Thursday, 9 June 2011

Cack-Handed Away Guide VI: DROYLSDEN FC.


Droylsden FC
Butchers Arms Ground
Market Street


The Bloods

But we call them


Billy basics
Managers: Dave Pace, Dave Pace and Dave Pace
Founded: 1892
2010/11: 8th, Conf North
2009/10: 5th, Conf North
2008/09: 7th Conf North
Highest position: 2007/08: 24th, Conference National. Swag.
Average attendance 2010/11: 311

Who are Dresden?

In the 1800s, in a pub somewhere in Ashton, there lived a landlord. He had a pleasant joint with a sizable beer garden round the back. Sadly for him though, it was always occupied by a group of schoolchildren having a good old kickabout. Furious about this, the landlord stomped his feet and gnashed his teeth at them, confiscating any ball that rolled his way. But the boys would still come, hoofing the ball here and there on the well-cut lawn, chatting and chortling amongst themselves. But the landlord had had enough. On his last straw, he erected a sign: "No Ball Games."

Overnight, the beer garden turned from a summery haven full of birdsong and children's playful screams, to a wint'ry cow field full of crabgrass and potholes. It was muddy, frosted over and abandoned. It was in such a state that even a Prescot Cables fan couldn't identify it as a worthy playing field. Eventually, even his most trustworthy clientele stopped coming to the pub, and the landlord was on the verge of selling his wife to a slimy suitor from Skelmersdale. 
The landlord then took a sudden turn. He uprooted his No Ball Games sign and opened the back gate for the children to enjoy playing on the lawn once again. Overnight the beer garden went again from dead to alive. The children were happier than ever to have a kickabout, his pub was making roaring trade, and his wife was giving him the best sex ever. One day years later, the now elderly and ailing landlord hobbled into the garden with a pint of Joseph Holt's finest, and with a new generation of children still playing football around him, he expired. How the children wept around him, The Selfish Landlord who became a grandfather to them all, the youngest boy wrapping a string of fresh sausages around his neck. With that, they tried to take themselves more seriously and formed a club in his honour. That club became Droyslden FC, and they play in that beer garden today, The Butcher's Arms. 

Since the landlord's demise, the grounds have again turned into a desolate, wint'ry, empty area devoid of anything human.

In the late '90s though, everything went on the up again. Manager, Chairman and Utter Football Genius Dave Pace™ took over and won them the NPL First Division North championship in 1998/99, before they became founder members of the Conference North in the 2004/05 season. They became champions of said division in the 2006/07 season, and enjoyed a season of Conference National members moaning, "THAT thing passed the ground grading requirements?" The stay was cut short due to them being so abject that they only took three points off the debilitating Halifax Town FC over the entire season. They have remained in the Conference North for three better-than-average seasons. Utter Football Genius Dave Pace™manages them to this date.

The ground

Picture sources 1 2 3

The Butcher's Arms is a vaguely famous footballing venue. For it is the tradition that, for one home game every season, Bloods fans are invited to turn up in butchers overalls and walk around a stadium sprinkled with sawdust. Whether they want to have a butchers at the on-field performance is another matter. However, they have recently been banned from spraying each other with blood, as was the tradition. It's political correctness gone mad!

For the interested Town fan, there's the elevated main stand pictured above, a small terrace going down the opposite touchline and a nicely-sized terrace behind one goal. Behind the other goal is plain ol' hard standing. Last time I visited, someone had kindly left a tenner on the ground for me.

The town

Uh-oh. It's the most innercity Tameside town there is. Droylsden is packed with Mancunians overflowing from the city centre and in the small town itself, there's little to write home about, partly due to the overflow including a criminal element. Those who have rose above the rabble include Communist Party leader Harry Pollitt and budding Manchester United forward Danny Welbeck.

There is no train station in Droylsden and there may as well be no police station either. Take a bus either from Ashton or the city centre.

Will we need to segregate?


Leave a comment reminding me how I'm a lazy journo.


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