Author, Dave Roberts has played a hefty role in my life over recent years. His literary offerings have struck quite the chord and left me full of inspiration and a desire to keep going the way I have for almost 20 years of my life and counting. He’s also showered me with a new found love of non-league football. In particular, Bromley FC!
Let’s take a closer look at the reasons why “Home And Away” is such an incredible read.
For starters, we see a lot of ourselves in Mr Roberts. Think booking train tickets in advance to save those precious pennies. Travelling halfway across England to watch your team only to about face once the full time whistle calls an end to proceedings and do it all again to make it home at some ungodly hour or the night or worse still, early morning the next day. Taking a packed lunch for the journey there. Meeting like minded new friends who understand you as much as you do them. Standing in dross weather to watch your team play poorly despite thinking they were actually a chance. Convincing your significant other that gallivanting around for your football team is an essential aspect of ones weekend. And don’t even get me started on programme sellers running out of stock by the time you get to the ground. Hands up if you have ever been through that frustration?
The 2015/16 season was indeed one where Bromley FC delivered a roller coaster ride for all those concerned. Led by a man called Moses, the National League side scaled dizzy heights early on in the season before a winter slump saw them drop to the mid table quagmire and that’s pretty much where they remained until seasons end. As a side note, Bromley FC currently sit just outside the play off positions in the National League so League 2 may yet be on the cards after all. Well, my fingers are crossed for it.
“Home And Away” covers all aspects of what football supporters go through. We find our man about town (or England and Wales to be more accurate) mixing in with Guiseley FC (a team from West Yorkshire) fans on a supporters bus to Hayes Lane (Dave lives in Leeds, you see) and then we see the more humble side as the sudden passing of his inspirational father, leaves Dave reflecting on the life that has been and of what is yet to come. “Home And Away” also has plenty in-between to not just wet the appetite, but drench it in the finest memories. You actually find yourself wishing you had been there with him on some of these journeys. You can take the boy of of Bromley but you will never be able to take Bromley out of the boy!
I found Dave’s efforts to expose Liz (the beautiful and loving American wife) to the pleasures of football quite splendid. Who said romance and football can’t mix right? Many of us have been there before and will no doubt, be there again when it comes to convincing our significant other as to why a trip to some far flung and remote town to watch a football match is the way to go on a frosty weekend of sleet and wind. The bases are almost always covered when Liz and Dave head off together despite some comical flaws in booking taxis and Dave’s dislike of climbing steep hills en route to football grounds. It’s during these moments when I pause my reading to think about similar adventures in the future with my other half. Thankfully, my other half is English and a bit of a Forrest fan (born and raised in Lincolnshire) so I suspect we may enjoy some boss trips around Blighty when the time comes to move over there down the track.
Reading “Home And Away” reminds you of exactly why you fell in love with football to begin with all those years ago. Even those who aren’t too partial to the beautiful game will enjoy the tales of a man who had returned home following an absence of 30 years living abroad as you are given a fantastic insight into how England has changed (rip off Britain) and a swift reminder of why Britain is still one of the most beautiful countries to explore on planet earth. And how on earth can you not fall in love with Bromley FC after reading “Home And Away”?