed like record time, getting all the way to the Chuck Wagon up the hill at the opposite end of the ground and back again, Tom has returned from his food run a very happy boy. “Now this is a gourmet burger” he says opening the white cardboard box, to reveal a gleaming “brioche bun” like a meaty filled Faberge egg. Only a few bites into it, and he’s already singing its praises, “if you’re ever going to have a burger, have one here, better than that shit at Walton” he says. Last time outs food was a memorable experience for all the wrong reasons.

All finished, and through the noise of some halftime 80’s pop, Tom declares he “could do that again” and that the burger he just demolished rivals the one he had at Rushden & Diamonds which he declared was the “best football burger ever”. Today’s choice he also admits was the “healthy” option, because it had “salad in”.

DSC_0423EGT fans have quickly swapped ends, and now occupy a small section at the very back of the uncovered terrace. Rollicking in the sun, except for the one with a bucket with a face on it on his head, they spend most of the break chanting among themselves. When the teams reappear, the now ram packed “Sussex yellow wall”, now justifying in some very small way Tom’s renaming of it, they start to sing, “come on Lewes, come on Lewes”. The away fans reply with the same chant with an obvious change, “come on Grinstead, come on Grinstead” following up with the staple away day song, for any group of fans visiting a ground that’s a little quiet, “we forget that you were here”.

“Come on boys” shouts a person on the LFC bench, and that’s just what they do, because two minutes later they are in front.

If ever a goalscorer could look embarrassed, I would say that’s just what the LFC scorer looks like. The cross from out wide is misjudged by the keeper who is forced to frantically back peddle, reaching desperately to try and get something on it, he does, but only enough to drop it on to the lap of the jumping number 9 at the back post, who really knows nothing about it, but it’s already over the line before he can react.

There is a brief claim for a handball from the EGT players, the keeper in particular looking at the referee imploringly, desperate for him to give it, to let him off the hook, but he doesn’t and the LFC players can continue their celebration in the back of the goal.

“Lewes, Lewes, Lewes” sing the fans, this gets a quick retort from the EGT supporters, “we forgot that you were here” before pointing out that it seems they “only sing when” they’re “winning”. Once I’ve eventually managed to open both my golden goal tickets, I realise my through the fence dealings were a waste of time, and I’ve not won that either.

EGT’s “very casual” manager as Tom calls him, casual in appearance he’s got the whole skinny jeans and deck shoes thing go on, not necessarily in management style, asks his team to “liven up”. Despite conceding the EGT fans still sing, “come on you Wasps, come on you Wasps” but ever since the goal, their teams heads have dropped a little, and LFC are really growing into the game.

The home side are still guilty of plenty of loose passing, but certainly look far more assured then they did in the first half. A goal bound shot of theirs is deflected wide, and the resulting corner is a really good one “ohhhhhh” shriek the bumper crowd behind the goal. Summing up their general performance though, the follow up ball, the one back into the box is dire and the grumbling starts again.

If they can’t enjoy the game, the EGT fans are certainly making the most of their half in the sun, still just as lively as they were before conceding. Their team has a shout for a penalty declined, then they almost concede a carbon copy of the first goal, instead this time the keeper can’t get a hand to the ball and it strikes the upright, fortunately for him bouncing out instead of in.

The fervour on the home terrace is slowly building “that is why we love you, we love you, we love you” they sing.

Even though I can’t taste anything, I accept the “wine gum” Tom offers me. The optimistic shout of “we’re gonna score in a minute” from the EGT fans is wishful thinking to say the least, they break well at times, on one occasion they a race up field after a LFC corner, but have no focal point upfront, no presence in front of goal at all.

DSC_0416“Looks a bit like Owen Hargreaves” says Tom about the LFC number 12 who just supplied a most excellent through ball, that looks like we might be on for a second, unfortunately the quality of the finish, doesn’t match the assist, and again someone in the crowd looks close to losing their head.

