Paul’s Soccer Stories

Author Paul Gerald shares his adventures from seeing more than 100 games all over England.

view of football from behind the goal at brentford community stadium

Groundhopper Paul’s English & European Soccer Adventure, 2021-22 Edition

January 25, 2022

It's finally time to go groundhopping again! Groundhopper Soccer Guides founder, Paul Gerald, shares his plans for going to football games in England and Europe during the 2021-22 season.  Updated 1-29-2022 with recent results and (mostly Covid-related) changes. Skip ahead to my schedule. For months now, I've been dealing with things like "how to grow…

A Festive Diary: Watching Soccer in England Over the Holidays

January 8, 2022

While it wasn't quite as fun and festive as years past, for reasons I need not state, my experience of watching English soccer over the Christmas period was nonetheless enjoyable. Here's a diary of my experience. If you are considering coming to England for a soccer-focused trip over the holidays in 2022, I can't recommend…

MLS Cup 2021, or Losing, Winning, and Wondering Why

December 17, 2021

What is it that makes us sports fans sign up for all the ups and downs, the emotional and financial costs, the abuse, and the exhaustion? Is it the chance at joy? It must run pretty deep, like into our DNA, because there seems no shaking it, no matter how often we say we’re done.…

Groundhopping at Blackpool FC

November 25, 2021

Let’s take a trip to Blackpool and see a game at Blackpool FC. Just understand, as we depart, that much around here seems to be about the past, some of which is to be celebrated and some, well, forgotten. Blackpool is a city many visitors to England might not think about, because they didn’t grow…

Groundhopping at Fleetwood Town FC

November 25, 2021

Going to a football game at Fleetwood Town is a chance to see a small club that got big quickly, step just off the tourist path for a truly local experience, and – lucky for me – witness the kind of magic that only live sports can produce. For many newcomers to English football, Fleetwood…

Groundhopping Weekend: FA Cup First Round 2021

November 14, 2021

A weekend in the FA Cup brings highs, lows, drama, dullness, rain, sun, joy, and grief -- plus all the stuff that happens on the pitch. The first three rounds of the Cup are some of my favorite weekends to be in England to watch football. The First and Second Rounds, generally the first weekends…

dulwich hamlet non-league football stadium spectators

Seeing a Game at Dulwich Hamlet FC

August 1, 2021

I had the honor of seeing Dulwich Hamlet FC's Boxing Day (2018) return to their home ground of Champion Hill. Here's a report, and an introduction to this famous little community club in South London. (This post was originally written in 2019.) Out in South London, in a residential area next to a Sainsbury’s grocery…

See a game at Burton Albion FC

Seeing a Game at Burton Albion FC

July 26, 2021

It seems to me the soul of English soccer is on the terraces. And it was in Burton-Upon-Trent that I was reminded not only of that fact, but also where the game has gone astray somehow. (Originally written February 2017 but updated for the 2021-22 season.) Stumbling around Birmingham New Street in the morning, waiting…

security and fans outside barnsley football club

Seeing a Game at Barnsley FC

July 26, 2021

(This post was written in March 2017, when Barnsley and Huddersfield Town were both in the Championship. For the 2021-22 season, they are back there again.) Going to a game at Barnsley FC is right around what I call the “sweet spot” of watching English soccer. Allow me to explain: For me, the big Premier…

coastline mumbles south wales coast path

English Soccer Travels:
Visiting Swansea, South Wales

July 20, 2021

In my quest to see all the 92 soccer clubs in the Premier League and English Football League, in 2017 I made my way to see a game at Swansea City. Here is a report on the game I saw against Burnley, when both were in the Premier League. Burnley still are for the 2021-22…

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