Sutton Utd v York City

Another bucket list thing ticked off, H has been to watch York City play. Seeing as Sutton United’s ground is two stops on the train for us it was easy to get to as well.

sutton united v york city

York City are my home team. My long-standing support lies with Tottenham, but when you’re up north in the eighties the chances of seeing them are next to non-existent. So I watched York City for many years until I got a paper round and couldn’t go to Saturday games any more.

York have not had the easiest ride. After the eighties wave of excellence we started hovering around the lower end of the league. Occasional moments of excellence, a rivalry with Luton Town of all teams, a few trips to Wembley with accompanying songs and support who never gives up.

H on shaun's shoulders

These last few seasons have been bad. We had a manager who seemed to put out statements about how hopeful he was we’d stay up (when we had lost again), who got replaced a few months ago. Now he’s running the club on a day to day basis. Sigh. Oh, and now York are third from the bottom in the Vanarama League. It’s all looking like we’ll drop to the Vanarama North.

Every point is crucial. So we headed to West Sutton on the train, and took the short walk to the club. This is proper football. Non-segregated around the ground, some seating available in the main stand but everyone mixed together. Very suitable for kids (apart from some songs but it went over their heads and was far enough they couldn’t hear).

Entry cost £15 for Shaun, I had my NUS card so it was £8, and £3 for H. Not cheap, but we’re supporting the football clubs which have no money. (Sutton do have a bit of money after their FA Cup run, but that’s a freak thing and a great thing too that even H might gain as Sutton United run one of her PE classes at school)

For most of the game the York players didn’t look like they knew each other. There were occasional moments but nothing seemed to happen. A couple of late substitutions and being 2-0 down, we started to head towards the exit. But then it happened! We scored! I’d joked as we started to leave “watch this, they’ll get two back now to stop us from leaving” – could it happen?

sutton united v york city

There was no more than two or three minutes left. The goal was by us as we were on the York side (the joys of having a ground you can walk around), and it felt like actually, we could do this. AND WE DID!

2-2 final score. Blimey. Those last ten minutes were worth it. Given York’s usual pattern is to go ahead then concede in the dying minutes, this was what we needed. When Sutton scored their first goal H handed me my vintage York City scarf (well, 1980s one) with a look of sadness, of all hope disappearing. This time H was on Shaun’s shoulders cheering with the biggest smile on her face.

Football at this level is so important. There is very little money – though some players still earn silly money. It isn’t like going to a Tottenham game. H needs to see that this is where it all begins. If you’re lucky a talented player might come through your ranks (though will get pinched by a bigger club). But that player could be your neighbour, your classmate…

We left Gander Green Lane and found a local child-friendly pub in the Robin Hood on West Street, Sutton. It had board games so H set up a chess game, then followed that up with Scrabble while we watched the Lincoln FA Cup game.

We have to keep everything crossed York can get enough points to stay up. A couple of wins could do it, depending on the other results. We don’t have long.

sutton united v york the end

H Went to Wembley

We went to Wembley on Saturday to watch the Women’s FA Cup Final – Chelsea vs Notts County.

Wembley view from block 137

We went as neutrals, having no preference for either team, and trying not to let our feelings for the men’s teams cloud our judgement in any way.

We made it on time too – from Carshalton to Wembley it takes about an hour and 20 minutes (including the bus from Morden) and was a straight and easy route. Hopping onto a Metropolitan train when we got to Finchley Road made it an even faster journey.

H at Wembley

After stopping for nasty burgers and chips (my only vegetarian option, I remembered Wembley’s food being expensive), we got into the stadium. Aaaah.

A random lady who had a number one hit sang her pop song, while large inflatable things had the names of each team. Despite buying tickets way before the finalists were known, we were with all the Chelsea supporters – though you wouldn’t have known. If you watched the Women’s World Cup you may, like us, have been refreshed by how sporting it all was. Wembley had that in spades – everyone applauded everything, and indeed, when Laura Bassett’s name was called out everyone cheered loudly – except H.

“MUMMY!! LAURA BASSETT IS PLAYING!!!!!” she squealed with excitement while being amazed she was watching players she knew. If only Fran Kirby had been eligible to play!

For a five year old, watching her second ever football match, it’s a big one. You know she’ll drift off a bit due to her age, but actually, she only drifted off right at the end (when I was hoping Notts County would score, but also hoping they wouldn’t as H was so tired!).

H outside Wembley

So that’s one off the bucket list – we’ve taken H to watch a football match at Wembley! We went as neutrals, had a great time, enjoyed watching the presentation of the cup at the end, and H was especially happy as Wembley has a playground right outside the Designer Outlet part (where she got a second burst of energy).

Bucket List

At some point in the next five years we are likely to be moving to Australia. This means I need to make sure all those things I’ve always wanted to do get done. So I’m starting my bucket list. This will be added to and amended when things have been done, but gives me a focus on the things I might never get a chance to do again once I’m over the other side of the world! Some are stupid little things where I’m revisiting my childhood, and others are things I’ve never done.

1. Go to the Dick Bruna Huis in Utrecht (edit – we’re going in August, but the Huis is closed for refurbishment. H says “oh, we’ll just have to go next year then” – good girl!)
2. Go to Amsterdam (booked)
3. Go to Eurovision (just the once)
4. Take H to Salzburg so she can do the Sound of Music tour too.
5. Take H to see Annie on the stage. (booked for November!)
6. Go to Cornwall. (Booked!)
7. Take H to a festival.
8. Go to Germany again.
9. Take H to Blackpool.
10. Do the Miffy Trail in the Netherlands this year (could be combined with 1 & 2) (booked!)
11. Finish reading the Morrissey book.
12. Go to CenterParcs in Belgium next year (as inspired by Jennifer)
13. Take H to a game of Football at Wembley. (booked for August!)
14. Take H to a Tottenham game (friendlies count) (we’ve done a stadium tour now, close)
15. Take H to a York City game.
16. See Matilda at the theatre
17. Go to the York Pantomime (the proper Berwick Kaler one)