Pass It On Down

Dobwalls v Perranporth, Cornwall Senior Cup 3rd round

Sometimes it’s the solid markers of success and security, the bricks and mortar, that mean more to a grassroots football club than the end-of-season points tally or the thrill of a cup run. For Andy Walker, groundsman, treasurer and ‘doer of a multitude of other things’ at Dobwalls FC, the highlight of over Continue reading “Pass It On Down”

Steady As She Goes

Mawnan v St Buryan, Trelawny League Premier Division

 

For Leon Prynn, Mawnan FC committee member and vice president, the idea that a club has an established identity and a sense of what it stands for is important. And at Mawnan that understanding of the character of the club is deep-rooted. Leon himself played for the club in the 1970s and went on to be Continue reading “Steady As She Goes”

Workers’ Playtime

Holman SC v St Ives Town, Cornwall Combination League

There can be few towns and companies more inextricably linked historically than Holman Brothers Ltd and Camborne. At its peak the mining equipment manufacturer employed over 3000 people in the town, and a Holmans apprenticeship was a standard route into a skilled trade for generations. With its choir, sports and social clubs the company fostered a camaraderie among its workers, and for many Holmans was Camborne. Continue reading “Workers’ Playtime”

If You Build It, They Will Come

Halsetown v Camborne School of Mines, Trelawny League Premier Division

When Londoner Bob Pratt moved down to Halsetown, a little village just south of St Ives that’s a gateway between the tourist town and the badlands of West Penwith, he was missing his football. This was the mid-seventies and, while Bob was enjoying watching the beautifully named and now long-defunct team Continue reading “If You Build It, They Will Come”

The Kids Are Alright

St Columb Major v Saltash United, Duchy League Division 2

It’s not an exaggeration to say that Cornish junior football, and indeed the grassroots game across the country, is in something of a crisis. Three clubs from the Duchy and Trelawny Leagues have already folded this season and player registration is down year on year. The finger is routinely pointed at the Continue reading “The Kids Are Alright”

Family Affair

Altarnun v Saltash United, Duchy League Division 2

Kevin Sandercock, Altarnun FC’s self-styled ‘secretary-cum-everything-else’, is doing the pre-match changing room tidy up. At most clubs this would involve a once-over with the cloth and broom but for Kevin it’s a hellish fortnightly ritual of sweeping up great mounds of flies – literally thousands of Continue reading “Family Affair”

The Modern Age

Grampound v North Hill, Duchy League Division 1

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In a global, digital age it’s frustrating that so many grassroots clubs don’t seem bothered to engage with a wider world beyond their immediate community. Some make a go of it, but the web’s littered with the long-dead websites and social media pages of Cornish clubs. They start enthusiastically, with a flurry of Continue reading “The Modern Age”

Out of the Mystic

Tintagel v Lanivet Inn, Duchy League Division 2

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There’s something incongruous about the existence of a football team in a place that’s famous for something entirely different. The village of Tintagel, due purely to its ruined castle’s spurious link with Arthurian legend has, somehow, thanks to the dumb logic of our dumb age, seen its old centre Continue reading “Out of the Mystic”

Man Out of Time

Madron v Stithians, Trelawny League Division 4

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Almost every football phone-in radio show you listen to seems to feature an Arsenal fan calling in to moan about their underachieving team. They’re invariably followed by a call from a supporter of mid-table Championship club x, who will let the Arsenal fan know that they don’t know they’re born, that Continue reading “Man Out of Time”

Abide With Me

Constantine v Threemilestone, Trelawny League Division 1

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Brian Jorey, Constantine chairman and ex-player, is looking over some old team photographs in the social club by the ground. As with most clubs the pictures capture the occasional highlights, the trophies and promotions, and the long fallow spells in between. Brian has a realist’s acceptance of the way a Continue reading “Abide With Me”

The Lizard Kings

Lizard Argyle v St Day, Trelawny League Premier Division

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There are few more satisfying moments of happenstance than chancing upon a game of football when you’re on holiday. When that happens on an August day as warm as this, when the ground happens to be overlooked by the best pasty shop in the county and when the clubhouse just happens to be hosting a Continue reading “The Lizard Kings”