SATURDAY 23rd Jan
GROUNDHOPPER KEITH ASLAN - (from Broadstairs, Kent)
VISITED COLDEN COMMON PARK.
Colden Common v Fleetlands; - Hampshire Senior Division;
Result: 3-3; Admission: Free; Programme: £1; - Attendance: 21 (16 home, 4 away & 1 neutral)
There's only one team in Hampshire for paper fetishists and it is a long time ago since I last visited Colden Common. I remember absolutely nothing about the game but the superb programme sticks out in the
The quality hasn't dropped and the best part of 25 years on, another terrific issue with the Editor cum Secretary cum Linesman, Ian Steele, producing another cracker. He's being doing them every season for the past 30 plus years, a labour of
love, and this in a league where programmes are about as rare as an Aston Villa victory.
Colden Common is a village between Winchester and Eastleigh, and for public transport junkies it is the latter station you need to go to. Although only every two hours the X9 timetable fits in perfectly with a 2 o
clock kick off, but not one at 8 minutes past which is when today's match finally got going.
Having been forced to leave their village green headquarters due to changing room issues (not particularly serious ones as they played their first five games back there, presumably due to cricketing conflicts) they
aim to return permanently. Not that there's anything wrong with the current set up. Located on the outskirts of town in a country park, it has all the requisite new facilities including the all important hall to serve hot drinks, set in glorious countryside. But it's
remoteness is the problem for the club. When they played in the centre of the village, everybody knew they were there and the club maintained a high profile. Attendances have suffered since the move and I wish them well in their attempt to return. Also the
old ground was right next to the village pub which apparently helped to attract players! No matter what the weather brings, one thing the "Commoners" won't need to worry about is fixture congestion, having whipped through their first 8 games, almost a quarter
of the season's fixtures, by the end of August.
Colden Common's most famous son is Steve Guppy who began his career playing here, scoring in the equivalent fixture in 1995. "Gupps" played for a number of clubs, most notably Leicester City and Celtic and was
inexplicably a full international. Who will ever forget his solitary appearance in a friendly against Belgium during England's "Desperation Years" (1970-2016). Today his first club are rooted to the bottom of the Hampshire League with seven points, although
why, this is beyond me judging by today's match. They were full value for their point in a scintillating game of football and they won't be bottom much longer if they can play like this on a regular basis. Great match, fantastic programme, what more could you
want from an afternoon? Well just one thing actually, a 2 o'clock kick off.
Definition of a ‘Groundhopper’
There are two………A small predominantly brown insect that resembles agrasshopper and has well-developed wings. Family Tetrigidae, order Orthoptera: several species, including the European
common groundhopper(Tetrix undulata)
Or, and more relative to what we are looking at….
Groundhopping is a hobby that involves attending matches at as many different stadiums or grounds as possible. Participants are known as groundhoppers,
hoppers or travellers. Largely a football-related pastime, groundhopping probably found its origin in football in the 1970s in England. There is no universal set of rules for counting ‘hopped grounds’, although a generally accepted one is that a
match must have been seen at the ground while many Groundhoppers will only travel to club’s that produce programmes.