Being at a match at St James’ Park can be a unique experience which is unrivalled so far on my travels, but being the adventurous type, combined with a lack of time, and sometimes a lack of money or transport, means that a lot of my support is now done away from SJP.
I would like nothing better than to be able to make every home game, but unfortunately I can’t. It costs me roughly £150 for a day at St James’, and sometimes that just isn’t possible.
Many of you know that I also work nights nowadays, and that it can roll into a Saturday morning, which also counts against me trying to make the 420-mile round trip to Newcastle. So as a compromise, I try to do as many games as my time and money allows me to, although perhaps inevitably most of these games come away from St James’ Park.
Away games have a different atmosphere to home games. It’s us against them, a little Geordie Army going into vocal battle as the underdogs. Usually we come out on top aswell!
Longer-term readers will know that I used to write guides that away fans can follow including where to go, where to drink, where to eat, how to get there and so on. Those guides proved pretty popular and helped out a few people on their travels, which is what I aimed to do with them.
It’s also how I started writing for this very site. I’ve knocked them on the head now to be honest as there is enough information already out there regarding Premier League grounds, plus there is the fact that we have been to most of them over the last 16 or so years so already have a kind of knowledge about them.
This is where ‘Around The Grounds’ comes into the equation. Written by Chris Nelson, this book is the ultimate guide for any football tourist. It features full write-ups of all 92 Football League grounds, pictures, quotes and anecdotes from favourites of each particular club, plus all the really useful stuff like where to have a pint and where to park the car.
All of the information contained within this book was compiled using the views of the fans of each club, so you can be rest assured that there will be nothing but accuracy in it’s reporting. In fact this very site has an honourable mention in the book, which is why I am more than happy to write a review for it in return.
Naturally, this being a Newcastle site and all that, my first look was to see what was written up on Newcastle United. I have to doff my cap at the end results to be honest as they are brilliant. Four pages of colour photgraphs, quotes from Mick Martin and the high and lows of life at St James’ Park have been documented in exquisite detail.
That high standard isn’t just restricted to our team though. Upon further examination I found that every club has been researched in specific detail, to the point where a ‘statto’ like myself fould myself immersed in reading the details and history of Accrington Stanley (we played them recently which is why I looked).
I really can’t recommend this book highly enough as I have found it fantastic to have all of that information at my fingertips. It’s a part of the ‘Footprint Travel Guide’ series that some of you may be aware of, so you can be assured that it is of the highest possible standard.
You can order this book online from Footprint Travel Guides, or you can click this link which will take you direct to the page where you can purchase the book. It costs £19.99, but Nufcblog.org readers can recieve a 25% discount by entering the word ‘footie’ in the coupon code box at the checkout.
We also have one copy that will be offered as a prize in our Fantasy Football competition, so if you are already in it then you have the chance to win it.
I highly recommend this book!