The Sound of Football: AFC Bournemouth (Andrew)

Every fortnight we cover the best and worst football songs from every club in the UK from our book ‘The Sound Of Football: Every Club, Every Song’. You can buy it here

AFC Bournemouth

Nickname: The Cherries

Ground: Vitality Stadium

Stadium Capacity: 9,287

Song: Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond

The club’s official name is AFC Bournemouth. It should appear at the front of any alphabetical list of English clubs. However, this order is often ignored, and clubs like Barnsley, Birmingham, Blackburn, Blackpool, and Bolton are listed first. We have chosen to list them by AFC so that it’s in front of Arsenal and Aston Villa – at least until those clubs, like a crafty tradesperson looking to get a higher listing, change their names to AAArsenal and AAAston Villa.

Musically, Bournemouth doesn’t deserve a high position on our list. The club doesn’t have a significant song to call its own – though not through lack of trying, most recently by looking for inspiration from across the Atlantic. 

The baseball team, the Boston Red Sox, plays Neil Diamond’s classic ‘Sweet Caroline’ during every game at their stadium, Fenway Park. The sing-along song has become such a Fenway staple that the Red Sox mutes the sound for parts as fans know the lyrics off by heart.

Neil Diamond’s song was inspired by a photograph of Caroline Kennedy, daughter of US President John F Kennedy, that the singer saw in a magazine while staying at a hotel in Memphis*. Diamond wrote the song in an hour; it changed his life. He reignited his career and sold a million copies in the US.

Today, ‘Sweet Caroline’ is in every Boston bar, and it doesn’t matter if the Red Sox are winning, hurting, triumphant, or reeling when you’re down, and you sing it; it will lift you up. It’s Boston’s theme song. But not Bournemouth’s song, no matter how many times played it before kick-off.

This is not the first time a song has failed to connect with fans. Even a song written for the club couldn’t connect. 

In the early 1970s, the club would play  ‘Up The Cherries,’ an original song, when the team ran out at the start of matches. The song borrowed the club’s nickname – The Cherries – for its title. It was a nickname based on both the club’s cherry red striped shirts and the cherry orchards that once stood near its ground. However, surprise, surprise, it never caught on with supporters. 

It is the same story for one of the Bournemouth’s cup final songs. In 2003, the song ‘Go South,’ a reworking of the Village People’s ‘Go West’, was released before the Division 3 play-off final against Lincoln City. The song predicted the Bournemouth would win – and it was right. Bournemouth was a comfortable winner, beating Lincoln 5 – 2 and setting a record for the highest number of goals scored in a play-off final. Yet, even then, despite soundtracking this big victory, the song didn’t catch on. 

Buy the Sound of Football from Amazon

Outdoor Swim Review – Loch Awe (Andrew)

If you want to know Scotland’s most popular lay-by (excluding any featured in late night Channel 5 documentaries) then the lay-by next to Ben Cruachan in Argull must be among the leading contenders for the top stop.

Ben Cruachan is the highest mountain in Argyll. From the top, on a clear day you can see all the way from Northern Ireland in the west to Ben Nevis in the Highlands. Yet, for such a popular mountain, it only has a lay-by for around five cars at the start of the walk. If you want to climb then you normally have to park at Cruachan power station and visitor centre, around half a mile down the road.

When we got there in early September, we were lucky, we’d arrived early and got the last place. But if you really want to bag a space then you need to do what the car in front of us did. Put your backseat dow, convert your boot into a mattress and sleep the night in the back of your car.

If you want to know Scotland’s second busiest car park then you don’t need to go far to find it. Aproximately a mile down the road towards Tyndrum there is another lay-by with great access to Loch Awe. It has plenty of space but just be prepared for cars to pull in and out of it all day. In 30 minutes we saw four cars pull in, stop and then people getting out to admire the view of the loch, before getting back in and driving off.

So, if you love to swim with an audience then this spot is for you!

Ease of access

Very rocky so bring shoes or flip flops to get to the water’s edge.

Water Quality

Very clear.

Other people

No one swimming but you may have spectators from the lay-by!

Rugged Run – Ben Cruachan (Iain)

I’ve never had a desire to climb all the Munro’s. I’d rather just climb the good one’s again rather than do one of the less interesting ones. Why spend a day going to climb the 282nd most interesting Munro when you could go and climb one of the top 100 or even the top 10 most interesting?

Climbing a hill just to tick it off a list seems a bit pointless.

Which is why, I’ve only every climbed about 20 Munro’s but I’ve done them all multiple times and they are all some of the most interesting (to me) one’s!

This was my fourth time up Ben Cruachan. The last time I was there was a few years ago, it was the hottest day of the year and of the ten people I was with who started the walk. Only 4 got to the top. The rest conked out in the heat on the way up.

