Monday, May 21, 2007

Scunthorpe United Champions of League One

Hard to believe it was only three weeks ago.Scunthorpe United vs Carlisle United.May 5th 2007.Glanford Park.Kick off 3pm.
I was there along with a sellout crowd to see Scunthorpe United presented with the League One Cup and medals.To celebrate and soak up the atmosphere along with other long suffering fans.

Hard to believe just two seasons ago the club was staring League demotion and the wilderness of Conference football in the face.
Scunthorpe."A perennially unlucky club" according to one Guardian newspaper article.Maybe thats part of the appeal.A small North Lincolnshire town.Population around 72,000 people.Six hours by bus from London's Victoria bus station.Leeds,Hull and even Nottingham Forest draw more attention.And crowds.

As to the game itself Scunthorpe ran out the winners 3-0 scoring the first goal late into the first half.During half time I did a short live interview with the local radio Radio Humberside.My Japanese flag had grabbed their attention.Not that it was the only foreign flag or banner there that day.A bit tongue tied I explained to the reporter that I was but one of many overseas fans who had travelled to witness firsthand this game and the days events.

After the game and presentation ceremony I walked back from Glanford Park on the outskirts of Scunthorpe to The Honest Lawyer pub where many fans had gathered.Both local and overseas fans.I met people from Scandinavia,Serbia,Ireland and America among other countries.I also met people who had journeyed from much closer destinations but had eschewed the temptations and delights of bigger,more successful clubs to experience the ups and downs of lower league football.
Many different occupations and diverse stories as to why and how Scunthorpe United became their team of choice.
Its the second time Ive visited Scunthorpe and been to Glanford Park and The Honest Lawyer.One positive change at the pub is The Gallows Restaurant upstairs.Not the usual stodgy pub bar fare but well presented varied dishes and desserts prepared with fresh local produce.I recommend the cheese board in particular,a meal in itself.

During my six day stay at Scunthorpe I stayed again at The Downs Guest House in Scunthorpe.This homely Bed and Breakfast has a nice quiet central location not far from the bus station or the main shopping area of town.Great English cooked breakfasts with lashings of bacon and coffee served up by Allan and the friendly staff.With its comfortable beds and rooms its great value for money when compared to its equivalents in London.
In summary then my whirlwind trip was well worth it.As well as experiencing Scunthorpes promotion I met some great people.Visited some new places,revisited others.Made some new friends and renewed ties.Now I can look forward with anticipation to a new football season.New league.New challenges.Already theres talk of immediate demotion,such is the fate of a Scunny supporter.

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