As nice a day it is, their team may well be ahead, but the fans seemingly expect more, lots of grumbling once more. There is a muted attempt at “we are going up” but it’s a bit flat. Tom thinks the players are “worrying too much” about their “holiday”, not focused on the game, maybe it’s a case of thinking today was an “easy game” considering where EGT find themselves at the bottom of the league.

“Need another Lewes” suggests one fan. A slight tinge of apprehension in his voice maybe. EGT look like a team that could certainly get a goal, if they just had someone who looked liked they could score one.

With just over a quarter of an hour left, LFC show their Jekyll and Hyde tendencies. They craft a great chance, which results in a close range shot that is beaten out, “come on Lewes, come on Lewes” sing the fans. Sadly for them the corner that follows, well frankly it’s shit.

The wait for another LFC goal is not long, it’s certainly not long for the player who comes off the bench and with his “first touch” as the man over the PA says gleefully, he gets the all important second. Arms outstretched by his side, he runs towards the fans to celebrate. One supporter rushes the fence to give him an almighty bear hug. Such is the slightly bizarre salmon like action of the goal scorer, hey whatever works, he got on the other end of the cross, someone on the home bench sees it fit to mimic him.

“We are going up, we are going up” sing the LFC fans, which is followed by the single blast of a horn.

LFC are ramping it up, for the final ten minutes and they have EGT pinned back. An excellent one handed save from the EGT keeper, who even though he has conceded two, might be their man of the match, manages somehow to get a hand to a flicked header and keeps it out.

The sound of the horn is becoming all the more frequent, and so are the songs from the terraces “you are my Lewes, my only Lewes”. LFC are now showboating a little, doing all sorts of unnecessary flicks. Single handedly the EGT keeper is stopping them from getting a third, another snapshot is well saved, and he is getting some praise from the home fans, “he’s’ a good keeper, a good shot stopper”.

“About three minutes” replies the referee, when asked how long is left. Just about enough time for Stuart Fuller with the microphone to inform us that there are “659 at the Pan” this afternoon and that the Owen Hargreaves look a like got the “man of the match” award.

Into the dying minutes and players from both sides are simply going through the motions, the crowd are thanked for their “attendance” and break out into one last rendition of “we are going up” just before the final whistle.

The last thing I expected following a home win and their second win in a week, was some abuse aimed at the LFC manager from the crowd, some football fans can be very fickle. “Daddy peanut head” shouts a small child towards him, very sad to see. A stadium ban surely will be the only course of action.

DSC_0449Both sets of fans are applauded by their respective teams, “Lewes, Lewes, Lewes” sing those still filling the terrace as the players approach. Just as loud the EGT supporters give their players one last song, before they make the long walk off, “we love you Grinstead we do” all to the tune of the theme from ‘The good, the bad and the ugly”.

Where to start with today, how do I explain why today, well why today might just be one of the best ones yet, despite me feeling like death, wanting to cry, wishing I had never left the house, how despite all of that, our afternoon at The Dripping Pan or Pan Siro as it is sometimes called, with its “funny pitch” as Tom called it, that at one point such is the unevenness, the corner flag is above the goal, joins that short list of clubs that have really made a permanent impression on us.

I’m not sure I can put my finger on precisely why it was so enjoyable. Was it the mechano floodlights, the fact the lady selling me the raffle tickets asked if I had won, and when I told her I hadn’t she “thanked me for taking part”, was it the large willow tree behind the “bus shelter” stand, or the fact they played one of my favourite songs of all time ‘It Was a Very Good Year’ by Frank Sinatra as we left, was it the fact they had a scoreboard, something so many grounds miss, was it the glorious red and black stripes of the LFC kit or was is the announcement about halfway through the second half for the people who purchased the single dart flight to go and collect the other two, and the apologies from the man in the shop, for the mistake he made.

Actually I think its because its all of those things, and many more, many more. LFC is almost the complete package. There are so many things to admire about it and I’m sure we will be back, just when I’m feeling a bit better.

For more blogs, photos & videos by Two Men In Search Of The Beautiful Game please join them on Facebook and give their page a “like” – Go to Facebook

Follow the boys on Twitter – Go To Twitter

Follow on Instagram #BeautifulGame15 – Go To Instagram