This time the forecast was for it to be even hotter than that day but when we got to the hill it was very cloudy and overcast. Check out the video to see how we got on….

MAPS

https://www.strava.com/routes/2871762937338348116

Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

One of my favorite munro’s but its a hard slog. Do it on a nice day so the views at the top are good.

Parking

Rating: 2 out of 5.

There is a small car park at the start but if its full you will have to park 1km away from the start.

Facilities

Rating: 1 out of 5.

There are no faciliteis at the start of the walk.

Nearest cafe

Rating: 3 out of 5.

There are a few cafe’s nearby but I didn’t stop at any of them.

Run Surface

70% trail, 30% firetrack road. The trail is a mix of rough paths and rocky routes.

Dog Friendly

yes

Elevation

1100 m

Film Friday – First Ski Descent of K2 (Andrew)

It’s said that after Roger Bannister broke the 4 minute mile it only took a few weeks for someone to beat it again. And, by a year later, three runners ran under four minutes in a single race. Once someone does something seemingly impossible for the first time, it redefines what we think is possible. And the impossible becomes normal.

Unless you watch this video.

I cannot believe there is anyone thinking, “you know what, I want to do this too! He might be the first, but I will be the second!”.

I don’t even know why anyone would even think to ski down K2. It’s like asking someone if they’d like to Hula Hoop in a shark tank or solve crossword puzzles while being fired out of a cannon. Why would you even think to do something where clearly you are going to almost certainly die?

Anyway, this guy did it. Good on him. But you won’t catch me skiing down K2 anytime soon – even if it does become ‘normal’.

Race Report – Toddman 2021 (Andrew)

I. CANNOT. FIND. THE WORDS.

This year’s Toddman was won by a dirty, rotten, cheat. Even Lance Armstrong is saying “hey, that’s not fair!”.

Here’s what happened.

But before that: what is Toddman? I’m glad you asked. It is a triathlon race open to everyone with the surname Todd who is related to me or Iain TwinBikeRun. You can find more here and here.

This year’s race featured a new course as we changed the bike route to incorporate two iconic central Scotland climbs: Tak Me Down and the Crow Road aka Todd Me Down and the Todd Road. We also changed the run route by changing the start from Lennoxtown to Todholes aka Toddholes while keep the mid point as a climb to the summit of Mickel Bin before a downhill sprint back to Toddholes car park where the winner is the first to touch the green gate at the entrance – and, for which, they get to wear the now iconic black Peat & Diesel cycle jersey.

Last year, I won Toddman fair and square. This year, it was stolen from me!

SWIM

We both completed the swim at the same time, albeit I’d started swimming 10 minutes before him as he was trying to get some drone footage. But do I bring up the fact I was 10 minutes ahead of him and therefore finished 10 minutes earlier but had then swam an extra 10 minutes? No, because I’m a gentleman. I would never repeatedly mention that I was 10 minutes ahead of him as the end of the swim because I would expect that would be something he would acknowledge. 10 minutes is a HHHUUUUGGEEE gap. But do I mention it? No. Not me. Even though it was 10 minutes.

Anyway…

(10 minutes!)

I don’t mention it.

CYCLE

We complete the bike in the same time. I’m happy to call this a draw.

RUN

We start together. We reach the top of Mickel Bin together. We run back down together until, with a mile to go, I stop and tie my shoelace. I thought Iain would stop. I thought I could rely on him to recognise the unwritten rule that you don’t attack the leader when the leader has a mechanical.

I know this is a bike thing and not a triathlon thing but triathlons also use a bike so I’m borrowing this rule for Toddman.

And what did Iain TwinBikeRun do when I stopped to tie my shoelaces? He ran off, that’s what he did. He didn’t even hesitate. He just kept going and going until he reached the Toddholes gate and declared himself the winner.

But he’s not winner. He’s a CHEAT.

And while the general public doesn’t back me on this. A poll on the Glasgow Triathlon Club Facebook page showed 90% of members supported his claim for glory, it’s worth pointing out that people cheered when Lance Armstrong crossed the line too. But he was still a crook.

So, while Iain TwinBikeRun may think he wears ‘the Black’ and is proudly cycling round in the Toddman Jersey, I think history will be his true judge and the true winner of Toddman will be acknowledged as me!

(Also he only won by 5 mins and I was 10 minutes ahead of him after the swim, which I don’t like to mention. Even though it makes me the winner. 10 minutes!).

Toddman 2021 Film (Iain)

Every year Andrew Todd and I race each other in an epic contest known around the world as Toddman!

The TV rights are available if sky sports are interested? No? How about Channel 4? No? GB news ? No? Really? Not even wanted by a channel no one watches! How about Onlyfans ? Last year Andrew cheated to win. This year, did history repeat itself ?

If you read last weeks blog then you will know the answer…

Rugged Run – The Falls of Clyde(Iain)

Can a good walk be spoiled by a terrible journey to it?

