Sunday, October 29, 2006

The oldest football club in London

No not Arsenal, Chelsea, West Ham or even Brentford but lowly Leyton. Formed in 1868, that's 28 years earlier than us , their current side were walloped by the glorious 'Gate 4-0 yesterday afternoon.

I've been to some ropey grounds in my time but Leyton's, bless them, does take the biscuit. To be fair, their supporters, all 17 of them, were friendly and the tea bar served excellent chips, but I'm afraid the "stadium" has a long way to go to meet modern standards. (Mind you, so has Hartsdown Park, Margate, but that's another issue).

Just down the road from Leyton's ground, new facilities for the 2012 Olympics will start to spring up very shortly. That's all very well but IMO, sports grounds in this country are sadly lacking in number and quality. One just has to visit many non-league football grounds around the country. To that you can add the lack of hockey, lacrosse and rugby pitches. Compared to the Continent (where sport& recreation are taking more serioiusly) sporting ground choices for our citizens is awful. Did you realise that we've lost 34000 playing fields in recent years? Whether this is down to deliberate Government policy, greedy speculators or just plain incompetence, it is high-time this serious issue was tackled.

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