Friday, 27 May 2011

Cack-Handed Away Guide III: BOSTON UNITED FC.


Boston United FC
The Jakemans Stadium
York Street
PE21 6JN


The Pilgrims

But we call them

Buston, Boscum (all in your best worst New England accent)

Billy basics
Managers: Jason Lee, Lee Canoville
Founded: 1933
2010/11: 3rd, Conf North
2009/10: 3rd, Northern Premier League (promoted)
2008/09: 16th, Northern Premier League (wholly embarrassed)
Highest position: 2005/06, 2003/04: 11th, League Two
Average attendance 2010/11: 1391

Who are Buston United?

For most readers, less needs to be explained for Buston due to their infamy gained over the past decade or so. Though Boston United were formed in 1933, a team representing Boston has been playing at York St. since 1887. They were basically a pub team until their winding up in 1933, and were succeeded by a team of semi-professionals. These part-time pals eventually found something worth recording in the books when they beat Derby County at the Baseball Ground in 1955/56 by six goals to one. No non-league team has beat a league team at their patch by such a margin since, and Derby continue to humiliate themselves to this date.

By now a really massive Midland League team, they went up to the Southern League in 1958. They yo-yoed down and up again for a decade until joining the new Northern Premier League, won it four times before joining the Alliance Premier League in 1979, losing in the FA Trophy final to Wealdstone in 1985.
Their pilgrimage across the non-league stopped in all sorts of places until the "larger than life" "ex-Stamford AFC" "man" Steve Evans stepped in in 1998. Boston then went from a relegation battle in the Southern Premier to runners-up that season, reached the Quarter Finals of the FA Trophy and were promoted to the Conference the following season. On their second season there they turned professional, winning the title on goal difference and beginning the 2002/03 season in League Two. Evans was then mysteriously banned for 20 months before returning to the helm, and it took until the 2006/07 season for it all to fall apart wholly.

Right then. For those who don't know. Evans was convicted of signing players on contracts worth up to 10 times less than what he actually payed them, in order to dodge tax. During the FA inquiry where these truths were found out, Evans bribed a witness to mislead the FA. For Boston this meant a £100,000 fine and a deduction of four points. Returning to the club in Feb '04, Evans was eventually convicted for fraud during his first term in charge. In trail, Evans finally pleaded guilty and then-club owner Malkinson was forced to pay back the owed tax. Incredibly, Steve Evans was allowed to stay with the club, before resigning in May 2007. It then took him less time to join Crawley Town than it probably takes him to get banned from the dugout/have a dump. Again, he has brought a non-league team into the Football League for the first time through the help of much £££s and a Fifth Round FA Cup game at Man United's place. Again, Evans' new club is being admired by the big boys as a plucky non-league side that done good. Again, the clued-up fans beg to differ.

Meanwhile, actual Boston fans were left downtrodden, relegated to the Conference before being demoted to the Conference North in the same season. Most of their players fled. The Northern Premier League then called after a further demotion the following season for failing to escape administration. With solvency and dignity just around the corner, they won promotion in 2009/10 to the Conference North once more, missing out in the play-off semis in 2010/11 to Leeds backwater Guiseley AFC. Here they stand now. Phew!

With one of the biggest fanbases in the league, they will be aiming for promotion again, or at least acquit themselves better than they did over, all jokes aside, possibly the most poisonous man in lower league football. And now for a joke: football in Lincolnshire. What's with that, eh?

STOP, just stop. Give us a brief write-up on Boston.

Boston United are called the Pilgrims because they've appeared in more leagues than Halifax Town has missed business opportunities. This hasn't changed in their recent history, except in the past decade they've gone higher than ever before, with Steve Evans swindling them all the goddam way. It will take a while for the name "Boston United" to be associated with the description "a fairly solvent football club," but for the time being we're all going to call them Buston, as if nothing ever happened to us ourselves.

The ground

Picture sources: 1 2 3

Despite being in use since the late 1800s, York St. was made what it is today after a failed election to the Football League in 1977 due to ground grading requirements. Alongside the Sydney Opera House and Sweden's Ice Hotel, it was unarguably one of the most ambitious architectural projects in the latter half of the 20th century, and it stands today as a Grade A stadium, capable of hosting league football. It now boats four handsome, old-school stands, including a large terrace behind one goal opened up when enough away fans find their way through the south Lincolnshire plains. Let's cram it.

The town

Boston is the state capital of Massachusetts, with over 4.5 million living in the surrounding metropolitan—oh wait. LOL!!!

Boston, Lincolnshire is a town of 58,000. It is well-known for being the fattest town in the United Kingdom, where everybody who isn't classified as clinically obese is offered a trial for the club. Occasionally others are sent to play for Boston Town FC, a United Counties League affair established especially for dissenting fans of the Pilgrims. For Shaymen who realise "ecclesiastical" doesn't mean "of or pertaining to raisin-studded Mancunian cakes," St. Botolph's Church's tower, located in the town centre, is visible to all Lincs residents and the town's favourite landmark.

Little else of Boston is known, so we asked some up-and-coming Bostonian rap talents to explain their town's appeal:

For the train user among us, trains can be taken from Leeds to Grantham, followed by Grantham to Boston. Otherwise Halifax–Leeds–Peterborough–Sleaford–Boston is your best bet. Whatever you do, good luck. For pubs, I am recommended the Ship Tavern and the Coach and Horses near the ground. There is a Wetherspoons in town also and the pub opposite the station is "supposed to be OK."

Will we need to segregate?

Probably! I'm promised a travelling contingent of 200.

Tell me where I missed out a hyphen by leaving a comment.


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