The Falls of Clyde should be a good walk. It ticks all the boxes of things I like. Its is very scenic, it has unique sights (the village) and there are options to make it a short or long route BUT I hated driving to it.

I hated it because the roads were awful, I got lost and I spent twice as much time in my car than my Sat nav claimed it would take.

By the time I started the walk I was in a foul mood so I did a short route out and back route rather than a full loop. Check out the maps below to see the options.

I enjoyed the walk. It was long enough for me. The route is very well signposted so I won’t bother putting directions here. Just follow the signs to the falls.

MAPS

Short Route:

https://www.strava.com/routes/2859444495775347268

Long Route:

https://www.strava.com/routes/2852569720978813142

Review

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Nice walk but it is not a nice drive to get to (from my house)

Parking

Rating: 5 out of 5.

There is a big car park.

Facilities

Rating: 4 out of 5.

There are toilets, cafes and plenty of shops nearby.

Nearest cafe

Rating: 4 out of 5.

There is a cafe in New Lanark visitors centra.

Run Surface

100% trail

Dog Friendly

yes

Elevation

300 m

The Sound of Football: Accrington Stanley (Andrew)

Every fortnight we cover the best and worst football songs from every club in the UK from our book ‘The Sound Of Football: Every Club, Every Song’. You can buy it here

Accrington Stanley

Nickname: Stanley

Ground: Crown Ground (currently known as The Wham Stadium until 2021)

Stadium Capacity: 5,070

Song: On Stanley, On

Sir Walter Scott’s epic poem ‘Marmion’ describes one of Scotland’s heaviest military defeats, the battle of Flodden Field (1513). The English army routed the Scottish army after killing King James IV of Scotland.

Accrington Stanley’s song ‘On Stanley, On’ was inspired by a line in the poem.

’Charge, Chester, charge!  On, Stanley, on!’

Were the last words of Marmion.”

(Source: Marmion, Sir Walter Scott, public)

The “Stanley” referred to in the poem is Edward, the first Earl of Derby, and not the team. Instead, two journalists, Harry Crossley and Allan Lamber borrowed this line to write a song to inspire Accrington Stanley to victory against Torquay United after the club reached the third round of the FA Cup in 1953, the first time Stanley had got that far in almost 30 years. 

The song’s lyrics were published in the Accrington Observer on 12 December 1953. A version of the song, recorded by the Accrington Male Voice Choir, was played over the loudspeaker before the game. The music helped inspire Stanley to a 2 – 2 draw, though the replay saw Flodden Field recreated, as Stanley was slaughtered 5 – 1.

‘On Stanley, On’ became a popular song for supporters in the 1950s and 1960s with new versions recorded, including one by the local band Red Dawn and the Stanley Choir. However, the club itself was not so popular. It collapsed in 1966, and its current incarnation was formed in 1968. 

Stanley’s collapse and resurrection was, for many years, the most famous thing about the club. However, as it has steadily climbed the league, it has become more well-known. A fact that led to considerable angst for the band Accrington Stanley. As their lead singer, Dan O’Farrell, explained in 2013, they were counting on the club remaining obscure:

We chose [our] name in early 1986… purely because I had this ace book called The History of Football, and there was a picture of a football crowd watching an Accrington Stanley match in the 1930s… Accrington Stanley was only ever mentioned as a sad story from going bust in the 60s. It had the ring of the underdog about it. Now, [their name is] a bit of a pain, as it renders us very hard to Google or find on YouTube.

‘On Stanley On’s’ popularity has waned in recent decades. However, in May 2011, the Accrington Observer campaigned to resurrect it for a crunch play-off tie with Stevenage Borough. Reporters for the paper handed out song sheets to fans before the game. Sadly, the song couldn’t inspire the players to another famous result, Stanley lost its home game 2 – 0 and the return leg 1 – 0.

Before the game, Accrington Stanley chief executive Rob Heys told the Observer:

I’ve heard the song a few times. There is a lot of history associated with it. I am sure some of the older supporters remember it fondly, and if people were to sing it again, that would be great.”

Another link between Stanley and Flodden Field made ‘On Stanley On’ a perfect line to borrow for a football song.

King James IV of Scotland was the last British King to die on a battlefield. After the battle, his body was taken to Sheen Priory in Richmond, Surrey, where it remained until the 16th century before it disappeared – though it’s believed it’s buried underneath the fairway of the Royal Mid-Surrey Golf Club.

While the body remains missing, at least until the golf club decides to check beneath the 14th green, there’s an easy way to identify King James once found – he has no head. This is because the King’s head became detached from his body before being transported to Sheen Priory. And, legend has it, the last time anyone saw the King’s head was when a group of Elizabethan workmen found it and decided they would use it to play a game… a game of football.

Buy the Sound of Football from Amazon