I went to my first football game in 1963 – at Molineux while the legendary Stan Cullis was still on the Wolverhampton throne. Over the years I have been to thousands of games but mostly Wolves home ones.
Prior to the current season kicking-off, I sat down and worked out how many grounds I had actually been to. It was just into three-figures – 101 to be precise. So, always up for a challenge, I decided to add a few new ones to the list.
Well, to date I’ve been to twenty new grounds already this season, with the latest one Vale Park when I went to watch Port Vale v Forest Green Rovers last Saturday.
Just the other day though I got thinking, out of the 121 places I’ve witnessed a game of football at, how many have involved The New Saints.
Including first team, Ladies and Academy it comes to exactly half a century. It shows just how much ground I’ve covered since being with the club.
Fifty games in nine different countries, including England and Wales, with the latest one on the list being the pre-season friendly visit to Liverpool’s Academy ground in Kirby, where we played the club’s U23s.
My favourite stadiums though have been the six that have hosted TNS Champions League games on the road. If I had to choose one it must be the national stadium in the Faroe Islands. (lead photograph)
My first visit to the country, the impressive ground hosted the first round qualifier between B36 Torshavn and The New Saints. It was also my very first Champions League game and so on that basis will always be special.
Although my overall list of new grounds will continue to grow quickly – I have tickets for Villa Park and Bramall Lane in my possession for games during the next week – the TNS- related ones will inevitably be occasional.
Having completed the current list of JD Welsh Premier League teams a couple of years ago, it’s via cup draws, friendlies and such like that I’ll be able to add new additions to the TNS list.
Rev’s Ramblings is my weekly blog, following my adventures with the Welsh champions from a personal perspective.
Stewart Bloor, Media & Communications Officer